It’s already the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, if you can believe it. We’re just a couple of weeks out from free agency and the draft is just a couple of months away as well.
I love the draft, in case you didn’t know, so I’m going to take a crack at projecting all of the Broncos’ picks for the 2014 NFL Draft. The Broncos–for what seems like the first time in a while–have the standard seven draft picks, all originally owned by them this year.
1. First Round — Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Let me just start by saying, this is a very deep draft. The Broncos could, depending upon what guys are still available, try to trade down and out of the first round, even though it might just be by a couple of picks. Having additional selections in this draft isn’t a bad thing by any means.
The Broncos are no strangers to making slightly ‘shocker’ selections in the draft. Guys that don’t necessarily receive unanimous first round grades from ESPN or other main outlets but guys that they do a lot of homework on and really feel can make an impact.
Last year, we saw that with the third round selection of Kayvon Webster, a player who turned out to be pretty solid his rookie season.
Fuller is a guy with good size at 6’0″ 194 pounds, good ball skills, and solid athletic ability. Here’s what NFL Network’s Mike Mayock had to say about him:
“The Fuller kid, I really like, I think he can flat-out play,” Mayock said during a conference call Tuesday. “I just want to see what he runs. I think he’s long. He tackles. He’s got ball skills.”
2. Second Round — Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State
Extremely productive safety who looks the part, hits like a ton of bricks, and has great ball skills. His hip fluidity has scouts concerned he won’t be able to be a long-term starting safety in the NFL, but I think he has the experience and productivity the Broncos like in prospects.
This is a player that I have really liked for the Broncos for a while now.
3. Third Round — Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin
Borland plays with the kind of fire and passion that I love to see out of a linebacker, and he could be just what the doctor ordered for the Broncos. Obviously at just 6’0″ he’s not the ideal size for the position, but you can’t deny this guy’s production and ability to make plays on a consistent basis.
I think in the third round, he’s well worth the risk. In the NFL anymore you need a steady middle linebacker, but you don’t necessarily need him to play 100 percent of the snaps. Borland is a guy who could provide the Broncos with toughness against the run, occasional pass rush on blitzes, and leadership. I would love this pick.
4. Fourth Round — Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma
Colvin was once projected as a first round pick to the Broncos by CBS Sports, and thanks to a torn ACL (which still sucks), some team is going to be able to get him on the cheap this year and as a potential “redshirt” rookie for his first year in the NFL.
Colvin is a bigger, more physical cornerback prospect who has the kind of length and toughness the Broncos need at the cornerback position. The Broncos have taken risks on players who were injured in the past, such as Omar Bolden and Quanterus Smith.
5. Fifth Round — Jeff Janis, WR, Saginaw Valley State
Speedy receiver with great size and production that is expected to test really well at the Scouting Combine. The Broncos only have two wide receivers under contract as of this particular moment in time, and this is a good draft to look to stockpile some young talent at that position if they want. They have shown significant interest in Janis, meeting with him at both the Senior Bowl and Combine.
6. Sixth Round — Josh Stewart, WR, Oklahoma State
Injuries have sent his draft stock down the pipes, but Stewart is a pretty well-built, compact receiver prospect with speed and playmaking ability. He can also contribute as a returner and that’s an area the Broncos could be looking to upgrade if Trindon Holliday is let go as expected.
7. Seventh Round — Ben Gardner, DE, Stanford
Ben Gardner is a guy that the Broncos would cash in on as another potential injured player who could be a gem down the road. He’s not an athlete that will jump off the page at you but he’s a hard worker and a productive player who can give them versatility on the defensive front.