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Be the GM: Broncos Vote Mock 1.0

Who should the Denver Broncos draft in 2021?

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It’s hard to believe we’re already halfway through the 2020 NFL season. Now that the Broncos have won three of their last four games, Football Outsiders’ Playoff Odds report that simulates the NFL season 30,000 times gives the Broncos a

  • 9.5% chance at the postseason
  • No shot at a playoff win
  • A 9.6% chance at a top 5 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft
  • Trevor Lawrence just .1% of the time.

Looking at the Broncos current draft needs is just as murky. Garett Bolles is now a Pro Bowl caliber left tackle, only his contract runs out because John Elway did not pick up his fifth year option. He could be a good candidate for the franchise tag, only that’d put even more pressure on the Broncos to come to terms on a long term extension with Justin Simmons. Meanwhile Shelby Harris has reached the heights I expected last year and now looks like one of the best gap shooting linemen in football.

With so much uncertainty I thought it’d be more fun to let you decide as we explore a very early 2021 scenario. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

1. New York Jets - QB, Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

The best QB prospect since Andrew Luck makes this the easiest pick to guess at in the whole draft. We’ve reached a point where the Jets have all but admitted they’ve kept Adam Gase around to make sure they can lock in 1.1. So as it stands, it looks like the biggest questions about this pick will be:

A) Who does Joe Douglas hire to keep Lawrence from pulling an Elway?

B) Who winds up with Sam Darnold?

T.2. New England Patriots - QB, Justin Fields, OSU

If the New York Giants still believe in Daniel Jones, the best thing they can do if they land the second overall pick is collect a ton of picks. The only other selection that makes any reasonable sense at this point is Penei Sewell, but Dave Gettleman already drafted Andrew Thomas and Matt Peart in 2020. The only catch is Gettleman’s never traded down during his NFL career.

I’ll let you put the pieces together.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars - QB, Trey Lance, NDSU

Quarterbacks haven’t gone 1-2-3 in the NFL Draft since Tim Couch, Donovan McNabb and Akili Smith went to the Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles and Cincinnati Bengals in 1999. While Gardner Minshew’s shown promise, reports that he could lose his job to Mike Glennon are a clear sign Jacksonville’s looking to find a new signal caller in 2021.

Lance is relatively unproven after playing just one full season and attempting all of 318 passes in his career with the Bisons. Scouts rave about his arm talent, but odds are he’ll need time if he’s to put it all together.

T.4. Miami Dolphins - T, Penei Sewell, Oregon

Thanks to Bill O’Brien, the Texans have Laremy Tunsil and one of the worst rosters in football while Miami has a generational tackle prospect. There is a possibility Chris Grier could field trade calls here as the Phis did just take Austin Jackson last year and Tua Tagovailoa is a southpaw. I just doubt there’s enough market after the QB run atop this Mock to pass up on locking down both edges with athletic bookends.

5. Atlanta Falcons - ED, Gregory Rousseau Miami

Matt Ryan will be 36-years old in May and has more than a $26 million dead cap over the next three seasons. It’d make sense to look at Zach Wilson here because he’s looked legit. I simply doubt the Falcons will consider it barring a massive fall off from Ryan over these last 8 games.

Since their hitched to a veteran quarterback with a huge cap number, the best road back to contention would be finding a few solutions for holes on the defense. Atlanta’s played better since Raheem Morris took over in part because they’ve dialed up pressure and players like A.J. Terrell are improving.

They’re still hurting for edge pressure and could use help on the second and third level. I wouldn’t rule out Micah Parsons here, but think an unknown first-year regime could fall for the potential a 6’7 265 lb. Hurricane brings to the table and would have the good will of Arthur Blank to pursue it.

6. Dallas Cowboys - QB, Zach Wilson, BYU

Consider this my “maximum chaos” scenario. It’d be stupid for Jerry Jones to let Dak Prescott leave after his value has become crystal clear.

7. Washington (Insert Name) - WR, Ja’Marr Chase, LSU

Ron Rivera keeps his team out of the basement and their search for competent quarterback play continues. As it stands, their best hope is to add to the supporting cast. Chase will give (Insert your favorite of Dwayne Haskins, Kyle Allen, Alex Smith, or random Free Agent) another weapon to count on when Terry McLaurin can’t do it alone.

8. Los Angeles Chargers - OT, Samuel Cosmi, Texas

The Chargers tackle situation is as expected heading into the season. Bryan Bulaga has missed four games and remains a good player when healthy. Sam Tevi would be a passable backup ideally, and Trey Pipkins has been a disaster.

