Sports Illustrated's Peter King released his annual mock draft today and has the Denver Broncos addressing the defensive line with their first-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
My mock draft is up.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) April 25, 2016
Trades: Jax, Tenn, Cle, Sea.https://t.co/VNPC7nTJND
That defensive lineman is former Alabama defensive lineman Jarran Reed. King believes Elway will go with the value pick at 31 and address needs(quarterback) later in the draft.
31. Denver: Jarran Reed, DT:
Alabama. More of a run-stuffer than pass-rusher, but a high-production player in a demanding defense coached by the demanding Nick Saban. Had a big Senior Bowl week, proving to coaches and scouts he’ll be, minimum, a rotation player from day one on a good defensive front. "I could see him going anywhere from 11 on," said one personnel man over the weekend. If Reed is there, I say John Elway goes for the value and solves more pressing needs later.
Like King says, Reed could much earlier than this and would be a great value pick for the Broncos at pick 31. He's a solid run stuffer who can play anywhere along the line and would help replace the hole left by Malik Jackson.
If the Broncos decide to pass on a quarterback in the first round, I could see them selecting Reed in the first round. There was a rumor back in February saying the Broncos would select defensive line in the first round and that they "love" Jarran Reed.
Denver's plan is to address the defensive line in the first round. They love Alabama's Jarran Reed, but he also is very unlikely to make it to pick 31. Still, the 2016 draft is loaded at the defensive line, so there should be some good options available to the Broncos. Even though Denver's first-round pick could go to fortifying its tremendous defense, the changes at quarterback will get all the attention this offseason.
Of course, this was all reported before Peyton Manning retired and Brock Osweiler signed with the Houston Texans and leaving the Broncos without a quarterback. So it is unclear if that changed these rumored plans at all.
i still could see this pick happening. It would continue Elway's streak of selecting a defensive player in the first round, and would give the Broncos a nice value pick at 31. Not "reaching" for a need and taking a quarterback at 31 would make a lot of Broncos fans happy.
One interesting note to be made is that King has quarterback Paxton Lynch falling to pick 26 where the Cleveland Browns would trade with the Seattle Seahawks for Lynch. If Lynch does fall this far, one has to assume that the Broncos would also be making this call to Seattle. It wouldn't cost the Broncos a ton of picks either.