clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Six players Denver should not draft

If you operate under the premise that Josh, evil Sith Lord, McDaniels was only deployed by Emporer Belicheck to destroy the Broncos then many of his draft moves make sense. He would take these six players, but only to destroy the Broncos from the inside. I sure hope that the Broncos don't these guys.

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Call this an anti-mock draft if you will. These are players I absolutely don't want Denver to draft and the reasons why.

Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss, 6'3", 294 lbs

Why is he a horrible pick? Not only does Nkemdiche have problems off the field (drug arrests, falling out of second story windows, blaming his teammates), but he has problems on the field. He has all the athletic ability in the world and somehow fails to show up in games. He could turn out to be an all-pro or he could turn into the next Tyson Alualu (there's a reason you've never heard of him despite being a 1st round draft pick). I really soured on him when I watched the full game Paxton Lynch video of Memphis against Ole Miss. Despite showing almost exclusively passing plays, Nkemdiche's name is not mentioned once. I'm not alone in my worry about this guy. Boom or Bust


For all the talent and athletic traits, his production was disappointing. Produced low tackle totals and just 6.5 sacks over three years. Never forced or recovered a fumble. Ducks head into initial off snap losing track of the ball. Tightly ­wound, straight-line athlete who needs play to stay inside his optimal area of movement. Inconsistent effort after his initial pass rush move is thwarted. Needs to develop a counter rush move. Was suspended for Sugar Bowl after being arrested and charged with marijuana a possession. Scouting community has serious concerns about his personal character and work ethic.


"Body beautiful and from the Shawn Oakman school of production. He's a much better talent than Oakman, but Oakman is the better kid. He will not be on our board as a first-round option. If he slides, we'll see." -- NFC executive

Kenneth Dixon, RB, La Tech, 5'10", 215 lbs

Some are going to dislike me me for writing this, but I see Kenneth Dixon as the next Montee Ball and that is why I don't want the Broncos to draft him. Both backs are similar in size and were extremely productive in college. Dixon briefly held the division one TD record and had 39 rushing TDs combined between 2014 and 2015. Ball set the NCAA record (since broken) for TDs. Both players had a huge number of touches in there college careers. Ball had 960 touches. Dixon had 889. The wear and tear on a RB who is not huge scares me. Don't get me wrong there is a lot to like about Dixon, I just think he is too big of a risk for the Broncos to spend a second round pick on. He has been ridden hard and I don't know how many more rodeos he has left in him. The injury history should scare you. The propensity for fumbles should also scare you.


Very average thickness through lower half. Struggled with a knee injury in 2013 and missed two games in 2015 with an ankle injury. Physical running style could lead to durability concerns. Not as likely to slip out of side doors against substantially better competition. Average long speed makes him more slasher than home-run hitter. Competitive resolve leads him to try and do too much on some snaps. Base narrows in space and can be susceptible to shoestring tackles. Aggression and competitiveness as a runner isn?t as readily available in pass protection. Needs to improve ball security. Has fumbled 13 times over last three seasons.

-Lance Zierlein

Spencer Drango, OG, Baylor, 6'6", 315 lbs

Why I don't like this pick: He has no mass in his lower body, yet he fails to use his upper body strength much to his advantage. He is slow footed. I fail to see how he could fit into our zone-blocking scheme with his traits. This makes him a horrible pick for the Broncos despite being a highly rated OG on many draft boards.


While he has NFL power in his upper body, that power could be mitigated because he allows defenders into his framework too quickly. Drango has decent pass protection technique, an anchor and the toughness for an interior line spot, but scouts question whether or not he has a "hang your hat on" play trait that can make him anything more than a backup or a low-­end starter.
-Lance Zierlein

Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn St., 6'4", 225 lbs

This is the era QBs throwing fewer and fewer interceptions both in college and the NFL. Marcus Mariota finished his college career with 105 TDs and 14 INTs. Even mediocre college QBs finish their careers with 2:1 TD:INT ratios or better (sorry Trevor Siemian, you were not even mediocre in college with your 27TD, 24INT numbers). Let's look at the TD:INT career stats for every drafted QB in 2015: Last name, TDs:INTs, ratio of TD:INT in career

  • Winston 65:28, 2.3
  • Mariota 105:14, 7.5
  • Grayson 64:27, 2.4
  • Mannion 83:54, 1.5
  • Petty 62:10, 6.2
  • Hundley 75:25, 3.0
  • Siemian 27:24, 1.1

So I have no idea why some analysts think Hackenberg is worth a second round pick. He has 48 TDs and 31 INTs in his career for a ratio of 1.6 TD:INT. So while that ratio was good enough for Sean Mannion to get drafted in the 3rd round last year (89th pick which is late in the 3rd), there are many who think Mannion was a reach in the 3rd. Mannion, like Hackenberg, was on a team with limited talent around him and his TD:INT numbers suffered, but that is really where the comparison ends. Mannion completed almost 65% of his passes in college. Hackenberg's 56.1% career completion % is horrible by modern college football standards.

The only QB drafted in the last two years with a worse completion % in college was Logan Thomas who only completed 55.5% of his throws in college. From a statistical standpoint the recently drafted QB who most closely resembles Hackenberg is B.J. Daniels who played at USF and was drafted in the 7th round of 2013 by the 49ers. For his college career Daniels completed 57.1% of his passes for 52 TDs and 39 INTs (1.3 TD:INT). Daniels also ran for ~2000 yards and 25 TDs during his career. FWIW Hackenberg rushed for six TDs in three years as the starting QB in Happy Valley.  Logan Thomas and B.J Daniels were/are runners who could throw the ball a little, so they have an excuse for their stats. Hackenberg is supposedly a pocket passer so he doesn't have a valid excuse. If you need another reason (and you really shouldn't) to want the Broncos to stay away from Hackenberg, he has tiny Donald Trump hands. His 9" hands were tied with Jared Goff for the smallest of any QB at the combine this year. For comparison sake, Dak Prescott and Cody Kessler both have 10 7/8" hands which are almost two inches bigger from outstretched thumb to pinky than Hackenberg and Goff's hands.

Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio St., 6'5", 250 lbs

Cardale Jones has all of the physical tools in the world. He's fast for his size and he has a cannon arm, but he supposedly the opposite of a "student of the game." He doesn't study (in the classroom or the filmroom) and has a much greater chance of being out of the NFL in one year than he has of ever starting an NFL game.  Cardale Jones threw fewer passes during his entire OSU career - 269 passing attempts - than many modern QBs do in one college season. Paxton Lynch had more passing attempts in each of his three seasons at Memphis than Jones had in his entire career at OSU. I don't care how much talent you have, if you don't study the game you will fail in the NFL as a QB. Cardale Jones is JeMarcus Russell without the college starting experience and even a 3rd day pick would be wasted on this guy. He is not going to develop into an NFL QB.

Joe Dahl, OG/OT, Washington St., 6'4", 304 lbs

Dahl is tough and smart, both traits that will serve him well, but he is absolutely not a scheme fit for our OL. He has slow feet. He is basically Michael Schofield minus two inches and with shorter arms. No thanks.


Feet are a little bit heavy and he can be a little plodding when asked to block in space. Doesn't possess second level quickness to consistently get to cut­off blocks. Sluggish change of direction may turn his near misses into sacks and tackles for losses against NFL athletes. Arm length is below average so he will need more core strength to drop anchor and take a stand. Uses crab-­hand punch with hands outside the frame allowing forward leaning bull rushers to push the pocket. As game progresses, shows some waist-­bending tendencies.

-Lance Zierlein