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The Broncos Country Vote Mock Draft V.4.0

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Who John Elway and the Denver Broncos should draft in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft?

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NFL: Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Broncos’ 2019 season is in the books. After a 4-1 finish to the campaign Denver is now slated to make their first choice at the 15th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. What does that mean for addressing their biggest needs?

To start Draft season off with a bang, I thought it was a good time to go over a scenario. Making the picks with teams 1-14 leave you a chance to evaluate who’s left on the board when Denver finds their way to the podium.

Let’s get started

1. Cincinnati Bengals - QB, Joe Burrow, LSU

The hardest part of draft season is going to be figuring out new ways to write about this pick every week. It would send shock waves around the league if Mike Brown blew this.

With that in mind, did you see Burrow and LSU’s first half against Oklahoma? Maybe we can finally stop this nonsense that every conference needs to make the playoffs.

2. Washington - ED, Chase Young, OSU

Ron Rivera deserves better than Dan Snyder, but at least he’ll have a quarterback in place and a chance to draft the best talent in this upcoming class.

3. Detroit Lions - CB, Jeffrey Okudah, OSU

Few will be more deflated by Young’s selection than Matt Patricia. Detroit badly needs a legitimate edge rusher and with the Buckeye gone will need to pray someone’s there in the second or third round. That said, his teammate is one heck of a consolation prize.

One of the things that became apparent back when New England moved on from Chandler Jones after 2015 is how they place a higher premium on coverage players than edge rushers. While it remains to be seen if Patricia subscribes to that notion, Okudah looks like the next elite cornerback prospect to come out of Ohio State. He’s long and brings all of the tools to grow into a top tier starter on the boundary in the Lions’ system that calls for a heavy dose of man coverage.

4. New York Giants - OT, Jedrick Wills, Alabama

The smart move for New York would be auctioning off this pick. Already there’s been rumors that Bruce Arians and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers want up, in addition to the obvious teams in need of quarterbacks. Instead, Dave Gettleman continues to be play checkers.

As far as the actual pick, Jedrick Wills makes a lot of sense for a team looking to address their offensive line. He played right tackle for the Crimson Tide but many believe he can slide over to left tackle. With the Giants he may not need to in the short term if Nate Solder is retained.

5. Miami Dolphins - QB, Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

If his medicals clear, I fully expect the Southpaw passer to be the apple of Miami’s eye. They’ve been reportedly locked in on him throughout most of their tear down. While questions about his durability may deter them, this looks like the pick unless someone jumps them.

6. Los Angeles Chargers - QB, Justin Herbert, Oregon

Did you listen to Philip Rivers’ post game press conference after London’s LA’s loss to the Chiefs yesterday? When asked if retirement isn’t an option, he said he plans to play as long as somebody wanted him. It also sounded an awful lot like he knows he’s done with the Bolts.

7. Carolina Panthers - LT, Andrew Thomas, Georgia

The Panthers are one of the bigger wildcards right now. We don’t yet know who they’re hiring or what the systems will look like on either side of the ball. The way Kyle Allen and Will Grier flailed down the stretch makes it likely that Cam Newton is back on the table, but with a clear out built into his contract it’s no guarantee. Heck, even if he does come back there’s no real idea how close to 100% he’ll ever be again.

With the way the board fell in this scenario, it’d make sense to go best remaining player available. That left me choosing between two tackles, one on both sides of the ball. I went with Andrew Thomas because they were relying on Dennis Daley at the tail end of the year. Not ideal with a 30-year old passer who’s missed 16 games over the last two years.

8. Arizona Cardinals - X, Isaiah Simmons, Clemson

Vance Joseph is an easy coach to beat up on, but the truth is Arizona’s defensive coordinator wasn’t given anything close to the tools he’d need to succeed in 2019. Zach Kerr was cut from the Broncos. Jalen Thompson was a fifth round pick in the supplemental draft. Michael Dogbe was a seventh rounder. Joe Walker was playing next to Jordan Hicks after the Cards picked him up off the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad. All were starters in the desert by year’s end.

So what do you give to a coordinator who kind of needs a little bit of everything? A player who can do a little bit of everything. No, but seriously. With the way Joseph tends to utilize base personnel more than most, he could get a lot of mileage out of a linebacker-safety backer hybrid.

T-9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - QB, Jordan Love, Utah State

I suspect Jameis Winston’s contract demands and the Bucs cap situation will mean a franchise tag situation. That gives them another year to ride it out with the 30-for-30 passer. We’ve also entered into lying season in the last week, so rumors the last couple days that Arians wants up in the draft may not mean anything.

