1st Round, 31st Overall: DL Jarran Reed, Alabama
Explanation: Although this draft is deep in talent along the Defensive line, I feel like Reed still presents the Broncos with a good value pick here at #31. At 6’3, 310 lbs, Reed has the ideal size and versatility
needed to play in any defensive scheme at the pro level. He’s a strong player with great run stuffing abilities and although he didn’t show off much of a pass rushing ability in college, I believe that with the help of DL coach Bill Kollar and the tremendous talent around him, Reed could develop into a well rounded starter for this loaded Broncos defense.
He can play anywhere on the Broncos three man front. This gives them the creativity to put him outside as Malik Jackson’s replacement or slide him inside at Nose Tackle, allowing Sylvester Williams to play more on the outside.
Speaking of Williams, this pick also makes sense from an economic standpoint. Both Williams and top reserve Vance Walker are scheduled to be free agents in 2017. The Broncos could exercise the fifth year option on Williams, ensuring his services in 2017. While that is a nice option to have, they may not be willing to pay Williams what his fifth year rate will be under his rookie contract, thus risking his services on the open market. They need another impact player on the line in case they lose Williams and/or Walker on the open market next year.
Although he is not the same player as Malik Jackson, I feel like adding a player like Reed could provide the entire Defensive Line with the flexibility and creativity needed to stay dominant and greatly reduce the hit of losing a player of Jackson’s caliber in Free Agency. Reed will be an immediate starter that has the right coaching to help him get to the next level. I’d say that has all the makings of a good 1st round selection.