If you’re a fan that’s fully engrossed, the NFL off season is almost non-existant nowadays. Believe it or not, the NFL Combine is just three days away. Doesn’t it feel like the Super Bowl was just yesterday?
Mike Kils of the Denver Post got to talk with draft master Mike Mayock about the Broncos upcoming draft.
With the team drafting in that No. 31 slot, the good news, according to Mayock, is that this year’s class is the deepest he’s seen in ten years.
Klis gave Mayock four positions that the Broncos need to attend to in the draft: Middle linebacker, defensive end, cornerback, and safety.
Mayock threw out names to fill each position. Let’s take a closer look at each player he named.
Middle linebacker: Chris Borland (Wisconsin)
This is a player that could start for any team right away. Mayock called Borland one of his favorite players in this year’s class. Boland is always around the ball and he’s a playmaker. The 5’11”, 248-pound linebacker had 111 tackles and four sacks in 2013. He’s had to overcome multiple shoulder surgeries, but he’s experienced at outside linebacker and inside linebacker in the 4-3, and inside linebacker in the 3-4.
Defensive end: Scott Crichton (Oregon State)
Mayock says Crichton is a top-5 defensive end in this year’s draft. Crichton had 9 sacks in 2012 and 7.5 sacks in 2013, and that’s with being targeted as the main focus of every opponents blocking scheme. At 6’3″, 265 pounds, Crichton has great burst and he uses his hands well. His flexibility is a bit of an issue when it comes to changing directions, according to scouting reports. Expect Crichton to go in the second round.
Cornerback: Kyle Fuller (Virginia Tech)
Mayock says that Fuller is a first-round talent, that is if he runs a fast enough 40 at the Combine. Fuller is listed as 6’0,” but he’s described as a “long” corner. He had 24 tackles and two picks last season, but had surgery for a sports hernia in November. His pedigree is good — his oldest brother, safety Vincent Fuller, played for the Titans and the Lions while his other older brother, wide receiver Corey Fuller, plays for the Lions.
Safety: Lamarcus Joyner (Florida State)
Joyer can play both safety and corner, which would have proved very beneficial to the Broncos this past season with the injuries to the secondary. He’s only 5’8″ which throws up a red flag, especially with the receivers getting bigger and bigger. However, he’s an aggressive player that helped FSU to a No. 1 pass defense in the nation. He had 5.5 sacks and three forced fumbles last season.