Four Round Mock Draft for the Denver Broncos without Kirk Cousins
This mock draft revolves around the recent rumors coming out that the Minnesota Vikings will land Kirk Cousins. In this case since the Broncos didn’t land Kirk Cousins they turn their attention to lower tier quarterbacks like Case Keenum, Teddy Bridge, AJ MacCaron, Josh McCown, or Sam Bradford. Currently there is a lot of chatter linking the Denver Broncos to Case Keenum, if this ends up being the case it doesn’t make sense to draft a quarterback with the Fifth overall pick because Case Keenum needs talent around him to be successful which the Denver Broncos don’t have, that being said I could still see the Broncos using their fifth overall pick on a top quarterback. Personally I think if the Broncos don’t get Kirk Cousins they should just look to the draft for a QB and fit the team around him. Missing out on Kirk Cousins means the Broncos can spend more money in Free Agency on positions of need. Free Agents the Broncos should target are left tackle Nate Solder, offensive guard Andrew Norwell, offensive guard Josh Sitton, tight end Trey Burton, WR Paul Richardson, and corner back Aaron Colvin.
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: Ronald Jones II, RB USC. Ronald Jones is a very exciting player, with his speed, wiggle, vision and foot work he can make anyone miss at a moment’s notice and take it to the house. Jones wasn’t much of a pass catcher in college but he has the ability to be a good pass catcher out of the backfield. Probably the best attribute for Ronald Jones is that he does NOT fumble the ball, out of 591 carries he only fumbled twice which is huge. Compare that to Sony Michel (RB Georgia) who fumbles on avg. every 54 carries. The main concern for Jones is his size at 6-0 200 lbs. unless Jones can pack on some NFL weight he won’t be able to carry the load by himself, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a part of a dangerous one two punch.
Pick #71: 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.
Compensatory Pick: Michael Gallup, WR Colorado State. Sounds like the Broncos are going to keep both DT and Emmanuel Sanders, but the Broncos still 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: Shaquem Griffin, OLB Central Florida. Shaquem Griffin story is one of the best coming out of college, he is the one handed monster who keeps proving he doesn’t need two hands to be successful on the football field. While at the NFL Combine this last week Griffin ran a 4.38 40 yard dash which would be the fastest 40 time by a linebacker at the combine since 2003, he was also able to put up 20 bench press reps at 225lbs. Griffin is an athletic freak, but he is also a very intelligent player who processes plays quick and attacks the ball carrier. Unfortunately the main concern with Griffin is he will give up some broken tackles because of his missing left hand. Shaquem Griffin would be an immediate special teams star and potentially a good OLB in a rotational role. His determination alone should make him a viable option for any team.
9th Pick overall (from San Francisco): 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 300lbs and could 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.
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