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Mock Draft Saturday

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Good morning Broncos Country

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 02 Colorado at UCLA Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s Saturday, so I’m going to fire up The Draft Network’s mock draft machine and see what I can come up with for the Broncos.

First Round - 15th overall: Wide Receiver, Laviska Shenault Jr.

Well, it was a bit of a “worse case scenario” for me at 15. No Ruggs, no Jeudy, no Lamb, no Wirfs, no Kinlaw, no Becton, no Simmons or Brown. The board fell terribly for me and the “BPA” for me was Shenault and Georgia’s Andrew Thomas. I believe the Broncos will be rolling with Bolles for another year whether we like it or not and want to add some playmakers for quarterback Drew Lock. So, that is how we came to this choice.

Now on to Shenault. Man, the upside is there. He’s a freak athlete, he’s big, has upside, and hasn’t reached his potential yet. There is a lot to like there. However, he is a bit raw, will need some seasoning before he can reach his potential and has some injury concerns.

If he can reach his potential, the Broncos will have a damn good young offensive core to build around moving forward.

Second Round - 46th overall: Cornerback Jaylon Johnson

I believe the Broncos will find their Chris Harris replacement in free agency(Byron Jones please) but another corner will need to be added.

In a perfect world, you will Harris’s replacement at CB1, Bryce Callahan finally healthy and making an appearance at CB2/Slot and Johnson playing outside in nickel downs.

He’s a big physical corner who can make life difficult for wide recievers with his press skills. He’s a pretty physical corner and these traits were something Head Coach Vic Fangio values at that position. He’s one of the better positional fits in this draft for the Broncos in my opinion.

Third Round - 77th overall: Running Back Zach Moss

I have brought up my disappointment in Royce Freeman’s production a few times this offseason and I will continue it here. He just hasn’t cut it as the 1B to Phillip Lindsay. He had some high expectations placed on him and he never lived up to them and has a disappointing sub 4.0 yards per carry throughout his career thus far. So I believe the Broncos will look to find another back who can serve as that 1B to Lindsay.

Moss will have a lot of the same traits that Freeman had coming out. He’s a bigger back who fits very well in a zone blocking scheme. He’s a one-cut downhill runner who can hold his own in the passing game as well. He’s not the fastest back, but boy, he sure can knock some defenders silly and doesn’t go down easily. I’d love to see him paired with Lindsay.

Third Round - 83rd overall: Guard Ben Bredeson

The Michigan product had a solid overall week at the Senior Bowl and I think he will make a very good third-round selection for the Broncos. I think he can be a plug and play starter at right guard for the Broncos and can potentially be a pretty good one.

Veteran Ron Leary will likely be released prior to the start off free agency leaving an open slot at guard. I believe Elijah Wilkinson could get first dibs at that spot this offseason and could potentially make interior offensive lineman not much a need. However, it is too early to really know there so for now, I have the Broncos going guard here.

Third Round - 95th overall: Safety Kyle Dugger

Kareem Jackson isn’t getting any younger and probably is entering his last season in orange and blue. Justin Simmons is a free agent(He’ll be back) and so is Will Parks(He probably won’t be) so safety is a low-key need for the Broncos this offseason. Especially in a Vic Fangio defense that relies on its safety play.

Dugger is a versatile athlete who can step in and take over the role Will Parks played this past season. He also fits the makeup of players General Manager John Elway has drafted recently so this pick makes a ton of sense to me.

Fourth Round - 108th overall: Offensive Tackle Matthew Peart

As I previously said, I believe Bolles will the Broncos starting left tackle this upcoming season. He finished 2019 rather well and likely earned himself another shot in 2020 with Mike Munchak hopefully helping him reaching his potential. He will still be a risk so depth and competition should be added. Especially with right tackle Ja’Wuan James coming off an injury riddled season.

Peart is a big and athletic pet project for Mike Munchak. He can serve as the Broncos third offensive tackle his rookie year and potentially take over as a starter down the road.

Fourth Round - 127th overall: Wide Receiver K.J. Hill

The Broncos got their big-play outside receiver in the first-round with Shenault, now they get their inside slot weapon here in the fourth round.

K.J. Hill is a smooth route runner with excellent hands who can step in and play in the slot for the Broncos. He’s not the fastest wide receiver, but he has a quick burst and is your “quicker than fast” type who often excel inside at the slot position.

The Broncos have been rumored to be considering two wide receivers in the top 100. I didn’t exactly do the top 100, but Hill here in the fourth round would be excellent value and give the Broncos potentially their starting slot receiver of the future.

