With the 2017 Senior Bowl in the books and the top prospects preparing for the NFL Combine in a month, draft season is officially in full swing. That means the draft experts around the internet are doing their initial mock drafts and predicting who the Denver Broncos will take in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
So let's take a look at who these experts have the Broncos taking.
Walter Cherepinsky of WalterFootball.com has the Denver Broncos addressing their offensive line with pick number 20.
Denver Broncos: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
Ryan Ramczyk's designation is a tricky one. He's a talented tackle, but will be undergoing hip surgery, so it's unknown if he'll work out for teams leading up to the draft. What we do know is that the Broncos are absolutely desperate at right tackle, so if their team doctors clear Ramcyzk, he'll absolutely be in consideration at the No. 20 pick. He'd start at right tackle for them right away, and he'll ultimately move to the blind side in a couple of years.
Wisconsin's Ryan Ramczyk is the early favorite for the Broncos in the first round of April's NFL Draft. He's arguably the top offensive tackle in the draft and could start out at right tackle and eventually slide over to left tackle down the road. However, as Walter states, Ramczyk is undergoing hip surgery and that could affect his draft stock negatively. How his medicals look at the Combine/Pro Day will be big for him
Charlie Campbell of WalterFootball.com
Charlie Campbell of WalterFootball.com has the Broncos taking an explosive slot receiver in the first-round of April's NFL Draft.
Denver Broncos: John Ross, WR, Washington
The Broncos could use more offense weapons for Paxton Lynch. Ross, O.J. Howard, and Christian McCaffrey could all be intriguing options to help Lynch.
Ross (5-11, 190) was very productive wideout for Washington in 2016 with 81 receptions for 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns. For the NFL, he will have to fit as a speedy, shifty slot receiver as he is very undersized. If Ross can add some weight, he could be a Brandin Cooks-type receiver. Otherwise, Ross might be more similar to Sterling Shepard or Tavon Austin. Ross has good hands, route-running, and is fast. He could be a mismatch weapon as a slot receiver.
As a sophomore (17-371-4) and freshman (16-208-1) Ross contributed some, but the junior took on a bigger role in 2016.
This is one of the more interesting picks I have seen thus far. The Broncos could use another wide receiver for whoever is the starting quarterback for the team next year. Most are assuming we will be going into more of a spread offense which means a slot receiver becomes a need.
Ross is probably the fastest wide receiver in the draft and could be an early big play threat for the offense. He is basically this year's version of Will Fuller who went in the first-round of the 2016 NFL Draft to the Houston Texans. One big difference is that Ross has better hands than Fuller who can have a case of stone hands from time to time.
This is a dark horse pick, but one that intrigues me.
NFL.com's Lance Zierlein
Zierline, who is a well-respected draft analyst has the Broncos adding an athletic offensive tackle in the first round.
Garett Bolles - OT, Utah
Bolles would have been a perfect fit under the Gary Kubiak regime, but Vance Joseph and new offensive coordinator Mike McCoy would still be happy finding an athletic left tackle in this draft.
As Zierlein states in his blurb, Bolles would have been a perfect fit in Gary Kubiak's zone-blocking scheme, but he's gone and Vance Joseph/Mike McCoy are going towards more of a power scheme. So this makes Bolles an odd fit.
Luke Joeckel, who will be a free agent already, is only 6 months older than Garett Bolles, who is in this year's draft class.— Keith Myers (@MyersNFL) January 27, 2017
One big negative about Bolles is his age. He will be turning 25 years old which makes him a little bit old for a rookie. Most players are entering their prime by 25, so that's a bit of a concern. Older rookies have a tendency to flame out in the league and add in the poor scheme fit, I'm not a fan of this fit.
SI's Chris Burke
Sports Illustrated's Chris Burke has the Broncos adding a big and athletic tight end in the first round of the draft.
O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
Five Denver tight ends combined for 591 yards receiving this season. That’s not nearly enough, especially as QBs Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch attempt to develop. The exciting 2017 TE class offers the Broncos hope of improving their situation. Any of Howard, Evan Engram or David Njoku would upgrade that position for them. (Jake Butt, too, though his bowl-game knee injury complicates things.) Howard’s athleticism is an element sorely missing on the Denver depth chart.
Howard is my early favorite to be the Denver Broncos first-round pick. He's the top tight end in a loaded tight end class and would give the Broncos quarterbacks a big and athletic target in the middle of the field. Also, Howard turned into a damn good blocker while at Alabama so he could also help the Broncos run game out.
The current tight ends Virgil Green, A.J. Derby, and Jeff Heuerman really have not stepped up so a player like Howard would be a big addition.
SB Nation's Mocking the Draft's Dan Kadar
Dan Kadar has the Broncos taking the former Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson in the first-round.
20. Denver Broncos: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
Even all the way at pick No. 20 the Broncos could have their pick of offensive tackles. Robinson has his flaws, namely against speed rushers. However, his run blocking is impressive enough to warrant this choice.
Robinson is one of the top tackles in the draft and could be high on the Broncos draft board come April. Some question if he can be a left tackle or not, but at the very least he will be a really good run blocking right tackle. He does struggle with speed, so that will be an issue for Robinson in the NFL.
The Broncos are in need of offensive tackles with Donald Stephenson likely being cut and Ty Sambrailo appearing to be a bust. So Robinson could step in as a starting right tackle for the Broncos.
Rotoworld's Josh Norris
NBC Sports Josh Norris released his first mock draft a few weeks back and has the Broncos taking guard Forrest Lamp in the first-round.
20. Denver Broncos - OL Forrest Lamp, WKU
The Broncos seem to be a team that wants to "put their best five" offensive linemen on the field. Teams could view Lamp as a tackle or guard.
The quickly rising prospect could end up going as high as pick 20 in April's NFL Draft. He only practiced for one-day during last week's Senior Bowl but showed why he might be the first offensive lineman off the board.
Like Zach Martin of the past, Lamp could be an impactful plug and play guard in the NFL. He fits the scheme and could be a 10-12 year starter at guard for the Broncos.
So what do you think Mile High Report? Are these experts nailing their picks or do you think they are way off base? Free Agency will likely change the Broncos draft needs but for now, offensive tackle/guard appears to be the Broncos biggest needs as of now.