The Denver Broncos reportedly had made several attempts to trade up in the second round, but were unsuccessful. Instead, they stood their ground and made their picks. Here’s how they stack up under our intense scrutiny of arm chair analysis.
DeMarcus Walker - Pick 51, Second Round
Christopher Hart: A. The Denver Broncos are getting one of collegiate football's best pass rushers. He can play the 5 in base packages and kick inside and play DT on third downs. That's what he did at FSU, that is exactly what he will do here. Beloved and revered by FSU's coaching staff as one of the best players in school history, Walker will have the chance to take his leadership and talents to the Mile High City and become a formidable member of the team's defense.
Tim Lynch: A. John Elway added two interior defensive linemen in free agency to go along with last years’ second round pick Adam Gotsis. However, it could very well be DeMarcus Walker who gets the most playing time this season and beyond. Not having an interior pass rusher like Malik Jackson in there hurt the Broncos in 2016. Denver hopes that changes with Walker being added to the roster.
Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann: A. (and possible A+ if Walker has sack dance moves that rival Von Miller's). I LOVE THIS PICK. I LOVE PASS RUSHERS. YES I AM SCREAMING. Done.
Pete Baron: A. Walker is a solid pick and replaces the void that Malik Jackson left. While he isn't at his level yet, he can be coached up by the bear wrestling maniac DLine coach Bill Kollar. This kid is everything a player can be that Bolles isn't. I like this pick. It isn't flashy or sexy, but solid. And after last nights Casa Bonita level turd that Elway laid, I'll take solid any way I can get it. I give his an A. Solid A cause he's gonna be on our roster for 10 years.
Adam Malnati: A. This pick solidifies the defensive line and gives the Broncos another pass rusher to add into the rotation. It is obvious that Elway values pass rushers and Walker is one of the top rushers in the draft. The Broncos defense will be better because of this pick. Walker also addresses a need, and it appears the Broncos are plugging holes with the 2017 draft.
Scotty Payne: A+. Interior pass rushers are fun and were lacking last year. Likely replaces Crick's roster spot too. Nice. Malik Jackson's replacement gets another A grade from me.
Sadaraine: A+. We got a bandaid in free agency for DE in Zach Kerr. In the draft we got the future long-term starter for the defensive line this team needed after a void was left by Malk Jackson's departure. DeMarcus Walker dropping to us in the 2nd round was a true blessing for the team. Elway nailed it with this pick.
Ian St. Clair: A. As I mentioned in my column after the pick, some asked why there was a gap between Myles Garrett and Walker. When you look at the stats, you can see why. What should let Broncos Country know the team made the right selection is this quote from FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher, “he is one of the best players in Florida State history.” Watch out.
Myles Garrett and Demarcus Walker..... why are there two whole rounds separating these players? pic.twitter.com/mHwTNlDqCi— David Cosce (@dcosce) April 27, 2017
Carlos Henderson - Pick 82, Third Round
Christopher Hart: A. The Denver Broncos just got their 'juice' and 'sizzle' with the selection of Louisiana Tech's Carlos Henderson with their first of two third-round picks. He is a dynamic player who can contribtue as a slot receiver and returner. He has great speed and elusiveness in the open field and is a YAC monster. A fantastic prospect for the Broncos who addresses two needs with one pick. Gotta love it!
Sadaraine: A. I am digging this pick for the Broncos. We've needed a legit returner for years now and this kid is going to be an answer at that. He'll also have an opportunity to be a strong slot WR for Denver which was another need for the team. He has some room to grow as a receiver as far as route running, but that's to be expected in the 3rd round.
Adam Malnati: B+. The Broncos needed to add a versatile playmaker. That is why Christian McCaffrey was so coveted. That didn't work out so waiting a few rounds and getting a player like Carlos Henderson is a great place to fill that need. And he returns kicks. So, it wasn't McCaffrey but Henderson has the potential to be an immediate impact player.
Pete Baron: B+/A-. While I want to see Carlos light it up like Trindon Holliday without the fumbles, I'm most excited because we can kiss Jordan Norwood's worthless ass goodbye! This is addition through subtraction and then more addition through dynamic returner and playmaker. I reserve the right to not be too excited because it's an Elway pick on offense, but part of me wants to have a big 'ol asterisk next to it by saying it's really a special teams draft pick and not actually offense. Yeah, that's how I'll spin it. A+ baby!
Ian St. Clair: A. The Broncos offense just got a lot more exciting and dangerous. Henderson is a touchdown machine, and in this offense could be a really, really fun weapon. He’s also a great returner to boot. Chew on this: Henderson’s best game he had 13 catches for 326 yards and five touchdowns.
Congrats to my new weapon, WR Carlos Henderson from La. Tech! 82 catches, 1,535 yds, 21 total TDs. Best game this year was 13-326-5tds!— Tyke Tolbert (@CoachTykeT3) April 29, 2017
Tim Lynch: A+. This is the perfect value pick. We get the explosive big play talent on the offense with a third round pick. His college stats against lesser talent is impressive. I can’t wait to see how Mike McCoy is going to utilize this new weapon on offense.
Brendan Langley - Pick 101, Third Round
Christopher Hart: C. I've never even heard of Langley, but according to well-respected draft analyst Tony Pauline, he is a high-upside player with great ball skills and offers special teams ability as a returner. He was listed as a fourth-round prospect on his board. In a draft that saw almost 30 defensive backs go in the first three rounds, perhaps it isn't as big of a reach as fans are making it out to be. Langley will have the benefit of learning from defensive coordinator Joe Woods and the tremendous leaders in Denver's No Fly Zone. Everyone seemed to be upset with the Kayvon Webster selection, but he turned out to be a good player who carved a role with the team. In time, perhaps Langley can do the say. Hard to complain about a pick that was essentially free due to Brock Osweiler signing a ridiculous contract last offseason. Let's see how it pans out.
Sadaraine: B-. I have to assume that the Broncos coaching staff sees in Langley something they can work with as a project for 2-3 years down the road. Overall, this draft pick makes me scratch my head a bit from the point of view that he would have been there in a round or two anyway. Much like last year's Adam Gotsis pick, Broncos Country will need to be patient with this one and wait a few years before this move has any chance to bear real fruit. I do like the build and physical tools this player brings to the table. If he can put in the work he has a chance to play corner on the outside for a long time in the NFL.
Ian St. Clair: B+. Langley gets the chance to work with, learn and watch two of the best corners in the NFL. Has huge upside but also adds depth at a position Elway values. The other benefit Langley brings: he’s a good returner and plays special teams. Added with Henderson, suddenly Denver has two guys who can compete with each other and/or become a dynamic duo in the return game.
Scotty Payne A-. Vance Joseph and Joe Woods are former DB coaches so I will trust their word here. Langley has size, speed, and is a receiver converting to corner so he's still progressing as a player. High upside and highly athletic so works for me. Another A grade!
So far, Elway has fixed the LT problem, found inside pass rush missing from Malik's departure and gotten a playmaker at WR. MOAR! pic.twitter.com/BWkcKGbnCQ— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) April 29, 2017
Give us your grades in the comments!