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Denver Broncos Mock Draft Part 24

We're merely days away from the month of April, which features the annual event that many of us, if not all of us here at MHR have been anticipating for months upon months, some of us for about 330 days. 

Now that free agency has settled down to the point where draft pictures all across the league are becoming clearer, mock drafters feel they have it all figured out.  But when it comes to the draft, there has never been a more appropriate time of the NFL season to use the cliche, "the only sure thing is that it is NOT a sure thing."

With that in mind, I think this mock draft (strictly for the Broncos, as usual) really represents the fact that nothing is a sure thing.  For those of you who might not be the biggest fans of mock draft trades, then this mock probably isn't the best for you.  In fact, it's a horrible mock if you feel all credibility is lost when projecting trades.  Why, you ask? 

For this mock draft, I will not only be taking my usual role as acting head coach, I will be mocking the role of the Denver Broncos draft room entirely, and doing so by wheeling and dealing with other teams. 

Though mock draft trades are hard to project, I would argue that a mock draft in general is hard to project, and mocking a trade is no more or less bold than trying to pick a player in the seventh round.  It's all a crapshoot, and if last year's draft is ANY indication whatsoever, the Broncos will probably be the most active team on the trade market for the 2010 NFL Draft. 

Buckle your seatbelts, Broncos fans...


**Projected Trade:  Broncos trade pick #11 to Tennessee Titans for pick #16 and pick #77**

As our own BroncoTiLLIDie pointed out a few days ago, the Tennessee Titans are a prime trade down candidate for anyone in the 10-12 range of this year's draft.  Why?  In this mock draft, they are targeting Derrick Morgan, a defensive end from Georgia Tech who fits their scheme perfectly.

Morgan is tough as nails, and is a run stopping force with the potential to be an elite pass rusher that the Titans need in the worst way to replace the departed Kyle VandenBosch. 

Tennessee recently acquired an extra third round pick among the comensatory selections which were revealed earlier in the week, thus opening the door for a legitimate trade down. 

In this scenario, the Titans move five spots up in the first round of the draft to assure themseleves DE Derrick Morgan, and at the same time they only relinquish a third round pick.  The Walter Football updated trade value chart shows the Broncos receiving an edge in this trade, albeit very slight. 

This trade makes sense for the Broncos, who should be targeting an interior lineman with their first pick, or potentially the best player available at a cheaper price. 


**Projected Trade:  Broncos trade WR Brandon Marshall to Seattle Seahawks for pick #14, pick #104**

Surprise!  The Broncos strike a deal with the Seahawks three days before the draft for wide receiver Brandon Marshall.  Denver has stood firm in its desire for a first round pick thus far in the process, and while Seattle may be trying to call the Broncos' bluff, they will end up giving Denver an extra fourth round pick to sweeten the deal, because the Broncos are holding out for the 6th overall pick at this point. 

Seattle has a few guys in their brass and coaching staff who know Brandon Marshall fairly well, and they will convince Pete Carroll that this guy is the real deal.  Seattle has  tried time and again to find a proven wide receiver who can be the superstar of their offense.  Brandon Marshall can be that guy for an offense.  He is called "The Beast" for a reason. 

Marshall adds another dimension to the Seattle offense, and the Broncos get a nice return for a player who has caused them a ton of trouble over the last four years, but who also has won over the hearts of the Denver fan base. 


**Projected Trade:  Broncos trade pick #14 to New England for pick #22 and pick #53**

As happens numerous times on draft day, the Broncos' pick will come up at #14, and right after their clock turns into a blank canvas on the TV graphic to indicate that a decision has been made and the pick is in, the logo will change to a red, white, and blue Patriot.

You read it here first.  The shock of the 2010 NFL Draft--the New England Patriots trade pick #22 and pick #53 to the Broncos for the 14th overall selection.  Why would they do this, and why is it a shock?  Earlier in the draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars relinquished the 10th overall pick to the New York Giants, who coveted and drafted Rolando McClain.

The Jaguars, sitting pretty at 15 and with no second round pick, are targeting none other than Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.  Little did they know what the Patriots had in mind...

New England trades up with the Broncos in order to snag their signal caller of the future in Tebow, a guy who Bill Belicheck has had high remarks for.  This also fulfills Tebow's father's prophecy that his son would not make it out of the top 15. 

