The Denver Broncos have ten picks this year's NFL Draft, and several roster holes that need filling, especially in the case of depth. In no particular order, the Broncos have needs at cornerback (depth), linebacker, rush linebacker, defensive line (depth), offensive line (left tackle and depth), tight end, wide receiver (depth), running back, and returner.
With ten picks, the team can address all those needs and come away good. So, what is the best case scenario for the Broncos? Well, let us get into it.
Round 1, Pick 20: Trade down with the Houston Texans
• Denver gives up pick 20, and in return gets pick 25 in the first, third and fifth round.
Why it's best case: There are a lot of options for the Broncos at 20, though they seem to have their mind set on a certain guy. Within the last 24 hours, the thinking on this player has changed drastically, with sources in Denver believing they would be able to trade down just a few spots and still get him.
If he ends up being off the board at 25, then they have other ways they could go and still pick up some extra picks.
As for the Texans here, they have their eyes on a quarterback in the first round and there are many teams in the second round trying to trade back up into the mid/late first to get that quarterback. This could lead to Denver getting a lot of calls, and the Texans offer is more than fair for both teams.
Denver stays in range to get their guy and the Texans are able to jump up and snag their quarterback.
Round 1, Pick 25: Garett Bolles, Offensive Tackle, Utah Utes
Why it's best case: For a while now, the Broncos have seemed locked on the Utes left tackle. One source made it very clear when he told me, “The thinking was Bolles, Christian McCaffrey, or a trade down. Now many here can see Bolles falling some with what we’ve gathered from other teams on his age. McCaffrey will be long gone by 20. We have contacted and been contacted by multiple teams for a potential move down. The thinking now is, trade down and then Bolles.”
Of course, there is the possibility of misinformation, but Bolles' name has been repeated by multiple people within the organization for months now, going back to even before the Combine.
Denver is able to trade down and still pick up Bolles, their franchise left tackle. Yes, there are concerns about his age, but offensive linemen have shown time and time again that they can play at a high level past 35 years of age.
At 25, that still gives Denver 10 years, at least, with Bolles. There are things that he needs to work on, but with the new coaching staff on hand, there is more faith in developing offensive linemen than there was a year ago.
He has a high ceiling and is one of a few linemen who can start day one at left tackle. This fills a huge need for the Broncos, while they land a talented player at a key position.
Round 2, Pick 51: Jarrad Davis, Linebacker, Florida Gators
Why it's best case: The Broncos could use someone as a three-down player next to Brandon Marshall to round out their linebacker corps. WIth Davis, they get just that.
However, there are serious medical concerns, which is what causes Davis to fall. Getting a linebacker that doesn’t have to leave the field helps plug a weakness that was exploited against this Broncos defense last season.
Round 3, Pick 82: Chris Wormley, Defensive Line, Michigan Wolverines
Why it's best case: There is still a need for depth on the Broncos defensive line, and they can still use a starter opposite Derek Wolfe. Domata Peko and Zach Kerr are both more likely to find playing time inside, with Kerr being able to move outside in certain scenarios.
So the Broncos still lack a starting 5-tech defensive end. Adam Gotsis is a project and is doubtful to be ready this year for more than a sub role. Wormley is a day-one starter who doesn’t have a high ceiling, but has a high floor and is a pretty safe pick that can be had in the third.
Wormley steps in as a starter allowing Jared Crick to be moved back to a rotational role, which he is best suited for. Wormley is a good run defender that offers enough as a pass rusher to be taken seriously. Back-to-back picks help plug holes on the Broncos defense.
Round 3, Pick 89 (From Texans): Gerald Everett, Tight End, South Alabama Jaguars
Why it's best case: This small school prospect has a lot to offer a team as a blocker and as a receiver. John Elway touched on the tight end class on Monday, saying that there were few inline tight ends this year. Well, Everett is one of the few, but he isn’t limited there.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1773305-smoke-or-fire-takeaways-f... You can move him into the slot, inline, backfield and even out wide in certain scenarios. He has good versatility and, while needing refined as a receiver, offers a lot as a receiver right away. What really makes this a great pick for Denver is his blocking.
Right now, they don’t have that tight end that can block and catch which limits the offense, and Everett offers a safety net for young quarterbacks and someone who can be relied upon as a blocker. He doesn’t have to leave the field.
Round 4, Pick 101: Carlos Henderson, Wide Receiver, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Why it's best case: There is a common theme here and that is filling holes with good players who can impact day one and Henderson is no different. Immediately he offers a reliable returner, which is something Denver has been missing.