Sixth Round - 161st overall: Nose Tackle Benito Jones

I would like to address the defensive line earlier, but none of the mid-round defensive lineman really blow me away so I have them taking a flier on one here late on day 3.

Benito Jones is a nose tackle only prospect who is rather stout but powerful. He didn’t have the best week in Mobile at the Senior Bowl but he would give the Broncos some depth and competition at the nose tackle position.

Seventh Round - 214th overall: Quarterback Steven Montez

It’s the seventh round and you should always take a quarterback so why not Montez? The local product can stay in Colorado which will make some happy/upset.

News and notes around the NFL

Butker: 49ers INT celebration 'helped' Chiefs rally - NFL.com
Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker says the 49ers celebration after Tarvarius Moore's interception "helped to our advantage that they were celebrating so much and I think they probably let their guard down a little bit."

Adored Browns mascot Swagger passes away at 6 - NFL.com
The Browns' first-ever live mascot, bullmastiff Swagger passed away at 6 years old on Friday, the team announced. Swagger had been with the team since 2014.

Chiefs' pivotal SB play 'Wasp' added to 'Madden 20' - NFL.com
Tyreek Hill's game-changing 44-yard catch on third-and-15 helped propel the Kansas City Chiefs to victory in Super Bowl LIV. And now the play, known as "Wasp", will be immortalized in Madden 20.

UFC's Jones says bro Chandler was born to be great - NFL.com
Ahead of his UFC title defense on Saturday, Jon Jones said of his younger brother Chandler: "My little brother was born to be a great football player."

XFL debuts this weekend with four-game schedule - NFL.com
The XFL returns 19 years later on Saturday as football kicks off in the winter once more. The Seattle Dragons at the Houston Roughnecks on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET will be the first game of the season.

49ers TE Garrett Celek announces retirement - NFL.com
Tight end Garrett Celek, who played the eight-season duration of his NFL career with the 49ers, announced his retirement on Friday via social media.

2020 NFL Scouting Combine: Full list of invited prospects - NFL.com
The NFL has released the list of players invited to the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine. A total of 337 participants are set to attend the event, which takes place in Indianapolis from Feb. 24 through March 1.

AFC South rookie grades: Jaguars, Titans hit multiple home runs - NFL.com
The Jaguars and Titans each enjoyed significant contributions from rookies. How do these classes rank against the rest of the division? And what are each AFC South team's biggest roster questions? Gennaro Filice provides grades and offseason outlooks.

Antonio Brown found liable for damage to Miami apartment – ProFootballTalk
At a time when he has no money coming in, Antonio Brown will have more money going out. According to TMZ.com, Brown has been found liable for damage to an apartment in Miami in connection with the incident that culminated in Brown allegedly throwing furniture and nearly hitting a toddler and his ...

Poll shows strong fan opposition to 17-game season – ProFootballTalk
With the NFL determined to expand the regular season to 17 games -- and with the NFL Players Association negotiating with the league based on a 17-game season -- it's fair to conclude that it's coming.

Dwayne Haskins is “cool” with quarterback competition – ProFootballTalk
While everyone expects Dwayne Haskins to remain Washington's starting quarterback in 2020 -- they did draft him 15th overall after all -- coach Ron Rivera has made it clear Haskins will have to earn the job.

Report: Dak Prescott rejected $33 million per year in new money in September – ProFootballTalk
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott bet on himself in September, and he's about to cash in. One way or the other. Clarence E. Hill, Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the Cowboys and Prescott "came close to deal in September on a contract that would have paid him roughly $33 million an...

Johnny Manziel still has desire to play but not for “another league that’s going to fold” – ProFootballTalk
The XFL is returning with limited star power as the biggest star available remains sidelined. Johnny Manziel was asked on Twitter if he soon would show up in the XFL. It began a series of tweets from the former Heisman Trophy winner.

Doug Williams: Dwayne Haskins must show he deserves to be “that guy” – ProFootballTalk
Ron Rivera will make Dwayne Haskins win the starting quarterback job, a challenge Haskins said Friday he's "cool" with and ready to "eventually take it over.

49ers sign center Jake Brendel – ProFootballTalk
The 49ers signed center Jake Brendel on Friday, Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports. Brendel signed with the Ravens on Nov. 27 after Matt Skura went on injured reserve with a knee injury. But Baltimore cut Brendel on Dec. 1. Brendel worked out for the 49ers soon after being waived.