Good morning fans of Mile High Report.
Today is one of the greatest days of the year and the NFL Draft is just hours away. The anticipation leading up to the event is tantalizing. Many of us have been eagerly awaiting this magnificent event for months and cannot wait for it to get started.
With that said, our beloved Broncos will have another shot at improving this team and there is no shortage of opinions out there on how to achieve such a goal. Fellow writers Scotty Payne, Jacob Dearlove and myself provide our final Denver Broncos mock drafts below. Enjoy!
The Denver Broncos First Round Selection:
Christopher Hart: Cameron Erving, OL — Florida State
I was touting Erving to the Broncos back in January and my thoughts on how great of a player he would be for Denver haven’t changed. He has the ability to compete at three positions and start immediately as a rookie for the Broncos.
Scotty Payne: Jake Fisher, OT — Oregon
Fisher makes too much sense here. He can play right tackle or move inside to guard if Schofield is the right tackle. He has plus athleticism and will fit in nicely in Kubiak's offense. It hurt me not to pick Odighizuwa here.
Jacob Dearlove: Cedric Ogbuehi, OT — Texas A&M
It would be ideal if Erving fell to the Broncos at 28, but it seems a long-shot that it happens. Jake Fisher is probably the better immediate fit as a tackle in Kubiak's zone blocking scheme, but Ogbuehi is probably a more sound bet as a future left tackle.
This way, if Michael Schofield pans out at right tackle and Ryan Clady continues to struggle in 2015, Ogbuehi can take over the LT role and the Broncos can save some major cap space. If Schofield isn't fit to start at RT, Ogbuehi should be able to move into this role immediately as well.
The Denver Broncos Second Round Selection:
Christopher Hart: Paul Dawson, ILB — Texas Christian University
The Broncos are in the hunt for an inside linebacker due to the contract status and injury concerns of incumbent starters Danny Trevathan and Brandon Marshall. Dawson has unparalleled instincts for the position, but comes with concerns in regard to his athleticism and character.
Scotty Payne: Ali Marpet, OG — Hobart
Marpet fits this scheme so well and would give us a quality option at guard or center.
Jacob Dearlove: Trey Flowers, DL — Arkansas
Flowers is a true two-gap player, who would fit into a 5-tech rotation immediately in Denver. Flowers plays the run really well, but also possesses the ability to get after the QB in passing situations.
The Denver Broncos Third Round Selection:
Christopher Hart: Xavier Cooper, DL — Washington State
VersItile defensive lineman who has played both inside and outside in college. Fantastic fit as a penetrating gap shooter for Wade Phillips’ one-gap defense and could see quality playing time in a rotation as a rookie.
Scotty Payne: Taiwan Jones, ILB — Michigan State
Both Broncos linebackers are recovering from injuries and the position could use some size. Jones is a perfect fit for inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.
Jacob Dearlove: Taiwan Jones, ILB — Michigan State
Taiwan Jones would bring a little bit of Nate Irving back to the Broncos. He's the best linebacker after the big group of late-first/early-second round guys (Anthony, Kendricks, Perryman, McKinney, Dawson), and possibly the last meaningful one in the draft. He should be able to step into a rotation as an inside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme.
The Denver Broncos Compensatory Fourth Round Selection:
Christopher Hart: Za’Darius Smith, DE — Kentucky
High character prospect who played all over their defensive front and displayed consistency over his collegiate career. A fiery competitor whose positional flexibility would give the Broncos flexibility at defensive end and rush linebacker.
Scotty Payne: Ben Koyack, TE — Notre Dame
Kubiak loves his tight ends and Koyack is a good one. He is a good run blocker who can run routes and make an impact in the Broncos offense.
Jacob Dearlove: Shaquille Mason, C/G — Georgia Tech
Mason is a guy who could play either interior offensive line position for Denver. He may not be able to start right away, but he's got a lot of potential and has shown the ability to move very well for his size. With some solid coaching, Mason could be a starting center in little time.
The Denver Broncos Fifth Round Selection (via Chicago):
Christopher Hart: Nick O’Leary, TE — Florida State
Jack of all trades but a master of none, O’Leary is a hard-nosed, throwback tight end that was one of James Winston’s most reliable targets with the Seminoles. Has the ability to play multiple positions in Gary Kubiak’s offense and would make for creative mismatches for defenses.
Scotty Payne: Mitch Morse, C/G — Missouri
He fits a zone scheme very well and can play guard or center in the NFL.
Jacob Dearlove: Nick O'Leary, TE — Florida State
I find myself constantly projecting O'Leary to the Broncos in the late-fourth or early-fifth and I've never been upset with that selection. O'Leary provides more versatility at the tight end position and could also contribute in fullback role, if needed.
The Denver Broncos Fifth Round Selection (Original):
Christopher Hart: Durrell Eskridge, FS — Syracuse
Still a work in progress, Eskridge needs a year of seasoning before he is ready to assume a starting role in the NFL, but he has all the traits necessary to be good starter at the position in the NFL.
