Drafting the best player available and not for need is the only way to go. Just ask Lord Belichick. This is the style that The Duke, John Elway has chosen and so far, so good. As the 2016 NFL draft approaches on Thurs the 28th, here are a few things to keep an eye on.
Of course the top question on every Bronco fans mind is in regards to the QB. I still think there is a chance for Kap to come to Denver, and I also think that the brass at Dove Valley will draft a QB in rounds 2-4 regardless of what FA or traded QB signs here. For those out there that have doubts about Sanchez or Colin, if Elway says he can play, I trust him. Im sure things will be just fine back there at the QB poistion. Remember folks, QB play was 19 TD/23INTs. That was between Peyton and Benedict Lobster. Sooooo any improvement, is great improvement.
Now remember, Denver has 10 picks this year. Yeah, a whole bunch, you’re right about that. 31, 63, 94, 98 comp, 136 comp, 144 from Balt, 219 comp, 228 from SF, 235 from LA, 253.
Look I know that it is a QB hungry league, but the prospects this year? I don’t feel like they are worth what LA and Philly have done to acquire one. I believe there will be no less than 4 QBs taken In the first round. Goff (Cal), Wentz (ND State), Cook (MSU) and Paxton Lynch (Memphis). To me the drop off from Cook to a guy like, Dak Prescott from MSU, isn’t that gapping. So lets be patient and use a 3rd or 4th round pick on the same level talent that’s going in the 1st round. It’ll be okay Broncos country, I promise.
With the 27nd pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select, Robert Nkemdiche, DT Ole Miss.
Yep you heard it, Master Elway is going defense in the first round, for the 5th year in a row. Sure he had to make a trade for it, but who cares?! With ten picks, I’m sure we will still be just fine. Now this is a swing for the fences pick by yours truly, because he is thought of as one of the top 4 DT’s in the draft this year, and the only reason he could be there at 27 is because of off field issues. But it’s the Draft!!! This is the only time of year when all of us mediocre, couch sitting boob pontificators can make wild guesses, regardless of outcome! We can be our local weatherman this week! So make some predictions yourself. Don’t hate, participate! So I do think that the Broncos will move up from 31 to say, 27 to get him but I do think defense is the first stop for Denver come Thursday.
Stop number two? Offensive line. Build a team Inside out, front to back, through the draft. The QB play was……ugly. Like Conner McGregor’s PR reps phone bill these days. It was ugly because the offensive line was a, patch worked, injury plagued unit. They worked hard, but man it was tough to watch. Nothing like getting into a Porsche, with a 1600cc VW engine inside. The Oline is reworked already with a couple of FA signings in Russell Okung LT and Donald Stephenson RT, and with depth at these positions in the draft, the 2nd round is a great place to start. Christian Westerman OG from Arizona State seems to be the common pick for Denver. Kubiak likes guys who can move, get to the second level, and keep running down hill with the RB. Westerman does move well, and gets off the ball fast. His pass protection skills need some more development, but with a FB in the back field I think this will be a great fit, that can grow with the rest of the suddenly younger offensive line. O-Line losses from 2015? Evan Mathis LG, Louis Vasquez RG, Ryan Harris LT. Ryan Clady LT was traded to NY Jets a couple weeks ago, freeing up cap space. Needless to say, depth is needed eh? Yes, yes it is.
Round 3! This is where I think Denver will take a QB. A QB named Dak Prescott. He hasn’t gotten the accolades that the others have been receiving, but he will have a year to hone his skills and learn how to be a pro without the pressure of a week 1 start. His release is good as well as his arm strength. Struggles with holding on to the ball too long and making plays post pocket breakdown. Fortunately, Gary Kubiaks system is very QB friendly, and easier to execute than most. Denver also has another pick in the 3rd round, and with that one id say either Tyler Matakevich ILB from Temple to replace Danny Trevathan, or Jalen Mills S out of LSU. Matakevich would compete to start against Todd Davis, and Mills would provide excellent depth at safety. Again it depends on the best player available.
So now we have replacements for Bruton, Malik, QB and Evan Mathis. And the Broncos did it with out reaching. On to round 4. If Denver does choose Mills at safety in the third, this is where they will take an ILB. Namely Josh Forrest from Kentucky. He moved to linebacker in college, but has great speed, which fits Denver’s D. He is also good in pass coverage, and performed really well in this role at Kentucky. He’s a good size as well, 6’3″ 250lbs. With two picks in the 5th round, look for Denver to improve depth at Oline and the secondary. Tyler Marz OT from Wisconsin at 144 and Will Redmond CB out of MSU. This is where guys like Malik and Trevathan were chosen 4 years ago. There are great players in these rounds.
The rest of the way I believe we will see Denver select a RB and a FB, as Kubiaks system works best with a full back. Last years offense was JB Welded together. Peyton’s pass attack, and Kubs zone scheme. If it wasn’t for that ludicrous play by the defense, this off season would have a much different sound. For those playing at home, that’s 9 picks. The tenth pick would have been used in a trade to move up to grab Nkemdiche.
By Sunday morning the Broncos will have selected a DT, two Oline guys, a QB, ILB, S, CB, RB and a FB. Of course there will be a litany of undrafted free agents to sort through, as Elway and Co have always seemed to find gems after the draft. Things could change, and probably will, so be sure to follow me or break my balls to pieces on twitter @mandell_w with draft week and draft day coverage.