This is a guest blog by fellow @UKBroncosUK Admin Stuart Brunt.
The 2015 NFL Draft is less than 32 hours away and after reading 3 or 4 mock drafts, I decided to have a go myself. The Broncos enter with a possibility of drafting 10 out of the 256 college players taken in the 3 day draft. With recent news of Quanterus Smith failing a medical and being waived and a possible trade involving backup QB Brock Osweiler, I expect the Broncos to move around in the draft to ensure maximum value. It is of course the Elway way.
After free agency the Broncos swapped big money signings to add system players. With a new Head Coach, Offensive Co-ordinator and Defensive Co-ordinator the team will head into the 2015-2016 season with new purpose and new direction but ultimately with the same goal of winning the Superbowl. Airing the ball out 85% of offensive plays will be swapped for a more patient but potent run game and the defensive will change from a 4-3 to a 3-4 base philosophy, hopefully implementing a devastating blitz game.
Like everybody else, I set out to find what I think are the Broncos needs in terms of positions required. After completing a spreadsheet to create a depth chart it was clear both Offense and Defensive lines needed address along with all 3 linebacker positions and a QB.
After looking at the 7 round mock draft by Tylor Walden of predominantlyorange.com, I saw he used a program called Fanspeak ‘On The Clock’ mock draft to act as the G.M for the other 31 teams and he of course took the Broncos. I set mine up the same and the board I used was by Matt Miller from bleacher report.
Pick 28 – Offensive Tackle. DJ Humphries – Florida
As expected all key DT’s and edge rushers are taken along with arguably the best fitting raw talent tackle in TJ Clemmings. No worries here though for Bronco fans as the following players are available:-
21 OT D.J. HUMPHRIES – FLORIDA
29 OT JAKE FISHER – OREGON
31 OT CEDRIC OGBUEHI – TEXAS A&M
33 OT ANDRUS PEAT – STANFORD
69 OT ERECK FLOWERS – MIAMI (FLA.)
I decided to take Humphries. High engine, raw talent and at 307 pounds, becomes a big player in our run game. Humphries becomes an Instant challenger to Chris Clarks RT starting position.
PICK 59 – Nose Tackle. Carl Davis – IOWA
As expected all the defensive backs are clearing off the boards along with the cream of the middle linebackers. No brainer here for the Broncos with Carl Davis still on the board. Outstandingly talented gap swallower and active block eater. He will warrant a double team freeing blitzers across the line.
PICK 92 – ROLB. Hauoli Kikaha – Washington
The 2 possible players i had earmarked for this spot have already been drafted – Ali Marpet G by the Chiefs and Hroniss Grasu C to the Cardinals. Interior linebacker is very thin now so anybody taken now would be a reach. Then i noticed the college co-sack leader from 2014 was still on the board. Happy playing hand down or rushing the passer from linebacker he seems the idea partner and eventual replacement for Demarcus Ware.
PICK 133 – C. Shaq Mason – Georgia Tech
I’m starting to struggle as my players are getting drafted by teams in front of me in the draft. Guard John Miller went to the Steelers at pick 121 and Jake Ryan going to the patriots at pick 131. I have decided to add depth at C and have picked Shaq Mason. Great footwork and hands, effortless run blocking on pulling plays. Very powerful which leads to over aggressive behaviour but he is a 40 game starter in college.
PICK 143 – QB Sean Mannion – Oregon State
Mannion is one of the best deep throwers in the draft, extremely accurate with the perfect frame to be an NFL starter. He is a straight up drop back passer with poor mobility and will also be the envy of every QB in the draft as he becomes the apprentice of Peyton Manning.
PICK 164 – ILB Bryce Hager – Baylor
At 6 foot and 232 pounds Hager is undersized but hyper active. He is quick to diagnose a play with good instincts and is a good tackler.
PICK 203 – S Anthony Jefferson – UCLA
Jefferson represents an excellent pick here. Very athletic safety has the skill set to play corner. Loves being physical in run support and deflects a lot of passes in coverage. He needs to add explosion to his game along with better tackling skills. All his negatives are correctable with good coaching.
PICK 250 – OT Chaz Green – Florida
Green possesses excellent movement skills, anticipation to pick up an extra blitzer and excellent patience and discipline. He has durability issues which if he can overcome he will be be a very good tackle for years to come.
PICK 251 – DE Corey Crawford – Clemson
Crawford would be one for the future. Big enough to play DT in a 4 man front as well as his usual DE position in a 3-4. Technique is questionable due to poor coverage skills, not enough speed to beat a tackle consistently and when Crawford is asked to play 3 technique he comes out too upright to cause any problems. Crawford relies on his length to get him out of trouble. Weaknesses are correctable.
PICK 252 – ILB Zach Vigil – Utah State
Vigil was the mountain west defensive player of the year with good speed and strength.