With the 86th pick in the 2007 SBNation Mock NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select....
John Wendling, Safety (Wyoming)
This was easily the toughest selection yet. The Broncos probably could use some depth on the O-Line, or Wide Receiver, or Linebacker, in my mind, and I can understand those who don't agree, Safety is a huge need on this defense. John Lynch isn't getting any younger, and there are huge questions about Nick Ferguson and Sam Brandon, each trying to come back off of knee surgery. Hamza Abdullah has promise, but can't be considered a sure thing. The Broncos need to add some depth at Safety, and while it is a bit of a risk taking Wendling here I believe he has the tools physically, and more importantly, mentally to become a solid Pro.
For me it came down to Wendling and Josh Gattis. After looking at both of them there is just something about Gattis that rubs me the wrong way. I can't pin-point it, but for some reason I just don't think he'll translate well to the next level.
Wendling is bigger, faster, and the topper for me, very intelligent. I will probably get flamed for it, but when I see Wendling I think of John Lynch, another guy that was too slow, too big, not instinctive. What Lynch did have, however, was intelligence and alot of it. He also loved to hit people, something Wendling loves to do as well. Wendling is smart enough to read offenses, and like Lynch will overcome his physical limitations by putting himself and his teammates in the right places to make plays. How often have we seen Lynch shoot a gap and make a play in the backfield? That's knowing where to be and when to be there. I think Wendling can bring that.
What clinched it for me was an interview I heard with Wendling on NFL Radio last week. He was very impressive to listen to. He had offers to play at other schools but decided on Wyoming because of academics, and to be close to home. I repsect guys who sacrifice something for their beliefs.
That's my take. Go ahead and fire away. This one I will take the heat for on my own!
Hat Tip to MATTR for the following --
John Wendling jumping a 66" high hurdle!