Despite popular belief I seem to get lucky on Mock Drafts. In 2010 I mocked 5 players correctly and last year I mocked 4. I missed on Patrick Peterson at 2, had Rahim Moore at 36 who went 45th, Quinton Carter at 46-picked 108th, Julius Thomas at 102-picked 129th, and Virgil Green at 194-picked at 204. Of course a trade put my picks off a little but not so bad for someone who has been told that my picks need more research, and are completely wrong. All of this can be found in the archives of MHR with a little looking and time. Bronocfansd and I debated numerous times last year and did way WAY too many mocks so I have limited myself to just a few this year and this is my finale before the draft next Thursday. Let’s see how I do this year:
In the past it has been simple to (guess) know the direction Denver was heading, today not so much. It has been a very long time since Denver had a QB that we knew would be the starter and the year after that too. Will Denver build around Peyton or try to build for life after Manning? That is the real question we should be asking. I would have to say that Denver is in Win-Now mode with a caveat of Win-Later too. I think we will see a good mixture of day one starters and future talent taken in this draft.
I have debated on just pick one player only, or list a grouping of players, and to finish off make a selection. I haven’t done a “big board” style mock before so that is what I’m going to try this time around. I will pick a few players that might fall to the pick and highlight them, and then make a selection based on what direction I could see Denver going. I hope you enjoy.
Round 1-Players to choose from:
Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
Devon Still, DT, Penn State
Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
Similar to last year when most had Denver taking Marcell Dareus I feel Denver will this year finally take the bait and go DT in the first round. That will remove Peter Konz, Janoris Jenkins, and Michael Brockers whom I don’t see falling to 25 so remove these three from the list. Leaving Still and Worthy who both were considered top selections in this year’s draft before the emergence of Fletcher Cox and Michael Brockers making either one a solid pick for us at 25.
At 25 Denver selects: Devon Still
Still had 55 tackles with 17 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, a pass batted away and a forced fumble in 2011. Many of his tackles went for no gain or minimal gain. Until Week 12, he had recorded at least one tackle for a loss in every game this season. Still demonstrated the ability to fight through double-teams and still be disruptive. The upside is also great when thinking he is 6-5, 303 pounds and surprising speed.
Round 2-Player to choose from:
Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Lavonte David, OLB, Nebraska
Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech
Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson
LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
Denver could go in a swarm of different directions here. With the biggest need of DT being filled in Round 1, Denver might choose to take a luxury pick or a day one starter. I know using a 2nd round pick as a luxury pick isn’t the best of plans, but Denver really has some options here. When I use the term “luxury” it’s more of a player that doesn’t have to carry the load from day one. Just to be clear.
Denver selects: Lamar Miller (a luxury pick in my mind)
Lamar Miller is a steal down here and the reason I see Denver taking him over a position of need such as CB or another DT. For whatever reason some really good players fall of draft day be it overlooked or just lost in the shuffle it happens every year, this time Denver is the prize winner. Some just a month ago had Denver taking Miller at 25 so to fall this far is a no brainer for Denver. Miller had a breakout 2011 season with 1,272 yards and nine touchdowns rushing while averaging 5.46 yards per carry. He was the most consistent weapon for Miami. The redshirt sophomore has an excellent skill set. Miller (5-11, 212) has the size and strength to handle the pounding of a large amount of carries. What makes him stand out is his speed. He has the quickness to hit a hole quickly and the straight-line speed to score on any carry.
Round 3-Players to choose:
Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida
Bruce Irvin, OLB, West Virginia
Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State
Brandon Boykin, CB/KR, Georgia
Leonard Johnson, CB, Iowa State
Josh Norman, CB, Coastal Carolina
In Round 3 we seem to have a theme “Get a CB now”. Out of the 6 possible players I see that not only fill a need, but also have the “best player available” stink on them 3 just happen to be corners. I think once again Denver gets very lucky and sees lighting strike twice with a very solid player falling way beyond once expected. Mike Mayock called this kid the third best corner in the draft and he falls to Denver in Round 3.