Like I said, be prepared for the shock of the draft.


And finally, the Broncos are on the clock. 


1.  First round, 16th overall:   Maurkice Pouncey, Center, Florida

6'5" 306

Pouncey is head and shoulders above the center class in this year's NFL draft.  He should be the Broncos' top target on day one of the draft in my opinion, and they should select him at any cost.  Trading down with the Titans makes sense because it allows Tennessee to get their man in Derrick Morgan, and it allows the Broncos not only some flexibility, but an extra pick in the third round and their center of the future. 

The formula for success in the NFL?  In no particular order...

1.  Run the ball

2.  Stop the run

3.  Protect your quarterback

Pouncey helps us do two of these three things. 

From CBS Sports:

The 2009 class of centers was one of the richest in modern league history. Three -- Alex Mack, Eric Wood and Max Unger -- were drafted among the top 50 picks -- which last occurred 20 years ago. The last time two centers were selected in the first round, as Mack and Wood were last April, occurred 50 years ago.

This year's class was lacking a top 50 prospect until Pouncey elected to come out early. The veteran of 40 starts for the Gators emerged as the country's top center this season, earning All-American honors and winning the Rimington Trophy as the nation's best center.

NFL scouts know that collegiate awards can be popularity contests, so they'll do their due diligence with Pouncey. What they'll find is that despite playing on an offense known more for its finesse and trickery, Pouncey is smart, strong and athletic. He'll need to prove he can handle the adjustment to the traditional snap after two seasons at the pivot in Florida's shotgun offense, but scouts don't feel this will be a problem.

Capable of moving outside to guard again in the NFL (he started 11 of 13 games at right guard as a true freshman), the versatile interior lineman should be able to make an immediate impact in the NFL

Pass blocking: Adept at the shotgun snap. Good quickness and accuracy in firing the snap back and catching the defensive tackle. Stout at the point of attack. Quick, accurate hand placement and impressive strength to handle the bull rush. Big and strong enough to handle the nose guard one on one. Good lateral agility and balance to handle quicker defensive tackles. Keeps his head on a swivel and looks to help his teammates.

Run blocking: Rare combination of size, leverage and power as a drive blocker. Stays low and gets under the pads of his opponent to move him off the line of scrimmage. Very good combination blocker; capable of helping out the guard initially on the double-team and releasing to get to the second level. Good quickness, balance for the trap block. Plays with some nastiness. Looks to pancake his opponent when he feels he's off-balance. Good effort to sustain. Finishes the block.

Pulling/trapping: Not often asked to pull from the center position in this offense, but was asked to do this some as a freshman at right guard. Quick out of his stance and has the straight-line speed and balance to get out in front of the back. Good recognition to find his target and has the body control to adjust to the smaller opponent. Can be a punishing trap blocker. Good quickness and explodes into his opponent to knock him out of the play.

Initial Quickness: One of his best traits. Capable of making the accurate snap and still get his hands up quickly to catch the defensive tackle without losing much ground. Explosiveness as a trap blocker is impressive.

Downfield: Good, not grea,t speed to get to the second level. Good balance and agility to hit the moving target. Hustles downfield and looks for someone to hit.

Intangibles: Intelligent. Made all the line calls for Gators. Showed his toughness by starting in the 2009-10 Sugar Bowl only hours after receiving four bags of IV fluids and being treated for kidney stones. Underwent a CT scan that showed no obstruction in his kidneys and was cleared to play. Identical twin, Mike, plays right guard for the Gators and elected to return for his senior season.


2.  First round, 22nd overall:  Golden Tate, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame

5'11" 198

Aside from Maurkice Pouncey, Tate is my top target for the Broncos in the first round within the realm of realism, or the consensus mock draft anyway, because being "realistic" in mock drafts is almost 100 percent an oxymoron.  Anyway, aside from that rant, I think Golden Tate is an ideal prospect for the Broncos, and would be a fine replacement for a guy like Brandon Marshall. 

