What will the Denver Broncos do in the 2014 NFL draft? Keep track of all the predictions made in our mock drafts leading up to Round 1 on May 8.
Round 1, pick 31: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State.
We said: The addition of Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton was huge for the Broncos in 2013 — literally and figuratively. And it was impressive that Denver made the Super Bowl with several defensive starters affected by various injuries. Of course, that has a lot to do with Peyton Manning, but if Manning can’t repeat his historic season in 2014, more will be expected of the defense. Jernigan would be a great addition, providing pressure ability inside and strength against the run.
Round 1, pick 31: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
We said: Just on how the board happened to fall, the Broncos land a top-20 talent at No. 31 overall. Jernigan stands only 6-2 and a little south of 300 pounds, leaving him shy of an ideal nose tackle build. He still could play there, if needed, or kick out a little wider into the three-technique hole.
“When you’ve got a guy that can play multiple positions and understand how to play multiple positions and has the ability to learn different schemes,” Jernigan said, “I feel like it can make any team better no matter what scheme it is.”
Round 2, pick 63: Dominique Easley, DT, Florida
We said: A swing-for-the-fences type of selection for Denver, which could use more depth up front and might score the draft’s best DT should Easley get all the way back from a knee injury.
Round 1, pick 31: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
We said: The Broncos could use a boost in their edge rush capability, with Auburn defensive end Dee Ford looking like a late-round fit. But the secondary in Denver is even more of a pressing need, and there's still plenty of talent to choose from at cornerback. Roby's game had some holes last season, but he's got the speed and fluid stride that teams are always willing to take a chance on, and he's big and physical enough to handle press coverage.
Round 1, pick 31: Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU
We said: The Broncos got to the Super Bowl despite losing their entire projected front four, which is a tribute to defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. But without Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil, Denver’s defense failed to bring heat at a consistent level. Van Noy has been a standout for a long time not because of his speed, but because of his sound technique and understanding of the requirements of his position.
Round 1, pick 31: Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
We said: Shazier could be a very productive OLB in a 4-3. He also could really outproduce his expectations as an inside guy in a 3-4, with the occasional shot at rushing the passer. That second scenario should be music to the Broncos’ ears, as they prepare to possibly lose Wesley Woodyard to free agency. Shazier would be a more-than-capable replacement.
Round 1, pick 31: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
We said: With Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Champ Bailey and Quentin Jammer in the CB rotation, the Broncos could stand to get younger there. There is not much of a gap, if any, between the four CBs already taken and Gilbert. He’s a well-built corner who does not hesitate to fly up in run support.
Round 1, pick 21: Adrian Hubbard, LB, Alabama
We said: Another member of the loaded Alabama defense, Hubbard could help take some heat off Von Miller at linebacker, or he could bulk up to 265 or so and give Denver a little help as a pass-rushing end.
Round 1, pick 31: HaHa Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
We said: Alabama’s track record of producing defensive backs won’t hurt “Ha Ha” next year. He stepped into a starting role in 2012 and picked off five passes, while showing the ability to play center field or shift down into the box or over slot receivers.