The Denver Broncos surprised a lot of people by going with a high-risk, high-reward pick in cornerback Bradley Roby. Roby has all the talent in the world; the concern surrounds his technique as a corner, as well as his known off-field incidents from July 2013 and just last month, April 2014.
Broncos Country is excited to have Roby on board.
Although technically this poll would translate to a C+ grade, I'm not sure the percentage metric for the actual U.S. education system translates very well to how mock drafters grade the days after. Based on comments and the like since, I'd say Broncos fans are giving this at least a B.
Here is how the pick has been graded around the web.
The risk: There are some character things with Roby that will need to be monitored. Much worse, though, is his undisciplined play on the field. Denver also has some holes on the offensive line that could have been addressed. The reward: If Roby's potential reaches his talent, he's the best cornerback in the draft. He should pair nicely with free agent signing Aqib Talib.
Denver got first-hand look in the Super Bowl, at what physical, aggressive corners can do for your defense, and they clearly took note with this selection. Roby has had his issues off the field, and even on the field lacks self control at times, but there's no denying the talent. He strong enough to jam, quick enough to play off, and has the speed to turn and run with anyone. If he can continue to improve, he could very well end up the best NFL corner of this draft.
John Elway didn't have to do anything but sit around and watch Roby fall into his lap. Though there are concerns about him, his junior year tape showed he had top 15 talent, and the Broncos are the beneficiaries of him sliding to the bottom of the round.
A big athletic corner with ball skills? Yes, please. I'm legitimately surprised Roby wasn't off the board at this point, as he needs work—yes—but he also has all the tools to be one of the best players in this class. In Denver, he'll fit in as an outside corner with Aqib Talib and can rotate into the nickel in a pinch. Don't be surprised if he's not an immediate starter, though. He needs to polish up his game.
I think I was higher on Roby throughout the draft process than a lot of people, often handing him to the Saints at No. 27 in mocks. Pretending that Roby suddenly lost all his athletic gifts or natural ability over the span of September 2013 was foolish. When he gets locked in, Roby is as devastating a DB as any other in this draft. Can he flip the switch and keep it on? That’s the question here. The upside is prevalent enough to justify this pick, deep in Round 1.
You know what's great about Denver's win-now philosophy? They won't care very much if Bradley Roby gets into trouble down the road. The Broncos had to find players who could help them win right now, given Peyton Manning's career status, and Roby should help them do that. Roby had a brutal 2013 campaign, but he was stellar in 2012. Had he declared last year, he would've been a top-10 pick. Denver can coach him up and have him perform up to his ability.
How would you grade the Bradley Roby pick?