He is explosive with good vision, but his best stat is missed tackles forced, which he led college ball in last year. As a receiver, he gives them a third option that can play inside or out and be a deep threat. This opens up the field for Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.
With Everett taken with the Broncos previous pick, and Henderson, the Broncos offense takes yet another step in the right direction, especially with having a fixed offensive line.
Round 4, Pick 126: Julie'n Davenport, Offensive Tackle, Bucknell
Why it's best case: Davenport is incredibly raw from a small school, which will see him slide in the draft. Denver got a starter at left tackle with Bolles, and a right tackle in Menelik Watson in free agency. They can afford to take a risk here on a developmental guy.
Davenport has one of the highest ceilings in this years draft class and has ridiculous length. With Donald Stephenson still on the roster, Denver isn’t forced to play Davenport in case of injury, but it gives them a fourth tackle that they can keep around and work with and eventually start at either tackle spot depending on what happens with Bolles.
Round 5, Pick 169 (from Texans): Damontae Kazee, Cornerback, San Diego State Aztecs
Why it's best case: If you want a good corner that you can mold and already has ball skills, there is no better than Kazee. In his time in college, Kazee picked off 17 passed and broke up another 29. His ball skills stand out time and time again when watching his tape.
He is limited by his height (5’10”) and overall speed (4.54 40 time). However, you just go back to his ball skills and come away impressed. Denver is needing someone that can help on special teams, and compete for that fourth corner spot and Kazee is perfect.
Some will bring up scheme fit, but Denver works their scheme around the players on defense, plus Kazee has some pretty talented players in front of him to help him grown in man coverage.
Round 5, Pick 177: Deangelo Henderson, Running Back, Coastal Carolina
Why it's best case: Denver gets a playmaker at running back that can help on all three downs, though needs work on his pass blocking. Not only that, it gives Denver another option as a returner.
He is a multi-threat player that can be used in different places and in different roles. Even with C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker ahead of him, Henderson can come in and compete right away for a big role, especially in Mike McCoy’s offense that utilizes similar players like Branden Oliver and Danny Woodhead.
McCoy was a big supporter of getting Ronnie Hillman in 2012 to use in that kind of role.
Round 6, Pick 203: Jalen Robinette, Wide Receiver, Air Force Falcons
Why it's best case: Robinette has great size and good leaping ability to be a threat as a pass catcher, but he needs to refine his route running. At this point, Denver is looking for some depth pieces and the lack of depth at wide receiver showed reared it's ugly head last year.
Bennie Fowler regressed and Cody Latimer hasn’t been more than a special teams player. Robinette gives more competition and if he isn’t ready, then he can find his way to the practice squad for a year or two.
Round 7, Pick 238: Joe Mathis, Rush Linebacker, Washington Huskies
Why it's best case: There are many who think Mathis will go earlier, and I was one of them a month ago. However, some bad medical stuff has come out and NFL scouts are pointing out more and more limitations to his game.
Denver loves its depth at rush linebacker and they still have a deep group. Mathis has potential and adding him to a deep group gives Denver the chance to red-shirt him for a year, or see him onto the practice squad as they work with him.
Round 7, Pick 252: Tyrique Jarrett, Nose Tackle, Pittsburgh Panthers
Round 7, Pick 253: Rashaad Coward, Defensive Line, Old Dominion Monarchs
Why it's best case: The Broncos have the last two picks of the draft, so here you look to take two players who you guarantee you want before jumping to sign undrafted players. Players at this point don’t want to be drafted so they could choose where they go as an undrafted free agent.
Denver can go many different ways here after filling the areas of need. After the glaring defensive line issues last year, I took two more, bolstering the depth even more and giving them potential along the line.
Jarrett is a big and raw nose tackle adding more depth on the interior and a true 0-tech nose tackle that can one or two-gap. He needs work — remember he is raw — but can see a handful of snaps per game, especially in short yardage situations.
I tripled down on the defensive line with Mr. Irrelevant Rashaad Coward out of Old Dominion. Coward is a good run defender, but is limited as a pass rusher and capable of playing inside or out in a 3-4 front.
At this point, it is a depth move improving the depth on the defensive line that now has Derek Wolfe, Jared Crick, Domata Peko, Zach Kerr, Kyle Peko, Adam Gotsis, Tyrique Jarrett, and Chris Wormley. It’s a great nine man group that has a lot of potential and can withstand potential injuries, which depleted the group last year.
Erick Trickel is the Senior Draft Analyst for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ErickTrickel.