Denver selects: Leonard Johnson
The Broncos grab a cornerback to develop behind their veterans. Johnson had a strong senior season and followed that up with a good showing at the Senior Bowl. He totaled 72 tackles, eight passes broken up and one interception in 2011. Over three years of playing time, Johnson had four career interceptions and 19 passes broken up. The 5-foot-9, 198-pounder has some man-coverage skills and isn't afraid to get physical with receivers either.
Round 4- Players to choose:
Mike Martin, DT, Michigan
Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State
Audie Cole, ILB, N.C. State
Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State
Sean Spence, OLB, Miami
B.J. Coleman, QB, UT-Chattanooga
Mike Brewster, C, Ohio State
David Molk, C, Michigan
In the 4th Denver has 2 selections to make which couldn’t come at a better time. As the draft moves forward we might start to see Denver really targeting players to fill pure needs and growth for later years. Denver will take a bench player in the fourth as well as a player who could push for the starting job in 2012…..I’ll let you decide who you think does which.
Denver selects: Kirk Cousins and Mike Brewster in Round 4
Cousins was a quality quarterback. He completed 65 percent of his passes for 3,316 yards and 25 touchdowns with 10 interceptions in 2011. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder completed 65 percent of his passes for 2,825 yards with 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2010. Cousins is a smart and efficient signal-caller with leadership skills to boot. Allowing Cousin to sit behind Manning for a couple of seasons might make him one of 2012 biggest draft steals.
Brewster entered 2011 as the top center prospect, but he had an inconsistent season. As a blocker, Brewster performed reasonably well, but he had some struggles with his snaps at times. Overall, Brewster is a good run blocker, having paved the way for Boom Herron and Terrelle Pryor. Brewster has some mobility to hit blocks on the second level. That could make him a good fit in a zone-blocking scheme. As a pass blocker, he is more effective when helping a guard. Brewster had a dominant game against Miami and defensive tackle Marcus Forston, Michigan State and Jerel Worthy, and also against Nebraska defensive tackles Jared Crick and Baker Steinkuhler.
Round 5-Players to choose:
Senio Kelemete, G/OT, Washington
Jarius Wright, WR, Arkansas
Jaye Howard, DT, Florida
Malik Jackson, DE, Tennessee
T.Y. Hilton, WR/KR, Florida International
Vontaze Burfict, ILB, Arizona State
Personally I’d like to see Denver get Vontaze Burfict, but I don’t see that happening. Denver is trying to get away from project players. Denver needs and has needed a pure kickoff return/punt return specialist for years and this draft we get one in….
Denver selects: T.Y. Hilton
Hilton recorded 72 receptions this year for 1,038 yards and seven touchdowns. He also returned 18 kickoffs for 548 yards (30.4 average) as well as eight punts for 186 yards, including a 97-yard touchdown return against Florida Atlantic. Hilton had 59 receptions for 848 yards and five touchdowns in 2010. He had four rushing touchdowns and two kicks returned for touchdowns as well. The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder has a lot of speed and could be a good slot receiver and return man in the NFL. At his pro day, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.34 seconds while showing good route running and good hands in the field drills.
Round 6-Players to choose:
Vontaze Burfict, ILB, Arizona State
Coty Sensabaugh, CB, Clemson
Travis Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma
Ryan Miller, G, Colorado
Nate Potter, G/OT, Boise State
At this point in the draft every team is looking for the next TD or Tom Brady; unfortunately for Denver we aren’t looking for the skill set player but more a backup role type player. Denver might have a need on the O-line with Kuper ankle injury and overall condition moving forward, plus Franklin is more a mauler than pass protector so to make sure Denver guards that 6-5 240 pound walking greatness named Peyton Manning…..
Denver selects: Nate Potter
Throughout his career, Potter constantly gave quarterback Kellen Moore ample time to throw the ball. Even though Potter is not a heavy tackle, he showed the strength to anchor against bull rushers. Potter needs to increase his strength and power to be an adequate run blocker in the NFL.
Denver draft should end with the Potter pick. I’m not sure we will get a 7th round selection but if we do I’ll leave it up to you all to fill that player in.
Well this is my last Mock before the real Draft of 2012.
I’ll see you then and either way I hope the 2012 draft is one Denver fans will never forget(of course in a great way)!