We've all experienced how futile mocking the draft is (perhaps it's best to say that it mocks us) but it sure is a fun thought experiment and for that I'm going to give it one more shot. Once again, the Broncos have taken us by surprise on the first day and while that disturbs many of us, I'm just excited to see what our new Broncos will bring to the table. And so, without further ado:
- #114 - Zack Follett, OLB, California: worst-case scenario, he provides depth outside in the LB corps and contributes in special teams. Best-case scenario, he polishes his game and succeeds as a solid starter as an OLB in our new 3-4 scheme. One of those guys that you shouldn't bet against because they've made a living out of proving people wrong.
- #132 - Sammie Lee Hill, DE/NT, Stillman: extremely high character guy who is a bit raw, but has all the tools necessary to excel up front in a 3-4. Some consider him a DE in that scheme, but I think he'd be best suited as an NT. He'd likely need some time on the bench to develope, but that's why we brought in veteran options at the position to bridge the gap if necessary.
- #149 - Chris Baker, DE/NT, Hampton: a definite boom or bust prospect, but it's time to start taking those chances. His off the field troubles seem to have been focused at one time in Penn State and might well be behind him. If he stays on the straight and narrow, he can be a force, especially as a DE in the 3-4.
- #185 - Antonio Appleby, ILB, Virginia: a natural fit inside in the 3-4 (where he already has experience) who, if properly motivated and schooled, could be a real asset on the field. He's certainly a boom or bust type of prospect, but this is when you can afford to take those chances.
- #225 - Deon Butler, WR, Penn State: a small burner who should excel in the slot in a spread offense. His lack of height and bulk, along with the limited upside that those attributes indicate, cause him to be available this late despite blazing speed, solid all-around skills and good character.
- #235 - Graham Harrell, QB, Texas Tech: would make for an intriguing project signal-caller for McDaniels. His weaknesses may be limited and his strengths may be magnified in the system that our new head coach seems to be interested in implementing in Denver.
This little exercise has brought a couple of points to my attention: we still have plenty of picks left to make, there is still a ton of talent on the board and we could certainly address our preceived slighted needs to complement our best player available approach early on. I know I'm likely in the minority in that I actually like our work on the first day (it's not as I would have done it, but I get it) so it's easy for me to be optimistic about all this.
Remember guys, being a fan is supposed to be fun. Also consider that we have no idea how this will all pan out on the field this fall or over the long haul. We don't have all the information necessary to make those judgements and the guys making these decisions for our franchise certainly have more of it than we do. So, let's step back, take a breath and enjoy the ride. Go Broncos!