Stuart Brunt Mock Draft 1.0

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The 2017 NFL Draft is less than 10 days away and after completing countless mock drafts online, I decided to write one down to share with the Broncos community. The Broncos enter with a possibility of drafting 10 out of the 256 college players taken in the 3 day draft, however I feel with a couple of trades looming this number will decrease.  With recent news of Bradley Roby getting his 5th year option exercised and the constant possibility of trading for a left tackle, I expect the Broncos to move around in the draft to ensure maximum value whilst selecting the best player available more often than not. Like it or lump it Broncos Country it’s the Elway way.
As Free Agency began the Broncos signed their number 1 target in Ronald Leary. The offensive guard who played in the number 1 offensive line protecting Dak Prescott in Dallas last year will be a fantastic addition. Throw in Menelik Watson, the right tackle who was on the Raiders last year and Matt Paradis fresh from double hip surgery, and the Broncos find themselves with 3/5 of a serviceable line. With a new Head Coach, Offensive Co-ordinator, Defensive Co-ordinator and Special Teams Co-ordinator the team will head into the 2017-2018 Season with a new purpose and new direction but ultimately with the same goal of playing in and winning Super Bowl 52.
I set about the task of looking at the Broncos roster and determining the weak links and areas of need, this would then determine target rounds for each position. The offensive line still scares me more than any position however, I believe that the Broncos will sign a veteran left tackle after the draft and pick up a project left tackle in the middle rounds. Defensive line, although strengthened with the additions of Peko and Kerr via free agency, is still an area of concern. Porous versus the run, the Broncos play some heavy run teams this year on the schedule and stopping the run needs to be new DC Joe Woods’ first task. With all that said I set aside rounds 1 and 2 for some playmakers. The consensus among the media is that Elway wants McCaffrey and is willing to trade up to get him. On 5 of the 7 mocks I did tonight C Mac didn’t get past Washington at 15.
Below is the mock draft in full, every team every pick no trades. I will try and explain my thinking in picking the 10 players I selected for the Broncos. The website is if any of you would like a go yourselves. I used Matt Miller from Bleacher Report and the Fanspeak data and rankings.

Round 1 Pick 20 – Christian McCaffrey – Playmaker out of Stanford University

Two words to describe Christian – explosive and dynamic, with the ability to take it to the house on every touch. He glides effortlessly across the turf with a fantastic first step through a hole in seconds to go with a 2nd gear to start pulling away from trailing defenders. Brandon Stokley has been training him to be a slot guy. He is also a dangerous return man. I’m really excited to see where he goes but my heart sees him coming home and wearing orange and blue throughout his career.

Round 2 Pick 51 – Evan Engram – Tight End out of Ole Miss

Tight end is an area of need in my opinion. Heuermann, Green and Derby will be instantly challenged by Engram who will bring 4.42 40 yard dash speed to go with his excellent route running but below par blocking. He is fast and at 6-3 isn’t a massive target but he fits the Jordan Reed mould of tight ends.

Round 3 Pick 82 Derek Rivers – Edge rusher out of Youngstown State

He can be our Demarcus Ware replacement. Comfortable playing end or edge rushing outside linebacker, he’s very athletic and quick into the backfield and will slide into the rotation with Shaq Barrett, Shane Ray and Von Miller. The downside to Rivers is a lack of core strength meaning he gets lost in the run game. Scouting reports have him labelled as a 3-4 edge rusher who can play defensive end and in the Broncos pass rush he could see a lot of 1 on 1 action. Anthony Walker, an inside linebacker, was still on the board and it was a close call. Walker is the best cover linebacker in the draft and man covered Christian McCaffrey on numerous plays in 2016.

Round 3 Pick 101 Antonio Garcia Tackle out of Troy University

Has the size and strength to develop into a left or right tackle. With 4 years starting experience (37 games) he gave up just 5.5 sacks. With all the staff changes in Denver this year I really like the idea of a development tackle backing up a veteran and I think Garcia will work out just fine taking over the left tackle spot in 2018 or 2019.

Round 4 pick 126 Jarron Jones Nose Tackle out of Notre Dame

Vincent Taylor from Oklahoma State was my first choice nose tackle but he went to Washington 12 picks earlier. Jones is very quick and disruptive in both passing and run games. He will fit right in alongside Derek Wolfe in creating 1 on 1 opportunities for the edge guys as well as eating up running backs trying to sneak through.

Round 5 pick 133 Ryan Glasgow Defensive Lineman out of Michigan University

I started looking for value from here on in and found an intriguing prospect from Michigan in Ryan Glasgow. Playing backup defensive tackle he still produced 39 tackles, 4 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss. My thinking was if he slips to right defensive end alongside Demato Peko and Derek Wolfe that’s a good run stuffing line. A potential diamond in the rough perhaps?

Round 6 pick 203 Ben Boulware Inside Linebacker out of Clemson University

Developmental inside linebacker, poor in coverage but a good run stopping middle linebacker. He could see playing time on 1st and 2nd down to promote a 3rd and long situation allowing the strength of the defence to tee off on opposing QB’s and linemen.

Round 7 pick 238 Kenny Golladay Wide Receiver out of Northern Illinois

Very elusive receiver with good hands. Dropped 5 of 165 targets over his 2 year college career. If Sanders goes into the slot I’m thinking we need Demaryius Thomas on the outside and Bennie Fowler doesn’t fill me with confidence. Golladay would be an excellent number 2 receiver or he could be a project if we draft McCaffrey and he ends up playing slot. All in all to get this skill set this late in the draft is fantastic.

Round 7 pick 252 Josh Harvey-Clemons Safety out of Louisville

With TJ Ward due to be a free agent next season it wouldn’t hurt to have another safety knocking around the practise field. He has speed and is a good tackler. He needs developing for sure but he has some decent fundamentals to start off his career with.

Round 7 pick 239 Zach Pascal Wide Receiver out of Old Dominion

He’s a poor man’s Christian McCaffrey.  Pascal shows good versatility but below average route running and separation. He could possibly push for a roster spot just as a returner though.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing it. The draft is a fun time of year as nobody knows anything and its all guess work. If I get 2 out of 10 right then this has been a success.

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