So with our first pick we got a LB who has the pass coverage abilities of Derrick Brooks and the pass rushing abilities of Derrick Thomas. I really like that combination. But now comes the hard part, we have to address our situation at DT. The only DT left on the roster who played last year is Kevin Vickerson. Marcus Thomas is a restricted FA. So we need at least one, maybe two DTs who can step in an start or at least play many downs immediately. The conventional wisdom says that we are going to use one if not both of our second round picks on DTs. So lets see who is still on the board and who might still be on the board in the 4th if want to use one of our seconds on a S or ILB (or, GASP, a RB or a TE)
Guys will be presented with their NFL.com draft grade. I will only focus on guys with rating above 6.0 assuming that others below that would might fall to the 6th if we wanted to get them (wishful thinking?).
HT WT College GRADE*
Paea, Stephen 6'1" 303 Oregon St. 7.6
Casey, Jurrell 6'1" 300 USC 7.5
Bailey, Allen 6'3" 285 Miami 7.0
McClain, Terrell 6'2" 297 South Florida 6.9
Austin, Marvin 6'2" 309 North Carolina 6.8
Jenkins, Jarvis 6'4" 310 Clemson 6.4
Nevis, Drake 6'1" 294 LSU 6.1
I have left off guys like Ballard, Brooks, Bowers and Sheard since they don't have the bulk to play DT in the NFL. Bailey is questionable since he is not much bigger than Bowers, but he is discussed as having the combination of strength, size and quickness to play some DT in the NFL. Since there has already been much discussion about Paea and Austin, I will not rehash them except to say that I think Paea is going to be a better NFL player based on what I have seen. So that leaves 5 guys to discuss. First off we need to determine if any of those five are worthy of a second round pick. Bailey is described as a "probably first round pick". McClain is supposed to go in the second round. Casey is supposed to an "early second day pick." Jenkins is a middle round pick so he might still be there in the 4th if we want to go with something other than a DT at 36 and 46 - like an ILB. Nevis is likely to go on day 2.
So if what we really want is a run stopper lets try and remove any of these guys who are not great against the run. From what I read only Bailey is somewhat questionable against the run. So now we have it narrowed down to 4. Jenkins lack of upper body strength worries me (only 17 reps on the bench for a guy weighing 310 - Eddie Royal put up 24). So lets remove him from consideration. Now we have narrowed it down to 3 - Nevis, McClain and Casey.
Nevis is described as being on the small side for an NFL DT, but both he and McClain are high motor guys who make up for less bulk with greater effort and good, quick hands. Casey is described as having stamina issues. So lets remove him since DT depth is not a luxury the Broncos currently have.
So assuming we get Paea or Austin in the second, I think it would be a great move to pick up either Nevis or McClain in the 4th. Hopefully one of them will drop to us there.