Four Round Mock Draft for the Denver Broncos
This four round mock draft revolves around Kirk Cousins signing with the Denver Broncos in the off-season as a free agent or traded for if necessary. Signing Kirk Cousins ahead of the draft really opens up their options especially with the 5th overall pick. If the player they absolutely want isn’t available at 5, they could look to trade back with say maybe the Buffalo Bills who have back to back first round picks (21, 22 overall) which could lead to two impactful players. The Broncos currently have 6 draft picks in the top four rounds and with the Broncos coaching the Senior Bowl this year I would expect them to use at least a couple draft picks on players who participated in the senior bowl. This off-season should be fun and full of surprises…stay tuned.
Pick #5: Saquon Barkley, RB Penn St. Barkley is the best Running Back and potentially the best player in the draft. The Broncos need a number one running back who can take over a game at any moment, and with Kirk Cousins admitting to needing a good run game, Barkley is their guy and so much more. Saquon Barkley has 4.3 speed at 5-11 223 lbs. and can do ANYTHING offensively. I could see the Denver Broncos trading out of this spot for more Draft capital as the Fifth overall pick should be highly sought after with all of the quarterback hungry teams.
Pick #40: Will Hernandez, OG Utep. It’s no surprise the Broncos need to get better on the offensive line, Will Hernandez is not quite on Quenton Nelson’s level but he is still extremely talented and massive at 6-2 348 lbs. Hernandez was formerly coached by Sean Kugler the Broncos new offensive line coach (center, guards) and was a standout player from the North team at the Senior Bowl. Hernandez has expressed a great deal of gratitude and loyalty to his former coach Sean Kuglar, that being said I think this is an obvious pick for the Broncos with the 40th overall pick or even if they have to trade up to get him.
Pick #71: Nathan Shepherd, DL Fort Hays State. Nathan Shepherd was one of the Senior Bowl standouts who really impressed and proved he can play on Sundays with the big boys. Shepherd is a big guy at 6-5 300 lbs and would develop into a really good NFL d-lineman behind Bill Kollar. Shepherd is talented against both the run and pass and can shed blockers with his strength and power. The Broncos need to create more pass rush from the inside so Von Miller, Ray, and Barrett can be more effective, Shepherd can help provide that if he can see the field.
Compensatory Pick: Michael Gallup, WR Colorado State. I believe this offseason Demaryius Thomas’s contract will get restructured and Emanuel Sanders will be traded or released. The Broncos need to get better at the WR position and while Gallup does not profile as a number one wide receiver he could be a good possession receiver with the ability to get yards after the catch. During the Senior bowl Gallup admitted to not being prepared and that he needs to stick his nose in the playbook more, while this is concerning I think being able to recognize that he has work to do is a huge step in the right direction.
6th Pick overall: Josey Jewell, ILB Iowa. The Denver Broncos need to fill a hole at inside linebacker with Todd Davis becoming a free agent and really ever since Danny Trevathan left after Super Bowl 50. Josey Jewell is a smart player and has the ability to be a defensive captain as long as he can develop into an NFL player. In 2017 Jewell tallied up 136 tackles, 13.5 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks with one forced fumble. He also had 2 picks and 11 batted passes in the passing game. However I’m not sure that he has the speed to consistently cover NFL tight ends or running backs out of the backfield.
9th Pick overall (from San Francisco): Troy Fumagalli, TE Wisconsin. The Broncos Tight End group has been lacking talent the past couple years and while the Broncos two biggest plays came from tight ends this past season they need a major upgrade at the position. Jake Butt should be healthy and ready to go after missing his rookie season, but the Broncos can’t put all their eggs in one basket. Troy Fumagalli is 6-6 and 248 lbs has decent to good blocking skills and the size to create mismatches in the passing game. Fumagalli’s stats don’t stand out but that has more to do with the style of Wisconsin’s offense rather than his skill set. I don’t think Fumagalli is the sole answer at tight end but he is a good tough football player and can’t be any worse than Jeff Heuerman.