Broncos' Post-Free Agency 7-Round Mock Draft | Version 4.0

Erick Trickel

The big waves of free agency are in the books. We saw the Denver Broncos make multiple moves to improve the roster. 

GM John Elway has put the Broncos in position with very few major roster needs heading into the NFL Draft. With the Broncos bringing in DL Jurrell Casey, CB A.J. Bouye, P Sam Martin, QB Jeff Driskel, TE Nick Vannett, RB Melvin Gordon, and all the other moves they made including re-signings, tenders and tags, the roster is looking solid. However, there are still areas that need to be addressed.

The wide receiver position is still lacking talent behind Courtland Sutton and the Broncos must improve that room. The cornerback depth chart can use another piece, which is why it wouldn’t be surprising if Denver brings in another prior to the draft. 

The center position is complicated because the Broncos believe in Patrick Morris, but it's questionable to rely on him, due to his inexperience, without more competition than Austin Schlottmann. A coverage linebacker, a third safety, and added depth on the Broncos' defensive line are also needed. Of that, only wide receiver is a major need.

There Will be Trades

In this mock draft, there are trades and they were done through a simulation to pick for the other teams. The trades are made using what the sim would allow, based on realistic draft value charts and in comparison to past real-life trades on draft day. 

TRADE: The Broncos move up to the No. 11 overall pick. Denver sends picks No. 15 overall, 95, 178 and a 2021 fourth-rounder. The value of the trade, without the future fourth-rounder, is 61 points in the Broncos' favor.

Round 1, Pick 11: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

Ruggs is not just a speed receiver. He's not John Ross or Darius Hayward-Bey, or Will Fuller. Ruggs presents more than any of those three did and can win in ways that aren’t just due to speed. 

Ruggs doesn’t run just a go route, like Ross did coming out. Ruggs runs better routes than Hayward-Bey did coming out, and doesn’t have the injury history or drops as all three of them did entering the draft.

Yes, Ruggs' speed would add a lot to the Broncos' offense. Even with Fuller, the Houston offense in 2019 was dramatically different when he was on the field compared to when he was off it. Ruggs still has some work to do as a route runner, but the promise is there. 

His hands are some of the best in the draft and he can go compete for contested catches. This is a selection that will open up spacing for the Broncos' other weapons and let OC Pat Shurmur unlock the vertical passing game with Drew Lock's arm.

TRADE: Denver sends picks 46 and 83 overall to Seattle for picks 59, 64, and 144 overall. Using the draft value chart, it is a plus-one value for Seattle. It is also the only other trade made in this mock, giving Denver a total gained value of plus-10 factoring both trades.

Round 2, Pick 59: Jeremy Chinn, LB/DB, Southern Illinois

The nephew of Broncos Hall-of-Famer Steve Atwater, Chinn isn’t a safety nor is he a linebacker. He is a weapon on defense and can be used in many different ways in the Vic Fangio scheme. 

The fit is one of the best in the draft because of everything Chinn can do and how much Fangio loves versatility. Chinn would add a lot to the Broncos' defense.

He can play deep safety, will-linebacker, the slot, and he can even play on the boundary in some instances. Chinn's athleticism is outstanding and in a normal year for the draft process, it would see him going higher. 

However, there are some people in the NFL who believe the impact to the draft process caused by Coronavirus is going to cause some small-school players, like Chinn, to slide in the draft. Despite that, I think if he does slide, it’ll only be from the mid-second round to later second round.

Round 2, Pick 64: Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia

Denver has to be ready for life after 2020. At that point, Garett Bolles and Ja’Wuan James may both be on their way out of town. If Denver can land a developmental tackle in this draft to have waiting in the wings ready to take over for one of them, that would be optimal. Instead of needing both tackles potentially replaced, the Broncos would only have to worry about one.

With Wilson, Denver gets that developmental tackle prospect, but one that can also come in and play this year. Pairing Wilson with his tools and traits with Mike Munchak to develop would be a match made in heaven. Wilson is the type of blocker the Broncos can use to eventually replace James on the right side of the line.

Round 3, Pick 77: Matt Hennessey, IOL, Temple

Center is one of the positons of concern for the Broncos, though the team likes Morris a lot, as mentioned. Had Michigan's Cesar Ruiz fallen to pick 46, he would’ve been the selection because it's hard to trust Morris with how little play-time he got last year. Instead, Hennessey fell here to pick 77.

