Denver Broncos blog, news and rumors

This mock is my final first round mock I will be releasing before the draft this Thursday. This edition will feature no trades.

UPDATE: Some changes have been made after the jump.

Who will the Broncos pick at 25? Find out after the jump.

Round 1

  • 1.    Indianapolis Colts
    Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

I’ve said it many times before, I’m an ardent Robert Griffin III fan. However, Andrew Luck is something very special. The Colts and everyone who has seen a football understands how great of an opportunity this is. It’s just not fair that the Colts get to be awesome for a decade and have one bad season and pick up such a great prospect.

  • 2.   Washington Redskins
    Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

John Wall of the Wizards, Alex Ovechkin of the Capitals, Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals, and Robert Griffin soon to be of the Redskins. What do all of these men have in common? The state of their franchises rests on their shoulders.

All of those athletes, except for Griffin, were drafted number one overall. Some argue too that Griffin is basically a number one pick.

As a person who lives in the Washington DC area myself, I can easily say that no other area in the United States drafts more “saviors” for their franchises.

Mike Shanahan has basically staked his job on the success of Griffin as well. That is a lot of pressure for one young man.

  • 3.   Minnesota Vikings
    Matt Kalil, OT, USC

Protect your prized possessions. That means your fans, Vikings. But if you aren’t able to stay in Minnesota, then you should protect your young quarterback and Pro Bowl running back instead.

Morris Claiborne may work here too, he is a much better option than paying Chris Cook while he’s still in jail.

  • 4.   Cleveland Browns
    Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

There is a lot of speculation that Trent Richardson may fall due to the undervalued position of running back. However, due to their quarterback situation, it would make a lot of sense for the Browns to pick a running back who is well deserving of a top five selection.

If the Browns want to stomach another year with Colt McCoy then having a phenom like Trent Richardson will help the season go a bit more smoothly.

  • 5.   Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

The Buccaneers were a huge mess last season. Defensively, they had the worst pass defensive, allowing 30.9 points a game. Morris Claiborne would no doubt invigorate the secondary.

The Tampa Bay defensive was also the worst in sacks, only getting to the quarterback 23 times last year. Quinton Coples could also make sense here,  he is an ideal 4-3 defensive end and would be a huge upgrade to this lethargic defensive line.

  • 6.   St. Louis Rams
    Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

The Rams finally have an opportunity to give Sam Bradford an elite wide receiver. Blackmon has that game changing ability, he caught all three touchdowns in the Bowl Game against Stanford.

St. Louis would also be wise to look to improve their offensive line, so Riley Reiff could be an option here.

  • 7.   Jacksonville Jaguars
    Stephon Gilmour, CB, South Carolina

The Jaguar secondary get beat consistently last year. Jacksonville has a very high interest in Gilmour, whose draft stock has been soaring up the charts lately. The Jaguars are not the kind of team to trade out to avoid a reach either.

  • 8.   Miami Dolphins
    Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M

The Dolphins have nothing at quarterback. David Garrard was not the answer in Jacksonville, he won’t change going further south. Matt Moore is very capable, but he is a great backup at best. Ryan Tannehill will have a great chance to either start immediately or sit the bench for a bit to learn the ropes.

  • 9.   Carolina Panthers
    Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State

The Panthers need help everywhere on the defense. Fletcher Cox is really rising up draft boards and is easily the best player available at this position.

  • 10.   Buffalo Bills
    Mark Barron, S, Alabama

Marcel Dareus was a great pick last year. Now Dareus is paired up with Kyle Williams and Mario Williams. The Bills apparently really like Barron. It is no surprise that the Bills are placing a high importance on the defending the pass since they play Tom Brady twice a year.

  • 11.   Kansas City
    Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama

The Chiefs have a pretty good roster, but there is one thing that is weighing them down. The dead weight on the roster, is non other than Matt Cassell.

Brandon Weeden can come in and beat Matt Cassell outright for the starting job. Despite the fact that Weeden is 28, he is still very fresh and very talented.

Since this mock involves no trades, I’m not sure if Weeden will be taken here, but I do think Kansas has him high on their radar.

Instead the Chiefs will chose to upgrade their defense, and Hightower is an instant starter. Crimson Tide linebackers always go higher than expected come draft day.

  • 12.   Seattle Seahawks
    Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College

Kuechly is the best player available and a steal at this position. The Seahawks haven’t had much luck in drafting linebackers in the first round, but since their linebackers could really use an upgrade.

