Unfortunately the 2012 Denver Broncos attempt to win the Lombardi Trophy came to an abrupt and disappointing ending this past Saturday. Now it's time to look ahead to the offseason, and to who might be Denver Broncos this April. January 15th is the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL Draft, and the draft field will be set. I'm going to do a quick overview of the top prospects at each position on the offensive side of the ball and outline who might be potential Denver Broncos.
1. Geno Smith, West Virginia, 6'3 220lbs
2. Matt Barkley, USC, 6'2 230lbs
3. Tyler Wilson, Arkansas, 6'2 218lbs
4. Ryan Nassib, Syracuse, 6'2 228lbs
5. Mike Glennon, North Carolina State, 6'5 232lbs
6. Tyler Bray, Tennessee, 6'5 215lbs
Lets be happy we don't need a QB this offseason. This group will change a lot during the offseason process(Combine, Workouts, etc). As it stands now, it looks like Geno Smith will be the top QB taken in this draft. Now will he go #1 overall to the Chiefs? That we will have to wait and see.
Barkley, Wilson, Nassib Glennon and Bray will be an interesting group to watch. Each has questions, and are no sure things. Now if Gabbert and Ponder can go in the top 12, a few of these guys will as well. I think Tyler Wilson and Nassib will go in the first round I believe, but way to early to say. Glennon, Bray and Barkley all could be first rounders as well, but have to have strong showings to improve their stock. What do you guys think of this group?
Unless something terrible happens, I don't expect any of these guys to be potential Denver Broncos.
1. Eddie Lacy, Alabama, 5'10 220lbs
2. Giovani Bernard, North Carolina, 5'10 205lbs
3. Montee Ball, Wisconsin, 5'11 215lbs
4. Andre Ellington, Clemson, 5'9 192lbs
5. Joseph Randle, Oklahoma St, 6'0 200lbs
6. Stepfan Taylor, Stanford, 5'11 215lbs
7. Le'Veon Bell, Michigan St, 6'2 244lbs
8. Mike Gillislee, Florida, 5'11 210lbs
9. Jawan Jamison, Rutgers, 5'8 200lbs
10. Kenjon Barner, Oregon, 5'11 192lbs
This group doesn't have the top guy who will be a top 10 or even top 20 pick, but it's a very deep draft for runners. I was originally going to list just 5, but extended it to 10 because of the sheer amount of talent in this group. As it stands now i could only see two prospects end up in the first round. Those being Lacy and Bernard. After that, the workouts will determine who goes where.
Eddie Lacy is a favorite of mine right now. The Bama back has power, speed, good balance and athleticism. All those attributes are something you want in your starting running back. A few other guys I'm keeping an eye on are Taylor, Bell and Barner. Taylor is a between the tackle pounder, with good hands who's also a good pass protector. Bell is a powerfully built runner who has the ability to break tackles with pad level, strength and quickness. He lacks ideal speed, and he gets himself in trouble when trying to run east to west. Bell is an interesting back who may really rise up the boards, or drop. Being a 6'2 240 lb. back will get you noticed. Barner will have the same intrigue that LaMichael James did last year. Very fast and explosive, but questions about his size will come up, but his explosiveness and speed are hard to pass up.
Honestly i could see any of the guys listed ending up in Denver. Denvers backfield has a lot of questions, so I could see them adding another back to their stable. I'd like to see Denver draft a size/speed guy like a Eddie Lacy, Montee Ball, Stepfan Taylor, or Mike Gillislee.
1. Keenan Allen, California, 6'3 210lbs
2. Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee, 6'3 205lbs
3. Tavon Austin, West Virginia, 5'9 180lbs
4. Robert Woods, USC, 6'1 190lbs
5 .DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson, 6'1 200lbs
1. Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame, 6'5 252lbs
2. Zach Ertz, Stanford, 6'6 252lbs
3. Jordan Reed, Florida, 6'3 243lbs
Allen and Patterson will be fighting to be the top WR taken. Both are probably top 15 picks. Austin is an interesting prospect. A smaller explosive WR who probably is more of a slot guy. Normally your bigger athletic guys go early, so his stock probably goes down some. Woods had a disappointing year at USC, so he will need to have a strong draft process to go in the 1st. Hopkins are the potential to fly up the charts. He probably goes late in the first, if not early second.
Eifert has the potential to be a top 20 pick. Big athletic TE that will be a big help to a TE needy team. Ertz and Reed jave the potential to go in the first but both probably go in the 2nd round.
WR's Austin, Woods and Hopkins all can be sleeper picks for the Broncos. Deckers rookie contract is up at the end of next year, and the Broncos may draft a potential replacement this year. Also a slot WR and WR depth is a need, so a guy like Austin or Woods could fit that bill. I dont expect any TE's to be targeted by the Broncos.
1. Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M, 6'6 310lbs
2. Eric Fisher, Central Michigan, 6'7 305lbs
3. Lane Johnson, Oklahoma, 6'6 303lbs
4. D.J Fluker, Alabama, 6'6 335lbs
1. Chance Warmack, Alabama, 6'2 322lbs
2. Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina, 6'3, 310lbs
1. Barrett Jones, Alabama 6'4 305lbs
2. Travis Frederick, Wisconsin, 6'4 338lbs
The potential number one pick is in this group. The Chiefs do have the number one pick, and may lose LT Albert in Free Agency, so Joeckel who is probably the best player in the draft may go number one. Tackles Fisher and Johnson may go in the first round as well. Left Tackles are valued higher than most other positions, so expect at least 3 to go in the first round. DJ Fluker may move to Guard or stick as a run blocking Right Tackle.
Guard Womack and Cooper are both very good linemen and should go much earlier than they should. Guards rarely go early in the first round, so Cooper and Warmack may fall in the 15-20 range.
Centers Jones and Frederick are both solid prospects too. Jones will be a first round pick (depending how his injury plays out) and be a solid Center in the NFL. Frederick is a bit bigger than your average center and may shift to Guard, but time will tell on that.
Unless negotiations go terribly wrong between Clady and the Broncos, the Broncos wont need a tackle early in the draft. If Guards Womack and Cooper fall to the Broncos, I would not be surprised one bit if they select one of them. Centers Jones and Frederick are also options for the Broncos in the late first.