Hennessey has positional and scheme versatility, though center is his best spot. Denver lands a center that can start on day one, while providing competition to Morris and allowing the coaches to go with whomever wins the job. With Hennessey, provided he develops and wins the job, Denver would have their interior line set for a few years at least, with Dalton Risner and free-agent pickup Graham Glasgow already in the fold.

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Round 4, Pick 118; Devin Duvernay, Wr, Texas

Denver needs to add a couple of receivers to really improve the unit. With Ruggs already selected, Denver needed someone to fully maximize the threat of Ruggs presents and that is Duvernay. 

Duvernay's hands are outstanding and he has good speed. He also plays like a running back after the catch to make big plays happen from short catches.

Duvernay would also offer up the threat of speed himself. Sutton, Ruggs, Duvernay, Noah Fant, and the Broncos' running backs, would be very hard to defend against because they'd have threats attacking the defense everywhere.

Round 5, Pick 144: Leki Fotu, DL, Utah

Mike Purcell is a fine nose tackle, but Denver does need to improve depth there. Fotu has a lot of potential for the NFL, and Elway loves Utah as a pipeline. With Fotu, his tape is really good, but he has some medical concerns that are going to cause him to fall because of the lack of draft process this year.

Round 6, Pick 181: Dane Jackson, CB, Pittsburgh

Jackson works so well when keeping the play in front of him and reading the quarterback. He would be an outstanding fit for Fangio and for a defense that needs more corner help as the Broncos do. Denver does have some talent with Bryce Callahan and A.J. Bouye, but the former has medical questions and the latter may be on the decline.

Round 7, Pick 252: Malcolm Roach, DL, Texas

Denver got a nose tackle to push Purcell, but Roach comes in to boost the depth at defensive end. Roach has a good skill-set for the NFL, but doesn’t really possess starter traits. With Purcell Shelby Harris, Dre’Mont Jones, Jurrell Casey, Joel Heath, and DeMarcus Walker, the Broncos may look set upfront, but Roach has more upside or is a better fit than two of the players already on-roster.

Round 7, Pick 254: Dele Harding, LB, Illinois

Even after adding the versatile Chinn, the Broncos can still upgrade the linebacker corps and special teams. Harding is a good athlete and has a lot of potential for the NFL, but he just needs to be developed. Denver can work with him, while having him help out their special teams unit. 

Follow Erick on Twitter @ErickTrickel and @MileHighHuddle. 

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Comments (44)
No. 1-17
CUBuffinTX
CUBuffinTX

This would be about as good as one could hope for. Addresses weakness yet the picks are value

smilinassassin
smilinassassin

Looks good. Seems like the most realistic scenario from all the smoke. I expect some head scratching picks in their actual draft, as generally a coach or Elway himself tends to overvalue certain players and pound the table for them. This draft is missing those lol

broncofan55555
broncofan55555

It's too bad that they have to trade up from #15. One win cost a lot of draft capital, but I doubt that the R****s lets Elway get Ruggs so it probably has to be done. Given the parameters of the situation, I think this was a good draft.

B'wana Beast
B'wana Beast

I like this mock a lot. I still wish we won’t trade up for Ruggs. It’s hard to say without seeing pick 1-15 to know if the value is right. Otherwise, I am pretty happy. Hennessy offers the potential to move Glasgow where he feels best. Nice options overall. Still wishing for Shenault JR. someway.

Brew77
Brew77

Nice mock Erick my only real question is if you draft Chinn at 59 you are pretty much making him a starter so who do you see him starting over Kareem Jackson or one of the LB’s Davis or Johnson? I absolutely love the middle picks of Wilson Hennessy and Fotu those would be great picks and I hope they become reality. Love the pick of Duvenay as well he is a very underrated receiver that is being overlooked for some reason he would be a great 4th rounder that’s real value.

broncofan55555
broncofan55555

I see the Raiders are having a video teleconference with Justin Herbert. Maybe they intend to trade up to grab him. That would change a lot of things. I think the trades this year will be multiple and that drastically changes the whole picture. If Elway could stay at 15 and get Ruggs, that would be fantastic.

