We are up to the fifth pick in the 2018 Daily Norseman Community Mock Draft. Let’s review how the picks have gone thus far.
- Cleveland Browns - Sam Darnold, QB, USC
- New York Giants - Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
- New York Jets (from Indianapolis Colts) - Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
- Cleveland Browns (from Houston Texans) - Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State
That brings us to the Denver Broncos at pick #5. We all know that the guy that led the Minnesota Vikings on their great run last year, quarterback Case Keenum, has now signed with John Elway’s bunch, but he’s there on a two-year deal. With former first-round pick Paxton Lynch, apparently, flaming out and Trevor Siemian now in Minnesota, will the Broncos address their quarterback situation here? Or will they grab a talent at another position in the hopes they can address that later on?
Let’s take a look at the Broncos.
2017 record: 5-11 (4th place, AFC West)
CB Tramaine Brock (free agent signing), QB Case Keenum (free agent signing), DL Clinton McDonald (free agent signing)
TE Virgil Green (signed with Los Angeles Chargers), WR Cody Latimer (signed with New York Giants), LB Corey Nelson (signed with Philadelphia), QB Brock Osweiler (signed with Miami), QB Trevor Siemian (traded to Minnesota)
Quarterback - Yes, Case Keenum is the guy for now. But, as we mentioned in the open, he’s only in Denver on a two-year deal, and the team is apparently just about ready to give up on Paxton Lynch, their first round pick from a couple of seasons ago. Lynch hasn’t been able to grab the starting job since he was drafted, and he’s definitely not going to have the chance with Keenum in front of him. The Broncos probably need to look for a guy to hold a clipboard, at the very least, for the immediate future.
Offensive Line - Only two teams in the National Football League allowed more sacks than Denver did last year, as their offensive line battled both injuries and poor performance. They have their first round pick from last year, Garrett Bolles, manning one tackle spot, and Ron Leary manning one of the guard spots, but the rest of the offensive line is shaky at best.
Inside linebacker - We know how good Von Miller is on the outside of the Broncos’ 3-4 defense, but he’s getting little to no help from the inside, as Brandon Marshall (the linebacker version) appears to have regressed a little bit.
Wide receiver - Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders have both been outstanding for the Broncos over their careers. Now, however, they’re both north of 30 years old, and there isn’t a whole lot behind them on the depth chart.
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming - Allen has all of the physical attributes you want in an elite quarterback, but there are definitely some red flags. He played at a smaller school, and didn’t exactly light it up in his chances against higher competition. Some of that might have been the talent he was surrounded by, but his accuracy numbers from college definitely leave something to be desired. He might be the most “boom or bust” quarterback in this year’s class.
Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech - The youngest player available in the entire NFL Draft this year. . .he turns 20 the week after the Draft. . .Edmunds is head and shoulders above the rest of the linebacker class this year. He’s listed by most outlets as an inside linebacker, but he could play any of the linebacker spots in Denver’s 3-4 and be equally effective. He’s a three-down player and would give the Broncos a nice piece to move around their front seven.
Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama - The secondary isn’t the most pressing need in Denver, but with the trade of Aqib Talib to the Los Angeles Rams, they have lost a very solid talent on the back end of the defense. Fitzpatrick would be an immediate impact player in the Denver secondary, regardless of where the team decided to play him.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma - The Heisman Trophy winner from this past season seems to have more variance as far as people view him than any of the “Top 4” quarterbacks. He doesn’t have prototype size (measuring in at 6’), and does have some character red flags as well. Still, he is incredibly accurate, completing 68.5% of his passes in college, and his improvisational skills are outstanding. Comparisons to Johnny Manziel are inevitable for Mayfield, but that comparison is kind of lazy, in my opinion.
Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame - As we’ve already mentioned, the Broncos have plenty of issues up front. They appear to be set at left tackle and at one guard spot, but the rest of the line is suspect. Nelson would immediately line up at left guard next to Garrett Bolles to give the Broncos a solid, young tandem on the left side to build around going forward.
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama - This is probably a little high for Ridley, but he’s the top wide receiver prospect in this year’s draft, and since we did list receiver as a need for the Broncos in this piece, we’ll make it an option for them. While he might not have the ideal size for a #1 receiver in the NFL (at 6’ and about 190 pounds), as part of a trio with Thomas and Sanders to start with, he could start out in the slot and thrive immediately while developing his skill set.
So, as you can see, the Broncos have a lot of directions they can go here. Do they take Keenum’s backup/successor, or do they try to shore up things around their new signal caller a bit?
Tomorrow, we’ll be with the Indianapolis Colts at pick #6, a team that is (almost) assuredly not going to be drafting a quarterback, but definitely has a ton of other needs. . .and, thanks to the Jets, extra picks to get them with.
With the fifth pick in the 2018 Daily Norseman Community Mock Draft, the Denver Broncos (should) select ____________
This poll is closed
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama