The roller coaster ride has begun. Players are beginning to rise and fall, and the combine will be the ultimate make or break for their draft stock. With the Senior Bowl having come and gone, it's time to reevaluate the top seniors of this class and make the changes in our mock drafts that we feel necessary. See mine after the jump.
In my first mock draft, I wrote it following my preferred strategy: trading out of the first round for an additional 2nd and 3rd. I believe this would allow us to plug more holes with great talent; however, that doesn't mean I am opposed to keeping our 1st rounder, which is what I plan on doing this time around, for the sake of a different perspective.
1st round: Fletcher Cox (DT), Mississippi State, 6'4 295
You see that? That would be a picture of a DT sacking a QB. Might not look too familiar to us Broncos fans, but that changes with this pick. 56 tackles, 14.5 for loss, and 5 sacks (that sack figure was more than all of our DTs put together, this year). Played against the SEC elite. Has tremendous athleticism, able to play both DT and DE, but he is far more effective inside. Good against the run, but his specialty is obviously rushing the passer: "Generates an explosive pop to knock his opponent back onto his heels. Possesses the lateral agility to take advantage of the unbalanced offensive lineman to run around him and collapse the pocket." Put that with Bunk and we're set.
2nd round: Trumaine Johnson (CB), Montana, 6'2 204
Side note: Deciding on a realistic pick here was extremely tough. I tried to be practical in that, I don't believe Doug Martin will be available because he played himself into the early 2nd round. Otherwise he would be my pick. Besides, what was more susceptible to losing us games this year, our running game or our secondary? A good RB can be found later. I also don't think Chase Minnifield or Stephon Gilmore will be available at 25th. The best move would be to sign someone like Richard Marshall, and draft someone with high upside to eventually take over for Champ.
Analysis: The size is what really excites me. I hope he can pan out to be like the two big Seattle corners, Sherman and Browner, although they're a bit taller. At 6'2, Johnson can match up with most receivers in the league. Had the talent to be recruited by Arizona State and Cal, but turned them down to go to Montana. His height helps prevent one on one plays; good hands (former receiver). Analysts project development as a press or zone corner in the Ike Taylor mold, which I would not mind one bit.
3rd round: Tommy Streeter (WR), Miami, 6'5 215
6'5, solid core at 215 pounds, AND has been clocked at sub 4.4 in the 40. He'd be the playmaking receiver to put our offense over the top. 6'3 DT as our #1, 6'5 Streeter as our 1B, and 6'3 Decker manning the crafty slot position, whose great hands will show fully in time. Remember, last year was basically his rookie season. Back to Streeter: will go up to get the ball in traffic, catches the ball with his hands well, raw as a route runner in terms of timing/precision, but his craftiness can help him develop into a great route runner. He could be a huge red zone threat; as of right now, primarily a deep threat, so he needs to work on possession receiving.
4th round: Robert Turbin (RB), Utah State, 5'9 216
I LOVE this guy. Let Rob Rang tell you why: "For those who haven't seen Turbin, he's a virtual pinball of muscle. Possessing as impressive an upper body physique as any running back in the country (well, perhaps excluding Alabama's Trent Richardson), Turbin uses his strong arms and good leg drive to plow through defenders. He's hardly just a power runner, however, possessing surprising agility and acceleration for such a powerful back. Rated by NFLDraftScout.com as a likely fourth round pick and the No. 11 running back overall, Turbin rushed for 3,315 yards and 40 touchdowns over his Aggie career. He's also a reliable receiver out of the backfield, having caught 67 passes for 845 yards and 11 more scores and is among the stouter pass blockers of this year's running back class." The reliable receiver label may be an understatement. Just look at that hands catch at the 1:33 mark.
5th round (from STL): Chris Rainey (RB/WR), Florida, 5'9 175
Hold on. Let me just copy & paste my analysis on Rainey from my first mock, "Mocking the offseason." Lol, but seriously, I want this guy. Badly. He may fall to us in the 5th round (luckily it's a very early 5th rounder. "Maybe that idiotic Lloyd trade will pay off after all," he says to himself) because of complete underutilization in the Senior Bowl, but then again, after the combine we'll probably be saying we may have to reach for him. Whatever it takes...
5th round: Derek Wolfe (DT/DE), Cincinnati, 6-5 286
Wolfe was a great pass rusher in college, and is light enough to play outside, which is exactly why I'd be happy with him in the late 5th. EFX should go after DE depth in some way this offseason, so maybe convert Wolfe to a full time end? 9.5 sacks in '11-'12, 4 sacks in '10-'11, and 5 sacks in '09-'10. Steal.
7th round: Adrien Cole (ILB), Louisiana Tech, 5'11 250
Literally a copy & paste coming up.
Simply for depth, but who knows what he could turn into? Had good production at Louisiana Tech, but... it's Louisiana Tech. 118 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT.
And that's my Post Senior Bowl Mock! Thanks again, guys. GO BRONCOS.