Now further down the board, Broncos land defensive star in latest mock draft

Recent wins have dropped the Denver Broncos out of the top five of the 2024 NFL Draft, at least for now. In a recent mock draft, the Broncos take one of the nation's top edge rushers in the first round.

UCLA v Oregon
UCLA v Oregon / Tom Hauck/GettyImages

It's never too early to talk NFL draft and though the order of picks can change quite a bit before the end of this season, there are plenty of college prospects to know about.

After the Broncos started this season 1-5, it looked like they would have an early pick in next spring's draft, perhaps even the No. 1 overall selection. I am on the record as stating that the team needs to use its first-round pick on a quarterback and likely won't come off of that before April 2024.

But over at Tankathon, the site that keeps a running track of the draft order and updates it with the results of each game, their mock draft people think differently. In fact, in their most recent mock, they have the Broncos taking defensive players with their first two picks.

Laiatu Latu, Denver Broncos
Sep 23, 2023; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; UCLA Bruins defensive lineman Laiatu Latu (15) and Utah / Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

First round, No. 9 overall: Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

Sitting at No. 9 overall in the first round, the Broncos opt for one of the top edge rushers in this class. With Caleb Williams and Drake Maye being selected with the first two picks, the Broncos grab UCLA's Laiatu Latu.

Latu currently ranks fifth in the entire country with 9.5 sacks thus far this season. If you watched the Colorado Buffaloes play last week, you were given a first-hand look at how dominant he can be. At 6-foot-4, he has all the talent in the world and would be an instant starter for the Broncos.

T.J. Tampa, Denver Broncos
Oct 29, 2022; Ames, Iowa, USA; Iowa State Cyclones defensive back T.J. Tampa (2) knocks out the / Ames Tribune-USA TODAY Sports

Third round, No. 71 overall: T.J. Tampa, CB, Iowa State

The Broncos don't currently own a second-round pick in the 2024 draft due to the trade for head coach Sean Payton. In the third round, they stay defensive, perhaps finding a terrific No. 2 cornerback to pair with Pat Surtain.

In this mock draft, I also had the Broncos selecting Tampa in the third round. At 6-foot-2 and possessing blazing speed, Tampa is a tremendous future prospect. He is enjoying a solid year with the Cyclones, already intercepting two passes this season.

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Though the team would not be taking a quarterback or an offensive player at all until at least the fourth round, it would be difficult to argue with these two picks.