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Broncos Mock Draft Roundup 2.0 - Linebackers lead the way

In our first 2014 Broncos Mock Draft Roundup, the Broncos took a number of players and positions, the most common being linebacker and guard. Let's see how prognosticators are mock-drafting the Broncos this week, now one month away from the 2014 NFL Draft.

Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley
Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

31. Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State - Mile High Report
Ryan Shazier will be a huge upgrade for the Broncos defense that does not have a starting middle linebacker on their roster. Shazier has top notch speed (ran a 4.37 at his pro-day), is a tackling machine, and can cover.

The big question is if he's a weak-side linebacker or a Inside linebacker. I believe he can play inside in the Broncos hybrid defensive front. Shazier compares size-wise to Jon Beason who was a first round pick for John Fox's Carolina Panthers in 2007, and he played Inside for Fox. I'm not too concerned about his size.

31. Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State - SB Nation
After an aggressive free agency, the Broncos don't have a ton of needs left on either side of the ball. Linebacker could definitely be considered a need, though, and Ryan Shazier is one of the top players left on the board.

31. Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin - ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.
Top needs: ILB, CB, WR, G

Round 1 (31) LB Chris Borland, Wisconsin
Round 2 (63) WR Martavis Bryant, Clemson
Round 3 (95) LB Jordan Tripp, Montana

Analysis: The Broncos have to get better at inside linebacker, and given the window they are working with, I want to take a player who can come in and upgrade the position immediately. Borland does that, and cornerbacks have been flying off the board in front of me, so I bet on a higher rate of immediate on-field impact. I don't think the wide receiver position is in desperate need, but minus Decker it's at least lacking in upside on the depth chart, and Bryant could be a high-ceiling help coming off the bench or if any of the starters go down. I'm doubling down at linebacker in Round 3, after a sequence where two more cornerbacks come off the board in the preceding few picks.

31. Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin -
If Derek Carr is still on the board anywhere late in the first round, look for someone to trade down -- maybe the Broncos if the deal is right.

31. Kyle Van Noy, OLB, Brigham Young -'s Pete Prisco
He's the type of football player that a GM like John Elway would love to have.

31. Xavier Su'a-Filo, OG, UCLA - Yahoo! Sports
Needs: OL and DL The pick: Xavier Su'a-Filo (OG, UCLA) – The Broncos have filled a lot of voids in free agency. They replace the departed Zane Beadles with the agile, talented Bruin.

31. David Yankey, OG, Stanford - Audibles -
Losing guard Zane Beadles to the Jaguars in free agency might be a problem for the AFC champs. While it’s true that Peyton Manning makes his lines better with his quick release and expert decision-making, it’s also true that Beadles gave up just one sack last season in 1,449 snaps, which is pretty ridiculous, no matter who your quarterback is. Yankey would be a good fit in Denver because he has the athleticism to play left tackle (which he did for the Cardinal in 2012), and the strength to maul defensive tackles inside.

31. David Yankey, OG, Stanford -'s Bryan Fischer
Yankey would be a perfect Zane Beadles replacement who can pick up the offense quickly.

31. Jason Verrett, CB, TCU -'s Matt Smith
They spent big money for Aqib Talib. They can offset that expense in the draft and lock up the other side.