Four Round Mock Draft for the Denver Broncos
The first two things the Denver Broncos have to do to improve their team and chances of getting back to the playoffs are figuring out the quarterback position and offensive line. It’s no surprise the Broncos are going to make a big push for Kirk Cousins, if they can successfully acquire him via free agency or a trade with the Redskins, then the Broncos biggest hole will be filled and they’ll be able to focus on upgrading other positions whether it’s along the offensive line, running back, wide receiver, ect. In this mock draft the Broncos aren’t able to acquire Kirk Cousins and will have to sign a lower tier quarterback like Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater, Tyrod Taylor, Josh McCown, or AJ MacCarron. None of these quarterbacks are talented enough to be a franchise QB, but they can all be serviceable if put in the right situation. The Broncos would then be forced to take a quarterback with their first round pick instead of the best position player available, which is not the quick fix some Broncos fans want, but potentially the better option if the Broncos can successfully develop the QB they draft. I assume the Broncos front office will also make a strong push for offensive tackles Nate Soldier or Jason Peters if he is released by the Eagles. Signing either of those players would help allow the Broncos to make the moves they want in the draft.
Pick #5: Josh Rosen, QB UCLA. In order for the Denver Broncos to draft Josh Rosen they will have to trade up to one of the top 2 picks, I don’t think Rosen falls to them if they stay put with the fifth overall pick but crazier things have happened. If the Broncos do indeed trade up to get Rosen they will probably have to part ways with next year’s first round pick and possibly more to go along with the fifth overall pick this year. While most quarterbacks are never really ready for their first year in the NFL, Rosen is by far the closest to being ready to play day one out of all the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft. Josh Rosen played in more of a pro-style offense under Jim Mora at UCLA which should help ease his transition into the NFL. Rosen is very smart and has all the talent needed to be a highly successful NFL QB, but at 6-4 220 lbs. he will have to gain some weight/muscle if he is going to survive an NFL season.
Pick #40: Sony Michel, RB Georgia. Unlike previous drafts John Elway and the Broncos decide to draft back to back offensive players with their first two picks in attempt to get the offense back on track. Sony Michel is versatile back who has good speed, acceleration, vision and the physicality to lower his shoulder or even stand in the pocket and protect his quarterback. In 2017 Michel finished his season with 156 carries for a whopping 7.9 yards per carry and 16 touchdowns, six of those scores were 15 yards or longer. The Broncos need a player like Michel who would bring playmaking ability, versatility and leadership as he was a two year captain for the Georgia Bulldogs. The main red flag with Michel is that he fumbles a lot, if not corrected he could see significantly less playing time. I get the feeling the Sony Michel may move up draft boards more and more, if the Broncos aren’t able to get him in the second round, I would love to see them go after Ronald Jones II out of USC.
Pick #71: Harrison Philips, DL Stanford. Philips grades out like a mid-rounder but I could see a couple teams reaching up to get him because of his senior season. He finished 2017 with 103 tackles, 17 for a loss, 7.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Philips is a former 3 time high school wrestling champion with a high motor, at 6-3 295 lbs. he has the power to push the pocket and can be a force against the run. Harrison Philips should fit in well with the rest of the Broncos defensive linemen and develop into a strong player behind Bill Kollar.
Compensatory Pick: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, OLB Oklahoma. Von Miller needs more help rushing the passer and with the future of Shane Ray and Shaq Barrett up in limbo the Broncos take Okoronkwo. Shane Ray’s 5th year option is coming up and he struggled to perform at a high level all season with a wrist injury, when healthy Ray shows his talent but is he worthy of paying big time money to. Then you have Shaq Barrett who is a restricted free agent and an above average pass rusher when playing in a rotational role. The Broncos simple cannot afford to pay all three Von Miller, Shane Ray, and Shaq Barrett. Okoronkwo is an undersized player at his position but he is consistently proving that his skill set and talent supersede his size, he reminds me of a former Bronco Elvis Dummerville.
6th Pick overall: Martinas Rankin, OT Mississippi State. Martinas Rankin was a top recruit out of junior college before playing left tackle for Mississippi State. He has the ability to play any position along the offensive line and would probably have more success in the NFL as an interior lineman. Rankin is very smart, has good length, and keeps out of trouble off the field. His main weakness is his strength, as power pass rushers often give him trouble and put him on the ground. Rankin’s versatility would provide good depth along the o-line for the Broncos and could possibly be pretty good at right tackle if developed.
9th Pick overall (from San Francisco): Mike Gesicki, TE Penn State. Mike Gesicki is a big tight end at 6-6 250 lbs. and can create miss matches in the passing game against linebackers and safeties with his quickness, size, route running and ability to box out defenders when going up for the ball. Unfortunately he is terrible as blocker in the run game and needs to add some strength to his game. If Gesicki can translate his skills to the NFL he could develop into a player like Julius Thomas and become a huge red zone threat which the Broncos desperately need.
Hope you enjoyed