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Mocking the most of the Broncos’ draft picks

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John Elway needs to be opportunistic with the eventual Denver Broncos 2020 NFL Draft Class.

On Tuesday’s episode of Cover 2 Broncos, Jeffrey Essay and I discussed what the Broncos should do if Tua Tagovailoa slips down the board due to uncertainty over his medical checks. I mentioned then that the Broncos need to consider all options, and that the best road forward was to be opportunistic.

So for this week’s Mock Draft I did just that. Tua fell to me at 15 after the Miami Dolphins picked Mekhi Becton at 5 and the Chargers grabbed Tristian Wirfs. Knowing that Miami represented a road block for a few teams that may be interested in the talented Southpaw, I thought I could start a bidding war.

My first call was to the Dolphins, but it didn’t get very far. I asked for their 3rd round pick in order to slide back three spots, which seemed reasonable. When that stalled out, I decided to give a call to Darth Vader Bill Belichick as I’m not so sure he’s really that sold on Jarrett Stidham, and may be reluctant to do what it takes to tank for Trevor Lawrence in 2021.

We struck a deal when I agreed to part with a couple of Day 3 picks, and so the Denver Broncos slid back to 23.

T23. WR, Denzel Mims, Baylor

I’ve professed my love for Mims a few times over the last three months. He’s the fourth receiver on the board and would pair with Courtland Sutton to give Drew Lock two dynamic boundary receivers who can win above the rim and make any errant pass look accurate. While he’s still developing as a route runner, we just watched what two years under Coach Azzanni did for for Sutton. Combine that with Mims’ promise that route running would become a strength of his game and I’m sold on his potential.

Mims would be an exceptional addition to the Broncos’ offense.

46. OT, Austin Jackson, USC

I mentioned on today’s episode of Cover 2 Broncos how I believe the Broncos will jump at the opportunity to grab one of the tackles they like if he falls to the second. It just so happens they met with Jackson at the NFL Combine. While I think he has a ways to go before he’s ready to contribute as a starting tackle, he brings all of the tools and doesn’t turn 21 until May. He’s a grab and stash for a year so Mike Munchak can help him grow and solidify his technique to replace Garett Bolles at left tackle in 2021.

Jackson has a ways to go, but his ceiling is very high.

77. CB, Bryce Hall, Virginia

If not for the injury that ended Hall’s 2019 season, I do not believe he’d have fallen this far. Unfortunately for him, because of COVID-19’s impact on Pro Day’s and team visits he may slide even farther. Team’s will probably be hesitant to grab him without checking out his status for themselves.

That said? I couldn’t pass on him here, and hope the Broncos consider it as well. Hall would be a match made in heaven for Vic Fangio as he brings the kind of mental processing and anticipation coaches dream for. He isn’t a true burner, but he’s so good in how he plays in off he more than compensates. His physicality is also infectious.

Hall’s got tremendous instincts and ball skills.

83. S, Terrell Burgess, Utah

Before you ask “Why would the Broncos take a safety?” It’s worth noting that Kareem Jackson is going to turn 32 in a few days and has an out in his contract in 2021. There’s a very real possibility the Broncos need a new safety in the near future, which makes it hard to pass on a talent like Burgess. He brings the kind of coverage skills you’d hope for from a former cornerback and has the physicality and mental acuity Fangio wants in his DBs. In the short term he can contribute on special teams and sub packages, but the arrow looks like it’s pointing up.

Burgess could grow into the Broncos’ Eddie Jackson.

T87. DL, Jordan Elliott, Missouri

While the Broncos did trade for Jurrell Casey and did bring back Shelby Harris and Mike Purcell, long term questions remain. Dre’Mont Jones figures into Fangio’s plans on the interior, but another prospect to groom makes a ton of sense. Elliott’s 2019 was among the best interior pass rushers in the country last year and while he doesn’t have the tools a Javon Kinlaw does, he’s disruptive and should improve with professional coaching.

Elliott would give the Broncos a 300 lb rusher with upside.

95. WR, Bryan Edwards, South Carolina

There’s a very real possibility that Edwards would have begun to get hype like Denzel Mims if he’d been healthy enough to participate in the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. Because he didn’t, he’s among the most underrated receivers in this class. Like Mims he’s a guy who can win on the boundary and adding him to a core with Sutton, Patrick, Noah Fant and Hamilton should provide Pat Shurmur plenty of matchup weapons.

Edwards could be a nice Z or big slot in the league.

118. C, Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin

Jeff Essary mentioned on C2B how Center looks like one of the most unsettled positions on the Broncos right now. All reports from Fangio and Elway suggests the hope is that Graham Glasgow can play at the right guard spot, which means Patrick Morris is going to man the pivot. While I’m not as sold on Biadasz as others, under Munchak he could refine his technique and provide quality depth, if nothing else.

Biadasz is an experienced center who could compete for a starting job right away.

T125. LB, Markus Bailey, Purdue

If Bailey can regain the form he had prior to his latest knee injury, the Broncos are getting a savvy second level defender who could be a worthy heir to Todd Davis. He isn’t as flashy as some of the top tier athletes at the position, his tape is filled with plays where he clearly has enough movement skills to man the middle in the Broncos’ system.

This may have some of the linebacker truthers ready to flood my mentions, but at the end of the day I do not believe that a starting linebacker is such a pressing need that it’s worth passing on the players I took earlier in this draft.

Bailey’s a versatile backer and worth a shot on Day 3.

181. RB, Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt

This far down the board, it starts to make sense to chase BPA at any position. Vaughn was that here, as he’s a solid running back who should be a worthwhile addition to the back end of the stable. I suspect the Broncos will part with Royce Freeman before the season begins in some way, shape, or form which will leave them wanting another big body to soak up carries if Melvin Gordon misses time.

Vaughn’s been forgotten about because of some of the more exciting backs in this class.

254. WR, James Proche, SMU

Once again, my strategy late Day 3 is to chase after players who I believe have a real chance to survive in the league. Proche is one of those, even if he’ll never be more than a steady contributor on special teams and depth in a wide receiver room. His ceiling is in the slot, where his strong hands and ball skills could help him thrive if he can improve as a route runner.

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