The Denver Broncos have plenty of options in the first two rounds mostly due to the fact that this wide receive class is one of the most talented in years. They do not have to go all in with the 15th overall pick to get a solid number two guy opposite Courtland Sutton.
ESPN’s Todd McShay saw that reality in his latest two-round mock draft. Instead of wide receiver in the first round, he selected an offensive tackle to ultimately replace Garett Bolles. Then in the second-round, he got the wide receiver to put outside to open things up for the offense next season.
15. Denver Broncos
Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Wide receiver depth remains a problem behind Courtland Sutton, but the offensive line also deserves a little attention. Thomas has room to improve some of his technique, but he has the tools to be a starting offensive tackle. Selecting him would go a long way toward building around Drew Lock, the Broncos’ QB of the future.
With Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, and Henry Ruggs III going before the Broncos 15th pick, that left them open to go in another direction there. Andrew Thomas was still on the board after Tristan Wirfs, Jedrick Wills, and Mekhi Becton were selected first. Under that scenario, Denver went with the best player available.
I asked Joe Rowles what he thought of how this first round played out and he said, “If the NFL Draft is Christmas morning, the Broncos just got a pair of really nice socks with Bulldogs on him. I have Thomas as the 10th best player on my final board, so I think the value is there. He’s a player that could unseat Garett Bolles sooner rather than later. Maybe not as exciting as one of the big three receivers, Jedrick Wills or Tristan Wirfs, he’s just a dependable left tackle who is as battle tested as they come after three years in the SEC.”
So, I hope you like socks on Christmas morning. The older I get, the more exciting socks on Christmas are if I am being completely honest.
46. Denver Broncos
Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
Denver still needs a wide receiver opposite Courtland Sutton, and Shenault would be making a short drive from Boulder, where he played college ball, to do a little bit of everything in this Broncos offense.
The depth of this wide receiver class almost nipped Denver hard when they came back on the clock in McShay’s two-round mock. Between 15 and 46, five more wide receivers flew off the board leaving a handful of second tier wide receivers on the board for them to choose from.
“There was a time not too long ago that everyone was debating Shenault at 15 if the big three receivers were gone,” he said. “Since then Shenault tried to run through pain at the Combine and had to shut it down for surgery. Because teams won’t be able to do a medical check on him there’s a very real possibility he’s here this late on the board, and at 46 I do believe the upside outweighs the risk. I wonder about how Pat Shurmur would best maximize Shenault because he’s nowhere near pro ready as a route runner, but I think if the Broncos’ new coordinator can manufacture touches for him and help him along with screens and handoffs he could be an instant impact player so long as he stays healthy.”
Looking over his big board for wide receivers, the only wide receiver still on the board at #46 ahead of Shenault was Jalen Reagor who slide off the board with the 50th pick. When Joe and I ran a live draft simulation on Twitch last week, he did mention that Reagor and Shenault are basically even in his mind so from a value standpoint this could be a great value long-term. The big issue with Shenault is his injury history.
So what do you think of this two-round mock from Todd McShay this week?
Would you be happy with these picks in the first two rounds?
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