I don't have a fancy little article for you this time, with statistics and all that junk. But I think you'll be fine with that because I have what you are all truly craving: A mock draft.
Mock Drafts are all the rage these days, and it seems just about everyone is doing them. What isn't all the rage these days are good mock drafts. There is a difference between what you wish would happen and what will happen. So for you all today I have a mock draft that reflects what I think the Broncos plan to do with their draft, with all seven rounds.
I also have The Little Big Board, which I am happy to say has grown to 40 now, as well as some new scouting reports and a two round mock draft including all of the teams. Enjoy!
NFL MOCK DRAFT (2 ROUNDS):
1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
2. Denver Broncos: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
3. Buffalo Bills: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
4. Cincinnati Bengals: A.J Green, WR, Georgia
5. Arizona Cardinals: Von Miller, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
6. Cleveland Browns: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
7. San Francisco 49ers: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
8. Tennessee Titans: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Mizzou
9. Dallas Cowboys: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
10. Washington Redskins: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
11. Houston Texans: Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina
12. Minnesota Vikings: J.J Watt, DE, Wisconsin
13. Detroit Lions: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
14. St. Louis Rams: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
15. Miami Dolphins: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
17. New England Patriots: Nate Soldier, OT, Colorado
18. San Diego Chargers: Cameron Jordan, DE/DT, Cal
19. New York Giants: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Aldon Smith, DE, Mizzou
21. Kansas City Chiefs: Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor
22. Indianapolis Colts: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
23. Philadelphia Eagles: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
24. New Orleans Saints: Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
25. Seattle Seahawks: Mike Pouncey, G, Florida
26. Baltimore Ravens: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
27. Atlanta Falcons: Jon Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh
28. New England Patriots: Justin Houston, DE/OLB, Georgia
29. Chicago Bears: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
30. New York Jets: Muhammad Wilkinson, DE/DT, Temple
31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Martez Wilson, ILB, Illinois
32. Green Bay Packers: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
33. New England Patriots: Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech
34. Buffalo Bills: Jake Locker, QB, Washington
35. Cincinnati Bengals: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
36. Denver Broncos: Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA
37. Cleveland Browns: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio St.
38. Arizona Cardinals: Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona
39. Tennessee Titans: Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville
40. Dallas Cowboys: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi St.
41. Washington Redskins: Sam Acho, DE/OLB, Texas
42. Houston Texans: Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia
43. Minnesota Vikings: Christian Ponder, QB, Florida St.
44. Detroit Lions: Kelvin Sheppard, ILB, LSU
45. San Francisco 49ers: Andy Dalton, QB, TCU
46. Denver Broncos: Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame
47. St. Louis Rams: Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland
48. Oakland Raiders: Brandon Fusco, C, Slippery Rock
49. Jacksonville Jaguars: Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon St.
50. San Diego Chargers: Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami
51. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Benjamin Ijalana, G, Villanova
52. New York Giants: Mikel LeShoure, RB, Illinois
53. Indianapolis Colts: Tyler Sash, SS, Iowa
54. Philadelphia Eagles: Rodney Hudson, G/C, Florida St.
55. Kansas City Chiefs: Marcus Cannon, G, TCU
56. New Orleans Saints: Drake Nevis, DT, LSU
57. Seattle Seahawks: Curtis Brown, CB, Texas
58. Baltimore Ravens: Titus Young, WR, Boise St.
59. Atlanta Falcons: Lance Kendricks, TE, Wisconsin
60. New England Patriots: Tandon Doss, WR, Indiana
61. San Diego Chargers: Jabaal Sheard, DE/OLB, Pittsburgh
62. Chicago Bears: Clint Boling, G, Georgia
63. Pittsburgh Steelers: Brandon Burton, CB, Utah
64. Green Bay Packers: Daniel Thomas, RB, Kansas St.
2nd overall pick: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama. I’m beginning to lean to the Panthers picking Da’Quan Bowers of Clemson, first overall, which for all extensive purposes is good news for the Broncos. Bowers is a great player. Don’t get me wrong. But, I feel at this point for the Broncos drafting a number one defensive tackle would be better than drafting a number one defensive end.
Some supporters of Patrick Peterson here will preach about how the Broncos need help on all three levels of the Defense. That is true. Then they will tell you that because of it, the Broncos need to draft the best player available. That is false. Honestly, and I know this is hard to deal with: The Broncos are bad. Not just bad, but REALLY bad. So bad, that you need to fill your biggest need. And while we have lots of needs on Defense, Cornerback definitely is the least of them. If/when the Broncos begin to win again, then they can use the best player available route, but for now they need to fill their biggest need, which is Defensive Tackle.
