I see four major needs; a cornerback to replace Champ Bailey, the offensive line, a middle linebacker to replace Paris Lenon, and a wide receiver to replace whoever we decide to let go at the end of the season. I think we’re set at defensive end with Malik Jackson developing nicely so I’m going to cross that off the list.
Here is an early mock draft for those of you who love trying to guess the direction John Elway and John Fox will go just like I do:
Round 1 Pick #32: The Denver Broncos select Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida
Champ Bailey will go down as the best Bronco cornerback ever but it’s time for him to hang up the cleats. Replacing one of the greatest of all time will not be easy but this is a very good draft class for cornerbacks. Loucheiz Purifoy is a 6 foot tall bona fide shutdown corner who will slip a little bit (hopefully right to us) because of some maturity issues. CBSSports has him ranked the 62nd overall prospect and the 6th best cornerback in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Round 2 Pick #64: The Denver Broncos select Hroniss Grasu, C, Oregon
Manny Ramirez stepped up and has played well at center this year but it’s definitely a position we should look to upgrade. Hroniss Grasu is just one of those gifted athletes you want on your team and would help our running game a ton. CBSSports has him ranked the 82nd overall prospect and the 2nd best center in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Round 3 Pick #96: The Denver Broncos select Devin Street, WR, Pittsburgh
We may not be able to keep Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker this off season so drafting a potential starter would be prudent. Devin Street has good size, great hands and runs excellent routes but he’s not exactly lighting in a bottle when he gets the ball (a lot like Decker). CBSSports has him ranked the 99th overall prospect and the 14th best wide receiver in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Round 4 Pick #128: The Denver Broncos select Ryan Groy, OG, Wisconsin
Our offensive line depth has been tested mightily this year so I definitely think we should add another interior lineman in the draft. Ryan Groy isn’t a top name but he comes from one of the best programs in college football for producing NFL caliber offensive lineman. CBSSports has him ranked the 143rd overall prospect and 8th best offensive guard in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Round 5 Pick #160: The Denver Broncos select Sean Parker, SS, Washington
Duke Ihenacho has been an excellent surprise this year at strong safety and Mike Adams has played great when we needed him but this is another position where we should add some competition. Sean Parker is undersized for a strong safety but he’s got great coverage skills and has even played some nickel cornerback. CBSSports has him ranked the 166th overall prospect and the 6th best strong safety in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Round 6 Pick #192: The Denver Broncos select Eric Ward, WR, Texas Tech
I don’t know if this kid makes the team or not but he’s quick and represents good value this late in the draft. Eric Ward fits the same mold as Wes Welker with a more limited skill set. CBSSports has him ranked the 193rd overall prospect and the 24th best wide receiver in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Round 7 Pick #224: The Denver Broncos select Glenn Carson, ILB, Penn State
Another guy who probably won’t make the team but who comes from a great linebacker factory for the NFL. CBSSports has him ranked the 232nd overall prospect and the 10th best inside linebacker in the 2014 NFL Draft.
There you have it! If I were John Elway and John Fox I would package a few late round picks together and move up in the third round for a middle linebacker like Shayne Skov from Stanford or Yawin Smallwood from UConn but where we stand now these are the guys I would like to see in blue and orange. Tell me what you think and feel free to make some selections of your own. GO BRONCOS!!!