SB Nation Writers Mock Draft: Round 2, Pick #48


No. 48

DENVER
BRONCOS

Pick by Mile High Report

Fili Moala
Defensive tackle

Southern California

Is defense a priority for Denver? Apparently, after the Mile High guys went with Malcolm Jenkins and Clint Sintim in round one. Up with this pick is the great styg50, your friend and mine.

Sometimes what you need and what you get are two different things. NT, or any beef on the Dline really, especially beef that is suited to play in the 3-4, is a mile high on Denver's 'need' list. But the top end of the 2009 draft simply hasn't been kind to the Broncos in this regard. So far we have snagged some defensive value picks, but we can't go much longer without addressing those glaring vacancies on the line.

Enter Fili Moala.

The choices really came down DE Jarron Gilbert, RB Andre Brown, and Moala (with some DE/DT Mitch King speculation thrown in for good measure). And while Brown is a great fit and a weapon, there are viable backup plans in the third and beyond at RB. Gilbert is exceptionally tempting, except for the whole "Buyer Beware" thing associated with him. Questions about technical polish and level of competition redirect the eyes squarely to Moala.

Moala isn't nearly the pure athlete and specimen that Gilbert is, in fact, if we were looking for any kind of rush, we would look elsewhere. But what Fili does bring is steady, experienced leadership on the line. Stopping the run comes first, and Moala will help a lot in that area. He can be expected to line up suitably on the end, and even to step in on occasion at NT, where he has a some experience. As a four-year starter he has the production McDaniels and co. will be looking for. Not to be overlooked is the upside of this pick, with Fili still likely to gain some size, and with any luck, some more strength.

Moala isn't a perfect fit, or a perfect specimen, but the Denver defense has drifted as far from any semblance of "perfect" as they have ever been in the entire history of the franchise. Moala can be part of a new, aggressive identity going forward, even if it is just to give the bandwagon the shove it needs to get going again.

MTD thoughts: Moala is a good scheme fit. If Denver can't get Tyson Jackson in the first round, getting a player like Moala is a must.

Mocking the Draft's Top Five Remaining Prospects - QB Josh Freeman, CB Alphonso Smith, RB Shonn Greene, TE Chase Coffman, S Patrick Chung

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