Tate fills Marshall's void as a guy who can make plays after the catch, though he is a bit smaller.  Tate is a former running back who comes into the NFL as arguably the best big play threat in the draft.  Some say he compares very favorably to Percy Harvin of the Vikings, and thinking of a guy like that as a running mate with Eddie Royal is very enticing to me. 

From CBS Sports: 


Release: Has adequate quickness off the line, but takes time to get to top speed. Most corners play off because he is the team's deep threat. Separates using hesitation move and pure speed once past the five-yard zone. Must be more effective using his hands to fight off the jam.

Hands: Fights for the ball in the air, usually winning with outstanding vertical and want-to despite giving up size. Makes difficult catches in traffic or when being interfered with. Adjusts well to high and low throws, displaying strong hands on high throws. Tracks the ball over either shoulder, good concentration to win in deep balls. Did drop some balls in crucial situations in 2009, and traps the ball against his chest when facing the passer.

Route running: Coached well in this aspect, and is a threat to run any route in the tree. Drops his hips and gets separation on out routes. Sells routes with head fake, getting between defenders down the seam in a hurry. Excellent awareness of the sideline, tapping feet to stay in-bounds. Extends his arms to create space downfield. Makes himself available to scrambling quarterbacks.

After the catch: Runs like a tailback after the catch or when taking the snap in a Wildcat formation, and could be used in both those duties at the next level. Elusive after the catch, displaying excellent vision and balance in the open field. Tough runner for his size due to strong lower-body build; able to push away would-be tacklers and usually pushes forward for additional yardage instead of heading to the sideline. Doesn't have elite acceleration after stopping his route or being hit, and will be caught from behind when defenders have a fair angle. Needs to put the ball in his outside hand to prevent turnovers. Uses his strength, hands and vision to get into the open on punt returns and is tough to track down once free.

Blocking: When reaching his man, Tate uses his aggressive nature to latch on and sustain. Willing to drive his man downfield if needed. Doesn't always get to his target, however; must get more involved on the edge.

Intangibles: Tough player who does anything necessary to score or get the first down. Big personality in a small package, likes to talk on and off the field. No major character concerns.


3.  Second round, 45th overall:  Jahvid Best, Running Back, California

5'11" 199

Much like my pick in the live mock draft (though two picks later) I think Best fits the "best player available" description with this pick.  Letting go of Hillis means there is, in fact a void at running back to be filled, and I think Moreno is the power back of the future.  Correll Buckhalter isn't getting any younger, J.J. Arrington is no guarantee to make the team, and the rest of Denver's running backs have never played meaningful NFL minutes. 

Enter Jahvid Best, who if not for C.J. Spiller would be unquestionably the biggest playmaker at running back in this draft.  Best is an electrifying runner whose speed is his biggest asset.  Despite that fact, Best has almost every quality you look for in a premiere back in this league.  He will pair very nicely with Knowshon Moreno in the Denver backfield for the future.

From CBS Sports:

Inside: Lacks the size and strength to consistently be effective in this area, though he isn't intimidated by the big bodies inside and is a threat to break off a big run due to his burst to and through the hole. Prefers to attack the gap and squirt through, but has learned to run with patience and will take advantage of cutback lanes.

Outside: His most impressive area. Good speed to beat the linebacker to the edge and is dazzling in the open field. Rare lateral agility and balance to elude in tight quarters and when running at full speed in the open field. Very quick to accelerate out of line and has rare top-end speed to pull away. Good vision for the cutback. Legitimate start-stop-accelerate move to allow his pursuers to fly past him. Switches the ball to his outside arm when he gets into the open field.

Breaking tackles: Spins and dances his way out of more tackles than his size would indicate. Keeps his feet moving after contact and flashes a decent stiff-arm to push free. Doesn't have the leg drive, however, to consistently break NFL caliber tackles.

Blocking: An area of concern due to his lack of bulk and strength. Supplies a marginal pop to the oncoming defender, but more often relies on the cut-block.

Receiving: Soft, reliable hands out of the backfield. Has the burst out of his cuts to line up out wide, but was typically used on underneath dumpoffs, screens and an occasional wheel route. Tracks the ball and catches it cleanly. Can adjust his body to catch poorly thrown passes due to good body control and hand-eye coordination for the position.

