Broncos Update Projected Draft Picks - Part 1

Broncos Update columnist Michael John Schon takes a stab at who the team may be looking at for it's top pick in this weekend's NFL Draft

There's one thing you can count on when it comes to the Denver Broncos and the upcoming NFL Draft.

Whenever Mike Shanahan is involved, there is absolutly nothing you can count on.

The Mastermind, expert in the fine art of misdirection, has openly admitted that Denver will be looking to upgrade at defensive end, defensive backfield, offensive line and, despite the signing of former Arizona Cardinal Jake Plummer, the team would even consider taking a quarterback provided the right guy was available.

In other words, we're just as much in the dark as we were weeks ago as far as figuring out which direction the Broncos will take with their first round pick, 20th overall, in this Saturday's NFL Draft.

What we do know for sure is the fact that there are glaring weaknesses, most notably at defensive end, which is where I would put my money on with Denver's initial pick.

Should he be available, the most logical choice among defensive ends would be Jerome McDougle from Miami. McDougle combines explosive speed with outstanding athleticism, having clocked a 4.65 in the 40-yard dash. His vertical leap of 34-inches impressed many considering his 6-2, 264 lbs. size.

If McDougle is unavailable the Broncos may look to Penn St. standout Michael Haynes, who some insiders rank even higher than McDougle. Haynes is a very solid pass defender who also has the ability and speed to become an effective run stopper. During his final sesaon at Penn St. he began to make a name for himself around NFL circles by recording 80 tackles, 23 tackles for a loss and 15 sacks, as well as forcing seven fumbles.
Haynes major drawback is his speed from the outside. His initial 40-yard time was above 5 seconds, but was later dropped to 4.88 sec. during a private workout in March.

Although considered a longshot, Denver may look locally, especially in the later rounds, with Tyler Brayton, last year's defensive MVP for the Colorado Buffaloes. Brayton posted 106 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss and 11-1/2 sacks on his way to earnig All Big 12 honors.

What he lacks in ability he more than makes up for in effort, with coaches giving him high praise for his leadership qualities, as well as his outstanding work ethic, both on and off the field. As far as charachter goes, there's none better than Brayton, and charachter is something that weighs very heavily in the Broncos decision making process.

On Wednesday, Michael John Schon of the Broncos Update will take a look at the projected offensive picks for this weekend's draft. Want to throw in your pick, or comment about our choices, drop us a line at Broncos Update Draft, or

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