There are going to be trades in this mock draft. The details of the trade will be included, as will the reasons why that trade was made. A lot can change between now and the NFL Draft. The Draft is about two weeks away, and there will be one more mock draft before then. With that said, let us jump into the second the last mock draft.
Note: All the picks for other teams were made by people whom I trust. I'm confident they know the teams they were picking for. This was a two-week ordeal in order to get you, the readers, a mock draft.
When the first round was coming to an end, there were many players closely graded on my board. For that reason, I accepted a trade moving down with the Atlanta Falcons. Denver sent them the 31st pick of the first round, while they received the 19th pick of the second round, 18th of the third round and 17th pick of the fourth round. This gave Denver nine picks between round two and five, which is great in a deep draft.
With the 19th pick of the second round the Denver Broncos select:
Chris Jones, Defensive Lineman, Mississippi State Bulldogs
Sitting at the end of the first round, before deciding to trade, I nearly took Chris Jones. He is a first round talent who likely will fall due to the depth of the class. I was able to pick up two extra picks, while still getting my target.
Moving from the end of round one to the middle of round two ended up being more than worth it. I was attempting to trade up in round one, but could not get a deal done. Then, the Arizona Cardinals took my target.
Chris Jones is an excellent player with a ton of upside. Even though the Broncos signed Jared Crick, his deal makes me think he was brought in as a rotational player, sort of filling the role Antonio Smith had last season. Anyways, Jones can rotate with Crick, getting them both on the field a lot will help keep them fresh, combining them to replace Malik Jackson, who departed for money, I mean Jacksonville, in free agency.
Getting Bill Kollar and Wade Phillips to work with Chris Jones is potentially devastating. It all depends on how Jones takes to their teachings, but there isn’t anything about him that makes me think he can’t get it done.
When Denver got to their second round pick, a similar situation happened in round one. There were seven players who all had early-to-mid second round grades left on the board, so I traded back, though not as far this time. I only traded down to the second pick of the third round and got the first pick of the sixth round from Cleveland, while sending only the 32nd pick of the second round.
With the second pick of the third round the Denver Broncos select:
Kenneth Dixon, Running Back, Louisiana Tech
The Broncos have a need at running back. They have C.J. Anderson, but no one else behind him. They made an attempt to bring back Ronnie Hillman, but I have heard that their offer was too low. Of course that could change, but since I am going with what I know as of now to make this mock, a need for running back help still exists.
Kapri Bibbs and Cyrus Gray are two unknowns here. Bibbs has shown flashes, but lacks the overall skill-set that the Broncos want, and Gray hasn’t had any chances to show what he can do outside of practice. As for Juwan Thompson, he has been unable to crack a role in this offense.
Kenneth Dixon is a great player and would compliment Anderson very well. Dixon has an excellent one-cut ability, and can gash defenses for big chunks of yards. With the mystery of how Denver’s offensive line will do, Dixon’s ability to make defenders miss and pick up yards on his own is a big bonus to an offense that needs that from Anderson’s backup.
With the 18th pick of the third round the Denver Broncos select:
Christian Westerman, Offensive Guard, Arizona State
There are some potential players on the interior of that offensive line, like Robert Myers, James Ferentz, Sam Brenner and Dillon Day, but Myers is the only guard of that group. Westerman is a textbook zone scheme guard who can compete for a starting job from day one.
The technique, athleticism and intelligence is there to be an outstanding guard in the system. In the middle of the third round, it was value that couldn’t be passed up, while also filling a need.
With the 31st pick of the third round the Denver Broncos select:
Nick Vannett, Tight End, Ohio State
There may be many who disagree about the Broncos needing a tight end, but the only receiving contributor they had at tight end last year they lost when they cut Owen Daniels. Jeff Heuerman is coming off a serious ACL injury, and until he sees the field during a game, no one knows just what he can do.
Then there is Virgil Green, who caught a few passes, but was still stuck in his role as a blocking tight end. Richard Gordon and Manesseh Garner round out their tight end corps, and they are as big of question marks as they come.
Vannett has a great well-rounded skill-set, and Denver likely saw a lot of him when they were scouting Jeff Heuerman a year ago. Adding Vannett gives Denver a trio at tight end, which is essential in this offensive scheme.