Intangibles: Has missed time due to a variety of ailments over his three years at Cal. Standout special teams player, earning first-team all-Pac-10 honors as a true freshman, as well as the J. Scott Duncan Award (Most Valuable Special Teams' Player) by finishing second in the conference in kick return average (27.0) and posting 12 tackles and a fumble recovery as a gunner. Led the conference with 26.3 yards per kickoff return as a sophomore. Only used on one kickoff (in the opener against Maryland) in 2009.



4.  Second round, 53rd overall:  Cam Thomas, Defensive Tackle, North Carolina

6'4" 331

This is another situation where I have the Broncos taking the best player available.  Jamal Williams is 34, and Ronald Fields was not able to carry on for a full season as the team's starting nose tackle, so the Broncos need to fill a spot behind those two on the depth chart as our nose tackle of the future.

From CBS Sports:

Pass rush: Doesn't offer much in this area. Relies almost exclusively on his bull rush to push the pocket. Doesn't show much in terms of pass-rush technique to disengage from the pass blocker and has only marginal lateral agility to elude. Needs an open lane to close and doesn't have the burst to consistently make the play when he gains it.

Run defense: His best area due to his mass and strength. Thick lower body and good use of leverage to anchor inside and create a pile. Good strength to stack, but doesn't show enough hand technique to shed and make the play on his own. Doesn't offer much in terms of lateral agility or hustle to make plays outside of the tackle box. Must do a better job of feeling the trap block coming. Has enough balance to keep his feet, but is too easily knocked out of the way.

Explosion: Lacks burst off the snap, but has the strength to knock the guard back into the pocket with his initial pop to disrupt the timing of the play.

Strength: Good upper- and lower-body strength. Generally keeps his pads low to maintain leverage and, as such, is tough to move off the line of scrimmage. Tires easily and quickly plays too high. Has the power to drive the pass blocker into the pocket. Strong hands, but doesn't show enough technique to shed his opponent and make the play on his own.

Tackling: A bit of a bull in a china closet. Lumbers forward when he has an open lane and struggles to change directions to handle elusive ballcarriers. Lunges to make the play and is explosive enough to knock down the ballcarrier when he makes contact. Doesn't have the body control or technique to wrap securely, however. Lacks the agility and straight-line speed to offer much in pursuit and gives inconsistent effort in this area.

Intangibles: Boisterous personality that keeps his teammates loose on and off the field. Operated out of a rotation at North Carolina among what some scouts are calling the deepest defensive line in the country. Has 10 tattoos, including one on his left arm for his deceased grandmother and aunts.


5.  Third round, 77th overall:  Donald Butler, Inside Linebacker, Washington

6'1" 245

In my opinion, Butler is the best inside linebacker in this draft.  His ability to play the run and cover the pass almost equally effectively are outstanding.  The only knock against him is that he wasn't able to put together a consistent collegiate career, and broke out as a senior.  Butler is instinctive, quick, strong, and has great range.  His leadership and intangibles are just what you look for from an inside linebacker.

From CBS Sports:

Read & React: Leans forward pre-snap, almost falling forward in anticipation of the run on early downs. Takes a tentative step forward at the snap and explodes out of his stance toward the line of scrimmage. At his best defending the stretch play, as he has the burst to break through the line when he sees a gap to make the tackle for loss. A bit over-aggressive stretching plays out wide. Can get ahead of himself and leave cut-back angles for the quick back to exploit. His false-step toward the line leaves him vulnerable to quick passes, but he's athletic enough to re-direct quickly.

Run defense: Reacts aggressively to the run. Quick to the hole and has the burst upfield to take advantage of gaps and close for impressive tackles for loss on outside runs. Takes on the fullback with a violent pop and uses strong hands to disengage quickly on the isolation. Isn't as effective against offensive linemen, as he has to pick a side as they arrive. Athletic enough to slip off as the back comes by to latch on for the drag-down tackle, but is too often engulfed by the blocker when the runner correctly reads the direction of the block. Good speed to the sideline. Is too fast, at times, coming in a bit out of control and leaving cutback lanes. Strong pursuit laterally and downfield. A reliable open-field tackler.