Marcell Dareus is the most polished Defensive Line prospect to come out in recent years, and his elite versatility and run-blocking skills have sent him to the top of many draft boards and number 3 on my own. He is a very technically sound tackler, and carries around surprising foot quickness for his size. By the time you’ve seen his pursuit for the Quarterback, it is almost impossible to resist him as he plays with one of the highest, most non-stop motors I have ever seen.
The only real knock on him is his pass rushing ability, but I think those concerns are horribly misplaced. He does not get enough credit for the job he does hunting down the QB. He bursts off of the line, and shows a deadly rip and swim move. It should not turn anybody away from drafting him.
Dareus isn’t the same guaranteed slam-dunk pick that Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy were last year, but unlike those two picks, he has an experienced, proven coach on the team. Fox excels in coaching the Defensive Line and knows how to develop and use players to the best of their abilities. Dareus has always to me seemed like a player that with the right coaching could be elite. I think the Broncos can bring him that coaching and mold him into a star. VALUE: -1
Other options: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M ; Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU ; Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
36th overall pick: Rahim Moore, S, UCLA. This is a pretty popular pick right now among draftniks and Broncos fans alike. The Broncos are picking towards the beginning of the second round and will probably continue to fix the defensive side of the ball. With them needing help at all three levels, don’t be surprised if they take the best player available route and try to salvage what is left of their defense. Therefore, it is logical that if the best Safety in the entire draft is available when they pick they will not hesitate to pull the trigger on him.
I could probably win my case for him with saying only one thing: He models his game after Ed Reed, and is good at it too. He’s a student of the game and works hard on gameday and in practices beforehand. Moore is your classic ball-hawk Safety. He fights for the ball in the air, has reliable hands and elite hand-eye coordination. I can’t wait to see how high he can jump in the combine, but from what I’ve seen on the field, it could be one of the highest in the class.
Moore’s mechanics are solid for the most part, as he displays a good backpedal and knows how to use his range in zone. He’s your perfect centerfielder. That said, his man coverage needs work, and will probably need some time to work on that when he reaches the NFL. He will also need to work on his tackling mechanics, because he has been unreliable in that department at times.
Brian Dawkins is getting old and it’s not a stretch to say he might not be in Denver next season, but if he is, it should only be on a rotational basis. In fact, I would love to have Dawkins stay simply to tutor Moore.
Our Defensive Backs clearly need help and Dawkins opposite Hill is just not going to cut it at the Safety position. I firmly believe that Safety can be one of the most important positions on the field and if you are not sound there, than everything else falls apart. They are your teams’ last line of defense and hopefully John Fox recognizes he must address them with this pick. VALUE: +13
Other options: Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State. ; Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame ; Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville
48th overall pick: Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame. This years’ Tight End class isn’t exactly star-studded and at this point I don’t see any of them being taken in the first round. That said though, there are some good picks to be had in this class, if these players are not overvalued.
My favorite, and the consensus best Tight End in the draft is Kyle Rudolph, a Tight End out of Notre Dame. Rudolph displays exceptional ball skills, with confident albeit aggressive pass catching. He needs to show a better release off of the line of scrimmage but has the athletic capabilities to learn how to do so at the next level. What most impresses me most though is his toughness. He constantly fights for the extra yard and his known among his peers for being a fantastic competitor.
While Tight End definitely isn’t the Broncos biggest need, we don’t have a pass-catching one at all, and John Fox utilizes the pass-catching Tight End far more than Josh McDaniels did. Daniel Graham is aging and if he is on the roster next season, I would be surprised if he was the year after that. Thus, you see the reasoning for drafting Rudolph.
Also, consider yet again positional value: We would be drafting the best Tight End in the entire class with only a mid-second round pick. When ever does a team get to draft the best players at three different positions? It would be incredible. While for the most part I would encourage John Fox to stick with mainly defensive players, if you can get a value like Rudolph this far down the stretch, it would be hard, if not impossible to pass him up.
If not Rudolph, because he may very well not be available, the Broncos will definitely continue to draft on the defensive side of the ball. VALUE: +16
Other options: Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon St. ; Quan Sturdivant, ILB, North Carolina ; Marcus Cannon, G, TCU.
66th overall pick: Greg Jones, ILB, Michigan St. What immediately grabs my attention about Greg Jones is that he is a very sound pick. His durability is remarkable, as he hasn’t missed a single game in his three-year college football career due to injury. He also has some of the best intangibles in this years Linebacker class.
While Jones can often be run over by running backs (one of the reasons’ his stock has dropped), it is not so much a question of toughness, but instead it is the skill-set he uses as a Linebacker. He is definitely more of a pass-covering Linebacker, and I think he has the versatility to play the SAM as well as the MIKE position.
