The exciting part of the Denver Broncos foray into free agency is in the rearview mirror. George Paton will look to the NFL Draft to address the remaining problem areas on his roster. A year after his front office won Inside the League’s Best Draft award, Broncos Country is extremely confident in their second year general manager. Will he deliver?
I wanted to try something different for this mock. As much fun as I have with the various mock draft machines, there comes a point where it seems they begin to fall behind where the NFL seems to be on players. So what follows is a mock scenario playing out the first 150 picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, following Marcus Mosher’s consensus board and cross checked with Bleacher Report’s recent big board and the Mock Draft Database. Every player I selected was ranked at or below the pick used to acquire them.
64. Phidarian Mathis - DL - Alabama
The sell: A big bodied plugger ready to compete for snaps from day one.
The rationale: The Broncos never really replaced Shelby Harris at five technique after he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks as part of Russell Wilson deal. D.J. Jones doesn’t have the length and the previous coaching staff didn’t appear to trust McTelvin Agim, so questions remain. Mathis is a former four star recruit who stands 6’4” and 310 lb. with the long arms, anchor, play strength, and technique to be a solid+ run defender early in his career.
The key to two-gapping or just being an effective inside run defender is being able to play with people on your edges. Textbook rep here by Alabama’s @PhidarianMathis (against LSU’s Chasen Hines, one of most powerful OGs in this year’s draft) resisting side pressure: pic.twitter.com/bMfb6JvGU5— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) March 29, 2022
75. Nicholas Petit-Frere - OT - Ohio State
The sell: Early backup who has the traits to develop into a starting tackle in time.
The rationale: The Broncos haven’t drafted a tackle since 2017 and it’s been a need the entire time. Garett Bolles will turn 30 in May and three veterans were signed to one year deals to compete for the right tackle job. NFL history shows it typically takes a year or two for a rookie to develop into a starting caliber player, so it’d behoove Paton to draft and stash a prospect or two this season. Petit-Frere was the top tackle prospect in the nation in 2018 and started 20 games for the Buckeyes during his career, with a stint at both right and left tackle. His quick feet and twitch make him an intriguing option for a team like the Broncos that will feature a zone/duo run game. He’ll need to improve his technique and play strength to become a competent starter.
Next guy up is Nicholas Petit-Frere (Ohio State OT #78). Have heard great things about his progress this season so I’m checking him out.— Ben Glassmire (@BenGlassmireNFL) October 22, 2021
Impressive rep here as he latches onto the inside shoulder and drives the defender out of the rushing lane!pic.twitter.com/8zsa7PNAR1
96. Sam Williams - ED - Ole Miss
The sell: Adds juice to the pass rush early and the traits to develop into a starter.
The rationale: Randy Gregory and Bradley Chubb have combined to play one full season in their careers, while Malik Reed and Jonathan Cooper have athletic limitations that put a cap on their upside. Chubb and Reed also have deals set to expire after the 2022 season. If off field issues do not compel George Paton and the Broncos front office to remove him from their draft boards, Williams could immediately compete for playing time as a designated pass rusher in sub packages. He has the twitch and power to become a starter in time if he can refine his pass rush repertoire.
#OleMiss EDGE Sam Williams is having himself a game, has beat the RT like a drum all game long.— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) November 26, 2021
Been a stud on this Rebels front 7 all year. Has a quick first step and can turn the corner quickly.
115. Grant Calcaterra - TE - SMU
The sell: A developmental F tight end who can help on special teams early.
The rationale: The Broncos have had plenty of visits with tight ends since Noah Fant was traded to the Seattle Seahawks. It makes sense, as the Broncos tight end room consists of one proven NFL receiver and Albert Okwuegbunam’s durability is a concern. Calcaterra stands a hair below 6’4 and weighs in a couple of Oreos past 240 lbs. He’s a willing blocker who has the straight line speed to run away from the defenders after the catch. If he can improve his hands and play strength in the league he could become a valuable receiving option.
TE Grant Calcaterra last played almost two years ago while at Oklahoma. Now at #SMU, he’s picked up right where he left off.— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) September 5, 2021
3 catches for 51 yards and 2 TDs in his return tonight. Love the athletic body control at that size. pic.twitter.com/HU3BLbp98O
116. Cam Taylor-Britt - CB - Nebraska
The sell: An aggressive, physical corner who chases turnovers.
The rationale: Cornerback is quietly a pressing need, even as Patrick Surtain II looks like he’ll develop into a top ten corner in the league. K’Waun Williams and Ronald Darby have combined to play one full regular season in the NFL and there’s significant questions about the depth behind them. Taylor-Britt is a former high school quarterback and two-time team captain who chases the ball like it belongs to him. Early in his career he has the skills to become a valuable member on special teams.
Cam Taylor-Britt (LCB) can lay the wood too— Matt Holder (@MHolder95) February 17, 2022
145. Hassan Haskins - RB - Michigan
The sell: A strong pass protector who can serve as a reliable backup to Javonte Williams.
The rationale: George Paton is on record saying that he’d welcome Melvin Gordon back to the Broncos, but the veteran is currently unsigned, leaving Javonte Williams, Mike Boone, and Damarea Crockett in the Broncos’ running back room. Haskins is a 6’1 228 lb. back who displays the vision and patience to excel in a zone/duo run scheme. He would give the Broncos a backup who can contribute to special teams and on passing downs early in his career.
What grade would you give Paton for a draft like this?
This poll is closed
A - Build that man a statue.
B - I dig it.
C - It’s fine, I guess.
D - Not great.
F - I hate realism. Go back to the mock machines.