Pass defense: Takes a false step at the snap, but has good balance and quick feet to change directions and recover for quick passes. Good route-recognition and overall athleticism for an inside linebacker. Focuses on his assignment, rather than the quarterback and is athletic enough to react and maintain good coverage. Often forced the quarterback to look elsewhere due to his sticky coverage. Has a burst to close when the ball is thrown.

Tackling: Not an explosive hitter, but is a generally an efficient wrap-up tackler that plays with good balance in the open field to make the secure stop. Can be a bit out of control when he crashes the line at full speed and is forced to lunge at the ballcarrier. Good strength for the grab on and drag-down tackle as he's fighting off blocks. Good hustle in pursuit.

Pass Rush/Blitz: Shows good straight-line speed to close when he has an open lane. Good lateral agility and balance to avoid blocks. Dips his shoulder to get under the reach of the guard. Attacks the running back with a full head of steam and has enough strength and use of leverage to drive him into the pocket as a bull-rusher, but his overall lack of size and strength is exposed when taking on linemen, who typically are able to simply absorb his initial hit and engulf him. Doesn't show much in terms of pass rush technique. Good effort.

Intangibles: Voted a team captain in 2009. Earned Most Improved Defender honors in 2008 while switching between inside and outside linebacker due to injuries to teammates. Has a knack for making big plays in big games. Named national defensive player of the week by Walter Camp Foundation the Huskies' 16-13 win over No. 3 USC, when he had 12 tackles, two tackles for loss, a forced fumble and an interception. Posted six tackles, a TFL and a sack against Cal; 3 tackles, including a TFL and an interception in the overtime loss to Notre Dame.


6.  Third round, 80th overall:  Tony Moeaki, Tight End, Iowa

6'4" 245

Another step in the right direction for the Broncos.  Moeaki is one of the most versatile tight ends available in the draft.  His blocking skills are much more refined coming out of Iowa than many other schools, but his pass receiving skills are also top notch.  In other words, this kind of player is hard to find at the position.  Unfortunately for Moeaki, he was hard to find on the field in his five years at Iowa, mainly because he struggled with injuries. 

From CBS Sports:

Release: Smooth in his release but takes time to get going out of a three-point stance. Able to chip or even get a punch on a pass rusher before smoothly going out on his route. Fluidly beats linebackers down the seam, but could use his size and strength to get better separation.

Hands: Regularly makes highlight reel catches but will have the occasional crucial drop. Very good body control to make catches against the sideline, down the seam in traffic and on jump balls. Uses his hands more often than not, grabbing the ball away from his frame. Adjusts to poor passes whether high, low or wide. A reliable red zone target who uses his size and hands to hold off smaller defenders. Not a threat on jump balls.

Route running: Can be used in motion and on the line. Gets open on crossing and corner patterns against man coverage, and sits down in zones. Not an elite athlete; doesn't sink his hips when making a cut. Sells the block before turning for a middle screen, bootleg or short out in the end zone. Aware of the sideline, getting both feet in bounds while securing the catch, even when under pressure.

After the catch: Strong but fluid runner in the open field. Secures the ball in traffic. Not overly elusive or agile, but can leap over cut tackles and continue on his way. Has fair speed for his size but does not have a second gear to run away from defenders.

Blocking: Gives very good effort and owns some pop blocking for the run game. Has the bulk and strength to seal the edge against defensive ends, as well as the feet to mirror them in pass protection. Keeps feet moving and hands active to maintain angle and sustain. Blocks through the whistle. Doesn't consistently reach defensive backs downfield, but is tough for them to rip off once he latches on.

Intangibles: Hard worker who does everything asked of him on the field. Quiet player but commands respect through his production, attitude and reliability. Serious durability concerns. Lost for the 2007 season four games in with a broken wrist and dislocated elbow, spring 2008 practice due to surgery on that wrist, preseason practices and the first two games of the 2008 season with a fractured foot, additional time in 2008 with hamstring injury and concussions, and three games with an ankle injury in 2009.


**Projected Trade:  Broncos trade TE Tony Scheffler to Cincinnati Bengals for pick #84**

The Bengals need a pass receiving tight end who can stretch the field, and though they may have an opportunity at Jermaine Gresham, their first and second round picks would be better spent elsewhere. 

Enter Scheffler, who is one of the best big play threats at tight end in the game today.  Regardless of what you may think, Tony Scheffler is, in FACT a very good player who just doesn't fit this team because of his prima donna attitude.

