Draft guru Mel Kiper released the latest version of his Mock Draft this morning(Insider Needed) and there were a couple of surprises. Most notably, Kiper has Blaine Gabbert going #1 to the Carolina Panthers while Cam Newton falls to #4 to the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Broncos are between defensive systems, have major needs along the defensive line where their ability to stop the run was a problem as was their pass rush, and they have a shot to take the best defensive lineman in a remarkably deep class. While many saw John Fox and John Elway watching the Auburn pro day closely, I believe that more of the conversations were focused on Fairley. He is scheme-versatile, very athletic for his size (which is back to 297 pounds as of yesterday) and a devastating penetrator at tackle, he helps immediately.
Now, here is what intrigues me about Mel's draft. Let's say that we get a CBA done and trades are back on the table. If Gabbert - or Newton for that matter - goes #1 to Carolina, believe me, the phones will be ringing at Dove Valley with teams looking to move up. Look at all the teams after the Broncos that arguably need a quarterback - as I believe the Buffalo Bills do - that will want to jump ahead of the Bills and Bengals to get Gabbert or Newton:
If only these guys could get a deal done - we could get on to the business of building the Broncos back into a superpower!