Still, if the 67-year old coach can get ahead of Indy and Oakland for a chance to grab the toolsy passer from Utah State he’d probably jump. Love is going to be a player who’s hype may surprise some in the draft community. He’s been a bit of a roller coaster this past year, but he has the kind of tools someone will fall for. Hard.

With Winston in front of him, he’ll have a chance to sit and learn ‘til a mind-bending interception breaks the last straw.

10. Cleveland Browns - OT, Tristian Wirfs, Iowa

Regardless of who Jimmy Haslam picks as his next victim, Baker Mayfield will need better protection next year.

11. New York Jets - WR, Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

The Jets look like they’re going to let Robby Anderson walk despite having almost $70 million in cap room. There’s rumors that Gase will look to trade LeVeon Bell at the first opportunity. Minus them, Sam Darnold’s top targets are Jamison Crowder and a 32-year old Demaryius Thomas.

Let’s at least give the 2018 first rounder a chance in year three.

12. Oakland Raiders - DL, Derrick Brown, Auburn

This may feel like a weird fit since the Raiders biggest needs look to be in the back seven on defense and the receiver spots. But year two of the Mike Mayock-Gruden marriage will probably continue an effort to buy talent on the free agent market for the offense and draft the best player they can on defense.

There is little doubt that’s Brown after he slid in this scenario. He’s a destroyer of worlds who would pair with Maxx Crosby, Clelin Ferrel, and Maurice Hurst to give them one of the scarier four man fronts in football.

13. Indianapolis Colts - WR, CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma

If you’ve suffered through my draft stuff all year you’ll know I’m sky high on Lamb. One of the downsides to going 4-1 is how Denver now finds themselves behind the Colts in the draft order. Barring something crazy, Chris Ballard will prioritize upgrading the passing game this offseason.

T-14. Jacksonville Jaguars - CB, Kristian Fulton, LSU

Another wildcard after a house cleaning. Right now what’s clearest is how the Jaguars will enter the offseason with a really tight budget. That means tough decisions are coming for a slew of veterans. Marcell Dareus and Calais Campbell could both be gone if they prioritize resigning Yannick Ngakoue.

The Jalen Ramsey trade and A.J. Bouye’s cap number and creeping age also means cornerback is becoming a bigger need. Enter Fulton who has an enticing blend of size, athleticism, and big game experience.

15. Vote for who you would draft in this scenario Broncos Country!

Poll

Who should the Broncos draft?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    S, Grant Delpit, LSU
    (140 votes)
  • 9%
    DL, A.J. Epenesa, Iowa
    (266 votes)
  • 26%
    WR, Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
    (767 votes)
  • 4%
    WR, Tee Higgins, Clemson
    (125 votes)
  • 15%
    CB, Trevon Diggs, Alabama
    (463 votes)
  • 4%
    DL, Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
    (136 votes)
  • 7%
    WR, Laviska Shenault Jr, Colorado
    (216 votes)
  • 23%
    OT, Alex Leatherwood, Alabama
    (698 votes)
  • 0%
    DB, Xavier McKinney, Alabama
    (19 votes)
  • 0%
    QB, Jacob Eason, Washington
    (14 votes)
  • 1%
    RB, Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
    (32 votes)
  • 0%
    ED, K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU
    (8 votes)
  • 1%
    Other (Please Comment)
    (33 votes)
2917 votes total Vote Now

Your Broncos’ Links

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Plenty of optimism with how the Denver Broncos finished the 2019 season - Mile High Report

The Denver Broncos finished the 2019 season on a high note as rookie Drew Lock goes 4-1 in his five starts to lift Denver to 7-9 record.

Denver Broncos have a Drewcember to remember! - Mile High Report

Drew Lock and the Broncos went 4-1 in December to bring hope to Broncos Country for the first time in four years.

Denver Broncos beat the Oakland Raiders, the Big Takeaway - Mile High Report

The Broncos’ win over the Raiders was a fitting end to Drewcember in Broncos Country.

Denver Broncos OLB Von Miller: ‘We’re done with this losing shit’ - Mile High Report

The Broncos finished the season 4-1 after starting it 1-4. It was a hell of a turnaround, and for the first time in years, the team is excited about the future.

Broncos’ celebration after beating the Raiders carried from field to locker room to Twitter - Mile High Report

It was a good way to end a tough season.

