Here's who the mainstream media is saying we will draft at our #28 slot:
Don Banks, SI.com CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State, 6'1", 217 lbs.
"Champ Bailey looked really, really old in the playoff shocker against Baltimore. Rhodes has prototypical NFL size and impressive coverage skills, and he plays with a physical presence."
Mel Kiper, ESPN.com CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State, 6'1", 217 lbs.
Gil Brandt, NFL.com CB Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State, 6'1", 185 lbs.
"The Broncos had trouble defending the pass against the Ravens in a playoff loss. Banks lacks great speed, but he has very good ball skills."
BroncoCanuck's take: I still think Champ has another year in him at CB. But I would like us to grab a good corner in the first 3 rounds somewhere.
Bucky Brooks, NFL.com DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida, 6'3", 303 lbs.
Rob Rang, CBSSports.com DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida, 6'3", 303 lbs.
"With three veteran defensive tackles scheduled for free agency following this season (including starters Kevin Vickerson and Justin Bannan) Denver will likely address this position on draft day. The team found a good young standout in Derek Wolfe a year ago and he's played well as a rookie. The 6-3, 303 pound Floyd has the quickness to take advantage of the one on one blocks he'll face in Denver as opponents focus on the Broncos' outstanding edge rushers."
BroncoCanuck's take: Not sure on Floyd. Want to see what he does at the Combine.
The Sporting News RB Eddie Lacey, Alabama, 6'1", 220 lbs.
BroncoCanuck's take: I don't think so, Tim.
Dane Brugler, CBSSports.com OLB Arthur Brown, Kansas State, 6'1", 228 lbs.
"The Broncos need to add depth in the secondary and interior defensive line, but the also need an athletic, three-down linebacker. Brown might scare some teams away due to his lack of ideal size, but his athleticism, instincts and intangibles makes him more than worth this pick."
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com DE Ezekiel Ansah, Brigham Young, 6'6", 270 lbs.
BroncoCanuck's take: I love this pick, but at the same time I wonder if Ansah is the next Jason Pierre Paul or is he the next Jarvis Moss?
Charles Davis, NFL.com TE Zach Ertz, Stanford, 6'6", 249 lbs.
BroncoCanuck's take: Chuck, why are we taking a TE? We have 4 TEs locked up for the next 2 years. Even if we replace Julius Thomas, Elway is not going to pick a TE with our first pick in the draft.
Albert Breer, NFL.com DT Jonathan Jenkins, Georgia, 6'3", 351 lbs.
Drafttek DT Jonathan Jenkins, Georgia, 6'3", 351 lbs.
"The Broncos simply can't pass up on the value here. In fact, the value is so good and reports out of the Senior Bowl so positive, Jenkins may not be available here in April. For now, the Broncos are thrilled to grab "The South's most consistently disruptive defensive lineman". At 6'3" and a massive 359 lbs, Jenkins might fit better anchoring the middle of a 3-4, but, as Andrew Mason notes, "Del Rio likes his one-technique big". Also, there's not a lot of question around need at DT. Bannan and Vickerson played well for the Broncos this year, but both are Free Agents and, even if re-signed, Bannan's age will become an issue soon. Derek Wolfe proved the Broncos brass will indeed pull the trigger on a defensive lineman early and run-stuffing Defensive Tackle is more and more a premium position. Del Rio and his team would have some work to do here on technique, but Jenkins appears to have an exceptional combination of size and athletic ability. Easy pick."
second round: ILB Nico Johnson, Alabama, 6'2", 246 lbs.