Chilly303
Chilly303

A lot of trading to make this mock work, and I don't see the Broncos wasting opportunities in the early rounds for a deep positional group pick. Some prognosticators see Ruggs as more of a #3 receiver, and if the Broncos do as well, they wouldn't trade up in round 1 for him. I have to wonder, with a better receiver in Jeudy opposite of him, how often was Ruggs covered by the top corner?

In the last few drafts, the so called "experts" had the Broncos picking QB.... and last year, Bush, and there he was when the Broncos traded down. If they follow that pattern, it may not be a receiver in round 1 like many think. It could be..... let the hype roll on so teams move on receivers and a guy they really want drops down to them. We'll see.

Jefffrey55
Jefffrey55

I like the second trade. After reading an article trading back to get Mims and gaining another 2nd round though that sounded more of where I think Denver's best advantage can be found, but with Austin Jackson. Can't trade far enough back to get a 2nd , but a 3rd and 5th at 23rd or maybe 25th could deliver both Jackson and Isiah Wilson in the 3rd whom I agree with Mr. Trickle with as well. With Reagor, Aiyuk, Jefferson, Hamler, and even Edwards who could actually be the most productive Receiver year one as any of them. I like Arnette in the second, best receiver left in 3rd. Isiah Wilson in 3rd, best Receiver left in 3rd and best player available to the end.

22Janos
22Janos

Hard to trust Morris?
The guy was lined up behind a perennial ProBowler in Pitt. Kinda hard to get snaps in that situation.
Denver snagged him with no apparent need for a reason and kept him on the roster for a reason.
He has superior athleticism to Hennessy in addition to being a three time all conference academic honoree.
Oh yeah, he has been hand raised by Mike Munchak .
Hennessy is a wasted pick.

Lawp76
Lawp76

Denzel Mims all the way 6'3 and can run a 4.38! He's like Sutton with more speed. Go get em John!

BeGoodBroncos
BeGoodBroncos

This would be solid imo. One thing I wonder is how likely Gase would trade with Elway ? It seems as if I remember a few things implied that they didn't get along that well after he moved on. I could be wrong, but if not, probably would have to go to Jax. How much more to do that ?

Then again, it's a business, so maybe it doesn't matter. Or maybe I've got it wrong about Gase

BleedingBroncoOrange
BleedingBroncoOrange

I like the draft Eric, but I'm increasingly intrigued with the idea of trading down in first by swapping picks and maybe picking up a second or third round pick as well. Ithink Denzel Mimms with his 4.38 speed could take the top off a defense just like Ruggs and he is better at the contested catch. What if you targeted Mimms in late first, Clyde Edwards Helaire in second, and used the xtra pick from trading down to address the OT and a second receiver in 2nd and 3rd rounds. Imagine getting Mimms, Helaire, and say OT Jones, can still go get Hennesey and others. Do you think Ruggs is that much better than Mimms? ( love Devin Duvernay as the second receiver picked up in your mock)

broncobuckeyenomad
broncobuckeyenomad

Love it @ErickTrickel just wanna point out that when I Mocked Chinn a while back you didn’t like the selection...

toddx7
toddx7

I really don't like the trade up concept and am sticking with Kinlaw at 15. For my WR I would recommend Michael Pittman out of USC in the third round.

I liked the Chinn and Fotu selections those look good.

Mr. Pioneer
Mr. Pioneer

Trading up to get Ruggs is too expensive. We have multiple needs and we could even trade DOWN and achieve that goal. There are multiple receivers, O and D lineman that can help us. We could even pick up some LB help. Ruggs is great, but we can ill afford to spend all of our draft capital to get him.

Mims, the Sun Devil, and the kid from Ohio St. that tore up the Senior Bowl can all be had. PLEASE don't tade up.

We could have QBs go 1,2,3 anyway and that will mess with everyone anyway.

ac64
ac64

Big mistake picking a receiver at #11 (or #15) this draft is receiver-deep...Broncos don't need another "Number 1" receiver, they have Courtland Sutton, Broncos just need a compliment on the other side, which can be had in the later rounds....Now trading up for a stud tackle ?? yes, that would be much better or an inside LB like Broncs should've had last Draft...

dabomb
dabomb

I am still hoping for a late pick of Killins the RB for punt returns. Watch the film !


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