Zach Gotlieb | April 2nd, 2020
One of the most critical offseasons in recent memory is off to a promising start after an impressive and underrated opening to the free agency period. With the signings of guard/center Graham Glasgow and running back Melvin Gordon. Also acquiring defensive lineman Jurrell Casey and cornerback A.J. Bouye. While they have done an excellent job of solidifying some of the team’s key needs, there is still work to be done in creating a team that can contend for a playoff spot this year. Luckily for them, 10 picks will be a huge help in doing so, as long as they hit on their picks.
For this mock, I used The Draft Network with no trades.
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Round 1, Pick 15: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
With Denver clearing up their major holes in the offseason, besides receiver, they should be in the market to try and move up to either pick 10 or 11 and have the draft capital to do so. Still, I got lucky and had Jeudy fall to 15, which is a no-brainer with Henry Ruggs III already off the board. Jeudy, widely regarded as true wide receiver one in this draft, brings a level of elite route running that isn’t found in a rookie wide receiver very often. He’s able to get open consistently and has enough speed to make plays after the catch. With a lack of a true second receiver to help Courtland Sutton, this would be a slam dunk pick for the Broncos. However, I’d still be looking to move up and take Ruggs to provide real top of the line speed opposite Sutton.
Round 2, Pick 46: Matt Hennessy, IOL, Temple
While Denver seems to be set, right now, with Patrick Morris as the starting center and signing Graham Glasgow, who can play center, gives them flexibility. That being said, Hennessy is a pure center and doesn’t bring positional versatility, but is a top-level center in this draft. He would be able to start day one for the Broncos as they continue to revamp their offensive line.
Round 3, Pick 77: Matt Peart, OT, UCONN
I’m not as low on Garett Bolles as others. He looked to improve last year, and if he continues to ascend, he could get an extension next offseason. That being said, he will be the starter going into next season. Peart, a converted guard, has the physical tools to be a terrific tackle, just not the technique. This year would have to be a developmental year for Peart. Still, with Mike Munchak running the offensive line, he wouldn’t get much better coaching and development in his rookie year. He could end up being the starter next year or step in as a spot starter if there’s an injury.
Round 3, Pick 83: K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State
Yes, Denver is going to double dip on receivers in this draft, since the problems at receiver are a bit extensive. Tim Patrick is kind of like Sutton in terms of skill set. DaeSean Hamilton is a good route running receiver but has had some problems with drops and health in his first two seasons in the league. I don’t expect Hill to make a significant impact at least this season, with Hamilton having a similar skillset and gaining the trust of Drew Lock at the end of last year. However, he’d be a great compliment to two deep threats in Sutton and previously picked Ruggs. He profiles as a slot receiver that runs very good routes that are crisp and clean. He gives me a bit of a Wes Welker vibe in his ability to run clean routes from the slot and is very smart in finding the open holes in the zone.
Round 3, Pick 95: Amik Robertson, CB, Louisiana Tech
Denver is building a very talented defense that on paper could compete with anyone. Robertson would be yet another piece to add to that. He brings a type of feistiness and “junkyard dog” mentality that would be welcomed on this defense. At the current juncture, Robertson wouldn’t be much more than a slot corner, but he would make for a very compelling piece in the slot. He fits the coach Fangio archetype of physical, strong tackling defensive backs. The team seems to have their starting backfield set, so Robertson would take a backup role who could find himself a role in playing the running game.
Round 4, Pick 118: Jason Strowbridge, IDL, North Carolina
Strowbridge is an intriguing prospect. He’s converted from edge rusher and added some bulk, but could still provide some positional versatility. Strowbridge plays with a lot of strength and physicality. He can provide consistent penetration up the middle and with guys like Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, and Jurrell Casey all on the line. He’d be yet another weapon to put pressure on the quarterback. With all the moves and current depth on the line, it may be hard for him to make an immediate impact more than possibly a rotational piece, but a developmental guy that could come in and make an impact in the middle years of his rookie deal.
Round 5, Pick 178: Davion Taylor, LB, Colorado
He’s an extremely raw prospect with the possibility to be a very good player. He’s got track speed, a PAC-12 qualifier in 100M track in his first year at Colorado. He does a really good job of making plays on the ball after he dissects the play, but his play recognition needs to get faster to reach the top levels of the NFL. Denver does not need a day one starter at linebacker, which is really helpful for Taylor, as it lets him really grow as a football player and learn the nuances of the game. They’ve got Todd Davis and Alexander Johnson to start and Josey Jewell to back them up. Still, Taylor has a real opportunity to see important reps this year with the potential to grow into a starter in the future.
Round 6, Pick 181: Antoine Brooks Jr, S, Maryland
Brooks appears to be the guy who could fill the Will Parks role but to a lesser extent. He struggles in man coverage, but with Fangio running a primarily zone system, Brooks would be better set up for success. Being able to keep him in the short to intermediate-range would be best for him. He needs to work on his instincts and getting smarter in coverage. Still, he would already be an excellent blitzer and run defender. He can tackle but has to work on his coverage skills.
Round 7, Pick 252: Nigel Warrior, S, Tennessee
Warrior by name. Warrior by reputation. He’s an extremely versatile safety that can play just about anywhere. He’s a reliable tackler and got excellent ball skills. He’s got a great motor and always seems to be near the ball. Don’t see much of a role for him this year, outside of injury. His aim should be to be the main backup to Kareem Jackson and possibly the successor to Jackson.
Round 7, Pick 254: Jake Luton, QB, Oregon State
Luton is good in the pocket and moving out of the pocket, but he’s a project everywhere else. He’s got inconsistent accuracy and doesn’t have great arm strength. The arm strength can be aided with re-working his mechanics to include more lower body torque. He has to improve his reads beyond the first read. As a seventh-round pick, this is an extremely low-risk pick. With Lock at the helm, and signing Jeff Driskel, there would not be any pressure on Luton to have to be anything special. He’s at worst a camp arm. At best, he could compete with second-year quarterback Brett Rypien for the third quarterback/practice squad spot.
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