2016 NFL Draft: Taking a stab at a Denver Broncos mock draft for the first time in this glorious season. Who will the Broncos take first?
The World Champion Denver Broncos will have the final pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, and with less than three weeks until they make that pick, it’s time for my first full Denver Broncos mock draft of the offseason.
If you know me, this is a shockingly late time to be making this post, but with all of the Super Bowl coverage and free agency, I’ve had a lot of catching up to do on my 2016 NFL Draft preparations.
That being said, there are a number of ways the Broncos can improve their team in this draft. You have to look at the top needs on this team being (in no particular order) at the QB position, DE, LB, S, OL, and RB.
The Broncos could also look to upgrade the depth at TE, so you might as well just keep every position and option open when it comes to putting together mock drafts for yourself. I think it’s interesting to look at the habits of John Elway as he’s been the man pulling triggers on draft weekend for the Broncos since 2011.
He’s never gone offense in the first round, which is a major reason why the Broncos had the best defense in the NFL last year. He’s also not shied away from guys with potential character concerns. All the way back to Von Miller, who was in the NFL’s substance program and then up to guys like Bradley Roby (DUI) and Shane Ray who was cited for possession of marijuana the week of the draft.
It’s clear that Elway believes in his coaching staff and the culture around these players to be able to take on guys who have made mistakes that might not necessarily be indicative of their character. I say all this to lead into my first pick for the Broncos this year, which I feel a little less certain about after the signing of Jared Crick, but would love all the same. This is my dream top pick for the Broncos, and most draft pundits believe it has more than a good chance of happening.
Let’s get to it — my first 2016 Denver Broncos mock draft.
1. Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss
Simply put, Nkemdiche is my favorite prospect for the Broncos at the moment. It’s really not even close. There are other guys that I would be ecstatic about for this pick, but none quite like Nkemdiche.
The major red flag here is that Nkemdiche was suspended from the Ole Miss bowl game this past year after being arrested for possession of marijuana. He’s adamant that the incident was a one-time thing, and the Broncos have put their trust in guys who have made those mistakes before, as I have previously mentioned. They also brought Nkemdiche to Denver for a pre-draft visit, likely to ask him about the incident and talk some football.
Nkemdiche right now is still developing in terms of the things he can do on the field, which is scary. At 6-4, 300 pounds, he’s a mammoth of an athlete who moves like a linebacker and is violent with his hands, but scouts are wondering why the production (6.5 sacks in 3 seasons) wasn’t there.
There’s immense potential with this pick, especially with Bill Kollar coaching up the defensive line. The only reason I question this pick now is with the Jared Crick signing. The Broncos have eight defensive linemen going into their April 18th OTAs, and I wouldn’t be shocked if they were all viable candidates to make the roster.
When you think about the void left by Malik Jackson, however, there is no doubt that Nkemdiche’s athleticism, strength, and personality would fit incredibly well in Denver and he could make a huge impact early on.
Next: 2nd round