John Elway and Gary Kubiak had completed their first draft together as head coach and general manger back in April. While Kubiak brings a new system to Denver via Baltimore, Elway being Elway went about his business seeking value above all else in each pick selected. While I believe a draft grading to be a pointless exercise among ‘experts’ i thought i’d have my say in way of a review of the 2015 Denver Broncos Draft.
Round 1 pick 23 – Traded up from pick 28 via Detroit. Detroit received C/G Manny Ramirez a 5th round pick in 2016 and pick 143. Broncos Selected Shane Ray Defensive End/Outside linebacker.
In my mock draft I predicted that we took Offensive Tackle D.J Humphries. At this point in the draft Humphries was still available. While I think we gave up too much for Ray you can’t complain at top 10 talent still being around at pick 23. Ray was arrested Monday 27th April for Cannabis possession and it is widely sourced that the arrest was the reason for the slide down the draft. The selection of Ray shows how much faith Kubiak has in Shelley Smith and Gino Gradkowski as the starting centers. Ray is ready to be a starter no question. I think he will be used at first though to give D Ware or Von Miller a breather from time to time. A scary thought to every Oline and QB in the NFL that comes up against the Broncos this year.
Round 2 pick 27 – pick 59 overall – Broncos selected Ty Sambrailo Offensive Tackle
I had Denver addressing the defensive line in this spot with nose tackle Carl Davis. As the 59th pick approached and with TJ Clemmings, Grasu, Marpet and sambrailo still on the board, Elway must have been rubbing his hands with glee. Ty Sambrailo was a left tackle through most of his college career, he is in Denver competing for a right tackle spot. Ty is immensely strong and athletic with the versatility to move around the Oline and play multiple spots.
Round 3 pick 28 – pick 92 overall – Broncos selected Jeff Heuerman Tight End
In my mock i had Denver addressing their pass rushing needs with Hau’oli Kikaha. With the broncos picking up Owen Daniels, James Casey and Joe Don Duncan in free agency plus the re-signing of Virgil Green I thought we had all the tight ends we would need for the season. Clearly Elway and Kubiak had other ideas. I must admit i had seen no footage or read any scouting reports for Heuerman until after the draft. He looks the real deal that’s for sure. Good enough to line up in the slot, with a lot of length to catch or block on screens. Fantastic blocker in run support and deceptively quick and sharp running routes. His quarterback situation in college has been blamed for his lack of productivity but his skill set is undeniable. With Heuerman and Daniels on the same side as Thomas or Sanders the Broncos screen game will become deadly again as will the outside run game. Heuerman is very versatile which will cause all sorts of problems and mismatches.
Round 4 pick 34 – pick 133 overall – Broncos selected Max Garcia Center/Guard/Tackle
In my mock i had the Broncos take a center Shaq Mason. Mason went 2 picks earlier to the Patriots. According to Kubiak in the press conference after the draft, Garcia is on the depth chart at right guard behind Louis Vasquez. Garcia has overcome sitting a year out after changing schools ( NCAA rule ) in which he became a leader off the field earning respect from team mates for practising hard knowing he couldn’t play on the Saturday. Garcia is versatile as well as being a great zone blocker. Garcia may well slide over to left guard after the Ramirez trade, but so could any of the other Olinemen. Kubiak is building an offensive line where injury or lack of form won’t hinder the team because 2 or 3 other guys can step in and still perform to a high standard.
Round 5 pick 28 – pick 164 overall – Broncos selected Lorenzo Doss Cornerback
In my mock draft i took a middle linebacker with this pick. I didn’t know much about Doss, I didn’t see corner as a position of need this year. With Talib, Harris Jr, Carter (RFA re-sign), Roby and Webster it appears 6 good corners wasn’t enough. After watching and reading about Doss its clear he has tremendous instincts for the football. 15 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries in 3 years tied in with quickness and good cover skills make this a very good value pick. Doss will be in the mix for dime package work but will mainly feed on special teams.
Round 6 pick 27 – pick 203 overall – Broncos selected Darius Kilgo Nose Tackle
In my mock I took Safety Anthony Jefferson. I’d never heard of Kilgo before so I had to go do some digging. In free agency the Broncos addressed the rotation at defensive end by bringing in Vance Walker and Anthony Smith to go with Derek Wolfe and Malik Jackson. However nose tackle was not an area of address. With the departure of ‘Pot Roast’ Terrence Knighton it left the Broncos with only Austin Jr and Sly Williams as registered nose tackles. The pick up of Kilgo will mean serious chances of playtime in the rotation. He has great size and athletic ability to go with a 319 pound frame and all his college experience.
Round 7 picks 33, 34, 35 – picks 250, 251, 252 overall – Broncos selected Trevor Siemian QB, Taurean Nixon Cornerback and Josh Furman Safety
In my mock I took Offensive Tackle, Defensive End and Middle Linebacker. Round 7 picks are generally the ones with most to gain and least to lose. Trevor Siemian was in contact with the Broncos from the combine and the Broncos had representatives at his pro day. He will compete for a roster spot with Zac Dysert. Nixon and Furman have uphill tasks to make the roster but will come into training camp to compete and anything can happen with injuries etc.
As Bill Polian said after the draft on twitter ” Rounds 1-3 are easy picks to make. Rounds 4-7 are the picks that make Superbowl champions”. Time will tell us if these draft picks will be super bowl champions or busts. From what i’ve heard/read/seen from the important people in the Broncos organisation this is a draft for the future and a bonus if any of them effect the present. Versatility was the key word taken from this draft as every draft pick seems capable of playing multiple positions.
The future is bright – The future is Blue and Orange.