Before jumping straight into the mock draft, understand that this edition will have trades included. Joining me is fellow MHH Draft Analyst Nick Kendell. We agreed on the trades, but made our own picks on each selection. A simulation was used to make the selections for the other teams.
When the Denver Broncos were on the clock at pick 20, there was an offer from the Cleveland Browns. They were offering up their first pick in the second round and their 20th pick in the second round. After a brief discussion, Nick and I came to the conclusion that we would accept this trade. The Browns ended up taking Patrick Mahomes, the quarterback out of Texas Tech.
With the first selection in the second round the Denver Broncos select
Sitting with the first pick in the second round, my top offensive tackle was on the board. Ramczyk has some medical concerns, but his talent and ability are off the charts. He may not be ready right away, which could see him fall in the draft. Still, at this point, the value couldn’t be passed up on.
My top two tackles left on the board were Ryan Ramczyk and Garett Bolles. In the end, the clean medicals, elite athleticism, and downright nastiness of Bolles beat out the solid athleticism and great technique of Ramczyk.
Bolles, who will soon turn 25, still has put enough on tape to comfortably pencil him in at left tackle. While having a good frame at 6-foot-5, 297 pounds, he is a little light, but moves very well in space with plus athletic traits, which was seen by his exceptional combine performance.
Bolles needs to get improve his technique and discipline. Sometimes he can get a bit sloppy with his hands or his angles at the second level, but considering the value of getting a high potential starting left tackle in the second round, this felt like the perfect combination of value meeting need and was an easy selection at this pick.
With the 19th pick in the second round the Denver Broncos select
Trickel: Garrett Bolles, Offensive Tackle, Utah
Yes, I double dipped at offensive tackle with the first two picks. The Broncos offensive line was that bad. Bolles brings an attitude to the Broncos, which they are looking for.
Having Bolles and Ramczyk gives them two young and talented tackles that they can groom together and eventually have as their bookends. This also improves the depth on the line tremendously and could allow the Broncos to part ways with some of their disappointing offensive linemen.
The Broncos have a plethora of tight ends on their roster with Virgil Green, A.J. Derby, and Jeff Heuerman, among others. They all can potentially fill valuable roles on offense, but none have proven to be a dynamic receiving threat the Broncos have missed.
This is where the selection of Engram comes into play. Engram ran a 4.42 40-yard dash, and only two safeties ran faster. If only two safeties ran faster, just imagine the trouble linebackers would be in having to cover him.
Engram will never be much of a blocking threat, but shows willingness when asked to do so. Despite some drop issues, Engram has a chance to be one of the best mismatch weapons in the entire NFL draft similarly to Washington’s Jordan Reed.
With the 20th pick in the second round the Denver Broncos select
The Broncos don’t have a need for a safety, but the UConn prospect was the best player left on the board. He is a type of safety that Denver doesn’t really have after T.J. Ward — who is entering his final year of his contract — that can come down and play linebacker as well.
Melifonwu's ability in coverage is good, but is best coming downhill against the run. Giving him a year in the scheme to grow before having him compete with Justin Simmons for the safety spot next to Darian Stewart will keep safety a strength.
With this selection, Denver decides to keep investing in the No Fly Zone. Baker has a level of energy and tenacity one can sense when watching him make plays. The leader of the defense, Baker leads more with his tenacity in his play style rather than being a big trash talker.
Baker is a versatile defender and was moved around on the defense similar to Tyrann Mathieu playing free safety, strong safety, and nickel corner on defense. While Obi Melifonwu was still on the board, Budda Baker was selected instead because he currently is a better player and shows more consistently on tape.
Don’t be surprised if Baker is selected round one to early round two when the real draft happens.
With the 19th pick of the third round the Denver Broncos select
The need for a receiving threat is high for the Broncos, especially with Mike McCoy coming back to town. McCoy's scheme requires a mismatch maker at tight end, and Gerald Everett isn’t a bad way to go.
The are other, more dangerous receiving threats in the draft than Everett, but Everett is more of a complete tight end than most. He can be moved around the formation in passing situations, and left inline as a blocker on run downs.
The Broncos have what feels like a dozen players capable of playing on the interior of their offensive line, but considering the state of their play last year, adding another young guy to the mix, should still be considered by John Elway. When watching Garett Bolles, I saw his partner on the left side in Asiata, who had an impressive combine with 34-inch arms and 35 bench reps.
While not incredibly athletic, Asiata's tape shows a player with proper strength, fluidity, technique, and nasty demeanor to be a solid starting guard in a power scheme in the NFL. Awareness and technique can help interior offensive linemen make up for limited athleticism and Asiata has shown that.
He will have to improve on his issues of maintaining blocks, however, for the NFL level. That said, Asiata is another selection that helps the Broncos improve upfront this year and beyond.
With the 37th pick in the third round the Denver Broncos select
The Broncos need a good No. 3 receiver option that can help take some pressure off of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Of all of the receivers they have on their roster, none have shown the ability or consistency to do that.
Bennie Fowler flashed two seasons ago and Jordan Taylor had flashes this last season, but neither looked the part. Henderson is a great receiver who you can put in the slot, or give a certain role outside.
Not only that, Henderson brings added value as a returner, which Denver also needs. He really is the perfect fit for what the Broncos need. Here in the third round, the value was impossible to pass up.
