1st Round – Kevin Minter, LSU – ILB: Minter is IMO the best prospect in this year’s draft at Mike LB, no offense to Te’o who obviously had a great season, but Minter will be a better pro IMO. If you watched the National Championship game, you saw how Te’o stacks up against tougher O-lines, Minter has been playing and dominating in the SEC. This guy is the real deal and a playmaker. Brooking likely won’t be back, Mayes is not the answer, and DJ Williams likely won’t be back at his salary if he comes back at all. Minter is very smart, a natural playmaker and a good leader. This pick reminds me a lot of the Al Wilson pick in that I think people are going to fall in love with this guy for ten years.
2nd Round – Chris Faulk, LSU – OT: A talented prospect who was injured this season, with Ryan Clady potentially becoming a free agent, and Chris Kuper maybe not returning to form, I think Faulk has tremendous value here. He was playing LT at LSU but may be a natural RT and would allow Orlando Franklin to slide inside to guard and get a more powerful o-line for running the ball. Also provides better insurance should we be unable to resign Clady to a long term deal or if there is an injury as Chris Clark would grade as a marginal O-lineman at best. Faulk is coming off an injury, but he has the talent to warrent a 1st round grade if he wasn't injured.
3rd Round – Kenny Stills, Oklahoma – WR: Some might say this is a wasted pick, but DT and Decker both have trouble gaining separation from defenders and Brandon Stokely will not last forever. Stills has very good speed, is a very good pass catcher, and should be a good value at this point. If our predominant formation will be three WR, TE, and RB, we will need someone to take over the slot and be a dominate player, Stills is that guy IMO.
4th Round – Bennie Logan, DT – LSU: I am not enamored with DT from LSU as they typically don’t pan out in the pros, however Logan is a solid run defending DT. This may seem like I am drafting the entire LSU team, however, based on current rating of players, he would be the BPA at this position IMO. While I don’t see him as a starter, he definitely should be able to be a solid rotational DT.
5th Round – Marcus Lattimore, RB –South Carolina: Staying in the SEC, at this point I think this is a tremendous value pick. Lattimore obviously falls due to the injury and may not be able to contribute this season, but as Willis McGhee showed, you can come back from horrible knee injuries and have very productive careers. There is no doubt on Lattimore’s talent and we can stash him on IR this season if he isn’t ready.
6th Round – Craig Roh, DE – Michigan: Roh is a very hard worker and very coachable, he has bounced around positions at Michigan but looks natural as a strong side DE. Roh isn’t spectacular (obviously if he was he wouldn’t last to the 6th Round), but he is a guy who will definitely put in the work to make the roster.
7th Round – Dustin Hopkins, K – FSU: Here may be my shocker for the draft, however, Prater missed way too many FG attempts this season and his duff of the FG kick in the Championship game leads me to believe that Elway will send a message that attention to detail and lack of focus will cost you your job, especially considering Prater got a hefty contract this offseason. That said, Hopkins is a very good kicker and should excel in Denver.
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