  • 13.   Arizona Cardinals
    Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

Larry Fitzgerald wants Michael Floyd, but Kevin Kolb is hitting big on the Cardinals payroll. Whether or not the Kolb experiment will work is unknown, but Arizona is better off trying to help him as much as possible.

  • 14.   Dallas Cowboys
    Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

The Cowboys don’t really have anything reliable at safety, but Mark Barron is gone. The Cowboys could use some bolstering of the defensive line and Michael Brockers is one of the best players on the board.

  • 15.   Philadelphia Eagles
    Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina

The Eagles may have had an extremely disappointing season, but they are only a few pieces away from reaching the playoffs. The most noticeable of those pieces are at linebacker.

The Eagles made a great move trading for Pro Bowler DeMeco Ryans. With Ryans on the roster, that frees up Philly to take the a great pass rusher like Melvin Ingram.

  • 16.   New York Jets
    Courtney Upshaw, DE, Alabama

Meet Courtney Upshaw, Capital One Bowl and National Championship MVP, size of 3-4 player, and sack artist. This is a recipe for a great pick for the Jets.

Keep in mind, the Jets are smitten with Trent Richardson and Gang Green does not shy away from a big first round trade.

  • 17.   Cincinnati Bengals
    Quinton Coples, DE, UNC

The Bengals defense was one of the pleasant surprises last season. However, they have lost some key players in free agency. Quinton Coples is the best player on the board and would fit in well with Mike Zimmer‘s defensive scheme.

  • 18.   San Diego Chargers
    Chandler Jones, OLB/DE, Syracuse

San Diego had a hard time getting to the quarterback and it’s clear that Larry English is just not panning out. Chandler Jones is one of those potential first round risers that has been causing quite a stir.

  • 19.   Chicago Bears
    David DeCastro, OT, Stanford

Chicago has reunited Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall. If only the Bears offensive line was adept enough to keep Cutler upright. Adding a dose of David DeCastro will go a long way.

  • 20.   Tennessee Titans
    Cordy Glenn, OG, Georgia

The Titans were one of the surprisingly good teams of the 2011 season. One of the struggling parts of the team was the offensive line. Offensive line guru and head coach, Mike Munchak, will do what it takes to upgrade the line where possible.

  • 21.   Cincinnati Bengals
    Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

Dre Kirkpatrick is one of the best corners of the draft, but he was charged with marijuana possession this offseason. The charges were dropped, but that still isn’t the biggest reassurance for teams. However, the Bengals have never shied away from a player with troubles off the field. Adam Jones is still on the roster.

  • 22.   Cleveland Browns
    Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

Joe Thomas may be the best in the NFL and Alex Mack is a extremely talented. Therefore, it makes sense for Cleveland to complete the set and give whoever they draft next year (or perhaps Brandon Weeden) a strong weapon to work with. Trent Richardson and Michael Floyd could provide a great offensive foundation.

  • 23.   Detroit Lions
    Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

The Lions obtain some sort of benevolence towards pot smokers and trouble makers. Fortunately for Lions fans, Jonathan Martin is available, so the team will take him instead of Mike Adams,

  • 24.   Pittsburgh Steelers
    Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis

After being exposed the Broncos, the Steelers’ defense demands an injection of youth.

  • 25.   Denver Broncos
    Doug Martin, RB, Boise State

The Broncos may try to trade up to select an elite talent at defensive tackle, like Fletcher Cox or Michael Brockers, but the ammunition is just not there. John Elway strikes me as a “best player available” kind of guy, which is a great philosophy for the late first round picks.

Doug Martin is quickly rising up the draft boards and he looks like he would be a great fit into John Fox‘s run heavy offense. Martin if quick, shifty, and fights for every yard he can earn. One of the great positives of Martin is that he has the strength to run it up the gut (28 reps at the combine). With the body type of an every down back, pass protection is also one of Martin’s other strengths.

  • 26.   Houston Texas
    Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

Outside of Andre Johnson the Texans wide receiving corps have struggled. The Texans also lack a dominant punt and kick returner. Kendall Wright has the ability to solve both of these problems.

  • 27.   New England Patriots
    Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State

The Patriots had problems consistently getting the quarterback last year. They relied on players like Andre Carter, Rob Ninkovich, and Mark Anderson who all came on strong towards the end of the year. Despite the strong showing of the other pass rushers, New England could use a player like Shea McClellin. McClellin is extremely versatile and he could play in either the 3-4 or 4-3.

  • 28.   Green Bay Packers
    Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois

The Green Bay defense had less than 30 sacks last season. The Packers need to fill the gaping hole that formed when Cullen Jenkins left.

