Now that the bulk of free agency is behind us, I decided to take a look at the upcoming NFL draft. Using the March 4th version of Draft Tek's computer-generated mock draft as a template, I set out to see what I would do as the Denver Broncos GM given that particular scenario. I figured I'd share the results of that little thought experiment with you all to see if I'm on the right track. And so, without further ado:
#12 - Rey Maualuga, ILB, USC: With all the usual suspects and even Tyson Jackson (DE, LSU) off the board, I briefly considered Vontae Davis (CB, Illinois) before deciding between Trojan teammates Brian Cushing and Maualuga. I settled on the latter because I think he's better on the field and the safer pick overall.
#48 - Jarron Gilbert, DE, San Jose State: Missing out on Jackson in the first means that I have to shift my focus to the defensive line before its too late. Ron Brace (DT, Boston College) went before we were back on the clock, so I took the next best 3-4 DL in Gilbert, who is a physical freak.
#79 - Antoine Caldwell, G/C, Alabama: The third round is a bit early to pick for depth, but there wasn't much value at positions of greater need and we really do need another quality, young interior lineman. Caldwell is versatile, experienced, a leader and should benefit from extended professional training before having to start.
#110 - Lawrence Sidbury Jr., OLB, Richmond: I'm not usually a fan of small school prospects, but this kid has just the right blend of impressive measurables and dominant performances.
#132 - David Burton, FS, Notre Dame: Meet Brian Dawkins' protoge. I like this kid so much right now that I'd consider taking him a round earlier if need be.
#141 - Quan Cosby, WR/KR, Texas: He's 26 years old, but that's just right for the current mix we have at the position. He reminds me of Eddie Royal a lot.
#172 - Chris Baker, NT, Hampton: This is late to address our primary need, but this guy has real upside. He may not start right away, but he could eventually be the franchise nose tackle that we need.
#206 - Lardarius Webb, CB, Nicholls State: Honestly, I had no idea what to do this late, so I went with the best name that had decent measurables!
I wish we had another selection somewhere so that we could pick up a back-up offensive tackle, but I like the positions addressed as is. I'd be a bit concerned about the bust potential of some of these guys, particularly the kids that went to small schools, but I like them each individually. The one guy I really like that I couldn't get was Mike Mickens (CB, Cincinnati). One thing this did for me is impress upon me a real need to move around early to ensure that we get the guys we want/need. We could stand pat and work this out, but it's certainly not optimal.
So, what do you guys think? Remember, take a look at the Draft Tek mock up before commenting on my "passing" on anyone you really want. Now, if after that you still feel that way, by all means, let me know and we'll have it out. If you love/hate any of the picks I actually made, then please comment so that we can discuss that. If you want me to explain anything further, I'll be happy to do so if you ask. Alright, I think that about covers it, so have at it. Go Broncos!