You have seen the first and second installments of Mile High Report’s NFL Draft Round Table discussions where we chatted about what the Denver Broncos should do with their first selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, as well as what the staff’s nightmare draft scenario would be. For the third and final session, I asked the staff to give me their Day 2 mock draft for franchise. The Broncos currently hold the #40, #71 and #102 selections on the Day 2, but could acquire more picks if they trade back from the fifth overall selection this evening.
I’m not too sure what direction the Broncos are going in the first round, but a combination of Denzel Ward, Leighton Vander Esch and Will Hernandez (two of the three) seems possible if they trade down. That being said, at the 40th slot, I’d love to see Denver upgrade the running back stable by adding Ronald Jones out of USC. Even though the Broncos acquired Jason Veldheer in a trade this offseason, I think Denver would be wise to select a tackle somewhere on the second day and I’m a big fan of Jamarco Jones. I’d love for the franchise to snag him with their early third round selection. At the end of the third round, I’d like to see them snag some value at wide receiver — but if corner or inside linebacker wasn’t addressed earlier — I think the value will be good at those positions as well.
At #40 the Broncos take: Orlando Brown because yes, he falls this far because teams are tripping over themselves to get QBs, WRs, and flashy guys. Secretly Elway thinks he’s gonna score a date with Miranda Kerr before he realizes his fatal flaw: They spell their name differently, it’s not the same guy! Dammit!
At #53 the Broncos select Nick Chubb because Elway and Kubiak won with a dominant Georgia RB before, and dammit, it’s 1998 up in this house and they’ll do it again!
Ian St. Clair:
Get Mayfield and then use some of the draft picks to trade back into the first round and get guard Will Hernandez. Fans want Elway to make a splash? There you go. And that would appease the “we need a franchise guard” crowd. Depending on what it is used to get Neck Roll, add a linebacker and/or running back.
40: RB Ronald Jones II (USC): Averaged 6.1 yards-per-carry and 9 yards-per-reception throughout his collegiate stint at USC. He was played sparingly (has most of his tread), he’s 20-years-old and makes people say, ‘Jamaal Charles’ a lot.
71: TE Dallas Goedert (South Dakota St.): I have him with a 2nd round grade, but let’s pretend that most pundits are incorrect and Goedert is available in the 3rd. Goedert gives you no height, but a brick (5’10, 254 lbs.), essentially you have a linebacker with Wes Welker’s ability to catch. Sounds like a snazzy way to create chaos in the heart of the opposing defense.
102: ILB Josey Jewell (Iowa): I think that everyone and their Mom will call Jewell to the Broncos at some point. He’s graded all over the place, but I think that he is drafted in the 3rd round. Let us face it, Denver is not happy with their coverage at middle and dime backer and trading for Su’a Cravens put everyone on notice. Jewell provides desperately needed coverage skills at the middle linebacker position
40: RB Ronald Jones. The Broncos need a replacement for C.J. Anderson, and I’m not sure that guy is currently on the roster. The team has already shown interest in Jones, and he’d be a great addition to the offensive backfield.
71: DL Harrison Phillips. This may be too late to get him, depending on whose big board you agree with, but if he’s there Phillips would be a great addition to the Broncos’ defense. Domata Peko rocked at nose tackle in 2017, but he’s old and getting older. An heir is needed, and Phillips fits the bill- especially because he has the potential to push the pocket and provide some of that interior pass rush the Broncos have been missing so badly. And I love to see some former wrestlers like Phillips down in the trenches. That’s the sort of guy DL coach Bill Kollar can get a lot out of.
99: LB Darius Leonard. The Broncos need some new talent at inside linebacker, and Leonard fits the bill here at the end of the 3rd round. He needs to add some play strength and could use some work on a couple of things, but he’s already a decently well rounded linebacker and would provide us a better cover linebacker than Davis or Marshall while also performing well in run defense and being a potential asset in blitz packages.
The Broncos currently have (#40, #71, #102), but could have added more in a deal from a trade down. I have the Broncos trading back with the Bills. The Broncos’ needs include CB, ILB, RT, G, WR, Edge Rusher, and RB. Some names I’d like are Nick Chubb, D.J. Chark, Fred Warner, Tyrell Crosby, Ronald Jones, Anthony Miller, Nathan Shepherd and so on. Gotta add some “juice” on day two. (You can read Scotty’s first-round selections for the Broncos and his final mock draft here.)
I’ve got less confidence in Elway on day two. I’d be just as happy if Elway spent all the day two picks he had to trade up and get Mayfield. Getting a day two running back like Ronald Jones from USC would be a solid day two move with the departure of CJ Anderson.
Since I traded our second round pick (in the first round table discussion to get Baker Mayfield), I’m taking Kemoko Turay, edge rusher at the top of the 3rd round to bolster our edge. He was coached by Denver at the Senior Bowl and in talking with Joe Woods, he was very impressed with Turay. He has all the measurable you want out of an edge rusher, and shows great burst, and bend around the edge.
Next, I’ll take big man Orlando Brown out of Oklahoma to hold down the right tackle position. With Jared Veldheer starting, it gives Brown a year to get into an NFL conditioning program and refine his game. Pay no attention to his combine numbers. Watch his tape. The dude is a monster on the field and would be an immediate upgrade in the run game, with the potential to finally solve the RT position in Denver long term.
40: Maurice Hurst if he falls. It’s unlikely, but I think he’ll be the steal of the draft. Barring him, I think Denver has to chase OL if they go Baker at 5 or possibly grab one of the falling DBs if they go with Nelson.
71: If Fred Warner is there, he’d be a good long term option at linebacker. Anthony Miller or James Washington too. Also think a falling Josh Sweat may be worth a look, if he’s somehow still there. All three players would address potential long term questions facing the roster. Sanders, Thomas, Marshall and Wolfe all could be potential cap casualties after the season.
102: I’d like a new running back here, but who knows what will be available at this point.
40: Harrison Phillips DE/DT Stanford
71: Braden Smith OG Auburn
102: Grant Haley CB PSU
And that’s a wrap on our 2018 NFL Draft Round Table discussion! Sound off in the comments section and give us your ideal Broncos mock scenarios / wish list. As always, thanks for taking the time to read and participate in these discussions and I hope you all have a wonderful next three days of draft filled fun!