The offseason is in full swing for the Denver Broncos, and that has resulted in the focus of Broncos Country to shift towards free agency and the draft and what the team has to do to improve in 2015. Each Monday leading up to the NFL Draft our friend Dan Kadar of Mocking The Draft will release a new mock draft. This week he included a second round, and has the Broncos addressing the trenches on both sides of the ball.
Here is who Kadar has the Broncos taking in the first two rounds of his mock draft.
Round One: Jordan Phillips, NT/DT, Oklahoma
With the Denver Broncos switching to a 3-4 defense under new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, the Broncos will need a big man to clog the middle of their defense.
Here's another example of a high-priced free agent possibly leaving a team. In this case it's defensive tackle Terrance Knighton. Phillips is one of the more physically imposing players in this year's draft. He's the type of defensive tackle who can plug up the middle by occupying multiple blockers.
Nose tackle moves atop of the needs list for the Broncos on draft day if they do not re-sign Terrance Knighton, or address the position during free agency. If that's the case, the 6'6 334lb Jordan Phillips could the perfect for the Broncos.
Phillips could be this year's Dontari Poe. He's a big man who is surprisingly athletic for his size. He has the frame that coaches look for in defensive linemen. He's tall, broad-shouldered, long-limbed player, who has a thick/strong lower half. Phillips is an effective anchor for the defensive and commands double teams from the offense because of his size and athleticism.
Phillips's blend of size, athleticism, and potential will certainly be intriguing for teams during the draft process. If he tests well at the combine, Phillip's draft stock could skyrocket much like Poe's did after the combine.
One big issue for Phillip's is his medical history. He underwent back surgery in October of 2013 in an attempt to correct issues that had bothered him for a few years. His medical's during the combine will be key to his draft status. Another thing that may be an issue is his inexperience. Phillip's only has one full season of starting experience at the collegiate level.
Round Two: Cameron Erving, OL, Florida St.
It's a good bet that the Broncos will look to improve their offensive line in the draft after they had issues all along it in 2014.
Kadar has the Broncos going with the versatile Cameron Erving in the second round of the Draft. The 6'5 308lb Erving is another intriguing prospect to keep an eye on during the draft process. Erving moved from the defensive side of the ball to play tackle and center in 2014, and had good success transitioning to those positions.
Erving has the athleticism to succeed in Gary Kubiak's zone blocking scheme. As a run-blocker, Erving displays the toughness and aggression to finish opponents with strong hands and impressive natural power in his lower half.
His big weakness will be inexperience. He moved from the defensive side of the ball to the offensive side of the ball in 2014 and will need to work on his technique and footwork to have success in the NFL.
This would be an interesting first two rounds for the Broncos if it played out like this. They would address two positions of need, but with two players are you "boom or bust" type prospects because of their lack of experience and/or injury concerns.