The Denver Broncos hold the 25th overall pick and 6 picks total in the 2012 NFL draft. 6 picks is a decent amount when compared to some other teams out there (Oakland Raiders; 3 picks), but Denver will have a tough time moving up in the early portion of the draft since they pick rather late within each round. Because of this, it is likely that any draft trades involving the Broncos will be ones in which they move back and acquire more picks. This wouldn’t necessarily be a bad strategy because the Broncos need to bring in as much new talent as they can manage, but this isn’t what the average Denver fan is looking for. The fans want big names that can make an immediate impact, and to accomplish that Denver needs to keep their top picks.
I expect that the Broncos will hold steady in the first round and draft the best player available at the 25th pick. So in my mind, the only question is who will they take at that spot? The biggest areas of need for this team are along the defensive line, the defensive backfield, and at running back, so I would guess that they go in one of those directions. Let’s look at some of the options that may be available when the Broncos are on the clock:
Devon Still, DT, Penn State
This draft is heavy with talent at the defensive tackle position. I think it makes a lot of sense for Denver to take advantage of that and find a guy to anchor their line for years to come. One of the top tackles on any draft board is Devon Still. Still excels as a pass rusher even though he is an interior lineman, and he has above-average quickness despite his massive 6′-5″ and 307-pound frame. His biggest strength is stuffing the run and occupying blockers, and he is at the very top of some draft boards at the DT position.
Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
Cox would also be an impactful player for the Broncos’ defense. He is known for his impressive motor, his versatility, and his ability to wear down opposing offensive linemen. He has been a force in the brutal SEC conference even though he weighs in at less than 300 pounds and has some room to add bulk. Cox could be a terror at the next level and would look real nice in orange and blue.
Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
I have Denver selecting Worthy in my latest mock draft, but I wouldn’t be surprised with any of the first 3 players on this list if they go with a defensive tackle. Worthy is a 6′-3″ 310-pound All-American who absolutely destroys offensive lines and is the definition of a defensive anchor. He is above-average in almost every measureable out there, and I think he would match up very nicely with Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller in the defensive front 7.
Michael Brockers, DT, Louisiana State
Brockers is widely regarded as one of the best DT’s out there and isn’t expected to be available at #25. He measures at 6′-5″ tall and 306 pounds, and he too is from the rugged SEC conference. Brockers possesses the best combination of power, size, and athleticism of any defensive tackle in the draft and has the potential to be a star at the next level.
Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson
Thompson is known more for his pass rush rather than his run stopping, and although he is impressive in his own right, he just doesn’t seem to be as effective as the other defensive tackles on this list. He has a ton of upper-body strength but his “short arms” limit his range a bit.
Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
Poe has an impressive burst off the line of scrimmage and has quick feet. What makes that impressive is that he comes in at a whopping 6′-5″ tall and 350 pounds! He is an absolute load and has a ton of upside despite the fact many experts question whether or not he can improve his technique enough to be effective in the NFL.
Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse
At 6′-5″ tall and 265 pounds, Jones has the prototypical body of an edge pass rusher. He is very strong and has a good motor, and he has extremely long arms which gives him an impressive range and makes him more disruptive.
Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Despite his checkered past, Jenkins is the 2nd best cornerback in the draft and probably won’t make it to the 25th pick. He is coming from a Division II school because he got kicked off the team at Florida, but he still has the ridiculous talent that made him a top recruit in the SEC. He is on the small side at 5′-10″ tall and 191 pounds, but he makes up for it with his speed and toughness.
Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
Kirkpatrick is another rare specimen who has impressive size, speed and strength. He grabbed 12 career interceptions and can win one-on-one battles with his strength and 6′-2″ stature. He typically rates as the 3rd best corner available by the experts and comes into the NFL as a 2nd team All-American.
Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
Dennard may be the best cornerback available when the Broncos pick at 25 since Jenkins and Kirkpatrick are expected to be gone by then. He is known as a physical player who possesses great technique and is a superb tackler. He finished his career as a 1st team All-Big 10 player and won the Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year Award.
Mark Barron, S, Alabama
Barron is the best safety in the draft and Denver needs to improve that position with Brian Dawkin’s injury issues and Rahim Moore’s disappointing rookie campaign. He knows how to throw around his 6′-2″ and 218-pound body and is known as a big hitter. Barron has above-average strength for a safety but lacks top-tier speed.
Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
As far as running backs go, there is Trent Richardson and then there is everyone else. But with that said, Lamar Miller is a tough runner with exceptional acceleration and speed. He also has good hands and vision and excels at the cutback.
David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech
David Wilson is more likely to run through a defender where Miller will outrun them. He runs extremely hard and can be explosive at the line of scrimmage. He isn’t known as a blocker or a pass-catcher, but he has the skills to get him rated as the 2nd best running back in the draft by some experts.
So who do you think the Denver Broncos will take with their 1st pick? I’ve already stated I believe they will go with a defensive tackle, and I think Jerel Worthy is the odds on favorite.
Tags: 2012 Nfl Draft Alfonzo Dennard Brandon Thompson Brian Dawkins Chandler Jones David Wilson Denver Broncos Devon Still Dontari Poe Elvis Dumervil Fletcher Cox Janoris Jenkins Jerel Worthy Lamar Miller Mark Barron Michael Brockers Oakland Raiders Rahim Moore Von Miller