The Denver Broncos set out to find a value in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and they certainly got it.
After a late rise had placed Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby firmly among my top 25 prospects for this year’s draft, I viewed him as a guy that would go no later than rival San Diego at the 25th overall pick, and in my final mock draft had projected him to go 22nd overall to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Going into the 2014 NFL Draft, I viewed Roby as the 4th best cornerback prospect in the draft behind Virginia Tech’s Kyle Fuller (14th overall, Bears), Justin Gilbert (8th overall, Browns), and Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard (24th overall, Bengals).
The only other corner selected before Roby was TCU’s Jason Verrett, who was the player I had mocked earlier on Thursday as the guy the Broncos would take with the 31st overall pick.
It’s not a surprise that when Verrett was picked by San Diego that Roby dropped to the Broncos’ pick, but it’s a surprise he was there in the first place. Some teams that had/have a need in the defensive backfield opted to pass on some of this year’s top cornerback prospects in favor of other positions, allowing the Broncos to cash in in a big way.
Apparently, Mike Klis of the Denver Post had this one figured out back in mid-April. Go figure.Sep 28, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Bradley Roby (1) reacts after the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Ohio Stadium. Buckeyes beat the Badgers 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Roby was ranked the 39th overall prospect by CBS Sports, and was called by Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network a “top 20 value.”
The Broncos picked a player here who can fill a need immediately as an inside-outside corner to rotate with Kayvon Webster while Chris Harris recovers from his ACL injury, and when Harris returns, we’ll see the Broncos’ defensive backfield emerge as a major strength with this year’s additions of Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward.
And the Broncos are far from done.