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2013 NFL mock draft: D.J. Fluker to Denver Broncos

How big of a need is the O-Line in Denver?

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

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.

Team Player Position Height Weight Class
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.

The New England Patriots, repped by Pats Pulpit, will be making their pick at Noon ET.

Top 5 players remaining

# Player Pos. College Ht. Wt.
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
27 Barrett Jones C Alabama 6'4" 305
29 Manti Te'o LB Notre Dame 6'1" 241

2013 SB Nation NFL writers' mock draft results

No. Team Player Pos. College
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