He is extremely instinctive and also has top-tier speed, and quickness he can use to get to the Quarterback. Coaches will love to use him in stunts, as he excelled at them while playing for Michigan St. Finally, you can’t help but love his expert technique at tackling. While he isn’t a hard hitter, rarely do you see him miss a tackle. Again, he is a great pick because he is so sound.
Greg Jones represents a big need for the Broncos by adding depth to a Linebacker core that is severely lacking it. While I don’t foresee him becoming a great starter, he is a solid player who could end up being a “jack of all trades but master of none” kind of pick. I like him here as a rotational linebacker.
184th overall pick: Marcus Gilchrist, CB, Clemson. I liked the small bits of what I saw from Marcus Gilchrist at the Senior Bowl. Gilchrist is just not a big playmaker, which is a shame, but there is some upside in drafting him.
Gilchrist is among the better run-supporters in this years’ Cornerback class, and I love the way that he uses his strong upper body in wrapping up and taking down Wide Receivers. From a physical standpoint, he is a mismatch for anybody on the field.
The reason he drops this far is his pass-coverage, which is very raw and definitely needs some work in the NFL. He plays with stiff-hips takes a lot of false steps resulting in a weak back-pedal. That said, he is a solid zone player who simply struggles in man to man.
He may be better fit for Safety at the NFL level, but that would be the coaches’ call. Either way, he is a good late round pick for any team looking for help in their secondary.
194th overall pick: Markus White, DE, Florida St. Markus White is one of those pure physical monsters that I would love to see on the Broncos. His 4.67-projected 40 time on top of 261 pounds is absolutely ridiculous and would make him the perfect fit for a Denver Broncos team looking for some talent in their front seven.
There is no doubt whatsoever, that White can get it done physically at the Defensive End position but he is extremely raw as a player. It will take some serious coaching up to get him to the level where he needs to be, but I think John Fox can do it.
Besides, up until now the Broncos have failed to address the depth problem at the Defensive End position.
The Little Big Board:
1. A.J Green, WR, Georgia
2. Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
3. Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
4. Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
5. Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
6. Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
7. Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
8. Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
9. Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
10. Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
11. Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
12. Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
13. Aldon Smith, OLB, Missouri
14. Nate Soldier, OT, Colorado
15. J.J Watt, DE, Wisconsin
16. Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
17. Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
18. Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
19. Tyron Smith, OT, USC
20. Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
21. Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
22. Jon Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh
23. Rahim Moore, S, UCLA
24. Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi St.
25. Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon St.
26. Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
27. Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
28. Mike Pouncey, OL, Florida
29. Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
30. Allen Bailey, DE, Miami
31. Drake Nevis, DT, LSU
32. Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame
33. Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
34. Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
35. Jake Locker, QB, Washington
36. Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia
37. Christian Ballard, DT, Iowa
38. Marcus Cannon, OG, TCU
39. Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio St.
40. Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia
Brooks Reed, DE/OLB, Arizona
Strengths: Very athletic, displays great agility ... A very reliable tackler who rarely misses ... Uses proper pad level and good leverage ... Terrific instincts ... Plays fast, with a high motor ... Unstoppable in pursuit ... Versatile ... High football IQ.
Weaknesses: A little bit small for his position ... Not very impressive run defending skills ... Can he play in coverage? ... Durability concerns ... A definite 'tweener.
Overview: I can't say that I dislike Brooks Reed at all, he has a lot of upside and may be a good player at the next level, but I simply feel that he will fall into the classic 'tweener category. He isn't big enough to play defensive end and may not have the skill set to play Outside Linebacker. Does that mean that a team shouldn't take a chance at him? No. A lot of people labeled Elvis Dumervil a 'tweener, but he sure did well for himself. If he falls into the right scheme, Reed could be an effective player at the next level. GRADE: 71/100
Noel Devine, RB, West Virginia
Strengths: One of the quickest running backs in this years' class ... Explodes out of the backfield ... Shows a true second gear ... Changes direction smoothly, confidently ... Displays good vision ... A good receiver out of the backfield ... Lots of experience.
Weaknesses: Undersized at only 5'7 ... Struggles running through the tackles ... Will have troubles breaking tackles in the pros ... His size could lead to durability problems in the pros ... Character concerns.
Overview: I like Noel Devine as a situational back in a West Coast offense more than anything, and don't be surprised if he lands in Green Bay. He is an extremely explosive back, but since he can't run through the inside, I highly doubt that he will be able to be a feature back for a team. Luckily for Devine, this is a two running back league, and he certainly has a future in the NFL. GRADE: 68/100