  • 29.   Baltimore Ravens
    Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin

People say that the Ravens don’t draft for need, they select the best player available. Well, last year the Ravens picked Jimmy Smith who was both a need and the best player available. At this spot in the draft, Peter Konz is no different.

  • 30.   San Fransisco 49ers
    Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

Jim Harbaugh knows Fleener better than any other coach, and he will get the best out of him. Fleener would be a great complement to Vernon Davis.

  • 31.   New England Patriots
    Nick Perry, DE, USC

Who really knows that the Patriots will do with two first round picks?

Perry is apparently high on New England’s radar, but like I said before, who really knows with them.

  • 32.   New York Giants
    Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech

The Giants could use a linebacker, but Jerry Reese always goes for the best value at the position.

Big Blue may have lost Mario Manningham to free agency, but they could go on living life without him. The rich just get richer with the addition of Stephen Hill. The Giants wide receiving corps would give defensive coordinators nightmares with Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, and Hill.

What do you think Broncos fans? Approve of Doug Martin? Who else would you like to see at 25?

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely agree with Martin at #25.  The current RB’s are McGahee and ?????.  Martin brings the biggest bang from day one.

  • Tom9798

    Mr. East . . . Thank you! . . . you did a great job organizing this mock draft, and I’m sure it was trying at times.

    I just posted on the other thread that I wanted Brockers, not an RB, but you confirmed my worst fear.

    Hat’s off buddy.

  • Tom9798

    Mr. East . . . Thank you! . . . you did a great job organizing this mock draft, and I’m sure it was trying at times.

    I just posted on the other thread that I wanted Brockers, not an RB, but you confirmed my worst fear.

    Hat’s off buddy.

  • Anonymous

    John fox’s run heavy offence? You realize Mannings the Qb now right?

  • Anonymous

    John Fox is still the head coach. The Broncos ran more than any other team in the NFL last year.

    The Panthers have been one of the NFL’s heaviest run offenses under John Fox.

    Will the run game get diminished? Yes. Will it go away? No.

    Even Peyton Manning understands how important a strong running game is. Edgerrin James did pretty well in Indianapolis.

  • Joshua Manning

    I will kill someone if the Broncos draft a running back in the first round. (sarcasm, I don’t mean to kill someone) DON’T TAKE A RUNNING BACK!!! WE NEED D-LINE HELP!!!!

  • Anonymous

    A) it will be Peyton’s offense
    b) won’t be run heavy

    Not saying the pick is bad .. Just saying you can’t compare a Tebow lead offense to a Manning one

  • Anonymous

    I would be thrilled with Martin a pick if they trade back and select him in the second

  • Tim Lynch

    I disagree with you, sir!  

  • Tim Lynch

    We need CB help more than DT help…but RB would only add to the explosiveness of our offense.  

    Also, Those 5 games when the defense gave up 40+ was not because of poor DT play. ;)

  • Hansen

    Ladies and Gents –

    Gird your loins for thy draft is nigh!

    As nervous as I am about our D-line I can see EFX taking Martin at #25 (assuming they do not trade back) then addressing DT in Rounds 2 and/or 3.  McGahee is old and behind him the Broncos don’t have much.  

  • Anonymous

    Great read Mr. East.  I like Martin a lot, but imo (for whatever it is worth) I think we should either go DT, ILB, CB or trade down. 
    They were saying on the 104.3 today that there is a rumor going around that Denver and Jax are going to swap 1st and we were going after Gilmour (rather have Kuechly).  I hope that doesn’t happen.  That would cost way too much.  If we were going to trade 2013 picks, I would rather trade for more picks.  

  • Anonymous

    Mr. East, you’re a man after my own heart with this draft . . .

  • Anonymous

    Nobody really knows for sure .. So we’ll soon see …

  • Gradishar53

    As a former NT I can authoritatively say:  An awesome D-line can make average DBs look like superstars, but it doesn’t work the other way…  All football games are won and lost in the trenches,  it’s not a cliche, it’s a fact…  We need DTs badly!!!!

  • Anonymous

    I just pray that we reach and pick for need instead of getting an impact player, that would be much better than building a strong team through the draft…

  • mcyogi

    Maybe I’m missing something, but in your mock Brockers is still available when the Broncos pick. AND, we don’t take him? Makes 0 sense.

  • mcyogi

    you got it ‘guido. We’re set at running back (great if we can find an up the gut runner to  complement McGahee..but NFW we drop a first rounder for that).

