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Mel Kiper mocks Georgia ILB Nakobe Dean to Broncos

The Denver Broncos would have had to have already solved their quarterback problem for this pick to make sense, so I’m all for it!

2022 CFP National Championship - Georgia v Alabama Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

If you watched the NCAA National Championship between Alabama and Georgia earlier this month, then you will likely love Mel Kiper’s first mock draft of the 2022 offseason. With the 9th overall pick, the Denver Broncos select George inside linebacker Nakobe Dean.

9. Denver Broncos

Nakobe Dean, ILB, Georgia

The Broncos need a quarterback, of course, but the feeling I get is that they’re more likely to try to add a veteran in either the trade or free-agent market. They have a solid roster, and a veteran could help them win right away. This could change as we get closer to the draft — and they hire a coach — but I’m going to stay away from quarterback here for now.

Denver could be a great spot for the draft’s best off-ball linebacker, Dean, who was the leader of the spectacular Georgia defense. He makes tackle after tackle and can run sideline to sideline to make plays, and he has three-down potential because of his ability to cover tight ends and running backs. He’ll also help as a blitzer — he had six sacks in 2021. The Broncos have the Rams’ second- and third-round picks from the Von Miller trade, so general manager George Paton has a real chance to get this team back to the playoffs if he can nail a few early selections, as he did with Pat Surtain II and Javonte Williams last year.

This would be the perfect selection for Denver with the massive caveat that George Paton somehow wins the quarterback lottery in a trade in the months leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft. If the Broncos have solved their quarterback problem and still somehow had their first round pick, then this would be like the greatest thing ever.

However, here is what I think will end up being reality. Denver gets their quarterback and they don’t have any picks in the first two rounds. The only question is whether they get a guy like Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson or overpay for a guy like Kirk Cousins or Jimmy Garoppolo. My worry is that they’ll end up in the latter situation. But even that would be better than anything they’ve had since Peyton Manning.

So we’ll end this post with the worst case scenario. The Broncos are unable to make a deal for any quarterback, so they were able to keep their original selection taking Nakobe Dean with that ninth overall pick. How would you vote in this poll in that situation? I would vote yes if only because I’m not enamored with any of the quarterbacks in this draft class.


Would you be happy if the Broncos snagged Nakobe Dean at #9?

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  • 75%
    (1212 votes)
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    (383 votes)
1595 votes total Vote Now