You won't see a team fire its head coach after four straight division titles, a 46-18 record, and a Super Bowl berth very often, but that's exactly what the Denver Broncos did this offseason, replacing John Fox with Gary Kubiak. Facing the burden of high expectations in the final stretch run of Peyton Manning's career, the Broncos are doing everything they can to get themselves over the hump.
How will Kyle Montgomery of Mile High Report go about improving the team in our 2015 NFL mock draft? He explains below.
28. Broncos: Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon
Montgomery: The Broncos enter the draft with their biggest needs along the offensive line and defensive line. Orlando Franklin and Terrance Knighton left big holes to fill, literally and figuratively, with their departures to San Diego and Washington, respectively, in free agency. But as the Broncos got on the clock in this draft, there wasn’t an offensive tackle or run-stuffing defensive tackle that matched the value of the 28th overall pick. Gone were tackles D.J. Humphries, T.J. Clemmings, and Andrus Peat. Malcom Brown was off the board, as well.
Therefore, going the ‘Best Player Available’ route, with the 28th overall pick, the Broncos select Arik Armstead.
Armstead is tremendous value at 28th overall. Mel Kiper has him as his 13th-ranked player. Dan Kadar had him going 15th in his latest mock. He’s the fourth-ranked defensive lineman by Mike Mayock in this year’s draft (not including edge rushers). He’ll be a perfect fit as a 3-4 end in Denver’s system, and while he’ll be raw like any rookie, he’ll contribute right away.
Dan Kadar, SBNation.com: As someone who has mocked Armstead to 3-4 teams all draft season, and had him gone long before the 28th pick, I can’t find fault in this selection. He should be a plug-and-play defensive end as long as he goes to a 3-4 team that lets him use his athleticism and pure power. Armstead can get up the field and moves around really well for a player his size. When he’s playing hard, he’s a load to handle. On a team like Denver where Derek Wolfe and Malik Jackson are set as the starters, Armstead could be brought along slowly, and that’s what might suit him the best.
Dan's Top 5 players remaining
- 13. Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
- 17. Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma
- 19. Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA
- 26. Shaq Thompson, LB, Washington
- 28. Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
All picks from this mock draft
- 1-28: Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon
- 2-59: (coming April 17)
Coming up at Noon ET: pick No. 29 overall, made by Stampede Blue for the Indianapolis Colts. Stay tuned!
SB Nation presents: A breakdown of our latest mock draft