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NFL Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos 2013 NFL Mock Draft, Week 5: 7 Rounds

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Denver Broncos Mock Draft-Take Five

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April is here and the NFL Draft is now less than three weeks away, and so are all of the clichés that go with it. One of the most popular and common things people will hear in the days leading up to the draft is, “We are going to take the best player available.”

For the most part, that draft strategy is a sound one and one that the smart teams follow. You can never go wrong by just drafting the best players on the board, even if it is not at a position of need. However, as with every rule, there are exceptions. It’s not so much an exception as an addition to the rule.

Let’s take the Denver Broncos this year as a case study; they are in need of a defensive end, a running back and a cornerback among other positions. They are fairly set at quarterback and tight-end, though.

So, if their first-round selection comes up and the best player on the board is a tight-end, do they take him? What if the second best player on their board is a defensive end, a position of need? The best-player-available-theory, says that the Broncos should take the tight-end, but I disagree.

In my mind, the best-player-available-theory applies to positions of need, the Broncos should take the best player at one of the three positions identified above. Drafting a tight-end does not help the Broncos win the Super Bowl in 2013.

The concept is a sound one, but it also doesn’t mean teams should completely ignore the areas they need help in. The two ends have to meet in the middle, take the best player available at a position of need.

Here’s our latest look at the Broncos mock draft with our weekly reminder that the team does not currently have a pick in the sixth round.

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First Round-Cornellius Carradine-Defensive End-Florida State

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Up until now, I’ve maintained that the Broncos could find a pass rusher later in the draft and I still believe that. However, for this week, we are going to change things up a little. Cornellius Carradine is a defensive end out of Florida State who would help ease the loss of Elvis Dumervil.

Carradine is coming off of an ACL injury, but all reports are that he is healthy and teams are not concerned about his recovery. He would provide a pass rush opposite of Von Miller and has the ability to play the run. Carradine would be an excellent value pick here because without the injury he was a potential top ten pick.

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Second Round-Phillip Thomas-Safety-Fresno State

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For the third straight week, I like Phillip Thomas in this spot for the Broncos. The team needs help at the safety position and Thomas is considered one of the better one’s in the draft.

As a quick review, Thomas is very good versus the run and excellent in covering the tight-end. He also has knack of timing his blitzes perfectly. Thomas could be the type of safety the Broncos have been looking for.

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Third Round-Montee Ball-Running Back-Wisconsin

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As with Thomas in the second round, I really like Montee Ball as the third-round selection for the Broncos. In fact, this is my favorite pick if the Broncos do decide to go this way. Ball is the perfect back for the perfect system at the perfect time.

Ball runs great between the tackles, is excellent in short-yardage, picks up the blitz and is a very good receiver out of the backfield. If the Broncos put together a profile of the type of back they want, all of those things would be high on the list. If Ball is there for the Broncos in the third-round, it is hard to imagine them passing on him.

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Fourth Round-Reid Fragel-Left Tackle-Ohio State

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The Broncos are in need of depth at the offensive tackle position and Reid Fragel fits in the fourth-round. Fragel is your classic left tackle that rides pass rushers to the outside, but is also strong enough to blow them off the line of scrimmage in the run game. He is also adept at picking up the blitz and is quick enough to get to the second level to block linebackers when asked to do so.

Fragel, a converted tight-end, is still learning the position. However, he would be give the time to develop behind Ryan Clady and Orlando Franklin. He would also provide insurance in case of injury or if the Broncos are unable to work out a long-term deal with Clady.

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Fifth Round-Adrian Bushell-Cornerback-Louisville

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Broncos are set with the cornerbacks for the 2013 season with Champ Bailey, Dominque-Rodger Cromartie and Chris Harris, but they do need to start getting younger at the position. The team likes the potential of 2012 draft pick, Omar Bolden and Adrian Bushell would give them another young player.

Bushell shows great quickness at the line of scrimmage and shows the ability to stay with receivers on double-moves. Bushell is also very adept in the running game and is not afraid to make a tackle. He was also used on a regular basis in blitz packages and has good ball instincts. With the veterans the Broncos have at the cornerback spot, Bushell would have a great opportunity to learn and develop.

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Seventh Round-Josh Boyd-Defensive Tackle-Mississippi State

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The Broncos visited with Josh Boyd at the NFL Combine back in February and he fits the profile of a Jack Del Rio defensive tackle. The Broncos defensive coordinator likes his tackles to be big and stout in the middle. Boyd is 6’3” and 310 pounds.

Boyd plays the run very well but is also capable of rushing the quarterback and providing a push up the middle. That push is something the Broncos were lacking at times in the 2012 season. Boyd would fit nicely into a defensive tackle rotation with Kevin Vickerson and Terrance Knighton. We talked about finding value with picks last week, getting Boyd in the seventh-round would be unbelievable value.

The only position that was not addressed in the mock draft this week was receiver, and the Broncos could very well go there at some point in the draft. Other than that, this edition of the Broncos mock draft feels like it could closely resembles what happens in late April. Again, no one is going to get every pick right. However, we are starting to zero in on positions.

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