ESPN’s two big draft gurus, Todd McShay and Mel Kiper, put out competing three-round mock drafts this week. One of them decided to pass on Baker Mayfield and a quarterback altogether for the Denver Broncos, which would be an interesting approach for John Elway.
Todd McShay saw cornerback as the Broncos biggest need, followed by wide receiver. As a fan, I would be pretty worried about things if this were the route Elway and his front office took on the first two days of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Round 1 (5): Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
Round 2 (40): D.J. Chark, WR, LSU
Round 3 (71): Austin Corbett, OG, Nevada
Round 3 (99): Dorance Armstrong Jr., DE, Kansas
Baker Mayfield could certainly be in play at No. 5 if he’s there, but Denver won a Super Bowl when it had the best defense in the NFL -- led by its secondary. Plus, the Broncos just signed Case Keenum in free agency and have Paxton Lynch on the roster. With Aqib Talib shipped out to Los Angeles, the Broncos could use another CB and Ward is the best cover man in this class. Chark can take the top off a defense (4.34 40 at combine) and has had a great postseason process. Corbett would provide good depth for an offensive line that needs help. Armstrong provides another young pass-rusher.
This kind of reasoning is how the Broncos ended up rolling with Trevor Siemian for two years. At some point you have to accept that winning a Super Bowl on the backs of a great defense is a rare and difficult feat to repeat. The team needs a franchise quarterback.
Mel Kiper took matters into his own hands a few days later with his own three-round mock, which nearly addressed all of the same position needs, but in a much better way. If I had to choose one, this is the mock draft I would be choosing.
Round 1 (5): Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Round 2 (40): Donte Jackson, CB, LSU
Round 3 (71): Braden Smith, OG, Auburn
Round 3 (99): Dorian O’Daniel, LB, Clemson
Signing Case Keenum shows me that the Broncos don’t think Paxton Lynch is the long-term answer. And giving Keenum only a two-year deal shows me the Denver front office isn’t settled on him, either. Mayfield is extremely talented and the type of quarterback who makes his teammates better.
Jackson, one of the fastest players in this class, could play in the slot as Bradley Roby transitions to take Aqib Talib’s place. The right guard spot is wide open for the Broncos, and Smith started 41 games at Auburn. O’Daniel is a tackling machine who might be a better fit inside in a 3-4.
This would be an ideal draft for the Broncos. They get their quarterback of the future and also a top talent at cornerback and a guard to compete opposite of Ronald Leary. Dorian O’Daniel was a special teams monster, so adding him into the mix would potential help two units get better.
If I had to pick one of these three-round mock drafts over the other, I would absolutely go with Kiper’s. He sees that quarterback is going to remain a major need for the Broncos despite the Case Keenum signing and targeted solid talent at each position of weakness in the first three round for the Broncos.
Overall, that would be a home run draft in my opinion. Who do you think wins this three-round mock off?
Who had the better three-round mock draft for the Broncos?
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