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Denver Broncos 2018 NFL mock draft roundup: Baker Mayfield is a popular pick

Who the experts have the Broncos selecting in their mock drafts?

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Oklahoma vs Georgia Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Each week, I will round up all the mock drafts around the internet and Twitter and show you who the draft experts and analysts see the Denver Broncos taking in the first(and second and third is available) rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft.

I’ll include their reasoning and add in a few opinions myself here and there. So let’s see who the experts and analysts have the Broncos taking in the 2018 NFL Draft!

Matt Miller, Bleacher Report: 5. Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB/S/DB, Alabama

Miller’s thoughts:

The Pick: DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama

No quarterback? I fully expect John Elway will address the position in free agency. That could change in the next four months, but as of now all the rumors I’m hearing are that Elway doesn’t want to draft another quarterback in Round 1 after missing on Paxton Lynch.

Minkah Fitzpatrick is like Tyrann Mathieu if the Arizona Cardinals safety were 6’0”, 203 pounds and ran a high-4.3 in the 40-yard dash. He might be compared by some to Jalen Ramsey—and he does have some experience playing cornerback—but his best spot in the NFL is likely at safety.

One of the cool things about Fitzpatrick is his versatility: He can play slot cornerback, free safety, strong safety and, for some press schemes, he can line up as an outside cornerback. The Denver Broncos can find a way to work him into a secondary that’s getting older and needs an infusion of talent.

My thoughts:

I really like Fitzpatrick. He is a do it all guy who can play outside, inside, safety, or that trendy linebacker/safety hybrid position. He’ll be a valuable chess piece for any Defensive Coordinator.

He has good size at 6’1”, 200lbs but his 40-time during the NFL Combine will likely determine if he’s an outside corner, slot corner, or safety, but he has the talent to do it all.

The Broncos may end up letting cornerback Aqib Talib go this offseason and Bradley Roby will be entering his final year of his contract, so corner should be high on the Broncos needs list this offseason.

NBC Sports’s Josh Norris: 5. Baker Mayfield, Quarterback, Oklahoma

Josh’s thoughts:

5. Denver Broncos - QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma - Paxton Lynch is not it. The Broncos will certainly be in the veteran quarterback market. With that said, there’s plenty of pressure on John Elway to nail a quarterback evaluation. When is the next time the Broncos will be drafting in the top 5? Take advantage of it if there’s a quarterback worthy of the selection.

My thoughts:

This will be a popular pick for the Broncos, especially before and probably after the Senior Bowl next week.

There have been now multiple reports connecting the Broncos to Mayfield, and there seems to be some truth to those reports. Per reports, they will be coaching Mayfield in next week’s Senior Bowl and reportedly even requested to have him on their team. So this pick does make sense.

This pick will likely depend on what the Broncos do in Free Agency. There are many reports out there that the Broncos will address the position via Free Agency. Current Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins is the hot name right now, but players like Case Keenum, Drew Brees, and others should be considered as well.

SB Nation’s Dan Kadar: 5. Baker Mayfield, Quarterback, Oklahoma

Dan’s thoughts:

5. Denver Broncos: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

Although the Broncos have often gone after bigger quarterbacks like Paxton Lynch, Brock Osweiler or even Trevor Siemian, who is 6’3, they could fall for Mayfield. They specifically requested to coach Mayfield at next week’s Senior Bowl, so we’ll learn more about this fit soon.

CBS Sports: 5. Quenton Nelson, Guard, Notre Dame

CBS’s thoughts:

Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame. The Broncos clearly need to do something about the QB position, but they shouldn’t force it if one of the top two prospects doesn’t fall to No. 5. The smart thing would be to add a veteran as a short-term starter and then use a Day 2 pick on a quarterback like Josh Allen or Mason Rudolph to develop, with the option of trading back into the first round for either. No. 5 overall is high for a guard, but Nelson is likely one of the top-five players at any position in this class. Put him on a line with Ronald Leary, Matt Paradis and a developing Garett Bolles, and you’re putting whoever is at QB in a better position to succeed.

My thoughts:

I am torn on Nelson. He is a top 2 or 3 prospect in this draft. He is a monster of a guard, an instant starter, and potentially a first-year Pro Bowl/All Pro player for whoever drafts him. However, is a guard really worth the 5th pick?

That’s the big question here. Guard isn’t a highly valued position like say a quarterback, left tackle, edge rusher, cornerback and so on. It’s rather low in your positional rankings, but he’s a damn good player.

If the Broncos do indeed get Cousins, I would be okay with this pick, but I think an offensive tackle should be this pick despite Nelson being a better prospect. It doesn’t make much sense, but that's how it goes.

With all that said, I’d be happy if the Broncos took Nelson.

Walter Football: 5. Sam Darnold, Quarterback, USC

Walter Football’s thoughts:

Sam Darnold was considered to be the favorite to be taken first overall for a while, and that could still be the case. However, he struggled this past season, and there was speculation among teams that he would return to school. Darnold surprised them by declaring.

Darnold is still considered a top-10 talent, so he makes a lot of sense for the Broncos, who are desperate for a franchise quarterback. They would probably even have to trade up for Darnold, as some of the other quarterback-hungry teams - Jets, Cardinals, Redskins (if Kirk Cousins leaves) - will have major interest in him.

My thoughts:

Unless something major changes between now and April, I do not believe that Darnold will fall to the 5th overall pick. Jokes aside, under new decision makers, the Browns will likely draft a QB with one of their top five picks. The Giants likely will as well with the second overall pick. Darnold will be one of the top two picks.

Would be cool if he did fall to five, but that’s very unlikely, at least as of now.

Sporting News’s Eric Galko: Baker Mayfield, Quarterback, Oklahoma

Galko’s thoughts:

Outside of Washington, Denver is Kirk Cousins’ most likely destination. But if the Broncos miss on the high-priced veteran quarterback, Mayfield fits what they want to do offensively. It seems Paxton Lynch’s days in Denver are numbered.

Final thoughts:

There isn’t a wide variety of mock drafts just yet, but the ones out there mostly have the Broncos taking a quarterback. That will likely be the case until we figure out what happens in free agency.

If the Broncos do not sign a Kirk Cousins in free agency, then a quarterback obviously will be their pick in the first round. However, if they address the quarterback position in free agency, it opens many possibilities for the Broncos.

It will be interesting on how it shakes out.