ESPN’s Todd McShay opened a pretty big can of worms when he projected our beloved Denver Broncos as selecting an offensive tackle with their first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Now that the dust has settled and we've all come to the realization he has no idea what he’s talking about considering we have not one but two starting caliber left tackles under contract and a starting caliber right tackle who is just starting to blossom as a player I thought it might be interesting to look at what other opinions are out there in cyberspace.
Instead of doing yet another mock draft, let’s look at who the "experts" have us taking with our first round pick and break it down:
Todd McShay - ESPN - Zach Martin, OT, Notre Dame 6’4" 308lbs
-While it’s true that offensive lineman are traditionally great picks in the first round, this pick only makes sense if we plan on moving Mr. Martin inside. Using a first round pick on a guard is only smart if he’s one helluva a guard, I’m not sure Martin fits the bill.
Eric Edholm - Yahoo Sports - Jason Verrett, CB, TCU 5’10" 176lbs
-Now this pick makes a bit more sense considering Champ’s age and injury history, the fact we only signed DRC to a one year contract, and how valuable cornerbacks are in today’s NFL. The problem I have with this pick is that Jason Verrett is only 5’10" 176lbs and screams nickel corner to me but we already have Chris Harris Jr. kicking ass and taking names at nickel.
Dane Brugler - CBSSports - Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri 6’5" 275lbs
-Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!!! I LOVE this pick! We all know losing Elvis Dumervil to the damn Ratbirds sucked horribly and has allowed opposing offenses to consistently double Von Miller which kills his effectiveness. Shaun Phillips and Robert Ayers have done a decent job stepping in but I think we all can admit defensive end is a priority. Kony Ealy is a phenomenal athlete who has risen up draft boards with outstanding play.
Rob Rang - CBSSports - Travis Swanson, C, Arkansas 6’4" 318lbs
-This is another pick I would love. Manny Ramirez has done one heck of a job this year filling in for Dan Koppen but I’m not sure he’s the right guy long term. With J.D. Walton now a Redskin this pick makes even more sense.
Walter Cherepinsky - Walterfootball.com - Gabe Jackson, G, Mississippi State 6’3" 340lbs
-A guard? I know some injuries hurt our offensive line this year but to me adding some defensive talent is a much bigger priority. The thing I do like about Mr. Jackson is his sheer physical presence but he doesn't play like a 340lbs guy should when it comes to manhandling defenders.
Charlie Campbell - Walterfootball.com - Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida 6’0" 195lbs
-I personally believe Louchiez Purifory is the better cornerback from Florida but they’re both six footers and extremely talented. I do think this is definitely the year to use a premium draft pick on a cornerback because the crop is outstanding.
Sporting News - Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State 6’0" 305lbs
-To me this pick makes the least sense because we used a first round pick on Sylvester Williams last year (Who do they think we are? the Lions?) but I’m not completely against it. Will Sutton is one of the better pass rushing defensive tackles in this year’s draft.
Draft Tek - Concensus - Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
-Getting Justin Gilbert at the end of the first round would be an absolute steal! He’s a quick six footer and extremely dangerous on kick returns. I like this kid a lot, that’s why I think there’s zero chance we get him without moving up in the first round but it’s nice to dream.
A couple of guys who weren't mocked but have been mentioned as possible picks by MHR contributors:
Trent Murphy, DE, Stanford 6'6" 261lbs
-Another possible Dumervil replacement with a ton of skills.
Ryan Shazier, DE/OLB, Ohio State 6'2" 230lbs
-Great instincts and excellent in pass coverage, could be the shiny new inside linebacker we all want.
There you have it fellas. Tell me what you think and who you think made the best prediction.