There aren't many teams in the NFL that are as talented or as deep as the Denver Broncos, who will have Super Bowl aspirations once again in 2013. Does that mean the team can get away with drafting whomever they please, or should they target a limited list of need areas in Round 1? SB Nation's new Broncos blogger seems to be thinking the former.
|28. Denver Broncos||D.J. Fluker, Alabama||OT||6'5"||339||JR|
Kyle Montgomery: "The Denver Broncos are in a great position heading into the NFL draft (if not a great draft position at 28th overall). They don’t have a glaring need or a player to which they’ve become attached. They can allow the draft to unfold as it will, then take the Best Player Available – perhaps someone with a mid-first round rank that unexpectedly begins to tumble down the first round, team by team?
"That’s the case with D.J. Fluker, offensive tackle, Alabama, in this 2013 Mock Draft. Fluker has slipped past his typical draft slots and into the waiting arms of John Elway – and the eager cadence of Peyton Manning. Fluker is a road-grader with extreme physical ability and a mean streak, a perfect fit at right tackle or either guard spot for the Broncos. Denver doesn’t have a need there – Orlando Franklin was solid at RT and they just picked up G Louis Vasquez in free agency – but the depth at tackle is suspect, and the Broncos can let the best two tackles out of Fluker, Franklin and Ryan Clady win their starting spots out of camp. If that makes me sleep better at night, imagine what it does for Peyton Manning.
"I also considered a defensive lineman in this spot to replace Elvis Dumervil. DT Sylvester Williams is a player who could be seen as good value for the Broncos here, as well as DE Damontre Moore, but I predict the impact from drafting Fluker would be higher both in the short-term and long-term. ILB Manti Te’o was also considered, but the Broncos have had enough wild offseason media coverage in recent years between Tim Tebow and Manning. I honestly want no part of it - I suspect the Broncos don’t either.
"Bottom line: I checked five different Big Boards, and Fluker was ranked between 17 and 23 in all of them. At Pick 28, the value is just too good for the Broncos to pass up."
Here's our own Dan Kadar to break down the pick:
The value in Fluker at 28 is solid. We currently have him rated as the 20th best player in the draft. But when you’re a playoff team, do you add a depth/competition player or fill a need? In this mock draft, Florida State pass rusher Tank Carradine is slipping some. He could be the perfect right end in John Fox’s defense. Carradine is a high-upside pass rusher and should be plenty healthy by the time training camp starts.
|22||Damontre Moore||OLB||Texas A&M||6'5"||250|
|23||Cornelius Carradine||DE||Florida State||6'4"||276|
|24||Keenan Allen *||WR||California||6'2"||206|
|29||Manti Te'o||LB||Notre Dame||6'1"||241|
|1||Kansas City Chiefs||Luke Joeckel||OT||Texas A&M|
|2||Jacksonville Jaguars||Geno Smith||QB||West Virginia|
|3||Oakland Raiders||Sharrif Floyd||DT||Florida|
|4||Philadelphia Eagles||Eric Fisher||OT||Central Michigan|
|5||Detroit Lions||Ezekiel Ansah||DE||BYU|
|6||Cleveland Browns||Dion Jordan||OLB||Oregon|
|7||Arizona Cardinals||Barkevious Mingo||OLB||LSU|
|8||Buffalo Bills||Jarvis Jones||OLB||Georgia|
|9||New York Jets||Chance Warmack||OG||Alabama|
|10||Tennessee Titans||Dee Milliner||CB||Alabama|
|11||San Diego Chargers||Star Lotulelei||DT||Utah|
|12||Miami Dolphins||Desmond Trufant||CB||Washington|
|13||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Xavier Rhodes||CB||Florida State|
|14||Carolina Panthers||Lane Johnson||OT||Oklahoma|
|15||New Orleans Saints||Alec Ogletree||LB||Georgia|
|16||St. Louis Rams||Tavon Austin||WR||West Virginia|
|17||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cordarrelle Patterson||WR||Tennessee|
|18||Dallas Cowboys||Jonathan Cooper||OG||North Carolina|
|19||New York Giants||Sheldon Richardson||DT||Missouri|
|20||Chicago Bears||Arthur Brown||LB||Kansas State|
|21||Cincinnati Bengals||Kenny Vaccaro||S||Texas|
|22||St. Louis Rams||Jonathan Cyprien||S||Florida International|
|23||Minnesota Vikings||Bjoern Werner||DE||Florida State|
|24||Indianapolis Colts||Datone Jones||DE||UCLA|
|25||Minnesota Vikings||Johnathan Hankins||DT||Ohio State|
|26||Green Bay Packers||Tyler Eifert||TE||Notre Dame|
|27||Houston Texans||DeAndre Hopkins||WR||Clemson|
|28||Denver Broncos||D.J. Fluker||OT||Alabama|