I felt it was time to add some depth on the front seven for the Broncos here. The Broncos made two free agent signings to boost the defensive line, and even still, it would be wise for the Elway to add more to it.
Vanderdoes looks to part of a defensive linemen in the NFL at 6-foot-3, 305 pounds, but he had multiple injuries at UCLA. It has never been a question of talent/ability for the former No.1 defensive tackle recruit.
He has great power in his base and uses his hands to jolt offensive linemen. Vanderdoes is a versatile defender that can line up across the defensive line, which is valued for the Broncos. The big concern here is his healthy, and if he can, this could wind up one of the better selections in this class.
With the 20th pick in the fourth round the Denver Broncos select
The Broncos invested on their defensive line with Domata Peko and Zach Kerr. However, this draft class is so strong that they could improve on their depth even more. The lack of depth was made obvious when injuries occurred last year.
Ogunjobi is somewhat under the radar, partially because he went to a smaller school and is on the raw side. However, his upside is tremendous and he can contribute in certain roles right away. In Denver’s defensive scheme he can play inside or out and contribute.
The Broncos are strong at cornerback, but this year’s draft class warrants a selection because of how strong it is. Also, Aqib Talib is getting older, with off-the-field concerns and a back issue that could end up being frequent, Bradley Roby is about to become very expensive and Denver lost their fourth corner and special teams ace Kayvon Webster in free agency.
Witherspoon is an afterthought, somewhat, from the Colorado secondary. Still, Witherspoon could be the first Buffalo selected.
He has the size and length that teams covet, which he uses effectively, especially those long arms that helped him be one of the leaders in pass breakups. There are things to work on, such as tackling technique, but he has the raw tools and frame to be a starting boundary corner.
With the 33rd pick of the fifth round the Denver Broncos select
Right now, the Broncos are good at nose tackle, with Peko and Kerr both more than capable of handling the job. Depth still could be used and DeAngelo Brown is a great nose tackle.
He is a top-end run defender for the position coming out of college, and brings some push in the middle in the passing game. This late in the draft, you’re looking for immediate depth and potential starters within a few years. Brown fits that perfectly, and is closer to being ready than most selected in the fifth round.
Jones was one of the bigger defensive linemen at the NFL combine, and despite his size, he did very well in a number of drills showing unique size to speed combination. He is a weight room warrior who has great instincts on the field.
Despite his athletic traits, Jones didn’t wrack up many stats and he fell off as the season wound down. Now that could be due to injury, or poor conditioning. Given the Broncos struggles in their interior defensive line, Jones is a great value pick in the fifth round and will push for starting snaps immediately at nose tackle.
Broncos trade the 20th and 34th pick in the seventh round and a future sixth round pick to the Carolina Panthers for the eighth pick in the sixth round.
With the eighth pick in the sixth round the Denver Broncos select
Trickel: De'Angelo Henderson, Running Back, Coastal Carolina
Henderson is a small scat running back (5-foot-7, 208 pounds). He is a dangerous receiver out of the backfield and a good runner, especially outside the tackles.
Gedeon is one of the more unheralded off-ball linebackers in this class. He was stuck being a standout on special teams previously, but was finally able to hit the field this year.
Picking up over 100 tackles, he showed the instincts, block-shedding ability, and athleticism necessary to be a NFL linebacker. He has more than enough size to be a starting linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. Gedeon has the potential to keep growing and fighting for a role on defense.
With the 19th pick of the sixth round the Denver Broncos select
Wise has a frame that can add another 10 pounds, or even drop 10 pounds, and be fine either way. This gives teams options with what to do with him.
With the Broncos, they could have him do either and play him as a linebacker, or as a 5-tech defensive end. He doesn’t have the quickness for the NFL, but he has the strength and that would be how he wins at the next level as a situational role player.
Kendell: De’Angelo Henderson, Running Back, Coastal Carolina
With Broncos fans clamoring for Christian McCaffrey in the first round, there are other backs who can fill that role. One of them being Henderson, who isn’t getting a ton of attention because of his level of competition.
Henderson is short (5-foot-7) but stocky (208 pounds). He can make defenders look silly in space. Another reason he is going to fall is the number of touches at 24 years old. This late, if Elway wants this style of back, he is worth keeping an eye on.
With the 35th pick in the seventh round, the last pick of the 2017 NFL draft, the Denver Broncos select
Trickel: Jack Tocho, Cornerback, North Carolina State
Tocho, aka Mr. Irrelevant, has good size, with a lot of experience in press coverage. He has a nose for the ball, posting five interceptions and 26 passes defensed in his collegiate career.
The big issue with Tosho is his ability to carry speed downfield. This would limit him to covering shorter routes or slower receivers.
Going deep will be a big play for the opposing offense. He would fill the depth and add that special teams player that Denver could use.
Chesson had a killer week at the Combine, putting up great times in the field drills and moving well in the gauntlet. He is one of the rare receivers in this class that is over six feet.
Chesson was part of a lackluster Michigan passing attack, which led to some poor stats. What really stands out is his tenacity as a blocker, which stands out multiple times on tape. If he never makes a big impact as a receiver, he has high upside as a special teams player.
Erick Trickel is a Senior Draft Analyst at Mile High Huddle. Follow him on Twitter @ErickTrickel.
Nick Kendell is Draft Analyst for Mile High Huddle. Follow them on Twitter @ndkendell.
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