Denver Broncos 7-Round Mock Draft: Post-Combine Edition
Denver Broncos 7-Round Mock Draft: Post-Combine Edition
The Denver Broncos are coming off of a 2013 season which saw the team finish as Super Bowl runner-ups. Although the Broncos had a successful season by all accounts, finishing the regular season 13-3 and finishing just a game short of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, the franchise is not happy with the way the season ended. Not only did the Broncos fall short of their ultimate goal of winning the Lombardi Trophy, but they got thumped by the Seattle Seahawks, 43-8, in Super Bowl XLVIII.
The Broncos may have had their way through the AFC, but Super Bowl XLVIII showed just how much faster and athletic the Seahawks were in comparison to their AFC counterparts. The Broncos are a stacked team, but they will have to improve in a variety of positions. Not only will the Broncos have to improve in certain positions, but they will have to add depth. Positions of need for the franchise entering the 2014 NFL Draft are at cornerback, safety, wide receiver, linebacker, defensive end and guard.
At the very least, the franchise has to find a quality starting corner at the top of the draft. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Chris Harris Jr. are free agents, and Champ Bailey has a $10 million cap hit for 2013. Harris is coming off of a serious ACL injury and Bailey might not even play the cornerback position in 2014. The right defensive end position will also be a point of emphasis at the top of the draft as Shaun Phillips and Robert Ayers, the top two players at the position last season, are free agents.
In this seven-round mock draft, the Broncos address those positions of need along with several others.
First Round - CB Bradley Roby
Bradley Roby of Ohio State is as complete as complete gets at the cornerback position. At 5-foot-11, 194-pounds with 4.39 40-yard dash speed, the Broncos will have a starting-caliber cornerback through the first-round of the 2014 NFL draft.
Roby is considered a top three or four cornerback in this draft. By the time the Broncos make their first-round selection with the No. 31 overall pick, Roby should be available. Regardless of what happens with Rodgers-Cromartie and Harris Jr, the Broncos will have one of the starting cornerback spots filled for the season opener in 2014.
Second Round - DE Trent Murphy
Defensive end Trent Murphy out of Stanford may be drafted in the first or second round. I expect Murphy to drop late into the second round. One of the most dynamic pass rushers in the nation in 2013, Murphy racked up 15 sacks for the Cardinal. At 6-foot-5 and 250-pounds, Murphy can play right defensive end or outside linebacker. He has the size and ability to replace free agent Shaun Phillips for the Broncos at RDE/OLB.
Third Round - WR Donte Moncrief
Wide receiver Donte Moncrief out of Ole Miss is one of the better prospects at his position in the 2014 draft class. Even if the Broncos manage to re-sign receiver Eric Decker, Andre Caldwell and Trindon Holliday are also free agents, which leaves the Broncos thin at the receiver position.
At 6-foot-2 and 221-pounds with 4.40 speed, Moncrief has everything you’d want in a starting-caliber receiver. Considering he also played in the SEC, Moncrief should be ready to make an impact in the NFL.
Fourth Round - FS Terrence Brooks
The Broncos are in need of a free safety. Starting FS Mike Adams is a free agent and will be 33-years-old this year. Backup FS Michael Huff is also a free agent. Though Rahim Moore will back in 2014, the Broncos need an infusion of youth at the position. This is where Florida State FS Terrence Brooks comes into play.
At 5-foot-11 and 198-pounds, Brooks doesn’t possess great size. But he makes up for it with his instincts, athleticism and closing speed. The FSU safety will be available in the middle rounds.
Fifth Round - RB De'Anthony Thomas
When you look at the resume of Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas, you think to yourself, how could this guy be drafted in the fifth round? Thomas may be the best all-purpose player in University of Oregon history. He holds school records for kickoff return yardage and punt return average. His 278 points ranks fourth in school history.
Thomas is just 5-foot-9 and 174-pounds, which will likely limit him as a situational player in the NFL. Having said that, Thomas can line up at running back, wide receiver and can be the team's kickoff and punt returner if free agent Trindon Holliday does not return. The Oregon product is the most dynamic player in this draft.
Sixth Round - C/OG Russell Bodine
The Broncos need depth along the offensive line, and by depth, I'm talking about young talent. Centers Steve Vallos and Dan Koppen are free agents. Starting left guard Zane Beadles is a free agent. University of North Carolina C/OG Russell Bodine has experience in playing both the center and offensive guard positions. Though the Broncos likely won't need a starter along the offensive line through the draft, they need depth. They won't find better value in the later rounds than the versatile Bodine.
Seventh Round - TE Colt Lyerla
The Broncos are set with Julius Thomas as the starting tight end, but there's the question of whether the team will bring back backups Joel Dreessen and Jacob Tamme considering their high cap numbers. By drafting Colt Lyerla out of Oregon, the team gives themselves a young and cheap receiving option while preparing in the possible future event that Thomas leaves through free agency in 2015.
Lyerla is 6-foot-5 and 238-pounds. He faces character questions, but there is low-risk involved here with the Broncos drafting an athletic tight end such as Lyerla in the seventh round.