Even though the Denver Broncos made a huge splash in free agency this year, there are still voids that will need to be addressed heading into the 2014 season. With the following picks Denver will fill most of the holes remaining except for one, the interior offensive line. That position however can be filled in-house by moving certain players around.
This mock is purely based on John Elway’s philosophy of getting immediate impact players with small roles as well as potential starters down the stretch of the season. Rarely doe “best player available” and need coincide but in the case of the Broncos, Elway has found a way to keep this kind of balance where his mentality is not just to win now but to win from now on!
Rd 1. (31st pick) Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
Ryan Shazier is the type of linebacker the Broncos want and need as he can kick inside and play the mike in a 4-3 defense. John Fox prefers his linebackers to be athletic, quick on the snap and fast on the move, Shazier is just that type. Even though he comes in at 237 pounds out of the combine, he carries a frame that can add some extra pounds with out losing quickness and speed. Even though he is not a player that excels in one area of the game he does very well in all areas. He has shown to be a good leader on the field and can quickly diagnose plays and get a play called out. Shazier can easily come in and fill the void of middle line-backer that Denver has been missing since Al Wilson. Shazier fills one of the biggest holes Denver has and is the top player on my big board,
Rd 2. (63rd pick) Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
Another Ohio State player on the board, Bradley Roby had his best college year in 2012 but a down one in 2013. Although i would be surprised if he is still available at 63rd, his 2013 season really dropped him down in the draft. Roby is one of my top 3 corner backs of the draft and i really considered him for the 31st pick but there is a very good chance he will still be around for Denver’s second round. Roby comes in with more than enough talent and with the right coaching he has the capability of being a star in the NFL. If selected, Roby can quickly come in as competition for Kayvon Webster for the 3rd CB spot, adding depth to the position as well as adding help on special teams.
Rd 3. (95th pick) Demarcus Lawrence, DE/OLB, Boise State
In the third round, Demarcus lawrence is just too hard to pass up. He carries a first round grade but after looking at all the needs the rest of the NFL teams have it is not too much of a reach to see him at 95th. lawrence excel as a 3-4 rush line backer but in Denver he will most likely be used much like Von Miller was and that too should prove effective. A tall, long, and quick player he has no problem converting his speed to power. Already having Demarcus Ware and Quanterus Smith on the roster, lawrence will add much needed depth and versatility to Denver’s pass rushing schemes.
Rd. 4 (131st pick) Terrance Brooks, S, Florida State
A tall free safety that comes with a lot of range, Terrence Brooks could be the center fielder of the Broncos, a role similar to Earl Thomas’. What Brooks brings to the table is that he will allow T.J. Ward to play closer to the line of scrimmage where he is best at leaving Brooks to be the aggressive defender he is. With already concern building for Rahim Moores, depth at the FS position is a must and Brooks adds that depth and has the high potential to be a long term starter for the defense.
Rd. 5 (171st pick) Jordan Tripp, OLB, Montan
Jordan Trip is your typical coverage line backer that can sub taking on tight ends on his own. He is as quick as they come as well as strong and aggressive off the ball and can easily match up against physical tight ends. His contribution at first will be on special teams as he needs to improve on stopping the run. Most likely Jordan Trip will just be used on obvious passing plays as he grows into his role in the NFL. An added boys is that he grew up being a Denver Broncos fan.
Rd. 6 (207th pick) James White, RB, Wisconsin
By this round Elway is most likely thinking value and James White is just that guy. Most likely James White’s career in the NFL will be of a complementary back. He has good speed on the outside and enough power to run between the tackles. He has solid hands but his value comes at his willingness to be a pass protector. James White will be a good compliment to ex fellow teammate Montee Ball whom he backed up in college.
Rd. 7 (246th pick) Jeff Janis, WR, Saginaw Valley State
The one thing the Broncos lack is size at the wide receiver position as only one is taller that 6 feet. Jeff Janis is a 6’3″ 220 receiver that can shake defensive backs with is quickness. He has extraordinary quickness and excels in the in and out cut. He is the type of receiver that will leap up and catch a pass at it’s highest point. However, given his small hands his struggle will be inconsistency at hauling in the passes.