Denver Broncos mock draft: Sean Payton finding Combine studs

NFL Combine
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The Denver Broncos currently only own five picks in the 2023 NFL Draft. How will this team manage to add from what appears to be a very deep, talented, and athletic draft class? Well, of course, you'd love to have more darts to throw. Broncos GM George Paton stated while speaking with the media at the NFL Scouting Combine that he would be surprised if they ended with only five picks.

Even though Paton and the Denver Broncos are planning on moving around the draft board and adding picks, they could still end up with a really good class of players even with only five picks. With new head coach Sean Payton in the fold, how will he and George Paton collaborate to put together an impressive draft class?

As of right now, we have no idea what this team is going to do in NFL Free Agency, but I think it's reasonable to expect them to attack the offensive line and perhaps the defensive line as well. Even if they do that, they could still target those positions in the NFL Draft. Starting with picks 68 and 69 overall, how could the Broncos put together a class with some of the studs we've been watching at the NFL Scouting Combine?

Denver Broncos mock draft: Finding studs at the Scouting Combine

1 (pick 68 overall): Sydney Brown, S, Illinois

The Broncos have an interesting situation brewing at the safety position right now. Kareem Jackson is a free agent, Caden Sterns is coming off of a hip injury, and Justin Simmons is still out there doing his thing. I'm not sure the Broncos will go after free agent safeties at this point to replace Jackson, but I could see them going after one of the top safeties in this class here in the early portion of the third round.

Sydney Brown out of Illinois is an athletic freak and a true playmaker at the position.

Although I don't think Sydney Brown is limited to being a "box safety" at the next level, I do think that is a position that's very important to Sean Payton even though he doesn't call the defense. It just so happens to be an important position for Vance Joseph's defense as well, and you could look at a wide variety of examples from New Orleans the last handful of years including players like Vonn Bell, Kenny Vaccaro, CJ Gardner-Johnson, and Tyrann Mathieu. For Vance Joseph the last handful of years in Arizona, that player was Budda Baker.

As much as the Broncos -- and most any NFL defense -- will be in nickel or dime looks, a player like Sydney Brown could be a tremendous early fit. Plus, this guy is going to be an absolute monster on your special teams unit right away.