He will fit right in in Cincinnati, who also has an extra third round pick thanks to Seattle signing away T.J. Houshmandzadeh last offseason.  That pick allows them to trade away this one, and still keep a third rounder in the deep class of 2010. 

This trade works for the Broncos, who get decent value for Scheffler, or a player who doesn't want to be in Denver at all.  Enjoy Cincinnati, Tony!

By the way, for those of you who think this is "too much" for Schefler, take a quick gander at the compensation Denver received for Keary Colbert.  A fourth round pick for a guy who was cut a couple weeks later. 

Scheffler is worth a third round pick.  End of story.


7.  Third round, 84th overall:  Jason Worilds, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, Virginia Tech

6'1" 254

Worilds is a fiery competitor whose motor never stops.  He is a pass rushing specialist at defensive end who has the exact type of size, speed, and athleticism you look for in a guy who can make the conversion to a 3-4 defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid.  He not only provides the Broncos with depth on the outside, but he gives them an option and some security if Elvis Dumervil is not brought back after 2010. 

From CBS Sports:

Pass rush: His specialty. Gets a good jump off the snap and is fast enough to blow past the offensive tackle to force the quarterback to step up into the pocket. Good use of hands. Quick, active hands to slap away the initial punch and shows a variety of pass rush techniques, including a swim, rip, spin and surprisingly effective club. Stronger than he looks. Good hand placement and overall strength for the occasional bull rush. Good bend to get out and under the tackle's reach. Shows a burst to close when opportunities present themselves. Good secondary moves when his initial rush attempt is handled.

Run defense: Good strength, but simply lacks the bulk to hold up at the point of attack consistently. Many of his tackles in the running game come 2-3 yards off the line, as he's active enough to fight off blocks and make the play -- but only after being pushed back initially when plays are run directly at him. Good agility to beat the tackle/tight end outside in an attempt at keeping contain. Good effort to string the play out wide. Good effort in pursuit.

Explosion: Has an explosive first step off the snap to consistently pressure the tackle's outside shoulder. Is stronger than he looks and can surprise much bigger blockers with an explosive pop as a bull-rusher. Brings his hips as a tackler and supplies a pop to the ball-carrier.

Strength: Has a natural leverage advantage and plays with good overall strength, especially in his upper body. Has the strength to surprise as a bull rusher, but is too often pushed back, himself, while trying to anchor.

Tackling: Appears to have the body control to consider making the transition to outside linebacker. Bends at the knees to break down and make the tackle on the edge against elusive athletes. Generally is a solid wrap-up tackler. Brings his hips to deliver a solid blow. Can knock the ball free. Has 3 forced fumbles in two starting seasons …

Intangibles: High effort player. Saw action on multiple special teams units throughout his career, including punt return/block team and the extra point and field goal block unit. A hard worker in the weight room. Earned the Excalibur Award during the 2008 offseason, the top honor in the strength and conditioning program. Last name is pronounced "Worlds."


8.  Fourth round, 104th overall:  Jordan Shipley, Wide Receiver, Texas

6'0" 195

Another step in the right direction toward building for the future.  Shipley is one of the more underrated playmakers in this draft, and a faulty 40-yard dash time will cause him to slip on draftapalooza.  That's a good bit of news for the Denver Broncos.  Shipley is this year's draft equivalent to Wes Welker or Anthony Gonzalez.  Though Gonzalez may be faster than either player, all three have in common excellent route running skills, reliable hands, and great quickness. 

From CBS Sports:

Release: Lines up at multiple spots, but should work best as a slot receiver in the NFL because of his intelligence and lack of elite size. Good first step off the line, although he is not up against the jam very often. Won't eat up cushion quickly or accelerate past pro corners, and must find holes in zones and run crisp routes to free himself.

Hands: Solid hands, reliable on routine catches and capable of making the highlight reel grab. Willing to go over the middle, or up for a jump ball, and absorb a hit after the catch. Allows balls into his chest instead of catching away from his frame at times, and doesn't always adjust to high throws well. Shows good hands and makes solid decisions on punt returns, and will take the big hit. Holds for field goals and extra points.