"Middle Linebacker has to be right at the top of the Broncos' list of needs. Joe Mays seems to be a great guy and is a fantastic special teams player, but he was clearly not the solution at Mike this year. Keith Brooking was a very solid upgrade starting in Week 6, but, um, 37 is really old. Perhaps this need can be addressed via free agency, but our bet is that the Broncos are looking hard at this year's linebacking class. Nico Johnson out of Alabama is an intriguing option. He's big (6'3" and 249 lbs), has good instincts for the position, and reportedly has a great attitude with no known off-field issues. He had decent production last year on a very good defense with 55 Tackles and was generally solid on film. Unfortunately, there are some questions as to his ceiling and whether he is ultimately just a rotational run-stuffer. The reports out of the Senior Bowl also haven't been fantastic so he'll need a big game in Mobile to stay in this range. Still, his size, attitude, and positional versatility will interest the Broncos and could make him the pick here."
third round: WR Denard Robinson, Michigan, 5'11", 195 lbs.
fourth round: RB Christine Michael, Texas A&M, 5'11", 215 lbs.
BroncoCanuck's take: Jenkins is too big to play at mile high altitude. Don't like the other picks either.
Josh Norris, NFL.com DT Sylvester Williams, North Carolina, 6'3", 315 lbs.
"The Broncos have two solid, run-stuffing defensive tackles, but they struggled to create pressure from the interior. Williams has the skills to get a good push up front, but it hasn't come together just yet."
BroncoCanuck's take: Not bad, I like Sylvester Williams
Walter Football.com CB Desmond Trufant, Washington, 6'0", 185 lbs.
"It really bothered me that none of the ESPN shows discussed how unbelievably bad Champ Bailey was against the Ravens. He looked like a member of New Orleans' secondary. He could be done. Tony Carter, meanwhile, is a free agent. The Broncos suddenly need help at corner. Desmond Trufant had an awesome Senior Bowl. He shut down every receiver he battled in the drills. At this point, I'll be somewhat surprised if he makes it into the second round."
second round: LB Arthur Brown, Kansas State, 6'1", 228 lbs.
"Keith Brooking, 37, saw extensive action at middle linebacker this past season when Joe Mays was lost for the year. Neither is very good, so the Broncos could be looking at an upgrade early in the 2013 NFL Draft."
third round: G/C Travis Frederick, Wisconsin, 6'4", 338 lbs.
"The Broncos need an upgrade on the offensive line. Right guard Manuel Ramirez was not getting the job done for the suddenly injury-prone Chris Kuper, who has barely seen the field this year. Zane Beadles isn't good on the other side either. Denver can easily find an upgrade this April."
fourth round: RB Stepfan Taylor, Stanford, 5'11", 208 lbs.
"I don't think Knowshon Moreno can be trusted. Willis McGahee is old. Ronnie Hillman's just a change-of-pace back."
BroncoCanuck's take: I love Walter's whole 4 rounds. Awesome.
SBNation MLB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame, 6'2", 255 lbs.
"The drop for Te'o ends here. Denver is going to be desperate this offseason to add a middle linebacker. Te'o may not be an athletic marvel, but he's a dependable thumper as a linebacker. With players like Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil, Te'o would only be needed to stop the run, which is his strength."
BroncoCanuck's take: Not sure. I was pretty big on Te'o before the Alabama game, hoping he'd fall to us. But it appears he can't play in space. Not good if we want a 3 down MLB to quarterback our defense.
Jon Dove, Bleacher Report DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State, 6'3", 335 lbs.
"With Peyton Manning on board, the Denver Broncos don't need to focus much of their resources on offense. The team would benefit more from an upgrade along the defensive line, in the linebacker corps or in the secondary. Florida's Sharrif Floyd is the type of player capable of shooting the gap and disrupting the timing of the offense. His presence would fit in nicely with the outside pressure generated by Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil. The concern with Floyd is that his production hasn't matched his talent level. Denver would need to be convinced he doesn't have a motor issue."
I love this time of year. But some of the mocks don't make sense at all. They have us taking TEs in the first round or some other non-need. Some of the mocks make some sense, other a little more. But in the end, not only haven't we seen these guys in the Combine yet, we haven't been through free agency, which is going to impact greatly on who we are taking in the first couple of rounds. These are all a little early. But fun to read and then mock the mockers.