It's never too early to look ahead to the 2014 NFL Draft. With that in mind, I asked SB Nation's resident NFL Draft expert, Dan Kadar, a few quick questions about what the Broncos might expect next May, and also asked him about Denver's resident heir apparent to Peyton Manning. Follow Dan Kadar at Mocking The Draft and on Twitter at @MockingTheDraft.
KM: You have the Broncos taking OLB Christian Jones from Florida State in your latest 2014 mock draft. Can you give us a bit more on his strengths and weaknesses from what you've seen?
DK: The obvious first thing you notice about Jones is that he's a big linebacker at a listed 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds. He was a high school defensive end, but his athleticism allowed Florida State to play him as a linebacker. He flourished on the weak side and has been moved to the strong side. In the past, he hasn't been asked to blitz the passer a whole lot, so he doesn't have the big sack numbers. So there's some versatility there with Jones, but the drawback is he's underdeveloped as a pass rusher. He's made up for that by playing coverage. Florida State will actually line Jones up covering the slot receiver and he can hold his own.
KM: With Eric Decker entering a contract year, are there any talented wide receivers the Broncos might target in, say, the second round to keep their three-man receiver threat going?
DK: We've seen over the past few years that there's been good receiver talent late in the second round (where I'd expect the Broncos to be picking). That includes players like Greg Little of the Browns, Randall Cobb of the Packers, Torrey Smith of the Ravens and some others. The wide receiver group in 2014 should have some depth, so a good player should slip there. Outside receivers to keep in mind include Donte Moncrief (Ole Miss), Cody Hoffman (BYU) and Allen Robinson (Penn State).
KM: Some have said Broncos QB Brock Osweiler would have been the first signal caller drafted if he had come out for the 2013 draft instead of 2012. What were your impressions of Brock coming out of college? Could he be the heir apparent to Peyton Manning?
DK: Coming out, I was a huge fan of Osweiler. He had the strongest arm in the class, has the size and really underrated as an athlete. The concerns were about his ability to read a defense and, strangely enough for a tall quarterback, his release point. Because the 2013 class was so bad, I think he would have had a chance to be the first quarterback taken. Had he come back, he probably would have gone to the Senior Bowl. His showing in practices there would have determined his draft placement. I like him behind Peyton Manning, though. If he can fine tune his problems, there's no reason to think he can't be the future at quarterback.
Big thanks again to Dan Kadar for taking the time to whet this draft nut's appetite eight months in advance!