This time next week we’ll know for certain who is the Denver Broncos first round NFL Draft selection.
Until then, we have only mock drafts and more posturing than you can shake a stick at to pass the time.
I recently joined my fellow Aerys Sports NFL writers to discuss next week’s NFL Draft, free agency, and other miscellaneous offseason musings. You can read Part I of our latest Aerys Huddle installment here, but for those with short – or at least Broncos-centric attention spans – I’ve included my contributions below, never mind that my draft projection at No. 25 has catapulted into “Top 10″ discussion.
Without further ado…read and judge away…
No. 25: Denver Broncos - Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
For the record, I don’t fancy myself as a Mock Draft expert. In fact, this was significantly easier last year when the Broncos drafted No. 2 overall, because:
1) We all knew the Broncos would select a defensive player, and
2) Only a few defensive players were truly deserving of going that high in the draft.
Mere weeks ago, it was widely assumed – with little debate – the Denver Broncos would go one of two directions with pick No. 25: defensive tackle or cornerback.
Peyton Manning changes everything.
There’s ongoing talk, at least in the blogosphere and sports radio circles, suggesting the Broncos award Manning by selecting an offensive player in round one – either a running back to complement Willis McGahee or a wide receiver, because, well, the Denver has now adopted the “pass first, ask questions later” philosophy.
I can certainly see the merit of that argument; however, I’ve advocated for a DT for so long that in good faith I simply cannot back down. The Broncos defensive line needs some bolstering in the trenches. Enter a young, talented, line-stuffing DT.
Ty Warren, who missed all of last season, returns, and Denver recently signed ex-Bronco Justin Bannan, so yes, the Broncos have DTs, but no one qualifies in elite or game-changing status.
Cox is among as many as six defensive tackle prospects listed as first round caliber, though chances are at least three of those players slip to the second round.
Alternative Options: If he’s unavailable, the Broncos have several other options at DT, such as Michael Brockers, Dontari Poe, and Jerel Worthy.
Care to weigh in? Are you like me and still think DT in Round 1, or do you think offense first under Peyton Manning? Share your thoughts.
Part II insights will be posted later – where I forecast later rounds and grade the Broncos’ offseason thus far. (Hint: That grade will be high.)
Chillin' with Miles at last year's Denver Broncos NFL Draft party. (personal photo)
Broncos NFL Draft Party
The Denver Broncos are holding a draft party to celebrate their newest Bronco. As you may remember, I attended last year’s party at Jacksons, but this year’s party is at The Tavern Downtown starting at 5:30 p.m. Several Broncos players past and present are scheduled to attend, along with cheerleaders, and there’s even a special video message from John Elway just moments after the team’s No. 25 pick. You can also enter for prizes, and expect the usual giveaways. The event is free and open to the public.
For more details, visit the team’s 2012 NFL Draft Party headquarters.
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