Wild Denver Broncos 7-round mock draft with multiple trades

Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs (1) looks for yards during a game between Tennessee and Alabama in
Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs (1) looks for yards during a game between Tennessee and Alabama in / Jamar Coach/News Sentinel / USA TODAY
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The 2023 NFL Draft kicks off in less than two weeks. The draft is always an exciting time for fans to see what their team will do to get ready for the upcoming season.

For fans of the Denver Broncos, some patience is going to be required this year as the team will have to wait through 66 picks before the Broncos get to make a selection, barring any trades.

But the draft is a great time for trades to be made and in this particular mock draft, there will be a couple swaps.

For this mock, I took the position of George Paton and Sean Payton and entered the war room. Using the fabulous mock draft simulator provided by Pro Football Network, I was able to let the board initially fall as it may before making a couple of deals that took the Broncos from just five picks to eight selections.

This draft may not reflect what actually ends up happening, but the draft is an unpredictable process that you have to constantly work and attempt to figure out the best scenario for your team. This exercise was no different.

To begin, the No. 1 overall selection was made by the Carolina Panthers and they did select a quarterback, as expected. But instead of deciding between Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud, they instead went with the hyped-up Anthony Richardson.

The Broncos let the board come to them and were able to get two incredible value choices with their first two picks in the third round.

Third round, No. 67 overall

Mazi Smith
Sep 24, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Maryland Terrapins running back Roman Hemby (24) is tackled / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Scouting Report. 3. . . Mazi Smith. DT. . 485

Prior to this selection being made, the phone rang and the Cleveland Browns were on the line. They apparently fancied one of the prospects that were still on the board and they proposed a trade offer.

The Broncos would pick up an enticing third-round pick in next year's draft with this deal but there were two prospects on the board that I decided not to take a risk losing, and one of them could even be the player Cleveland is looking to trade up and get.

Instead, the Broncos choose to make these back-to-back picks and start with Michigan defensive lineman Mazi Smith.

Smith is a powerful and athletic run-stuffer who has drawn comparisons to D.J. Reader. While he wouldn't be an ideal prospect on every roster, he would fit perfectly in Denver's 3-4 defensive scheme and could combine with D.J. Jones and Zach Allen to form a terrific defensive front.

Smith is a second-round prospect on most any board so for him to still be there with this pick, it was a fairly easy choice to make.

Third round, No. 68 overall

Denver Broncos, Jahmyr Gibbs
Dec 31, 2022; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs (1) runs the ball and is / Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

RB. 523. . 3. . Scouting Report. . Jahmyr Gibbs

In many mock drafts, and quite possibly the one that will actually take place starting April 27th, Alabama running Jahmyr Gibbs will be long gone by this point. But because he is a running back, a position that seems to lose value all the time, you just never know.

In this case, he was still there. Payton's eyes would light up in this scenario as Gibbs is the absolute ideal back for his system due to his ability as a receiver out of the backfield.

The Broncos did sign Samaje Perine in free agency but that shouldn't stop them from taking Gibbs here for one second. Gibbs is arguably the second-best running back prospect in this draft and with the questions surrounding the health of Javonte Williams, at least for the start of this season, this would be a solid pick.

Gibbs is 5-foot-11 and about 200 pounds. His college career began at Georgia Tech before he transferred over to Alabama for this past season. He caught 44 passes for 444 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 926 yards for the Crimson Tide.

Gibbs in Payton's offense could easily become another version of Alvin Kamara.