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Are you mocking me: Drew Lock or Justin Fields?

How can the Broncos win the draft if Justin Fields falls to them?

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Beating the Jets means the Broncos are now a longer shot for the top pick in the NFL Draft. For those tired of the Trevor Lawrence love I’m sorry this is good news. They’ll be chagrined to know we’re still left with a similar conversation unless Drew Lock makes a jump during his time away from the field.

As I mentioned on this week’s Cover 2 Broncos, if the Lock we saw in the Tennessee Titans game is what he looks like over the remainder of the season? John Elway needs to evaluate the whole 2021 quarterback class.

For the sake of discussion, let’s assume today that Lock does just that but Elway isn’t satisfied with any of the alternatives in the draft. If that leaves you cold, we can call this the hypothetical situation where Lock makes a jump during his time off as he did in 2019. It seems unlikely, but the end point remains the same: if Denver finds themselves with a top 10 pick and no need to draft a quarterback?

They could make out like bandits.

If Lock rewards Elway's faith over the rest of 2020, it could set the Broncos up in an advantageous situation for the NFL Draft.
If Lock rewards Elway’s faith over the rest of 2020, it could set the Broncos up in an advantageous situation for the NFL Draft.

T.1.22. Christian Barmore - Defensive Line - Alabama

When it came time to make my first pick at 1.6, I had three calls from teams working to land Ohio State’s Justin Fields. My first call is to the Jacksonville Jaguars, who offer me a fourth to slide back one spot. Knowing this, I pick up the phone to talk with everyone’s favorite stooge Ryan Pace. They offer a 2021 first, second, third, and fifth.

I’m interested, but sliding back to 17 isn’t ideal. I pick up the phone and make a deal with Marty Hurney to slide back to 1.8 in exchange for a third and fourth. Fields is a member of the Carolina Panthers and I still find myself fielding calls with Ja’Marr Chase on the board. The Philadelphia Eagles give me a second to secure his services.

Sliding down the board leaves me to watch Dylan Moses land with the Atlanta Falcons, but Jaylen Waddle and Devonta Smith intrigue Bill Belichick and he offers three picks if I’m willing to part with a third and slide back to 1.22 from the top ten. I take it.

At 22, I take 15 minutes to decide between Alabama’s Christian Barmore, Alex Leather, Texas’ Samuel Cosimi and Ohio State’s Shaun Wade. We’re early enough in the NFL season this could look silly in two months, but Garett Bolles has played so well through the first four games I pass on a tackle. I’m optimistic I can find corners who fit the Fangio defense farther down the board, and questions about the 2021 status of both Jurrell Casey and Shelby Harris lead me to Barmore.

The NFL Draft is always a bit of a leap of faith and this pick’s no different. With how stacked the Alabama roster is year after year, Barmore hasn’t played much yet. That said, he has the kind of freaky athleticism at 6’5 310 lbs. that we could be looking at him as a top 10 lock by April.

T.1.29. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah - Hybrid - Notre Dame

All the extra picks leave me feeling opportunistic, and so when the Packers call with an eye towards moving down I take them up on the offer. Trading back into the first costs me a 2nd and 4th, but since I have two of each that’s no big thing.

There are two players I had my eye on here and both are still on the board. If the injury or contract situation leaves the future of Von Miller in doubt Miami’s Quincy Roche is a guy that could make a ton of sense. Like Malik Reed, he’s a little undersized, but versatile enough to rush the passer, play the run, or drop into coverage.

In the end I can’t give up on 58, so I take Notre Dame’s Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. The current Broncos’ defense lacks a second level coverage player teams need to be aware of and the golden domer brings the profile to solve that. He’s a bit undersized at a listed 215 lbs., but has the tools to step in as a linebacker-safety hybrid.

The Draft Network’s Kyle Crabbs said this about him:

Appreciate his short area explosiveness and twitch to trigger and beat blockers to the spot out in space. He has had success as a blitzer and pressure player off the edge; offers first step quickness and plenty of length to rip through hands and create soft angles for himself. There’s a bit intrigue remaining in his game as it pertains to how well he can fill into an off-ball role as well — there may be untapped potential left to uncover.

Think of him as a young Mark Barron, but good.

2.46. Jayson Oweh - Edge - Penn State

Passing on Roche in the first doesn’t mean we ignore the edge depth. If I’m running the Broncos there’d be no way Miller isn’t on the roster next year (and I know that’s a double negative) but he’s also hitting the back end of his career.

Even if he continues to play at an elite level going forward, having the depth to limit his snaps and maximize his impact makes too much sense. You can never have too many pass rushers. If he begins to slow down or can’t return to his previous level of play at 32-years old, having a prospect to groom behind him makes too much sense to pass up.

Like Barmore, Oweh is more projection than proven right now. He’s a freaky athlete at 6’5 and roughly 260 lbs. who played a reserve role last season. His burst, handwork, and ability to squeeze past blockers looks special.

T.2.54. Jevon Holland - Safety - Oregon

By the time the draft rolls around my affinity for 2nd round safeties could become a meme. The thing is with Justin Simmons playing on the Franchise tag and Kareem Jackson turning 33 before next season, the Broncos badly need to invest in depth here and it looks like a loaded position group.

With Holland, I would add a cerebral ballhawk to the third level. He isn’t the flashiest athlete, but has experience covering slot receivers as a nickel, banging in the box, and running in deep coverage. His instinctive play and versatility would help to elevate the Broncos defense.

T.3.72. Liam Eichenberg - Tackle - Notre Dame

As someone who roots for the Michigan Wolverines it’s a bit troubling to find two of my picks cut their teeth in South Bend. In the end it just isn’t a good enough reason to pass on Eichenberg this far down the board. I’ve already mocked him to the Broncos once before, but couldn’t afford to pass on the opportunity.

Even if Garett Bolles winds up a long term answer on the blind side, Ja’Wuan James is a huge question mark. His contract leaves him a certainty for the 2021 roster, but he’ll have played in less than 70 snaps across the last two years and has a significant knee injury on the odometer.

Eichenberg isn’t going to be the most exciting tackle in this class. Everything suggests he’ll be closer to a solid athlete than a ridiculous one. That said, he’s also a very experienced left tackle who’s strengths lay in pass protection. In today’s NFL it is extremely valuable to have two bookends you can leave on an island.

Poll

What grade would you give this draft?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    A - Now THAT is how you reload the defense.
    (62 votes)
  • 20%
    B - Looks good.
    (152 votes)
  • 23%
    C - Meh.
    (177 votes)
  • 18%
    D - Dumb. Don’t trade down. Draft Fields.
    (134 votes)
  • 29%
    E - Too Early.
    (216 votes)
741 votes total Vote Now

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