NFL Denver Broncos

2013 NFL Draft: Denver Broncos’ Potential First-Round Picks

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Seven Potential First-Round Picks for the Denver Broncos

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For the past seven weeks, we’ve been doing mock drafts on Rant Sports and yours truly has been trying to project who the Denver Broncos might take in any given round. With the first round now only a day away, I thought it would be fun to take a look at seven potential players the Broncos could take on Thursday night.

John Elway said on Monday during his pre-draft press conference that the Broncos will have four or five players they really like, and the hope is that two or three of them are there when they are on the clock at No. 28.

If there are multiple guys they like when their time comes to make a selection, then the Broncos have to make a decision. Do they take the player they like the most or do they try and trade back with the hope that one of those players will still be there later? I have said for the last few weeks that I believe the Broncos will trade out of the first round, but for our purposes today, let’s assume they make the pick at number 28.

The three likeliest positions for the Broncos in the first-round are defensive end, cornerback and running back. I would be surprised if they went running back in the first round. It’s a deep draft at that position and better value can be found later in the draft.

With all of that said, there are a few players that would be perfect for the Broncos at 28. Let’s take a shot and see if their first-round pick will end up being one of these seven players. Seven seems appropriate as that was the number of the guy who is now making the selection.

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Cornellius "Tank" Carradine-Defensive End-Florida State

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If Cornellius Carradine is there when the Broncos pick, then this is a no-brainer. A week ago, Carradine was almost certain to be there for the Broncos, but then he held his personal workout and teams were very impressed. It is now 50-50 at best.

He would step right in and start at defensive end, and be the pass rusher opposite of Von Miller. Carradine is everything the Broncos want at that position: he rushes the quarterback, he can play the run and his motor never stops. If he is available at number 28, the Broncos will not trade out of the first round.

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Desmond Trufant-Cornerback-Washington

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Desmond Trufant is also unlikely to be there at number 28, but if he was, then the Broncos would seriously consider him. Elway has consistently talked about the need to be able to cover, especially with the spread offense being the 'in' thing right now.

Trufant is a very good cover corner who can play both man-to-man and zone. He also plays the run very well and is not afraid to make a tackle. Trufant would add some youth to the position that includes Champ Bailey and Dominque-Rodgers Cromartie. If Trufant is there when the Broncos are on the clock, he could be wearing orange and blue.

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Bjoern Werner-Defensive End-Florida State

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Bjoern Werner is a player that I have not mentioned in any of my mock drafts, but he is gaining some momentum as someone the Broncos might select. Werner played with Carradine in college and possesses some of the same skills that the Broncos are looking for in a defensive end.

He rushes the quarterback, sheds blockers and finds the ball carrier. The odds are that Werner will be there when the Broncos are on the clock. The question is how high is he on their board? Time will tell, but Werner coming to the Broncos would not be a shocker.

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Xavier Rhodes-Cornerback-Florida State

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It sure seems likely that Broncos might end up with a player from Florida State, doesn’t it. Xavier Rhodes is a bigger cornerback then Trufant and that might appeal to Elway, who likes bigger corners.

Rhodes likes to play press coverage and shows excellent ability in man-to-man coverage. He’s not great versus the run, but got better as last season progressed. If the Broncos decide to go with a cornerback at No. 28, then Rhodes might be headed to the Mile High City.

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Jonathan Franklin-Running Back-UCLA

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The odds are slim that the Broncos will take a running back in the first round, but if they do, it will probably be Jonathan Franklin. There are some who believe Franklin has passed Eddie Lacy as the top running back in the draft, but that’s not the reason the Broncos would take him.

Franklin fits the Broncos offense better then Lacy: he’s a much better receiver and would be more comfortable in running the stretch play that Peyton Manning made famous with the Indianapolis Colts. Again, it would be a shocker if the Broncos went this way but if they do, then Franklin is the pick.

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Sylvester Williams-Defensive Tackle-North Carolina

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Sylvester Williams is a defensive tackle, but he would represent incredible value at No. 28. The Broncos would love to add another big tackle that they could rotate with Kevin Vickerson, Terrance Knighton and Derek Wolfe. If they did draft Williams, Wolfe would probably stay at defensive end.

Williams would give the Broncos a push up the middle that was missing most of last season and was very evident in the playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The Broncos were able to get pressure on the quarterback from the outside, but not from the interior. Williams would solve that problem, and he is also solid versus the run. He is likely to be there at No. 28 and it would not surprise anyone if the Broncos pulled the trigger.

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Eddie Lacy-Running Back-Alabama

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This would be a real shocker but if the Broncos do decide to go running back in the first round, then Lacy would have to be a consideration. It’s true that his stock has dropped in recent weeks, but what he has put on tape cannot be disputed.

Lacy is the big back the Broncos need. He is very effective in picking up short-yardage and is very good around the goal-line. Lacy played in a pro style offense at Alabama, understands protection schemes and is a decent receiver out of the backfield.

Those are seven players the Broncos could be looking at as their pick approaches Thursday night. It is also possible that the Broncos have a completely different list of four or five players they are looking to choose from, but I’m betting that at least a couple of these players are on both lists. The wait is almost over.

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