If you’ve been reading up on my Big Board lists, you probably have a pretty good idea what my ideal draft would look like. It would start off with Ed Oliver falling into the Broncos’ lap, veer into a slider like Chris Lindstrom, Dalton Risner, or N’Keal Harry hanging out at 41 and end with a couple of my favorite sleepers like Ben Burr-Kirven, Brett Rypien, and Kahale Warring.
This isn’t that kind of draft. In fact, this is the worst possible scenario that I think Elway would realistically force me through this weekend. If you love derailed trains, keep on scrolling — but I warn you, it burns like a bad ointment in a deep cut. Christopher Hart and I joined Adam Malnati and Ian St. Clair to go over all things NFL Draft (and Chris Harris Jr.) on the latest MHR Radio Podcast (iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher).
10. Daniel Jones - QUARTERBACK
I was amused and surprised to find Ed Oliver slide into my lap. I bet the the Bengals or Falcons sure will be happy that I chose instead to grab Denver’s new franchise quarterback. It wasn’t difficult to make this decision, what with the Blue Devil’s impressive 59.9 percent career completion for a whopping 8201 yards, 59 touchdowns to only 29 interceptions.
The best part about trading up for Daniel Jones is it won’t hurt your chances of drafting Tua next year.— Pat Thorman (@Pat_Thorman) April 23, 2019
Did you hear he worked under David Cutcliffe? I know, that’s amazing, right? Same guy who coached Peyton and Eli Manning.
There is nothing in Daniel Jones' statistical profile that says he should even be close to a first-round pick pic.twitter.com/9t7V4E6R7S— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) April 23, 2019
41. Emanuel Hall - RECEIVER
I thought long and hard about Chris Lindstrom, Jeffery Simmons, and Dexter Lawrence as all three could be great players at the next level. In the end, I had to go where the value was. I grabbed the vertical speed threat to take tops off opposing defenses. He’ll pair great with Daniel Jones’ long game.
Notable contested catch percentages, draft-eligible WRs:— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) March 27, 2019
Gary Jennings 54.0%
N'Keal Harry 53.2
Kelvin Harmon 51.4
A.J. Brown 51.3
JJ Arcega-Whiteside 49.4
Hakeem Butler 45.2
Anthony Johnson 43.4
Deebo Samuel 37.9
Andy Isabella 34.8
Emanuel Hall 25.0
Marquise Brown 21.7@PFF
Hall averaged more than 20 yards a reception over his career at Missouri, providing Drew Lock valuable 9 fly man to catch his long bombs. He still needs to learn the finer nuances of route running, and that should be a breeze. We’ll overlook the fact that he never played a full season because there’s no chance that will carry over into his pro career. It’s not like the game gets more physical.
Top "official" 10-yd times:— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) March 9, 2019
1.48 - DK Metcalf
1.51 - Sean Bunting, Greedy Williams, Zedrick Woods
1.52 - Parris Campbell, Darius West
1.53 - Andy Isabella, Devin Bush, Jamel Dean, Derrek Thomas
1.54 - Brian Burns, Montez Sweat, Miles Boykin, Emanuel Hall, Mecole Hardman
71. Jachai Polite - EDGE
I thought about Jaylon Ferguson, Dawson Knox, and Amani Hooker here. I even thought about J.J. Arcega-Whiteside to give Denver a legitimate 1-2-3-4 punch for Jones to slice up the D. None of that felt right though, so we took a valuable backup to Von Miller & Bradley Chubb.
Polite had dominant moments at Florida last season, notching 11 sacks, four passes defensed and six forced fumbles. At one point there was first round buzz and we think we’re getting a real steal this far down the board. His burst off the ball and rush moves really catch your eye when you turn on the tape. I like his bend and counter moves.
Jachai Polite in the backfield in a hurry pic.twitter.com/zUHU20vgYd— Matt Minich (@CoachMinich) April 22, 2019
So what if he had a bad workout at the Combine? Or bombed interviews? Or hasn’t played in space? Some would worry that he’s a role playing one-year wonder. Not this guy. I think he’s got the perfect amount of seasoning to slide into the third edge spot.
125. Bryce Love - RUNNING BACK
Chuma Edoga waved hello, while Bobby Evans just stared at me. I couldn’t do it. I had to go with the first-round talent who’s one mere leg injury away from a return to greatness. I love his fit in the zone blocking scheme Rich Scangarello is installing for the 2019 Broncos and think you can never have too many running backs under contract. I thought perhaps Love may slide farther because of concerns over his knee but didn’t dare take the chance.
People keep talking about Jeffrey Simmons as a first round pick despite his ACL repair. Hell, what about Bryce Love?— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) April 23, 2019
I’m really liking how Daniel Jones supporting cast is starting to look and now he’ll have scary stable of backs to hand off to. We can always grab linemen later. It’s like Madden - they hardly matter, and Munchak can just coach them up.
Another medical issue in the draft: Stanford RB Bryce Love’s stiff knee have raised red flags for NFL teams about regaining his movement and explosiveness after ACL reconstruction. @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/Iy0pSyXKW5— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 19, 2019
148. Beau Benzschawel - OFFENSIVE LINE
I thought about Germaine Pratt and Lamont Gaillard. Neither have the Wisconsin pedigree though. When in doubt, go with the school on the side of the helmet.
You could spend time worrying that he isn’t a natural scheme fit. You could even worry that he’ll need time to refine his technique to be effective in pass protection. You can’t worry about his background though. Forty-nine starts and an education in Madison, Wisconsin, is worth its weight in cheese.
156. Isaac Nauta - TIGHT END
I was almost worried I’d miss out on this tight end class. Luckily it’s really deep. I even passed on Drew Sample so I could grab the guy that Pro Football Focus tells me dropped the lowest percentage of passes in the SEC.
The lowest drop rate among SEC tight ends was a tie between C.J. Conrad from Kentucky and Isaac Nauta from Georgia. Both guys only had one drop ALL SEASON. pic.twitter.com/xv5LuSRg7P— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 9, 2019
If that doesn’t sell you, how about these mind-blowing numbers: 30 catches for 430 yards and three touchdowns. Only three players had more catches. Only four had more yards. Sure he ran a disappointing 4.9 40-yard dash, and sure his vertical jump was just 29 inches. That’s OK. The guy only dropped one pass last year.
182. Iman Marshall - DEFENSIVE BACK
I’m painfully aware that the 2019 Broncos line needs an infusion of talent. We need it right now, tomorrow be darned. I just can’t pass on immediate help in the secondary for it. Did you hear Chris Harris may be traded? So I decided to pass on Hjalte Froholdt, Isaiah Prince, and Yosuah Njiman to get a guy who could start day one if we need him to.
Iman Marshall played four whole years at USC after coming to Southern Cal as a 5 Star recruit. He may need to move to Safety to hide some of his technical issues, but that’s okay we got Kareem Jackson who can start wherever we need him to. Marshall is a strong tackler too, so Fangio will love him.
Iman Marshall would be a terrific fit with the 49ers. Solid frame at 6’ 0” 205 lbs, has some fluidity in hips, physical, and explosive.— Christian (@ChristianR_Vill) April 17, 2019
Rep vs Deebo Samuel in the Senior Bowl pic.twitter.com/VSJ4fGO3Ho
237. A.J. Cole - PUNTER
Whenever you can provide a leg to compete with your punter in training camp you have to do it. A.J. Cole averaged 42.4 yards per punt in 2018, good for 51st in the country. You better believe Colby Wadman is sweating right now.
What grade would you give this draft?
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