Denver Broncos Mock Draft: Seven-Round Predictions


As we approach the 2015 NFL Draft and Scouting Combine, it’s time to take a few more cracks at mock drafts before Free Agency really changes, well, everything.

That is especially the truth for the Denver Broncos, who are coming off of a 12-4 season and have eight starters projected to hit free agency. You can cross at least one off the list in wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who is likely to be back via — at worst — the franchise tag.

More from NFL Mocks

Still, the Broncos face the tough reality this offseason (as was the case last year) with losing a significant number of players in free agency while still trying to keep up a Super Bowl contending team.

John Elway made it very clear at his end-of-season press conference that this next year’s Broncos team is going to be better and tougher on the offensive line than they were in 2014. In 2014, the Broncos shuffled around the line so much, they ended up with an All-Pro right guard in Louis Vasquez playing right tackle, completely out of position, and Will Montgomery starting at center with Manny Ramirez being ‘demoted’ and moved to right guard.

The Broncos really have some things to figure out this offseason, and you can take it to the bank that John Elway will be aggressive again on the free agent market, but without making any moves in free agency, it’s going to be tough to please everyone with a Broncos mock draft.

Still, I’ll do my best.

The Broncos have needs at tackle, guard/center, tight end, inside linebacker, and safety. Obviously a few of those if not all will be addressed in some way through free agency, but here goes nothing…

(**Note, I’ll be projecting these seven rounds given that the Broncos are expected to receive four compensatory picks in this year’s draft…**)

1. First Round — D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida

Right tackle is currently the Broncos’ most pressing need. They could look to address this via free agency, but I think even if they do, they should draft someone. Humphries is a guy who was a big time recruit coming out of high school that has nice athleticism and would be a good fit in Gary Kubiak’s zone scheme. He might need to add a bit of weight to his frame, but he can start off on the right side and has the upside to move to the left if the Broncos need him to, but that’s not an expectation with Ryan Clady in the lineup.

In Denver, he’ll have some of the best offensive line coaching in the league.

2. Second Round — Clive Walford, TE, Miami (FL)

Walford is my favorite tight end prospect in this year’s draft, at least for now. He has great size, hands, quickness, versatility, and really just overall does everything well.

When I watch Walford, I get excited for whatever team picks him in the draft. Hopefully that team is the Broncos, but I’m not sold he will last to this point in the second round.

3. Third Round — Hroniss Grasu, C, Oregon

Athletically, a perfect fit for the zone scheme the Broncos are going to be running, I think Grasu is a player that has immediate starter potential and could be a long-time starter for whatever team picks him up. He did a phenomenal job at Oregon these past few years, and I think the Broncos would love to add a player like this on day two of the draft, someone who can feasibly step in right away and start if need be.

4. Fourth Round** — Xavier Williams, DT, Northern Iowa

Williams is a fast-rising defensive tackle prospect with a nose for the backfield and a motor that never stops. With Terrance Knighton fiddling with free agency, the Broncos  could have a need up front. Williams is the type of player that could come in and compete for playing time despite having played at a small school.

5. Fifth Round (from CHI) — Damarious Randall, S, Arizona State

Former community college transfer to Arizona State who doesn’t have the ideal size (5-11, 190) but has great playmaking ability, can play in the box, and can be an ace on special teams. I think Randall is a bit underrated right now because of his size, but this is a guy who could emerge as a rotation player early on and eventually develop into a starter.

6. Fifth Round — Max Garcia, OL, Florida

Versatile lineman prospect who plays with power. The Broncos met with Garcia at the Senior Bowl, and he has swing potential at guard and center. Denver needs interior line depth, and this guy can provide it.

7. Sixth Round — Leterrius Walton, DL, Central Michigan

Walton is an interesting project who looks like he can project to the NFL at five-technique in a 3-4 defensive look, which the Broncos will employ in 2015 with Wade Phillips. Walton would be a really nice upside selection in the sixth round for the Broncos.

8. Sixth Round** — Kyle Loomis, P, Portland State

If Britton Colquitt is a cap casualty as expected, Denver will be in the market for a new punter. Loomis is considered by some to be the best in this year’s draft. They might not have to draft him at all, but just to get a look at this guy as a prospect, we’ll project him here.

9. Sixth Round** — Louis Trinca-Pasat, DL, Iowa

Trinca-Pasat could go higher than this based on what I saw this past year at Iowa, but he’s a fierce competitor who really came on late in his career as a member of the Hawkeyes with good size, strength, and penetrating ability. He would be a good player for the Broncos to work with up front defensively.

10. Seventh Round** — Tevin McDonald, S, Eastern Washington

Brother of Rams starting safety T.J. McDonald, Tevin has some issues in his past but in the 7th round, the reward outweighs the risk and I think he can develop as a special teams or rotational player early on in his career, or on the practice squad before eventually becoming a staple in the defense. He has a ton of ability, works hard on and off the field, but he was kicked out of the UCLA program. Needs TLC, but has some upside.