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Mel Kiper Mock 4.0 has Broncos passing on Henry Ruggs III

With Henry Ruggs III on the board, Mel Kiper decided the Denver Broncos needed to go in another direction at wide receiver in his latest mock.

It’s no secret the Denver Broncos are looking at wide receiver with their fifteenth overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, but most think they’ll target Henry Ruggs III there. In Mel Kiper’s 4.0 two-round NFL Mock Draft, he skipped Ruggs with that pick and had Denver take LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson instead.

15. Denver Broncos

Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

Jefferson is one of the hottest names in the draft. After catching 111 passes with 18 touchdowns for the national champs last year, he surprised scouts with a 4.43 40-yard dash at the combine, and I called him a riser. Well, he’s still rising. An even 100 of his catches for LSU last season came out of the slot, and that’s where he’d fit best for Denver, which has a stud young outside target in Courtland Sutton.

While that could be a possibility, there is just too much smoke around the Broncos and Ruggs for there not to be a fire there. If Ruggs is on the board, I just don’t see how John Elway doesn’t make that pick.

As the second round came around, the offensive linemen had flown off the board with eight selected by the time Denver’s second pick came around. However, cornerback was just as highly sought after in Kiper’s mock with seven coming off the board by the time Denver came back on the clock here.

46. Denver Broncos

Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State

I got Denver a wide receiver in Round 1, so let’s help John Elway’s defense here. Arnette, who played the entire 2019 season with a broken wrist, isn’t as physically gifted as his teammate Jeff Okudah, but he has some potential as a press-man corner. The Broncos get back slot corner Bryce Callahan, who missed all of last season, but they could use someone to make a push for the outside spot opposite newly acquired A.J. Bouye.

Arnette is a Day 1 kind of talent who excels in press coverage. He could fill in nicely across Bouye from his rookie year on. Given how many cornerbacks flew off the board in the first 45 picks, snagging Arnette here could be a steal for the Broncos.

Overall, I think I’d rather have seen Kiper stick with Ruggs at 15. With that second-round pick, I could have been happy with an offensive lineman or cornerback here, so that one worked out just fine.


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