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Published on 04/26/2012 at Thu Apr 26 15:11.
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(Image courtesy of Cal Sport Media)

The 2012 NFL Draft is set to kickoff in a mere few hours.  Here are thirty-two prospects I will be closely watching.

Quarterbacks:

Ryan Tannehill (Sr., 6-4, 221 lbs., Texas A&M).  Nearly every year a quarterback falls farther on draft day than everyone expected he would.  If Tannehill falls, the Broncos wouldn’t blink before drafting him.

Brock Osweiler* (Jr., 6-7, 242 lbs., Arizona Sate).  The Broncos like Osweiler and he may be available in the mid-rounds of the draft.  If he’s still on the board in the third round Denver will entertain the idea of grabbing him there.

Kirk Cousins* (Sr., 6-3, 202 lbs., Michigan State).  Denver may select in two Spartans this weekend, Cousins being one of them.  Many mocks have Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy* going to the Broncos at 25 and if Cousins is available in the third round the Broncos could take him there.

Ryan Lindley* (Sr., 6-4, 230 lbs., San Diego State).  Lindley is another quarterback option for the team.  If the Broncos are planning a quarterback later in the draft Lindley may be the target, as he is projected by NFLDraftScout.com as a fourth round prospect.

Russell Wilson* (Sr., 5-11, 204lbs., Wisconsin).  I’m not very high on Wilson, but the Broncos liked him enough to work him out prior to the draft.

Nike Foles (Sr., 6-5, 240 lbs, Arizona).  Another late-round prospect, Foles is a guy I could see Denver selecting on Saturday.

Running backs:

Doug Martin (Sr., 5-9, 223 lbs., Boise State).  If the Broncos take a running back in the first round, it will likely be Martin.  In Mr. East’s mock, the Broncos are going with Martin.  East mocked the Broncos selecting Von Miller last yeaand predicted the team would select Demaryius Thomas and Tim Tebow in 2010.

Chris Polk (Sr., 5-11, 222 lbs., Washington).  If the Broncos wait until after the first round to select a running back, Polk is an option.  I believe the prospect listed below is the most likely running back option for Denver.

Robert Turbin* (Jr., 5-10, 222 lbs., Utah Sate).  The Broncos like Turbin and I could see them taking him either in the second or third round.

Ronnie Hillman (So., 5-9, 200 lbs., San Diego State).  The Broncos reportedly have shown interest in Hillman.

Isaiah Pead (Sr., 5-11, 200 lbs., Cincinnati).  Pead is another guy that could fall into the third round and possibly farther.  If he falls to the Broncos in the mid-rounds of the draft the team will give him a look.

Defensive tackles:

Jerel Worthy* (Jr., 6-2, 310lbs., Michigan Sate).  Many mocks have Worthy going to the Broncos at 25.  The same can be said of all of the defensive tackle prospects this year.

Kendall Reyes* (Jr., 6-4, 299 lbs., Connecticut).  The Broncos like Reyes and brought him in for a visit prior to the draft.  It wouldn’t be surprising to see Reyes go off the board at 25th overall.

Michael Brockers (So., 6-5, 322 lbs., LSU).  Brockers seems to be a fan favorite around Denver.  Personally, I’m not as high on Brockers as many others are.

Dontari Poe (Jr., 6-3, 346 lbs., Memphis).  If Poe is still on the board at 25, he’ll be considered.

Devon Still (6-5, 303 lbs., Penn State).  Kyle’s gut feeling is that Still will be the Broncos’ first round pick.  Kyle’s gut has correctly predicted Clady, Moreno, Tebow and Miller in the past.

Fletcher Cox (6-4, 298 lbs., Mississippi State).  It’s unlikely that Cox will fall far this evening, but he is a solid defensive tackle option.

Cornerbacks:

Dre Kirkpatrick (Jr., 6-2, 186 lbs., Alabama).  There is no consensus among the mocks on whether Kirkpatrick will still be on the board or not when Denver is on the clock.  If he is on the board, Denver has to like him as a potential prospect.

Janoris Jenkins (Sr., 5-10, 193 lbs., North Alabama).  Jenkins is Ian’s favorite prospect for Denver.  I don’t have any fun facts about Ian’s favorite prospect history.

Morris Claiborne (Jr., 5-11, 188 lbs., LSU) and Stephon Gilmore (Jr., 6-0, 190 lbs., South Carolina) won’t fall far this evening, but Denver wouldn’t hesitate to select either of them if they did.

Linebackers and pass rushers:

Dont’a Hightower (Jr., 6-2, 265 lbs., Alabama).  Hightower is one of my favorite linebacker prospects this year.  Miller was one of my favorite linebacker prospects last year.

Courtney Upshaw (Sr., 6-2, 272 lbs., Alabama).  Kyle’s gut says Still.  My gut says Hightower or Upshaw (if either one of them is available when Denver is on the clock).

Zach Brown (Sr., 6-1, 244 lbs., North Carolina).  There’s lots to love about Hightower, Upshaw and Brown.  I would be ecstatic if Denver got any one of the three this evening.

Shea McClellin (Sr., 6-3, 255 lbs., Boise State).  The Broncos will consider this Bronco if he is around late in the first round.

Whitney Mercilus (Jr., 6-4, 261 lbs., Illinois).  Denver has Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers at defensive end, but not many other notable ends below them on the depth chart.  Broncos’ VP John Elway has noted that you can never have enough pass rushers, and Mercilus would be a nice addition.

Nick Perry (Jr., 6-3, 271 lbs., USC).  Perry is considered one of the best pass rushers in the draft.  The Broncos love pass rushers.

Wide receivers:

Stepehn Hill (Jr., 6-4, 215 lbs., Georgia Tech).  There have been several mocks that have the Broncos taking Hill in the first round.  It wouldn’t be a surprising move.

Mohamed Sanu (Jr., 6-2, 218 lbs., Rutgers).  Sanu has potential to be a big sleeper.  The Broncos may grab him in the mid-rounds.

Offensive linemen:

Levy Adcock* (Sr., 6-6, 322 lbs., Oklahoma State).  The Broncos like Adcock.  The team may select him in the later rounds on Saturday.

Austin Wuebbels* (Sr., 6-4, 292 lbs., Missouri).  Wuebbels is a late-round prospect that the Broncos have shown interest in.

Philip Blake (Sr., 6-3, 320 lbs., Baylor).  If the Broncos are looking to draft a center, Blake may be their guy.

*Worked out for or visited the Denver Broncos prior to draft day.

  • http://broncotalk.net Monty

    Another guy I saw East pick up in the Preview was that Beloit College WR in Round 5. ESPN reported that both the Broncos and Raiders were interested in working out the small school stud.

  • http://broncotalk.net Monty

    Excellent stuff Jon.

  • Tom9798

    Great read and very interesting!

    I’m already going into ‘shock mode.’  What is ‘shock mode?’

    I’d be shocked if any person’s mock hit 75%. That’s 24/32.

    I’m sure I’m not alone!

  • islandjo

    wow, great insight Jon, I completly overlooked those guys,
    I’ll now have to keep an eye on em too!