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It’s Today! It’s Today! It’s Today!

We are finally only hours away from the 2017 NFL Draft taking place in Philadelphia. After months of mock drafts and speculation on what teams will do, we can finally watch the story unfold.

But before that, why not one more mock and spew of predictions.

There has been a lot of rumors swirling around the Denver Broncos, and those rumors are gaining steam as the start of the clock nears. GM John Elway has stated that this is a weak offensive line class, to no one’s surprise, and now there are talks of the Broncos wanting to move up from where they currently sit at 20. It’s even gone so far that Denver has reportedly contacted the Tennessee Titans about the number five overall pick.

Is this a last minute push to get McCaffrey? Do they want an inside backer to pair with Brandon Marshall in the middle? Or do they truly think one of the Tackles is worthy of an early pick and may not be available where they currently are slotted? Time will soon tell, and my excitement is beginning to boil over.

However, let’s say that the asking price is too high and the Broncos move up merely two spots (Tennessee also owns the 18th pick) or simply remain at 20, they may still be able to grab a guy that can bolster their offense and make life a little easier for whomever quarterback is starting.

Denver Broncos 7-Round Mock Draft

Round 1 (20 Overall): David Njoku, TE Miami

The production from the tight end position almost fell off completely once Julius Thomas left Denver in free agency. Virgil Green has been a staple in the running game and is a great blocking tight end, but is virtually a non-factor in the passing game (616 yards and 3 touchdowns in his six-year career).

In today’s NFL, there are two types of tight ends that play the game. A “Y” tight end is your more traditional “block first, catch second.” An “F” tight end is the extremely athletic “catch first” tight end that can line up anywhere on the field.

David Njoku is that “F” tight end. At 6’4″ 246 pounds, he runs a 4.64 40-yard dash. A freakish athlete that can run any route and would be a tremendous help to either Siemian or Lynch, and would take the pressure off of Thomas and Sanders to be the only options in the passing game. The tandem of Green and Njoku would be an excellent duo that would have very different roles within the offensive scheme. 

Round 2 (51 Overall): Raekwon McKillan, ILB Ohio State

There has been an obvious void at the inside linebacker position since Danny Trevathan left in free agency. Todd Davis was a decent complimentary piece, but as a three-down starter he struggled. 

The Broncos’ run defense plummetted to 27th in the league last season which was partially due to inconsistent play from the inside linebacker position. McKillan had a great career at Ohio State and has a nose for the ball. At 6’2″ 240 pounds, he is the prototypical size for the position and he runs a very impressive 6.61 40-yard dash. Pair him with Brandon Marshall and the Denver run defense is immediately better. 

Round 3 (82 Overall): Antonio Garcia, OT Troy

The biggest need that the Broncos currently have is at the offensive tackle position. However, Elway has expressed his confidence in Ty Sambrailo (who he stated is finally fully healthy and in the best shape of his career), and in recent free agent acquisition Menelik Watson. This leads me to believe that he doesn’t love the talent of incoming tackles enough to take one in the first round. This being said, he can still address the need in the third round and get a guy that will add depth, and, with some work and conditioning, can compete to start.

Garcia is a monster of a man. He stands 6’6″ tall and weighs just a touch over 300. He would be an exceptional value pick and I think he could surprise a lot of people. 

Round 3 (101 Overall): DeMarcus Walker, DE Florida State

After Malik Jackson split for Jacksonville, Elway was able to add Jared Crick in free agency for a steal of a price. He had very solid production last year and was a great value pickup.

However, the Broncos would be wise to add some depth at the defensive end position, which is such an integral asset to Denver’s aggressive defensive system. 

Walker is an explosive defensive end that Derek Wolfe would love to have on the other side. At 6’4”, 280 pounds he has a huge frame for the edge, but he is extremely quick and powerful with his swim move. He posted 25 sacks over the past two seasons, which makes him a no-brainer for the Broncos 3-4 defense.

Round 4 (126 Overall): Dede Westbrook, WR Oklahoma

Once the Broncos allowed Wes Welker‘s contract to expire they have been searching for a true slot receiver. They drafted Cody Latimer in the second round a few years back with the hope that he could fill this void, but his career has been extremely underwhelming. 

Bennie Fowler has shown flashes of brilliance but has been inconsistent and is constantly hit with the injury bug. Jordan Taylor has a phenomenal work ethic, and it is a joy to watch that perfectly permed hair bounce around the field, but he doesn’t quite have the skill set to be the everyday starter in the slot. 

At 6′ 178 pounds and a blazing 4.39 40-yard dash, Westbrook is poised to be a lethal slot receiver in the NFL. He finished with 1,525 yards and 17 touchdowns last season at Oklahoma, displaying his talent at the receiver position and nose for the end zone. If Denver takes Njoku in the first and can score Westbrook in the fourth, that will be a nasty receiving corps.

Round 5 (177 Overall): Jarron Jones, DT Notre Dame

After adding Domata Peko and Zach Kerr (who is a DE and DT kind of hybrid), the defensive tackle position appears to be set, but being that the position is so grueling, it is always wise to add depth. 

Jarron Jones was a beast at Notre Dame last season. At 6’6″, 316 pounds, he is a huge body in the interior that is a force against the run. He would be a nice addition to spell Peko when he needs a breather, and could even develop into the starter when Peko decides to hang them up. 

Round 6 (203 Overall): Channing Stribling, CB Michigan

With Kayvon Webster leaving for the Los Angeles Rams in free agency, Denver will need to add another corner to add depth and someone to become an immediate special teams player. Listed at 6’1″, Stribling is tall and lanky for the corner position. If Chris Harris Jr. and Bradley Roby are mirror images of each other, Channing Stribling would look in the mirror and see Aqib Talib. He would be a nice addition in the sixth round.

Round 7 (238 Overall): Collin Buchanan, OG Miami(OH)

This pick is all about adding more depth to an offensive line that really struggled last year. Buchanan may be a big man (6’5″ 316 pounds), but don’t let his size fool you. He is very light on his feet allowing him to handle twists and stunts inside. He would be a good addition that should make the roster.

Round 7 (252 Overall): Justin Davis, RB USC

As a senior, Davis averaged 5.5 yards per carry during a very productive season at SC. He played in a very “Pro-Style” offense and should make the transition to the NFL fairly easily. With Anderson and Booker as the feature backs in Denver, Davis would compete with Kapri Bibbs for the third spot and would push Booker to improve after a disappointing rookie season. 

Round 7 (253 Overall): Trevor Knight, QB Texas A&M

I believe that it is smart to draft one quarterback every single year. One, for depth. Two, for competition. And three, because you never know when one will hit and shock the world. Brady was a sixth-round pick. Dak Prescott a fourth. Kurt Warner and Tony Romo went undrafted. Trevor Siemian was a seventh-round pick that is now competing for a starting job for the second consecutive season.

Trevor Knight had a very productive college career at Texas A&M and could be a valued commodity in the quarterback room and on the practice squad. 

 

Ryan Dyrud

Author Ryan Dyrud

Founder and CEO of SportsAlDente.com. Grew up in Denver with a passion for all sports and an emphasis on the NFL. Moved to Los Angeles where I graduated from Long Beach State with a degree in Leisure Services (Yes the Van Wilder degree). My opinions are my own, but they should be yours too.

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