Route running: Runs every route on the tree effectively, and has a great understanding with his quarterback. Sets up double moves by selling defenders with a head or body fake. Best working inside in zones or on crossing routes, but has the quickness to stretch the field down the seam or sideline. Uses his arms and quickness to get separation on out routes. Comes back to the quarterback or finds a hole to sit down in when needed. Inconsistent sinking his hips to explode out of cut.

After the catch: Secures ball first, then changes direction quickly or uses a stop move to gain additional yardage. Better acceleration than expected, can take off through a hole in the second level. Runs tough with a nose for the first down marker or goal line. Some elusiveness on the run, quickly sidestepping oncoming safeties, but isn't a jitterbug. Aware of the sideline, tightropes to stay in-bounds. Solid kick returner, has good hands and runs strong but could improve his vision in finding the open lane. Lacks great speed to run away from defenders with the angle.

Blocking: Very willing downfield blocker on screens and run plays, but lacks the strength to be a dominant force. Sustains adequately using his hands when he attacks a man's jersey, but will miss his target when throwing his body at the defender.

Intangibles: Sixth-year player with exceptional maturity. Gives great effort. Leader on the team both on and off the field. No character issues. Missed seasons with hamstring and leg injuries, also missed spring 2009 practices with surgery on his right shoulder.


9.  Fourth round, 114th overall:  Kyle Calloway, Offensive Lineman, Iowa

6'7" 323

Like all Iowa offensive linemen, Calloway is a versatile performer who can help the Broncos both at guard and at tackle.  He has an absolutely massive frame, and as all Iowa linemen, Calloway is coming in to the NFL very, very well-coached.  He has refined footwork, is very athletic, and has great length.  He will be a nice addition to the depth of the Broncos. 

From CBS Sports:

Pass blocking: Mirrors and stays low against power defensive ends from his right tackle spot. Sets up quickly in pass protection and uses a good angle on his kick slide, rarely giving up the edge. Absorbs big punches and regularly anchors. Extends his arms to keep rushers at bay but could have a stronger punch to knock them off balance. Works to stay with his man on secondary rushes but will reach more than move his feet. Adjusts to twists but doesn't always recognize or get a hand on inside blitzers. Will get tall and choppy in his footwork against quicker ends.

Run blocking: Attacks edge rushers on run plays, firing his hands into their jersey. Able to move in any direction. Solid combo blocker negates MIKE linebacker or other defenders coming inside-out. Latches onto the numbers and doesn't let go. Keeps a wide base on the edge and keep his hands and feet active to sustain. Likes to keep his man on the ground through the whistle.

Pulling/trapping: Does not pull or trap much in Iowa's zone blocking scheme but has good footwork for his size. Usually under control when on the move. Could trap if moved into the strong-side guard spot but should stay between the tackles.

Initial Quickness: Fires off the ball to run block, often locking down the defensive end on his side. Strong at punching the defensive tackle and quickly getting to linebacker in combo blocks. Quick off the snap into his kick slide for his size.

Downfield: Easily gets to linebackers, finding their numbers with his hands and keeping his feet moving to take them out of the play. Shows good flexibility to adjust in space. Uses angles to keep defenders from running around him to the ball. Typically stays on one block downfield but is agile enough to reach others in his area.

Intangibles: Durable, versatile, tough, and disciplined player with loads of potential. No major character concerns, but was arrested and suspended for a game for operating a moped while intoxicated in June 2009. Took responsibility for his actions.


10.  Sixth round, 183rd overall:  Shawn Lauvao, Offensive Lineman, Arizona State

6'3" 315

Durable, hard-working, versatile performer who has been a three year starter for the Arizona State Sun Devils.  Lauvao is a very underrated prospect, and I apologize to you readers for not getting his name out sooner.  Consider this my "Shawn Lauvao will be the steal of this draft" campaign.  The guy is as strong as an ox, is a great team leader, and as our own aLuffabo pointed out earlier, he is SAMOAN, know the rest!

From CBS Sports: 

Pass blocking: Good initial quickness off the snap. Eases back into his stance and shows good lateral quickness and balance to mirror the defender. Can get a bit high, at times, making himself vulnerable to the bull rush despite excellent upper body strength. Good extension and upper body strength to grab hold and control his opponent. Doesn't gain enough depth on his initial kick step or have the foot speed to remain on the outside against NFL-caliber pass rushers.

