Thought I'd get in on all this mock-fun.
Much of this is dependent upon some big decisions and outcomes that are impossible to predict:
1 - Does Denver stick with the 3-4?
2 - Does Denver's new head coach think that Walton, Beadles, or Harris is a must start for 2011?
3 - What Free Agent players are available and a fit for the team?
4 - What trades can and will Denver make?
That said, my mock improves Denver's defensive line immediately, addresses our collective age on defense and improves our offense depth and talent. The goal is to draft 4 starters in the first 5 picks. Also, you'll see a second 3rd round pick in my mock. That's my imagined compensation for Orton via trade. It'd be somewhere in the 70's.
Just to elaborate a bit on my mock, after round 1, I have a 'board' of 3 available players, in order of how I'd rate them in terms of talent, team need, and impact timeline. Also, if Denver takes a saftety in round 2, they will not take another safety in round 3. If Denver takes a CB in round 2, they will not take another CB in round 3. If Denver stays 3-4, they will not draft a 4-3 DT (as noted). Etc, etc. Use common sense.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a talent evaluator. Just a football fan. So the chances that my mock-draft will come to fruition is infinitely unilkely. But it was fun. Don't take these things too seriously. The Broncos don't even have a coach yet.
|Rd 1 (2)||Nick Fairley||DT/DE||Immediate impact starter on the D-Line|
|Rd 2 (4)||Rahim Moore||S||Immediate impact starter at Safety if available|
|Jimmy Smith||CB||Starter at some point during his rookie season|
|Travis Lewis||OLB||Would start right away, good in coverage|
|Rd 2 (15)||Kyle Rudolph||TE||Immediate starter at TE, huge upgrade|
|Jarrell Casey||DT||If Denver goes 4-3, Casey makes sense|
|Rodney Hudson||C/LG||Depends on what HC thinks of Beadles & Walton|
|Rd 3 (3)||Jerrell Powe||NT||If they stick with 3-4, Powe makes sense if avail.|
|Rashad Carmichael||CB||Underrated man CB, could be a steal at CB and ST|
|Robert Sands||S||Big, physical safety with upside, starts as a rookie|
|Rd 3 (KO)||Greg Jones||ILB||Versatile, edgy ILB, covers zone well in pass D|
|Daniel Thomas||RB||Bigger stronger back with quick feet, good fit|
|Darius Morris||OT/G||Depends on valuation of Harris and Beadles|
I think Casey Matthews is getting way too much play. I'm not sold that he's better than a 4th rounder. I think Denver will use a 3-4 again, but I hope they'll migrate to a 4-3. I think it's going to be the 'trend' defense within 3 years and think that the typically available personnel lends itsself better to a 4-3 defense.
I think the chances that Denver does anything at QB this offseason other than trading Orton is zero. Quinn is an athletic backup with starter experience for cheap. Doing anything at QB would be a luxury that Denver simply can't afford.
It feels like Denver wants to hire a coach quickly, but I don't think they will be able to. Mularkey is "busy washing his hair" and if he was dying to take the Denver job I think he'd have gone through with the interview. Denver can afford Harbaugh, regardless of what the media will tell you, and he is their first choice, but I think Harbaugh will take the 49ers job because it's close to home, it's an easier sell, they're a better team than Denver is in an awful division, and Harbaugh will get to pick the QB (it won't be Luck, but it won't be someone who is already there, either).
As with all mocks, we'll see what happens....