NFL Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos 2013 NFL Mock Draft, Week 4: 7 Rounds

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Denver Broncos Mock Draft-The Goal is to Find Value

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Over the years, the NFL Draft has become more and more of a science. Teams put in countless hours and loads of money in an effort to find the right players every April. The one area of the draft that I believe fans have the hardest time understanding is the term value, but it is an important concept to understand. Let’s use the Denver Broncos' upcoming draft as an example; this is a Broncos mock draft after all.

In my view, the Broncos top three needs are, in order, pass rusher, running back and cornerback. However that does not mean the Broncos should pick those positions in that order because the value on those positions is different.

It’s true that cornerback is third on that list, but the draft is much deeper in terms of running backs and pass rushers therefore it makes sense to look at a cornerback in the first-round.

In the last two mock drafts, I’ve been high on running back Eddie Lacy, but the value for that position in probably better in the second or third rounds. In other words, the Broncos can pick up a back that is almost as good as Lacy in the later rounds. However if they pass on a cornerback in the first-round, they might be left grasping for guys who aren’t as good as the round you are picking them in.

The same is true with the pass rushers. The Broncos need to replace Elvis Dumervil, but not in the first-round. There are players who can rush the quarterback that are likely to be there as late as the fourth or fifth round. If you go back and read last week’s mock draft, we had the Broncos taking a pass rusher in the fourth-round.

As you can see it is much more complicated than just putting together the needs of a team and then drafting in that order. It’s important to evaluate the whole draft so you know what positions are deep, and which ones are not. Those two things together are how teams set their draft boards.

In next week’s mock draft, we will examine the best player available theory. It’s mostly true but there is some faulty logic to it as well. On with the fourth edition of the Broncos mock draft for Rant Sports.

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Round One: Desmond Trufant-Cornerback-Washington

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There’s no guarantee that Desmond Trufant will fall to the Broncos at number 28, but if he does, the Broncos will grab him quickly. Some mock drafts have him going in the late teens while others have him lasting until the end of the first-round. For our purposes today, we are going to go with the late first projections.

Trufant is a big corner and fits what the Broncos are looking for out of that position. You might be asking yourself, why do they need another cornerback? They have Champ Bailey, Chris Harris and just signed Dominque-Rodgers Cromartie in free agency. Bailey is 35, Cromartie is on a one-year deal and John Elway believes in having guys who can cover. All of those things combined are why Trufant makes sense here.

Trufant can play inside or out, and is very quick. He has above average speed to run with the faster receivers and has excellent ball skills. Elway, I’m guessing, would be elated if Trufant was still there when the Broncos are on the clock.

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Round Two: Phillip Thomas-Safety-Fresno State

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I’ve been on Phillip Thomas for three weeks at this spot and even though the position of safety is not one of the top two or three needs for the Broncos, it is still a need and remember what we said about value. Thomas provides great value here, a first-round talent taken late in the second-round.

As a quick review, Thomas is adept at covering the tight-end and excellent in blitz packages. This pick could change in the coming weeks, but at this point, Thomas and Trufant would complete a great secondary for the Broncos.

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Round Three: Montee Ball-Running Back-Wisconsin

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The Broncos are in need of a running back that can pick up 3rd and short, is good on the goal line and is a good receiver out of the backfield. Montee Ball fits all of those needs and is a good value pick in the third-round. Ball may not get the same hype as a Lacy, but he has the same skill set.

Ball’s biggest strength is running between the tackles and in tight spaces, which is where the Broncos often struggled in 2012. He also fits very well into an offense led by Peyton Manning. He is very good at picking up the blitz and is a natural receiver out of the backfield. If Ball is there in the third-round, the Broncos are likely to take him and he very well could be the starting running back on opening day.

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Round Four: David Bass-Defensive End-Missouri Western

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Here’s where the whole idea of value really comes into play, David Bass is one of the best pure pass rushers in the draft and is likely to be there when the Broncos make their pick in the fourth-round. Bass may not be ready to play every down in the NFL, but the Broncos don’t need him to play every down.

The Broncos need a guy who can rush the passer opposite of Von Miller, and Bass fits that profile perfectly. He put up 14.5 sacks as a junior and 11.5 more as a senior in only 12 games. It’s true that Bass did that at a smaller school, but the scouts rave about his pass rushing ability and he’s the perfect pick for the Broncos here.

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Round Five: Josh Boyce-Wide Receiver-TCU

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When Manning is your quarterback, you can never have enough weapons. Combine that with the fact that Wes Welker is only on a two year contract and Eric Decker is a free agent to be, and you have a need for a young receiver.

Josh Boyce can play both in the slot and on the outside; he also runs every route extremely well. He gets off the line very well which is sometimes a problem for young receivers. He is also an excellent runner after the catch and is willing to block in the run game. For a fifth-round pick, Boyce provides great value here.

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Round Seven:Luke Marquardt-Tackle-Azusu Pacific

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As a reminder, the Broncos do not have a sixth-round selection.

The Broncos need to cover themselves just in case they are unable to get a long-term deal done with Ryan Clady. They also need depth at the tackle spot; Luke Marquardt fills both of those needs extremely well.

He would be a bit of a project, but most seventh-round picks are. The upside is worth the risk here. Marquardt has the ideal size and agility to play tackle in the NFL; he only needs time to refine those skills. Time he would have behind Clady and Orlando Franklin.

As you can see the mock drafts change week to week and will continue to change right up to the start of the first-round on April 25th. There is no one who is going to predict every pick correctly; my goal is to give you an idea of what positions the Broncos might be looking at.

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