Run blocking: Provides a good initial pop in the run game to jolt the defender. Has to do a better job of keeping his feet moving to drive defenders off the ball, rather than just turn and seal them off. Has the quickness and speed to get to the second level, but has to do a better job of sustaining.

Pulling/trapping: Not often asked to pull from his left tackle position, but has quick feet and good balance for the trap block. At least moderate overall agility and straight-line speed. Has enough flexibility to catch defenders crashing inside, showing the recovery speed necessary for early play in the NFL.

Initial Quickness: Doesn't have the initial quickness in his kick-step to remain outside in the NFL, but has plenty if protected if inside. Gets a good initial pop on the defender to knock him off the ball in the running game. Good quickness and speed to get to the second level.

Downfield: Good mobility. Is quick off the snap and can get to the second level fluidly. Knows his assignment and works to get to his man. Won't wow you with his flexibility, but can readjust to the moving target to deliver a solid initial blow. Doesn't latch on and sustain, however, due to marginal hand placement and a tendency to lunge at the defender.

Intangibles: Team captain. Hard worker. Has to be kicked out of the weight room. Placed second in the Hawaii Strong Man Competition when he was 16 (16-18-year-old age bracket) … Bench presses 420 pounds, squats 500 and power cleans 300. Began playing football his junior season in high school. Earned the McBurney Scout Team Award, given annually to ASU's most outstanding offensive scout team player in 2005. Earned his Bachelor's degree in educational sociology in three and a half years and is working on his master's in secondary education.


11.  Seventh round, 220th overall:  Trindon Holliday, Return Specialist, LSU

5'5" 165

If Lauvao does not end up being the steal of the draft, Trindon Holliday certainly will.  Forget the kid's size, he is an absolute playmaker.  He will contribute stricly as a return specialist initially, but there is most definitely a place on the field for olympic sprinters.  Holliday will be the difference maker for the Broncos on special teams. 

From CBS Sports:

Release: Has not been challenged with the jam, as he is often lined up well behind the line in the slot or in the backfield. When free to take a step or two off the snap, is very tough to stay with in the second level or beyond in man coverage because of pure quickness and straight-line speed.

Hands: Small hands that are suspect as a receiver, rusher and returner. However, can make tough catches in traffic, against the sidelines and when gunners are bearing down on him. Able to extend away from his frame to snap up wide throws but has a tougher time reaching over his head, which is a problem for a smaller receiver. Allows the ball too far into his body when facing the quarterback.

Route running: Great quickness on his cuts, but could run his routes more crisply and get on the same page as his quarterback based on the coverage. Tough to find on crossing routes over the middle without a clear lane because of his lack of size. Has the speed to be a deep threat but will not win many jump ball battles despite a nice vertical.

After the catch: Extremely quick when running with the ball in his hands. Shows good vision to find holes in traffic, and is tough to find among the big bodies on returns and as a running back. Difficult to bring down even when visible to would-be tacklers, often bouncing off due to his strong running and low center of gravity. Doesn't have immediate acceleration, but finds a second and third gear once in the open.

Blocking: Won't offer a lot as a blocker because of his size, but is not afraid of contact. Has a relatively strong build for his size. Gets in the way of cornerbacks and safeties in the few chances he gets to run block from the slot. Willing to mix it up in pass protection but lacks the bulk and length to hold off blitzing pro linebackers for long.

Intangibles: Plays with a chip on his shoulder from being labeled too small to play major college football. Is tougher than one would expect given his size; is a football player with track speed, not vice versa.


Draft Recap

1a.  Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida

1b.  Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame

2a.  Jahvid Best, RB, Cal

2b.  Cam Thomas, DL, North Carolina

3a.  Donald Butler, LB, Washington

3b.  Tony Moeaki, TE, Iowa

3c.  Jason Worilds, DE/OLB, Virginia Tech

4a.  Jordan Shipley, WR, Texas

4b.  Kyle Calloway, OL, Iowa

6.  Shawn Lauvao, OL, Arizona State

7.  Trindon Holliday, RS, LSU