With the 35th pick of the third round the Denver Broncos select:
Maliek Collins, Defensive Lineman, Nebraska
Collins could potentially be an upgrade over both. At the very least, he provides an option if Anunike ends up getting hurt again this year. He fits the scheme really well, and could even play the nose in certain situations.
With the 17th pick of the fourth round the Denver Broncos select:
T.J. Green, Safety, Clemson
Denver lost their third string safety in David Bruton, lost another depth piece in Omar Bolden and Josh Bush and Shiloh Keo are still free agents. Denver needs depth at safety, and T.J. Green really fits the scheme.
Darian Stewart is also in the final year of his two-year contract, and Green provides Denver with someone who could potentially replace Stewart if he leaves.
With the 38th pick of the fourth round the Denver Broncos select:
Beniquez Brown, Inside Linebacker, Mississippi State
Denver is still deep at inside linebacker after losing Danny Trevathan. Issue is, no one knows how Todd Davis, Corey Nelson and Zaire Anderson will fill in his shoes. Brown is another one of these smaller and quicker inside linebackers, but he will need some time before he could be a starter. .
Right away though, he helps fill some of the voids on the special teams units after some left in free agency. Brown actually reminds me a lot of Danny Trevathan when he entered the draft.
This time I chose to trade up. I tried to trade up multiple times in the fifth round, not wanting to lose a player who I really like, and saw falling down the board some. Finally I was able to up to the fourth spot of the fifth round, while sending pick eight in the fifth round and pick seven in the seventh round.
With the 4th pick of the fifth round the Denver Broncos select:
Jeff Driskel, Quarterback, Louisiana Tech
I actually thought about taking Driskel toward the end of the third round, so when I saw him fall through round four, I started trying to trade up. He has a lot to work on, but could be a surprise candidate to start from day one at quarterback.
He has a skill-set that works in this offense that could see them be really successful. However, he should sit a year at least, which Denver can afford with Mark Sanchez on the roster.
With the fifth pick of the fifth round, the Denver Broncos select:
Joe Haeg, Offensive Tackle, North Dakota State
Denver needs some depth at offensive tackle, though not much. Michael Schofield picked up a lot of experience last year, and the coaches found an issue in his technique, which they have been working on fixing since before the AFC Championship game.
Behind Schofield, Denver has two question marks in Kyle Roberts and Cameron Jefferson. Joe Haeg has a high ceiling, but has a lot of work to get there. He would compete for a backup spot right away, but will take time before having a shot at a starting spot.
With the first pick of the sixth round the Denver Broncos select:
Miles Killebrew, Safety, Southern Utah
Still needing depth at safety, I was able to snag a player I had a late third, early fourth round grade on to start the sixth round. Killebrew is a bigger safety, at about 220 pounds, and fits the scheme perfectly.
He can be a contributor on special teams as a rookie, then in a situational role in year two, before having a shot as a starter in year three. T.J. Ward has two years left on his contract, so the timing for Killebrew is perfect.
With the 44th pick of the sixth round the Denver Broncos select:
Malcolm Mitchell, Wide Receiver, Georgia
If you have yet to do so, go read my scouting report on Malcolm Mitchell now. Don’t worry I will wait….
Now that you have done that, you should be able to see why I am surprised Mitchell was still on the board to start the sixth round. You should also be able to see why I was jumping up and down as I made this selection. Mitchell adds another factor to a strong receiving corps, and potentially helps out the return game of the Broncos.
To start of the seventh round, I noticed a player who I had graded in that range, but one I really like. Not only did he fit the scheme, but filled a position of need. Because of this I traded a future sixth round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for the fifth pick of the seventh round.
With the fifth pick of the seventh round the Denver Broncos select:
Dan Vitale, Fullback Northwestern
Denver has a need for a true fullback on their roster, and Vitale fits the scheme. It was a trade that made a lot of sense to me, while helping out the Broncos.
With the 14th pick of the seventh round the Denver Broncos select:
Brandon Allen, Quarterback, Arkansas
To put it simply, I grabbed another quarterback who fits the scheme perfectly, but can use some time on the practice squad. I am a big fan of Brandon Allen, especially with him joining the Broncos, and because of that, I made this pick happen.
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