The biggest question I face as I wonder about the direction for the Broncos in the upcoming draft is whether or not we add a few more weapons for Peyton Manning early in the draft, or do we continue to build a defense that will get him the ball back as much as possible? For this mock, I chose the latter. I also did not make any trades, which is rare for me.
My drafts weaknesses (among others) are: DB and LB
My drafts strengths are: DL, Running Game, Depth Pieces, Balanced
*Sorry, I was operating under the assumption that we had two 5th rounders. With the release of the official draft order today, it is obvious that we don't. Remove one of those two fifths. Who though?
1st Round - Kendall Reyes DT
2nd Round - Vinny Curry DE
3rd Round - Chris Polk RB
4th Round - Devon Wylie WR
4th Round - Brandon Brooks OG
5th Round - Jaye Howard DT
6th Round - Brandon Hardin SS
Thoughts on the picks:
1st Round: Kendall Reyes DT - Possibly the safest DT in the draft. Team captain for two years, no injury history or off the field concerns. Still growing into his 6'5" 300lb frame, which is scary. Ran a 4.9 40, benched 225lbs 36 times. Admittedly, I watched him play maybe only four games last season. Every game I watched I noticed his stamina was great and did not have to be subbed out regularly, which is an underrated stat. I also noticed he played really quick and penetrated with regularity. When I saw him play, he commanded a double-team every game. Devon Still had the best year of any DT last year, but when you mix in an injury history and a questionable attitude, he makes you think twice.
2nd Round: Vinny Curry DE - Believe me, I would love Doug Martin, Lamar Miller, or David Wilson here, but they won't fall this far. I'm not even sure Curry will fall this far. This will be an unpopular pick, I'm sure. Call me a sucker for productivity. Curry is the most productive defensive end in the draft. Over the last two years, he has registered over 20 sacks and 40 TFL's. Robert Ayers, who some people love around here, has shown me nothing more than back-up potential. In fact, fewer DE's are as unproductive. I'm in the mood for a playmaker here who can rush the QB and also stop the run. The Broncos reportedly showed interest in upgrading the DE position when reports surfaced of an interest in John Abraham. I would not be shocked if we went this direction. If you ask me, the best value with where we sit in the second round is probably DE or CB.
3rd Round: Chris Polk RB - Arguably, Polk is the last of the second tier RB's available at this point. In watching him play many games up here in the northwest, I noticed Polk was a constant force. Polk can block, run, and catch. For some reason, he bulked up during the Senior Bowl and really looked bad. If his playing weight is between 205 - 212, he will be very good. Polk has an NFL body that can run between the tackles all day.
4th Round: Devon Wylie WR - Will start off on special teams, possibly returning punts and having a similar role to Eddie Royal. He may develop into a starting slot WR or, with his 4.3 speed, could emerge as a solid deep threat.
4th Round: Brandon Brooks G - Brooks would be solid depth, but according to some pundits, could ultimately be a successful starter in the NFL.
5th Round: Jaye Howard DT - I keep going back to Xanders talking about how much he liked Jaye Howard. For now though, I will say that Howard is probably not much more than depth, though his upside is very intriguing.
6th Round: Brandon Hardin SS - If you don't know this guys story, you should. He missed last year with a bad shoulder. He is a size / speed guy who at 6'3" and 216lbs., just ran a 4.3 40 at his pro day for Oregon State. He is totally under the radar because he was playing out of position, at CB, during his college career.
Here is a sample mock of what I would do if I wanted to add a few more weapons around Peyton Manning:
1st Round: Stephen Hill WR
2nd Round: Mike Martin DT
3rd Round: Chris Polk RB
Trade 4th & 5th for additional 3rd Rounder
3rd Round: Mychal Kendricks LB
4th Round: Brandon Brooks OG
5th Round: Jaye Howard DT
6th Round: Brandon Hardin SS
Go ahead and tear it apart!!!