  • Anonymous

    So would you rather have the Broncos reach and draft Devon Still (who will probably be available in the 2nd) or draft the best player available on the board?

    The reason why the Giants, Ravens, and Steelers have stacked rosters year after year is because they don’t draft for need.

    Drafting for need will kill you.

  • Anonymous

    That may not be possible. Just because a lot of mocks don’t have Martin going in the first doesn’t mean that teams don’t have him rated as a first round prospect.

  • Anonymous

    I could not agree more. That being said, I would hate to see the Broncos reach at 25 to draft a DT. 

    When you reach low in the first round, you’re basically treating your first round pick like a second rounder.

    Do not draft anyone in the first round unless you think they can be a Pro Bowler, or at least a starter on opening day.

  • Anonymous

    Wow. That would be quite the price to pay for Gilmour, or whoever for that matter.

    If Brockers, Kirkpatrick, or Hightower is available at 25 then the Broncos should pull the trigger. Otherwise, they may consider trading down.

    Something does make me think the Broncos will trade up though.

  • Anonymous

    Haha thanks.

    Any reason in particular?

  • Anonymous

    Errrrmm… that’s a mistake.

    I shuffled the picks around a lot at the end and forgot to slot him back in.

    Thanks for noticing.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Tom!

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. Martin is NFL ready.

  • Anonymous

    Haha sarcasm much?

  • flbronc

    i, like most people, wouldnt mind moving back to acquire more picks.. the thing is though, someone is giong to have to tumble, or there is going to have to be a run on a position group late in the first that we aren’t interested in for that to happen.  I think we’ll be picking at 25.  i guess i am ok with getting martin, but would rather look to defense (unless there is a cb and dl run and our guys are gone).

    it’s going to be fun, that’s for sure. 

  • mcyogi

    I certainly don’t want to be reaching for players. Just not sold that any of these RB’s are worth that first round pick.

  • Gradishar53

    True, it’s never good to reach for a subpar player for positional need…  But, if Elway really thinks our DTs are not an issue (a smokescreen, I hope) than he is sadly mistaken.  

  • Mergrath

    To be perfectly honest, I’d rather take  Still, Worthy, Konz or Fleener over drafting a RB in the first round. I just don’t see the return on drafting RB’s in the first round. The value of RB between a late first through late second in this draft is splitting hairs. This being said, just trade back and garner more picks! 

  • Anonymous

    I can definitely understand that.

    So far… to the right…

  • Anonymous

    “The value of RB between a late first through late second in this draft is splitting hairs.”

    Not really. That’s basically like saying drafting Beanie Wells is the same as LeSean McCoy.

    I know that it’s a reverse situation, seeing how McCoy is way better than Wells, but if the Broncos believe Martin is better than Miller, Turbin, or Pead, then they shouldn’t wait. 

    Martin is much higher on draft boards then people realize.

  • Anonymous

    I hate all the talk about “draft value” and we should get him ten picks later, etc.  After the top 15 picks or so if their is a player that will start on your team and fits your system then you take him if he is the best player on your board.  I understand not taking a late 2nd rounder in the first round but the “hair splitting” guys on here and TV sound clueless. 

  • Anonymous

    I hate all the talk about “draft value” and we should get him ten picks later, etc.  After the top 15 picks or so if their is a player that will start on your team and fits your system then you take him if he is the best player on your board.  I understand not taking a late 2nd rounder in the first round but the “hair splitting” guys on here and TV sound clueless. 

  • Anonymous

    There is a fine line, and the Broncos front office gets paid a lot of money to know where that line lies.

    Let’s hope they know how to toe it well.

  • Anonymous

    We will know in a few hours!!!!


  • Mergrath

    Your arguement states my point exactly! lol

    I don’t believe that Martin has seperated himself from the other RB’s post Richardson to be rated higher then the names mentioned at their collective positions. This is all my opinion of course. ;)

    I dont hate him…I just feel that there are better players on the board who could help our team more. I just dont like RB’s in the first, I hate their short shelf life!

    Control the line of scrimmage with OL & DL…that’s how I would build a team. I have major concerns over our current OL’s ability to pass block. No need to mention our DL’s inabillity to stop the run.

  • Mergrath

    “Martin is much higher on draft boards then people realize.”

    Please provide some proof as to why the rest of us are in the dark on this.

  • Anonymous

     I agree that he might not be there in the second, but Turbin seems like a solid backup plan in Martin is gone.