I want to give a couple of draft scenarios for each of our picks. In this short mock I will not predict trading up or down because I feel that it's nearly impossible to find another team to swap with and hard to find a suitable value when trading players. Although I wont be predicting trades, this doesn't mean I don't think they will happen. I think its inevitable that Kyle Orton gets traded as long as there's a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Obviously a lot of the following has to do with what Carolina does at #1 but here goes nothing...
# 2 Pick - Patrick Peterson - CB LSU
Now before you jump down my throat I have reasons to choose a CB this high. I know it's never happened before but when you're drafting #2 overall you need a can't-miss, sure-fire player who is going to be a perennial Pro-Bowler and the future of your franchise and Mr. Peterson is that guy. I know we have needs on the D-line and really the entire front 7 but all levels of our defense need talent upgrades and we do get more selections than just the #2 pick. There's no need to gamble on a questionable kid this high. Arguably the best CB to come out in a decade and without question the cleanest player in the draft. CBs selected in the top 10 virtually never miss and that's something we have to have drafting this high. This kids 219 lbs. and ran a blistering 4.32 40! Has zero deficiencies in his game and would have a perfect mentor in Champ Bailey for the foreseeable future. With talk of Champ wanting to move to safety to prolong his career in a few years makes this move make even more sense. Peterson has produced at a high level as soon as he stepped foot on LSUs campus. You also get a bonus by drafting Peterson because he's arguably the best returner in the draft as well, so Denver doesn't have to waste a late round selection on a guy like Noel Devine because of his return abilities. Last time I checked Special Teams is still one-third of the game of football. No off-the-field issues with PP either so your getting a great person and an even better playmaker. Denver ranked near the bottom in numerous passing categories. Our secondary is on the wrong side of their careers for the most part so getting younger is a must. I could go on and on about this kid but I want to get to some alternatives.
...Alternative # 1 - Marcel Dareus - DT Alabama
I do think this is too high for Dareus and I'm not on the Nick Fairley bandwagon. Fairley's attitude and late hits throughout the year throw up red flags for me. The main thing keeping me away from Fairley is the one-year-wonder tag. He did nothing in the prior year and had a coming out party this year. I like my prospects to show productivity over a few seasons in college. Dareus had a very good combine as well and Fairley just didn't measure up. Fairley checked in at 291 and only 6'3". The weight bothers me more than the height. Dareus checked in at just under 320 and has played at a high level during his career at Alabama. My concern is the Dareus takes plays off and I don't think he has the internal drive to be a dominant player in the NFL. He also had injuries at 'Bama and was suspended due to illegal benefits. DTs also have a very high bust rate when drafted this high. I'm not willing to take a risk like this when we have the chance to grab a game changing player. I'm not denying our front 7 deficiencies but drafting a risky player is not even a consideration with me. All levels of our defense need a substantial talent upgrade.
Pick #36 - Martez Wilson - ILB Illinois
Wilson is a special athlete. At the combine he checked in at 250 lbs. and ran a lightening fast 4.49 40! Wilson has long arms and can shed blocks well working through traffic. Can really cover sideline to sideline and run plays down from behind. He reminds me a little of Karlos Dansby of the Miami Dolphins. He is a little raw as a player but Coach Fox could have this kid playing up to his extremely high ceiling in no time. If he has a good camp he could be starting by D.J. Williams come week 1.
...Alternative # 1 - Stephen Paea - DT Oregon State
Paea is a very strong, very stout DT who is stout at the point of attack and does very well disrupting plays in the backfield. Paea set the combine record according to NFL.com with 49 reps in the bench press. I've seen other reports that there has indeed been more reps done but its really irrelevant. Paea's stock suffers after getting hurt during the Senior Bowl and we could reap the benefits.
...Alternative # 2 - Rahim Moore - S UCLA
I would love to grab Moore here but our D-line is the most pressing need now. Moore is the definition of a ballhawk. A ton of interceptions in his career at UCLA and numerous years of production. Safety is thin in this draft so we grab the #1 rated safety with the #36 pick. Moore has a nose for the football and plays an excellent center field. He used the combine to really separate himself from any other safety in the draft.
Pick #46 - Marvin Austin - DT North Carolina
A terrific all around DT who was unblockable at the East-West Shrine game. Was suspended much like a few of his fellow Tar Heels but Austin could be the steal of the draft. If he would've played he was a shoe-in 1st rounder. We capitalize on the uber-deep defensive line class and grab another prize here.
...Alternative # 1 - Aaron Williams - CB Texas
Williams is a big corner and could move to safety later on in his career. Williams is a big, physical player with the tools to be a really good corner in this league.
Pick # 67 - Drake Nevis - DT LSU
Another player that slides into the 3rd round that shouldn't. Nevis was dominant in the SEC this past season and would've gotten much more notoriety if it wasn't for that Fairley character making so much noise over at Auburn. A little undersized much like Paea so I don't see any 3-4 teams looking to draft him. We just smile and get another good D-lineman.
...Alternative #1 - Jarvis Jenkins - DT Clemson
Jenkins did a good job pushing the pocket and allowed Da'Quan Bowers to come off the edge without a double team. Jenkins would benefit from John Fox's coaching and could be dominant.
...Alternative #2 - Quinton Carter - S Oklahoma
This kid brings the WOOD! He when he hits he brings the lumber. The biggest problem I have with Carter is his lack of coverage skills. I feel like he'll be a liability if he's forced to cover the slot where Moore wouldn't be. Carter is much better coming forward to tackle than going back to cover. He's smart and physical though and could put some fear into receivers coming over the middle. He has ideal size for the position and had good production as a Sooner.
...Alternative # 3 - Robert Sands - S West Virginia
Sands is very tall, above 6'4". Really rare for the position. He's a very raw prospect and needs a lot of coaching. Very stiff in the hips and is a project but could become an elite safety. Loves to hit much like Carter.
Going with my picks the Denver Broncos gathered;
Patrick Peterson - CB
Martez Wilson - ILB
Marvin Austin - DT
Drake Nevis - DT
We help all three levels of our defense and infuse young talent and playmaking ability. We also got a premier returner in PP to help our special teams and ultimately our field position. I don't want to hear anything about Kyle Rudolph or any TE for that matter. The kid is talented and we do need a pass-catching TE but the 2nd round is no place to get him with our defensive deficiencies. He is injury prone and the defensive needs are too great. We can gamble on Wesley Saunders later on in the draft or try to sign Jeff King to reunite with Fox. I also see the Broncos try to sign Charles Johnson to reunite with Fox and ease our transition to the 4-3 and into Fox's defense. I see us resigning Justin Bannan as well. I can't wait to see Robert Ayers at his natural position too should be fun to watch. Rome wasn't built in a day, the Denver defense won't be either. It might take another off-season to gain more assets but by focusing our first four picks solely on defense we definitely would be taking a step in the right direction. So thanks for reading & commenting from a severely misplaced Broncos fan (stuck in the middle of CHEESEHEAD NATION, WISCONSIN) !! GO BRONCOS!