Predictions for the New Year: After bizarre finale to Broncos’ season, a look ahead to 2020 – The Athletic

1. Drew Lock is their starting quarterback

2. Joe Flacco is gone

3. They place a nonexclusive franchise tag on safety Justin Simmons

4. Special teams coordinator Tom McMahon is gone

5. Chris Harris Jr. is gone

6. They draft a cornerback in the first round

7. Garett Bolles returns

8. Derek Wolfe stays

9. Shelby Harris and Adam Gotsis are gone

10. There won’t be a decision in the ownership dispute

11. They do exercise the contract options for Von Miller and Brandon McManus

12. They do not exercise the contract options for Ron Leary or Todd Davis

13. They place a second-round restricted free-agent tender on Mike Purcell

NFL Draft Links

2020 NFL Mock Draft: Matt Miller’s Post-Regular-Season Predictions | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights

General manager John Elway has received his share of criticism in this space before, so let’s take a second to praise his selections of Drew Lock (4-1 this season), Courtland Sutton (one of the NFL’s best young receivers) and Bradley Chubb, who looks like he’ll be a future star once he returns from a torn ACL in 2020. There’s a foundation here that’s promising; now Elway must add to it.

The offensive line is an area of concern, even after the Broncos drafted Garett Bolles in 2017’s first round and paid Ja’Wuan James in free agency last year. Bolles hasn’t been the answer at left tackle and could be upgraded. That’s where Tristan Wirfs should intrigue Elway.

Much like last year’s second-round pick, Dalton Risner, Wirfs is rock-solid and ready to come into the NFL as a starter at multiple positions. He moves well enough to make a transition from college right tackle to NFL left tackle look possible, and that’s where he would slot in as the Broncos’ protector of Lock for the foreseeable future.

PFF 2020 NFL Mock Draft: Cowboys land LSU safety Grant Delpit in the first round | College Football and NFL Draft | PFF

15. DENVER BRONCOS — WR LAVISKA SHENAULT, COLORADO Battling through injuries, Shenault didn’t produce quite like he did in 2018. However, Shenault was in the conversation for the Biletnikoff Award as a true sophomore after hauling in 87 passes for 1,019 yards and breaking 29 tackles in the process.

NFL Links

Which NFL Playoff Team Has the Best Chance to Win the Super Bowl? - The Ringer

The postseason field is finally locked, which means it’s time to handicap all 12 teams and determine which is most (and least) likely to hold up the Lombardi Trophy come February

NFL Black Monday Tracker: Latest news & rumors from around the NFL

Here’s the latest on what PFN Insiders Ben Allbright and Tony Pauline are hearing regarding the staus of NFL head coaches, coordinators, & general managers.

The 10 least consequential athletes of the decade - SBNation.com

Maurice Simpkins was a computer programmer who made some extra cash playing linebacker for the Green Bay Blizzard, an Indoor Football League team. A block up the street, the Packers were plagued by injuries. Desperate to shore up their special teams unit, they signed Simpkins.

Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to interview with Browns – ProFootballTalk

Add Brian Daboll’s name to a growing list of candidates for the Browns’ head coaching vacancy. Tom Pelissero of the NFL reports that the Browns requested permission to interview the Bills offensive coordinator.

Adam Gase doesn’t answer when asked if he wants Le’Veon Bell back – ProFootballTalk

Jets coach Adam Gase is declining to say whether he wants running back Le’Veon Bell back on the team in 2020. Gase was asked today whether he wants Bell on his team next year, and he said only that it’s a question for General Manager Joe Douglas.

Dolphins fire Chad O’Shea – ProFootballTalk

The Dolphins won’t be making a head coaching change this offseason, but they are going to be looking for a new offensive coordinator. According to multiple reports, the Dolphins have fired Chad O’Shea.

Cowboys will have no announcement on Jason Garrett’s future today – ProFootballTalk

Cowboys players talked about Jason Garrett as if he no longer is coach of the team. Garrett, though, will remain in his office for at least another day. The Cowboys announced they will have no announcement Monday. Garrett met with Jerry and Stephen Jones earlier in the afternoon.

Jerry, Stephen Jones cancel their early-week radio interviews – ProFootballTalk

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and COO Stephen Jones spend plenty of time talking to the media. On Monday and Tuesday, they won’t be. Jerry had a segment scheduled for Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m. CT on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. He canceled it.

Arians: We can win with QB other than Jameis Winston - NFL.com

”With another quarterback? Oh yeah,” Arians said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “If we can win with this one, we can definitely win with another one, too.”

‘Everything’s an option’ for Manning but being backup - NFL.com

Eli Manning has likely played his last game for the Giants, but is still mulling over his future in the NFL. However, being a backup again isn’t all that appealing.

McCoy: Panthers would be stupid to let Cam Newton go - NFL.com

The Carolina Panthers are searching for a new head coach and are uncertain about what to with Cam Newton. Several teammates said that it would be a horrible decision to let the MVP quarterback walk away.