In the fourth round, it’s almost hard to know where to go for the Broncos.
This mock draft doesn’t really emphasize the cornerback position and the defensive backfield in general, and there’s a reason for that. I think the Broncos are actually really good there.
We know Justin Simmons is going nowhere, whether the Broncos sign him to a long-term deal or franchise tag him. Kareem Jackson is going to be back for another couple of seasons.
Blackmon is an ideal crossover player who could give you some flexibility at cornerback and safety, especially if the Broncos lose Will Parks, another free agent after the season.
Blackmon has nine interceptions in the last three seasons and a bunch more pass breakups. He’s got great ball skills and is physical as a tackler.
As for Nate Stanley, I’ll be the first to admit he’s an enigma as a prospect. He has a crazy strong arm and has made some wild throws in his Iowa career, but he’s been wildly inconsistent and will look like a solid day two pick one game and an undraftable prospect the next.
Ultimately, in the late fourth round is a decent landing spot for him and if you can get him later, even better.
I’m a huge advocate for drafting talent at the QB position and Stanley certainly has that. He also has three years of starting experience in Iowa’s pro-style offense with many similar concepts to what the Broncos are running. He would be fun competition for the Broncos’ backup job and someone who could pick up the offense quickly.
He’s also one of the best quarterbacks in the country at converting quarterback sneaks, averaging over four yards per carry in that regard. If the Broncos want to push the envelope on fourth-and-short or third-and-short, this is a guy who has almost a 100 percent success rate on that play and could go out there and take hits so Drew Lock doesn’t have to.
With this mock draft, the Broncos address their offense pretty heavily, but it’s necessary. I think they’ll spend a lot of their cap space on in-house free agents to keep the core of this team together, but they definitely have flexibility with some of their young building blocks in the early years of their rookie contracts.
They have to do whatever they can to surround Lock with as much talent as possible and I think this mock draft accomplishes that.