I won't be doing a mock until about a week out because there's too much speculation for my tastes and I think most mocks are based on pure homeristic wishing.
I first want to address two trends that seem to be running rampart here amoung the Bronco fans that post here at MHR:
- We will not be pursuing Mike Wallace. He's wants too much money (he's said Larry Fitzgerald money) and the Broncos would have to give up (at least) their number 1 pick. The Broncos front office has been adamant that they will be building the core of the team via the draft . And the Broncos already have a receiver on their roster that is very much like Wallace and his name is Demaryius Thomas.
- We will not be trading for Jonathan Stewart. Why? Because the GM of Carolina already has stated that since they traded Mike Goodson, they will not be trading Stewart. Also, I believe he would demand decent money to resign. I say that RB is the second most fungible position over kicker and we can draft a fresher Jonathan Stewart in the middle rounds of the draft, which would be on-line with the mantra of the Broncos front office.
Here is what I believe are biggest needs in order for the upcoming draft:
DT x 2 - We need a pass rushing DT and an all-round stud
CB - We only signed Tracy Porter to a one year deal and Champ is getting older. We need another starting CB for the future. I think Andre Goodman is gone. Too much money for average (at best) production. Yes, we have Cassius Vaughn and Syd'Quan Thompson and Chris Harris proved himself a capable nickel CB, but do you really on bank on those guys?
O-line - We can upgrade at least one position on the our o-line in this draft. I think we can upgrade C, LG or RT. I thought Franklin had a pretty decent year as a rookie at RT. Unfortunately, his strength isn't pass blocking, which what he will be relied on more. I think he could be better at LG and would certainly be an upgrade over Zane Beadles whom I think is best as a quality reserve. I think C would be another position we could upgrade, but unfortunately it's a weak C draft class. JD Walton is terrible against the zero gap blitz and that should be his strength.
QB - QB you ask? Yes, I say. We need to groom a backup/future starter. Let's be honest here. Does anyone think Caleb Hanie is a great backup? I don't and I love CSU. We need another guy that we can groom. 3rd-5th round should be fine.
WR - We do need another playmaker at WR as well as a KR. But, I don't believe they should be taken with in first round. I know offense is sexy and everyone loves to play Madden, but I think we can get tier 2 WR's in the 3rd and 4th rounds that can complement our number 1 and number 2 WR's.
LB - I'm not a DJ Williams fan. But, he had arguably his best season as a pro last year. Unfortunately, he may (may not) be suspended this year. I could see the FO dumping him because of his salary. Regardless of DJ Williams status, I believe we draft another WLB in this draft in the middle rounds to compete with Wesley Woodyard and/or to groom for the future. If we don't draft a WLB, I believe we could draft another MLB that has coverage skills. We all know how great Joe Mays is against the run, but he is not on the field on nickel and dime situations and there is where we will hopefully be given who we have on offense now. We need another cover LB.
RB - Yes, I'm putting RB way down here. I would love Doug Martin, who I believe is the best all-around back in this draft, in picks 35-45. But unfortunately, we aren't picking there. I would have zero problem picking him, if the Broncos traded down and picked him. If we don't get Martin, I say we pick up a back in the middle rounds that can catch the ball and pass protect. What is the over/under on Knowshon staying healthy?
TE - I believe we will draft a TE in the later rounds for depth. Why? I believe Virgil Green might be gone. He says his suspension is for his ADHD drugs. To get a suspension, you have to have 3 hot UA's. That means he's already been warned once, fined once and now he's getting suspended. Buh-bye
DE - I think we take another pass rushing developmental prospect in the late rounds.
My preferred draft strategy:
I don't know the Broncos big board, prospect rankings and I won't pretend to. I believe the Broncos will draft just like they did last year by not reaching and taking players they have highest ranked. I do believe that given the depth of DT in this draft, at least one of our first two picks will be a DT.
Unless Fletcher Cox or Michael Brockers drop to 25, I want the Broncos to trade down in the early/middle 2nd round. Why? Because I believe that after those 2 studs, the next tier of DT's are very close and I think we can get a quality DT that can start for us day one in the 2nd round. If the Broncos do trade down, they can get an additional late 3rd/4th round pick that they can use to trade up with or collect more needs. I think the Broncos will be drafting another DT in the 3rd round. They can get someone like Billy Wynn from Boise State or Derek Wolfe from Cincy as pass rushing rotation guys.
I do think the Broncos will be moving up and down in this draft because with the addition of Peyton Manning, we will be in win-now mode more than normal. I think the Broncos might use a 2013 pick to get someone that they want.
Only 18 more long days until the draft and I can't wait.