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NFL Denver Broncos

2014 NFL Draft: Denver Broncos’ Early Seven-Round Mock

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Denver Broncos' Seven-Round Mock

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Even while the 10-2 Denver Broncos are sitting atop the AFC heading into Week 14, it’s never too early to start looking towards the offseason and the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft. There are numerous areas they must improve in, and there won’t be a better opportunity to get better than the draft.

Of those areas needing improvement, one of the biggest concerns is defensive end. Even with Von Miller back in the mix, the Broncos haven’t been able to create the proper amount of pass rush this season. Their defense hasn’t been producing consistent pressure, and it’s hurt them in the close games they’ve played. If that’s going to change, the position must be addressed this offseason to avoid more problems in 2014.

Despite their issues at defensive end, the Broncos still have other questions in need of answers. With age becoming a factor at cornerback, adding some young talent at the position should be a priority. Both of their current middle linebackers are headed for free agency, which could force the Broncos to take a serious look during the draft. Running back could also be a consideration with age and fumbles both becoming significant concerns.

Either way, the Broncos need to make the most of their draft picks in May. The 2014 NFL Draft will offer Denver an opportunity to upgrade their roster while addressing the problems that have cropped up during the season.

With that in mind, here’s a look at what the Broncos could choose to do with their seven current draft picks when the 2014 NFL Draft finally rolls around.

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1st Round: Michael Sam, DE, Missouri

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Throughout the 2013 season, the Broncos have severely missed a consistent pass rush. Even with Miller back in the fold, they’ve been unable to get pressure from the defensive line, and that needs to change this upcoming season. By bringing on Sam, the Broncos would be adding a dynamic pass rusher at defensive end. While he still needs considerable polish, the Missouri product is extremely quick around the edge and does a great job of playing the run as well. There’s a very high ceiling with Sam.

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2nd Round: Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida

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While Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has been a solid addition this offseason, the deteriorating health of Champ Bailey has certainly been evident in the Broncos’ play at cornerback. Even if Bailey does return in 2014, Denver needs some new blood. Purifoy is an intriguing option who has fluctuated throughout the ongoing campaign. He’s a tenacious, fearless player who always gives 100 percent, but can be a liability in coverage at times. The tools are there, and the Broncos have the coaches to develop Purifoy.

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3rd Round: Chris Borland, ILB, Wisconsin

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With both of their current middle linebackers headed for free agency, the Broncos might soon have a big void to fill in the middle of their defense. Even if they do re-sign one or the other, adding a youngster to push for the starting job would be a great move. Borland is a sensational talent who does a great job of using his instincts to make big plays. He’s an outstanding tackler, shows good awareness in coverage and even possesses some solid pass rushing ability.

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4th Round: Antonio Andrews, RB, Western Kentucky

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The fact remains that Knowshon Moreno isn’t a long-term answer. He has carried the workload this season, but will eventually watch his tread wear thin. Montee Ball brings the power, but the Broncos need a third-down back since Ronnie Hillman is too fumble prone. Andrews has been a highly-productive runner for the Hilltoppers, picking up huge chunks of yards on the ground and through the air. It’s sad considering how many investments they’ve made at the position, but another back is a must.

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5th Round: Deandre Coleman, DT, Cal

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So far this season, the Broncos’ group of defensive tackles has been disappointing. They haven’t gotten production from Sylvester Williams and Kevin Vickerson hasn’t played as well as expected. Denver will need some extra depth to push the starters in 2014, and Coleman would be an excellent addition. Although limited as a pass rusher, the Cal product is a big-bodied tackle who plugs holes and occupies blockers. If he can learn to be effective on passing downs, Coleman can develop into a starter.

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6th Round: Zach Fulton, G, Tennessee

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As a whole, the Broncos’ offensive line has played well this season. Apart from a few poor games, they’ve kept Peyton Manning clean, but could definitely use some extra depth moving forward – especially at guard. Fulton was part of a tremendous offensive line at Tennessee, excelling primarily as a run blocker. He doesn’t have great footwork and will need considerable coaching before he can be trusted as a pass protector, but Fulton has the size and strength to be a quality NFL guard.

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7th Round: Cassius Marsh, DE, UCLA

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Seeing as defensive end is their biggest weakness, it wouldn’t hurt to bring another flier aboard to join Sam in the pursuit of a better pass rush. Marsh is a little-known talent who plays with a fire that few possess. He’s a ferocious player on the field, making big hits and giving blockers fits on every play. There’s still lots of work that needs to be done with Marsh, especially as a pass rusher, but he’s a high-motor player that NFL teams covet along the defensive line.

Gil Alcaraz IV is the Content Planner for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.