The Denver Broncos sent a contingent including John Elway and Vance Joseph to LA on Friday to work out Sam Darnold. Here’s a mock draft with him on top…
If USC Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold is going to end up rocking the number 14 for the Denver Broncos, it’s going to take some surprising things happening in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Darnold is rumored to be among the top choices for both the Cleveland Browns and New York Giants, who hold the top two picks in the draft. I’m sure he’d be a top target of the Jets as well.
But you never know how teams will prioritize players in the draft, and for all we know, Darnold could be on the board at pick number five overall when the Denver Broncos are on the clock.
The Broncos hadn’t seen Darnold in a live situation throwing the football since the Cotton Bowl against Ohio State, at least not until Friday when they flew out to Los Angeles to put him through a private workout.
With John Elway, Vance Joseph and a number of others in attendance, the Broncos got to see Darnold up close and personal, in his element, and evaluate him even more in-depth as a player.
Darnold is one of the youngest players in this year’s draft class, and is not considered to be ready to start for an NFL team from day one, but is still the top quarterback on many draft boards because of his physical makeup, arm talent, playmaking ability, and his performance in clutch situations.
Darnold didn’t win every single game he played at USC, but it’s hard to watch many of his games (like the Rose Bowl versus Penn State) and not be impressed.
Because the Broncos are working out Darnold today, I took to FanSpeak’s On The Clock mock draft simulator, and wanted to see if I could get a mock draft where he fell to the fifth overall pick.
It happened on the first try.
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I ended up with the following draft haul:
1. Sam Darnold, QB, USC
2. Sony Michel, RB, Georgia
3. Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa
4. Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
5. Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State
6. Ian Thomas, TE, Indiana
7. Trevon Young, EDGE, Louisville
8. Tony Brown, CB, Alabama
A couple of things stood out to me about this draft class. First of all, the Broncos have great flexibility in the draft, even when taking a quarterback first overall. They don’t have to do anything.
Taking a quarterback in the top five simply ensures they get one of their highest graded players at that position, and they can fill a number of other areas with their remaining seven picks.
I love this draft, personally.
If the Broncos were able to come away with those top six players, I think all have starting potential at the next level. Young and Brown would provide depth and special teams ability.
The Broncos could go so many directions with their top pick, but taking a quarterback — especially if a player like Darnold falls — just makes so much sense, even if I couldn’t see that earlier in the offseason.