Scotty Payne: Max Valles, Edge Rusher — Virginia
An athletic/raw edge rusher who would give the Broncos some added depth at the position
Jacob Dearlove: JaCorey Shepherd, CB — Kansas
JaCorey Shepherd might be one of the best corners in this entire class once everything is said and done. He's a third cornerback who could join Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib in the Broncos-Jayhawks cornerbacks club and be a starter shortly, if not immediately.
The Denver Broncos Sixth Round Selection:
Christopher Hart: Jalston Fowler, FB — Alabama
The Broncos did bring in Joe Don Duncan and James Casey who can compete and play the fullback position, but the Broncos would be better served to get a prospect that would fill a long-term need at the position and Fowler is the best at what he does in the entire class.
Scotty Payne: Chris Bonner, QB — Colorado State-Pueblo
Apparently the Broncos are going to draft a QB, and I think Bonner is there guy. This might be a tad early for Bonner. He will battle Dysert for the third string job.
Jacob Dearlove: Shaquille Riddick, OLB — West Virginia
Riddick played the 5-techinque position for the Mountaineers, but is best suited to play as an outside linebacker/edge rusher in the pros.
The Denver Broncos Seventh Round Compensatory Trio:
Christopher Hart's selections:
Laurence Gibson, OL — Virginia Tech
Highly intelligent offensive lineman with superb foot quickness and athleticism which make him a tremendous fit for a zone blocking scheme. Needs to refine his technique and increase functional strength, but would give the Broncos much needed depth at the tackle position.
Darren Waller, WR/TE — Georgia Tech
Waller is a name that has been connected to the Broncos extensively throughout the draft process. A raw, physical specimen with tremendous upside, he offers versatility and depth for the Broncos at wide receiver or tight end whose size would create mismatches and nightmares for opposing defenses.
Chris Bonner, QB — Colorado State-Pueblo
The Broncos will draft a quarterback in this years draft, it is just a question of who and when. I believe Bryce Petty and Garrett Grayson will go before Denver can make a move on them, which will allow Denver to wait until later to get a developmental prospect to groom. Bonner has a lot of positive attributes, however he is far from a finished product, but gives offensive minded coach Gary Kubiak something to work with.
Scotty Payne's selections:
Kenny Hillard, RB — LSU
A powerful running back who can push for a roster spot. I have a feeling Kubiak is going to draft another back to add to the Broncos youthful stable.
Ray Drew, DE — Georgia
A talented defensive lineman who never lived up to his potential in college, but a former five star recruit and prospect Coach Kollar could get the most out of.
Jeff Luc, ILB — Cincinnati
Another highly touted recruit who never met those expectations in college, but would add depth at the inside linebacker position.
Jacob Dearlove's selections:
Hutson Mason, QB — Georgia
Mason is not flashy, but he knows how to work the pocket, shows touch and accuracy that much of this class lacks, and looks the part of (at the very least) a very serviceable backup quarterback at the NFL level.
Tyeler Davison, DT — Fresno State
Davison needs to improve his functional strength from the defensive tackle position, but he is a guy who has experience as a nose tackle in a 3-4. He would provide depth on the line and could potentially be plugged in as a one-gap defender in Wade Phillips' system.
Zach Zenner, FB — South Dakota State
Zenner played in the FCS, but looked head and shoulders above the competition most of the time and has shown the ability to find lanes in a zone run game. He runs aggressively and has the ability to break away with his deceptive long speed. Zenner has as much upside as anyone else at this point in the draft and could definitely outplay his draft position and become a quality NFL contributor.
Christopher Hart's Full 7 Round Mock:
- Cameron Erving, OL — Florida State
- Paul Dawson, ILB — TCU
- Xavier Cooper, DL — Washington State
- Za'Darius Smith, DE — Kentucky
- Nick O'Leary, TE — Florida State
- Durrell Eskridge, FS — Syracuse
- Jalson Fowler, FB — Alabama
- Laurence Gibson, OL — Virginia Tech
- Darren Waller, TE/WR — Georgia Tech
- Chris Bonner, QB — Colorado State-Pueblo
Scotty Payne's Full 7 Round Mock:
- Jake Fisher, OT — Oregon
- Ali Marpet, OG — Hobart
- Taiwan Jones, ILB — Michigan State
- Ben Koyack, TE — Notre Dame
- Mitch Morse, C/G — Missouri
- Max Valles, Edge Rusher — Virginia
- Chris Bonnor, QB — Colorado State-Pueblo
- Kenny Hillard, RB — LSU
- Ray Drew, DE — Georgia
- Jeff Luc, ILB — Cincinnati
Jacob Dearlove's Full 7 Round Mock:
- Cedric Ogbuehi, OT — Texas A&M
- Trey Flowers, DL — Arkansas
- Taiwan Jones, ILB — Michigan State
- Shaquille Mason, C/G — Georgia Tech
- MNick O'Leary, TE — Florida State
- JaCorey Shepherd, CB — Kansas
- Shaquille Riddick, OLB — West Virginia
- Hutson Mason, QB — Georgia
- Teyler Davison, DT — Fresno State
- Zach Zenner, RB — South Dakota State
And that's a wrap! As always, feel free to give your feedback on in the comments section. Better yet, put together your full seven round Broncos mock and share it with us and those in the community. Thanks again and Happy Draft Day.