With rumors of the Denver Broncos talking trade with the Cleveland Browns, we explore a mock draft where John Elway maneuvers all around...
Rumors are swirling that the Denver Broncos are talking about trading down with the Cleveland Browns, potentially out of the first round entirely. While nearly every Denver Broncos mock draft has the team either taking a tackle, tight end, or Christian McCaffrey first, trading down could certainly add some intrigue to the slate of options for John Elway.
If the Cleveland Browns wanted to move up from 33 to 20, the cost would be pretty high. It would be smart of the Broncos to try and squeeze out an additional future second round pick in that kind of a trade, but it would cost the Browns a minimum of pick no. 33, no. 65, and likely an additional late-round selection.
On the unofficial 'trade value chart' the Broncos' first round pick is worth 850 points, while the Browns' two picks are worth a combined 845. Pick no. 185 -- the top pick of the sixth round -- could potentially be added to sweeten the deal, or the Broncos could get a future fifth rounder (smarter, in my opinion) in moving down that far.
I thought it would be fun to explore the options the Broncos have with a trade down and out of the first round, and what John Elway could potentially do from there. Let the games begin...
As we discussed on the previous page, here is the projected possible trade down for the Broncos. It's a typical three-for-one deal that the Broncos have pulled off in the past when moving up that far in the draft, but it's not something teams do a ton unless someone important falls to their selection.
Getting the 20th overall pick would give Cleveland three picks in the top 20, and three high impact players for the future of their franchise, likely starting with Myles Garrett at the top.
For the Broncos, this allows a ton of flexibility, and only increases their pick count to 11 for this year. Adding the 65th overall selection gives them the ammunition needed to move back into the later portion of the first round and get that coveted fifth round option on their top draft pick.
Or, it would simply allow John Elway to move up in the second round for another player he really likes, and still have a pick at the top of the third round. For now, we'll just stay put and see what players we come up with through the first four rounds with these new selections...
With the top pick in this mock draft, I'm assuming the best offensive tackles are going to be off the board. The first pick of the second round is a very valuable pick to hold, and in this kind of draft, the Broncos will almost undoubtedly still get a player here they have a first round grade on.
Evan Engram would fit the bill, and would give the Broncos the 'juice' offensively that Vance Joseph has spoken about.
Engram is a capable blocker as a tight end, but no one is going to dance around the fact that he's a much better receiver than he is a blocker and that's exactly what the Broncos will ask him to do: Make big plays in the passing game.
With Engram in the fold, the Broncos could have a dynamic triple threat of options at wide receiver and tight end, and find creative ways to get A.J. Derby and Jeff Heuerman (and even Virgil Green) in some two-tight end sets.
Engram's deep speed and playmaking ability would take a lot of pressure off of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, and give the Broncos' young quarterbacks a dynamic array of options to throw the ball to.
We all know John Elway won't be able to stay away from the defensive side of the ball long, and he shouldn't. Even with the Broncos' desperate need at left tackle, if Elway doesn't land one in the first round, he can't get desperate and just pull the trigger on someone here.
Well, actually, he can.
And he might...
But in this scenario, we're going with a player who has visited the Denver Broncos' facility in Youngstown State's Derek Rivers. Rivers is an incredibly athletic pass rusher who can play the edge and help the Broncos ease the pain of losing DeMarcus Ware a little bit, at least on the field.
Rivers has some room for growth, but as a rookie, he'd be able to break the pass rush rotation right away and bring the Broncos some valuable speed off the edge to give teams fits when Von Miller and Shane Ray get to take a breather.
One of the most controversial players in the draft, the Broncos brought Joe Mixon in for a visit to get to know him a little bit better.
By all accounts, the Broncos came away from that interview believing that Mixon's issues were in his past, and that he's a player who can definitely help this team.
With Devontae Booker emerging late last season a little bit, the Broncos would have an intriguing couple of running backs to pick from here with Mixon in the fold. This is a player that has a lot of speed, strength, vision, and pass catching ability.
Not only that, but Mixon has proven a very capable return specialist throughout his time in college.
Here in the middle of the third round, the Broncos get their starting left tackle. I'm not exactly sure if Elway would be willing to wait this long, if he would trade for a veteran, or if perhaps a combination of both could happen.
What I think I know are two things:
1. The Broncos' starting left tackle is not yet on the roster
2. Garcia is one of the best pass protectors in this year's draft
What I have seen from Garcia in pass protection is remarkable. It's a wonder to me he's able to move like that as a 300 pound man. The big question with Garcia moving to the next level is whether he can adapt as a run blocker. He will get caught lunging at times and is still raw in his technique.
Would Garcia perhaps be one of the guys the Broncos believe can be a day one starter at the next level? I'm not certain, but they might get to find out.
One of the top route runners in the draft and some of the best hands in the draft, Darboh is a receiver that could be a huge help for the Broncos.
I think here, you're looking at a guy that can play inside and outside, and be a huge asset on third downs and in the red zone. Darboh doesn't have great separation skills and some scouts question whether his 4.45 speed translates to the field, but this is a guy that can get downfield and make plays.
The Broncos don't lack for 'guys' at the wide receiver position, but no one has really stepped up as a primary backup that offers consistency. Darboh is someone they can develop and look to for the future while getting some help from him as a rotational player in 2017.
One thing I always look for with the Denver Broncos and defensive backs in the draft is experience and playmaking ability. Shaquill Griffin has both.
While leading UCF with four interceptions this past season, Griffin also had 28 pass breakups over the last two seasons. This is a player who is aggressive in pursuing the football, but also very active in run support.
The Broncos also value versatility highly, and Griffin has played some safety in his college career. Add in the fact that he had excellent measurables at the Scouting Combine (4.38 second 40 yard dash, 38.5 inch vertical jump) and this could be a really nice value in the fourth round getting a guy out of a deep defensive backs class like this one.