There are a number of tackles fighting for tackle two in this draft right now. My best guess is a team will fall for the Longhorn’s sweet feet.

T.9. New York Giants - iOL, Wyatt Davis, OSU

At this point half of Twitter is burning down because Micah Parsons is still available. Louis Riddick surprises the NFL community by adding to the offensive line.

“You win with offense in today’s game. This young man will only help Daniel Jones.”

10. Minnesota Vikings - ED, Kwity Paye, Michigan

Cap purgatory and an aging secondary forced the Vikings to go from Super Bowl contender to the bottom of the standings. The current contract commitments will practically ensure Rick Spielman has to chase an early contributor. Zimmer voices concerns about finding playing time for a trio of Eric Kendricks, Anthony Barr, and Micah Parsons in a nickel league, so Minny grabs the help for Danielle Hunter Yannick Ngakoue never got to be.

11. Cincinnati Bengals - WR, Jaylen Waddle, Alabama

There’s a massive debate between two members of the Crimson Tide. Tools win out.

12. Carolina Panthers - LB, Micah Parsons, PSU

The Panthers paid Teddy Bridgewater so they could be an entertaining offense even as Matt Rhule and Phil Snow rebuilt the defense. Brian Burns has been the one consistent presence on that side of the ball and badly needs someone who can both roam the second level and add to the pass rush. He gets a Nittany Lion.

13. Detroit Lions - WR, DeVonta Smith, Alabama

This is a real wildcard team because I don’t expect Bob Quinn or Matt Patricia to remain.

Matt Stafford will be 33-years old and has a notable injury history. While the cap ramifications make moving him unlikely, the team could try and potentially chase a replacement to groom for 2022. I expect Kenny Golladay to be a priority resigning.

Many of the remaining free agents are probably gone with a regime change. Marvin Jones, Everson Griffin, Danny Amendola, and Duron Harmon are some of the big names. Even accounting for Jeffrey Okudah’s probably growth and strong pieces like T.J. Hockenson and Frank Ragnow, Motown could go any number of ways in the draft.

As a Yooper, I hope the new hire is wise enough to take DeVonta Smith.

14. Vote for who you would draft Broncos Country?

Poll

Who would you draft here?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    WR - Rondale Moore - Purdue
    (5 votes)
  • 27%
    CB - Patrick Surtain - Alabama
    (311 votes)
  • 4%
    CB - Caleb Farley - Virginia Tech
    (57 votes)
  • 1%
    iOL - Creed Humphrey - Oklahoma
    (18 votes)
  • 1%
    RB - Travis Etienne - Clemson
    (18 votes)
  • 12%
    LB - Dylan Moses - Alabama
    (148 votes)
  • 6%
    CB - Shaun Wade - Ohio State
    (71 votes)
  • 37%
    OT - Alex Leatherwood - Alabama
    (433 votes)
  • 0%
    ED - Jayson Oweh - Penn State
    (6 votes)
  • 3%
    OT - Christian Darrisaw - Virginia Tech
    (41 votes)
  • 1%
    Hybrid - Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah - Notre Dame
    (20 votes)
  • 1%
    Other (Please Comment)
    (17 votes)
1145 votes total Vote Now

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14. DENVER BRONCOS – LB DYLAN MOSES, ALABAMA Josey Jewell has been picked on repeatedly in coverage this year and doesn’t hold a candle athletically to what Moses brings to the table. Linebacker is a featured position in any Vic Fangio-coached defense, and upgrading it would go a long way for Denver.

College Football: Ranking the top 25 wide receivers ahead of Week 10 | College Football | PFF

2. RONDALE MOORE, PURDUE Moore has yet to play a game in 2020 due to undisclosed reasons, but all indications are that he will be making his season debut soon, and that means the Boilermakers are getting one of the best receiving weapons in the game.

College Football: Ranking the top 25 cornerbacks ahead of Week 10 | College Football | PFF

2. PATRICK SURTAIN II, ALABAMA Surtain shut down his SEC competition in 2018 and 2019 as an underclassman, and 2020 has been no different. He has allowed 25 yards or fewer in five of his six games played while posting an 89.0 coverage grade for the season — the best in the FBS. In his college career, Surtain has given up just 0.62 yards per coverage snap against SEC wide receivers when lined up at outside corner. For perspective, the FBS average this season for outside corners is 1.1 yards. Surtain has made as many plays on the ball as first downs allowed (seven), including a pick-six last week against Mississippi State. Stingley may be the best, but Surtain is firmly the second-best corner in the country.