Round 1 Pick 25: Devon Still DT Penn St.
Hey this is my first mock and I think it will represent a realistic push for players we need and who will be around at those spots.
Devon Still is the safest bet at a player in this spot for a big position of need on the Broncos. While Thompson and Worthy are definite looks at this spot too, Thompson just doesn't offer the pass rush and Worthy gets lost in to many games. Still is a consistent player who has the ability to stop the run well and collapse the pocket. He has size and speed and is a hard worker with an underrated motor. I think this is a guy who has NFL ready skills and with a summer of coaching from good coaches could really become a force on our d-line for the next 5 years. We desperately need D-lineman with Bunk going to the Saints and Marcus Thomas still floating around in FA. I know we got Bannan and Warren if coming off IR but both those guys are on their last legs and can give us 1 solid season at best. All the great defenses in the NFL have a strong Dline rotation and Still could really be the center piece of a strong interior D.
Round 2 Pick 25: Mike Martin DT Michigan
Did I mention how important a good Dline is. Im sure some of you are saying right now, c'mon this is way to high for Martin we could probably get him in the third. I disagree. I think he is climbing boards right now and will not be there at our 3rd pick. This guy is an animal, a former wrestler who knows the game of leverage. Just ask Elvis Dumerville just how important leverage is to a defensive lineman going against 6'8 o lineman. He has an endless motor and unbelievable strength. He will devote himself to the team and make sure he is making a difference. I can see him being a rotational player and becoming a starter mid season, With these first two picks our interior line will be set for years to come being able to play the run and pass.
Round 3 Pick 24: Russel Wilson QB Wisconsin
Ok, this is the most polarizing pick of my draft, but ill say it now and ill say it again I think this would be the steal of the draft. Give this guy 3 more inches of height and he is a top ten pick. To believe that there is a 3 round drop off in skill because of 3 inches in height is something I will never understand. This is a guy who can make any throw in the book, and better than any QB in the draft outside picks 1 and 2. He is mobile, can scramble, and is great under pressure. A word that is being tossed around a lot with him is cerebral. Can anyone else think of a QB who is commonly described by that word. Give him 2-3 seasons behind Manning and this kid will pick apart opposing D's. He understands coverages, blitzes and can make reads and audibles at the line at a pro level. He switched from a west coast to a pro-style offense and only need 1 summer to master it. He has been through a lot of adversity and has become a strong and dependable man because of it. Of about 50 draft reports Ive read on him the only knock ive yet to see is his height. I understand that players in the NFL are big and will block his passing lanes, but he has faces big guys his whole career and still shattered the college accuracy record, his QB rating was 20 points above Andrew Luck! Broncos fans I introduce to you our franchise QB of the future, the Broncos brass just needs to take the plunge and believe in talent and skill past one physical limitation that has yet to stop him.
Round 4 Pick 13: Chris Polk RB Washington
Ive seen a lot of Bronco drafts with RB being taken at our first or second pick and I just dont get it. Do we need a youth infusion at RB, yes. Mcgahee has 1-2 solid years left in him barring injury and Moreno is a dud 3rd downer at best. But what I dont think people are seeing is that while Fox loves a good running game, the main reason Manning came to the Broncos was because he wanted full control of the Broncos offense. The colts have ranked near if not dead last in the running game over the past decade. While Denver will not fall that low, I expect us to be more of a 16-20 ranked team with Manning at the helm. To spend a valuable first or second round pick on a RB who will be underutilized in our scheme is a waste. As well, RB is a position that can have great value in later rounds. This brings me to Polk, a patient runner who had 1500 yrds, 12 TDs and 30 catches last year. And this was all behind a very sub par Oline. His stock has fallen due to some lousy workouts and a sub par senior bowl, but this is a guy who could be a very good backup to Mcgahee and eventually take over the starting role. I think this is a fantastic value pick, we will get a good player who can contribute right away and be a three down threat and brings youth to a much needed position.
Round 4 Pick 25: Brandon Taylor S LSU
Taylor is a fast, hard hitting instinctual safety who played well against a high caliber of players in the SEC. I know we used two draft picks last year on safeties, but something about Rahim Moore just screams bust to me. I like Carter a lot and I think he showed a lot of improvement last year. That being said he is still raw and our safety position is underratedly weak. Dawkins is on his last legs and Adams will provide veteran depth but is more of a gap player IMO. Taylor will bring some competition to the roster, play ST and could see some limited action in nickle and dime packages. He is fast enough and big enough to hang with the evolving TE's of the NFL and projects to be a second year starter.
Round 5 Pick 2: Brian Quick Wr Appalachian State
Quick is a big man at 6-4 and 220 pounds. He isnt super fast but has good measurables and has been a 3 year starter posting very good numbers every year. He will be a red zone threat that we really dont have. Decker and DT are formidable but neither are really huge in the red zone and Quick can fill that role. With Manning at the helm it doesnt hurt to have depth at WR and he could definitely push Willis for a roster spot especially with Stokely just signing. This is a good value mid-round pick that could pay off for the broncos with an above average receiver.
Round 6 Pick 16: Julian Miller DE West Virginia
This guy didnt benefit from being moved around the line at west Virginia constantly. He is a pure 4-3 DE that posted great numbers for the limited playing time he got. 6 sacks, 11 tackles for loss and 57 tackles show that he is a guy who knows how to attack the ball. Plays very well against the run and will push for starting time in the dline rotation. You can never have enough pass rushing dlineman and behind Ayers and Dumerville we really dont have to much depth. If he can cement himself on ST he can push for playing time and hopefully show that he can be a presence in the NFL.
Opening day roster:
QB: Manning, Hanie, Russel
RB: McGahee, Polk, Moreno
WR: Decker, Thomas, Caldwell, Stokely, Quick
TE: Tamme, Dreesen, Thomas
LT: Clady, Clark
LG: Zane Beadles, Franklin
RG: Kuper, Franklin
RT: Harris, Franklin
DE: Dumerville, Ayers, Hunter, Julian Miller, Beal
DT: Still, Warren, Bannan, Martin, Vickerson, Unrien,
OLB: Miller, Woodyard, Williams, Mohammed
MLB: Mays, Irving, Mohammed
CB: Bailey, Porter, Harris, Vaughn, Thompson
S: Dawkins, Adams, Carter, Taylor, Moore, Bruton
This is what I believe to be a winning, playoff caliber roster with good depth to carry us through a tough season against the NFLs best. Hope you guys enjoy the read and post some comments. Go Broncos!