"Any time you go into a draft, you think your first and second picks – even into the third round – are going to come in and be an impact on your football team." In addition Elway said that the team is open to trading its pick, and while it would prefer to move back, is open to making any deals that would help the team.Given this information we can assume the Broncos are obviously looking for IMPACT players in the first few picks that can contribute in Year 1 in various ways (i.e. starter, sub packages, 3rd down, special teams, etc.). This could indicate a relucatance to reach for a pick based on need and being open to trading down to obtain additional ammunition. This may especially be true now that the league has announced an increase in the roster size from 80 to 90 players, which provides more roster space during camp. With that being said, as armchair GM of this mock draft I will be looking for impact players that can help the Broncos in the near term. I utilized various draft rankings from ESPN, CBS Sports, my personnel research, extended hours of college football viewing and others to select the players. Love it or hate it, this is how it is going down in my world.
Round 1 - Pick #25
TRADE = Miami moves back into the first round to select Ryan Tannehill after he slips all the way to the mid-20s. Cleveland picks Brandon Weeden at 22 with their 2nd first round pick obtained in the Julio Jones trade last year. This leaves one remaining first tier QB left, with the Dolphins in desperate need.
Miami receives: Round 1 #25 (720 pts)
Denver receives selections: Round 2 #42, Round 3 #72 & Round 7 #215 (715.4 pts total)
Round 2 - Pick #42 (Via Miami Trade)
The Broncos trade down and still get one of their highest rated defensive players due to the depth of the DT crop in this years draft. They brought in Kendall for a pre-draft visit and word is they are very high on him. He is a two time team captain, high character player with solid production through out his career (38 starts). Can play multiple positions along the D-Line and will be a special teams contributor. Expected to make an impact and contribute in his rookie season.
Round 2 - Pick #57
via i.cdn.turner.comLamichael James - Running Back 5'8" / 194 LBS (Oregon)
When we look at potential immediate impact, I can think of no better player than James to provide game-breaking speed, acceleration and open field ability. Whether this is your RB of choice or not, there is no denying his college production and explosive ability. Certainly something the Broncos have lacked for sometime. He will fill the void left by Eddie Royal on special teams with the ability to kick and punt return, as well as change of pace/ 3rd down back.
Round 3 - Pick #72 (Via Miami Trade)
via img.ibtimes.comMychal Kendricks - Linebacker 5'11"/ 239 LBS (Cal)
Some believe Kendricks will be picked a bit earlier than this, however as a 4-3 linebacker with less than ideal height and some minor character concerns I think he will fall into the 3rd round. Smart and productive player with over 100 tackles last year, sub 4.5 speed, 3 down coverage ability and the PAC-12 Defensive Player of the Year. He can play any of the 4-3 linebacker positions and will contribute on all special teams.
Round 3 - Pick #87
One gap penetrating Nose Tackle with superb strength and a wrestling background. Team captain with leadership skills and a non-stop motor. Less than ideal size, being overlooked by other teams is the Broncos gain. Contributes on the D-Line in sub packages and is tagged as potential replacement for Bunkley. Certainly addresses a position of need while adding a quality player that can play special teams.
Round 4 - Pick #108
There is some debate on where Jared will be drafted, however the early 4th round is certainly a possiblity given his injury concerns and less than ideal size. He was still unable to perform the bench press due to his pectoral injury sustained last year that cost him a large portion of his senior season (only 5 games played). When healthy, he has been a solid producer (2010: 70 tackles, 17 TFL, 9.5 sacks) that is tenacious and gains most of his TFL/sacks by pure will and hustle. Better run player than pass, but will contribute in the DL rotation and play special teams. He gives the Broncos flexability on the DLine to keep players fresh and provides a Giantesque rotation with Crick, Martin and Reyes plugging in with the existing group.
Round 4 - Pick #120
via blog.newsok.comRyan Broyles - Wide Reciever 5'11"/ 192 LBS (Oklahoma)
Another extremely productive college player against first tier competition that has fallen because of a torn ACL in 2011. Due to his injury he was unable to participate in the combine, but let's look at his on the field production. Three straight seasons of over 80 catches and 1,000 plus yards with a career total of 45 TDs. In 2010 he caught 131 passes as the number one receiver defenses keyed on. He would work primarily from the slot and give Peyton a new toy to add to the our mix of big tall receivers. In addition to his potential to contribute from the slot in his rookie season, he is an excellent punt and kickoff return specialist.
Round 5 - Pick #136
I may get roasted for this pick due to Alfonzo's boneheadness (i.e. being arrested last week and the reason he has fallen to #136 overall), but at this point he is too good a talent to pass up. A very physical and tenacious corner who is aggressive at the LOS. Won the Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year award last season after getting four interceptions, six pass breakups, and 31 tackles. A solid addition to our CB depth with very high potential upside. With the understanding he is a risk/ reward type of pick, but worth the gamble at a premier position this late in the draft.
Round 6 - Pick #188
I know, I know he is just too short and slight to be considered an NFL QB. A solid, cerbral and accurate QB that can serve as a potential back up to Manning and scout team arm. He will have time to learn the NFL game and improve his size and strength. Think of him as a 2-3 year project QB that is going into the elite Manning University. Also let's not forget his college production, this kid can flat out play. Period. A 4 year starter that has thrown for over 3,500 yards each season, including 3,800 yds 43 TDs to 9 INT and a 74% completion percentage in 2011. Worth a 6th round pick, even if he only develops into a reliable back up.
Round 7 - Pick #215 (Via Miami Trade)
via media.kansan.comRyan Miller - Guard 6'7"/ 321 LBS (Colorado)
Elite physical attributes with some indecsion on position at the NFL. A tough player that flashed ability at the collegiate level and is worthy of a look to solidify depth on the O-Line.