As the draft grows closer, things will become clearer and thus, my mock drafts will be less frequent. But I know there are those out there just like me who love draft/offseason talk. This is my third mock draft in the last eight days, which is kind of pathetic. I'm just trying to see every possibility, and explore it with you all. Hope you all enjoy.
This mock was done in a full first two rounds, which you can view here if you question as to why a certain player was selected in which slot. In fact, I would encourage you to check it out anyway.
Once again, I included the trading of Marshall and Scheffler in my mock. I read on the Denver Post (barfs in mouth a little) that Marshall's value as a restricted FA is a first and third, which I agree with. Roy Williams was traded for a first and third, and Marshall is fart better but has character problems. I'd say it evens out, and the Broncos don't have to trade him if they don't want to.
Scheffler's restricted value is a second round pick, and a team with a couple of second rounders might be willing to deal one for him. Kellen Winslow was dealt for a second and fifth, Jeremy Shockey for the same. I think Scheffler is just as good a pass receiver as any of them, and again, the Broncos don't have to deal him. Scheffler has the highest yards per catch average in the NFL since 2006. He can be a huge help for a quarterback.
In my mock, I predicted Marshall to go to Baltimore for a first and third, and Scheffler to Cleveland for a second rounder.
First Round, 10th overall (from Chicago): Dez Bryant, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma State
In swg777's post recently, he indicated that we should expect the unexpected from this team when drafting. With Marshall gone, I think it is pertinent we replace him immediately.
Dez Bryant is easily the best wideout in this draft, and the Broncos would be fortunate to land him here with the 10th pick as the 49ers were with Michael Crabtree in 2009. Bryant is a big play receiver with big, strong hands. Catches the ball away from his body, much like Marshall does, and gets yards after the catch.
Here is an interesting tidbit I read in a scouting report of Bryant that I think you will all appreciate:
"Bryant is known to be a down-to-earth individual. He had a rough upbringing, being raised by a single mother who spent 18 months in prison for selling drugs."
I think that's important to note because some feel since Bryant was suspended this year, he has character issues. He seems to be a very sound young man who reminds me of a bigger, faster Anquan Boldin.
First Round, 22nd overall (from Baltimore): Jahvid Best, Running Back, California
I might get stepped on for making this pick, but you cannot, I repeat, you cannot reach for need in the first round. That is exactly what we would be doing if we drafted Iupati in this slot. Iupati is an excellent guard prospect, but coming from Idaho, and seeing as the last guard drafted in the first round was Ben Grubbs of Auburn, I think we're safe to bet Iupati will be around in the second round.
That being said, let me sell you all on Jahvid Best. I know, I know, problems to our running game last season were caused a lot by the lack of interior blocking. I think the Broncos also really lacked depth and pure speed at the running back position, and quite honestly I can't imagine a scenario in which Jahvid Best is staring us in the face this late in the first and we pass on him.
Best is an extremely fast back. He has been extremely productive for the Golden Bears, and would be an ideal compliment to Knowshon Moreno for the future. He can help in the return game, and he can be the speed off the outside that we lacked almost all year.
Second Round, 38th overall (from Cleveland): Mike Iupati, Guard, Idaho
I don't think this pick needs much explanation. I would be absolutely ecstatic if we replaced Scheffler on the roster with Iupati, who is definitely the best guard prospect available in this year's draft.
Iupati is being regarded as a first round pick on these posts more often than not, but I think the phrase used by swg777 was "tunnell vision" and that is so true. We all become (myself included) so fixated on certain players that we lose sight of the value of our picks. Taking Iupati in the first wouldn't be opposed by anyone, but there is better value out there and as evidenced by this mock, we can still pick him up early in the second.
Iupati is a mauler in the middle of the offensive line who is also athletic enough to line up as a tackle if needed. For us, he would be our starting left guard for the future, hopefully the next decade plus.
Second Round, 47th overall: Maurkice Pouncey, Center, Florida
The Pouncey brothers indicated that they would wait until it was confirmed whether or not they would be second round picks or higher to declare for the draft. In the case of Maurkice, it should be a lot easier for him to decide since he is all but guaranteed a second round grade, maybe even higher. Typically, center prospects get high ratings because they play a specialty position, and Pouncey would be the clear best center in the draft by far this year.
This move would allow the Broncos to cut ties with veteran Casey Wiegmann. Pouncey has the potential to be a dominant center at the next level, and Denver would be wise to make him their selection here if he is still available.
Third Round: LaMarr Houston, DL, Texas
Houston had an excellent National Championship, quite probably raising his stock to a third round pick, maybe even better. He displayed an excellent ability to rush the passer and stop the run on a consistent basis, and he was very athletic for his size. He's got great girth for his height, and he is quicker than he looks. I think he could be a nice find here in the third round.
Third Round (from Baltimore): Dezmon Briscoe, WR, Kansas
The Broncos getting rid of Brandon Marshall means they are going to need a couple of legitimate outside threats. I personally believe Royal, Stokley, and Gaffney are better suited as short route, intermediate type of slot receivers, and if the Broncos can bring in two premiere athletes like Briscoe and Bryant, they should consider themselves extremely fortunate.
Briscoe is a playmaker, plain and simple. He knows how to use his body to get position, and he has excellent speed for his size.
Fourth Round: Pat Angerer, ILB, Iowa
You want to talk about heart and passion in a middle linebacker, you point straight to two time All American Pat Angerer. I'm obviously a little biased because of my devotion to Iowa, but Angerer truly is a nice mid-round middle linebacker prospect. He will be an immediate contributor on special teams, and with his work ethic I won't be surprised if he cracks the starting lineup at some point in his career.
**Trade Hillis to Washington for 5th round pick**
Fifth Round: Alterraun Verner, CB, UCLA
When I read the part of his scouting report that indicated "coaches rave about his leadership" I was absolutely sold. Add to the fact that this guy has good speed and above average size for the position, I think you could be looking at a major steal at this point in the draft.
Sixth Round: Anthony Moeaki, TE, Iowa
You all know how much I think Moeaki should become a Bronco. He is injury prone, but would be great value late in the draft. I can't help but be intrigued by the "best tight end" Kirk Ferentz has ever coached.
Seventh Round: LeGarrette Blount, RB, Oregon
Blount is a beast in between the tackles, and would be a great fourth running back to have on the roster with Knowshon, Best, and Buckhalter. He is worth the risk at this point in the draft, and would be a steal if he puts his head on straight.