MMQB Mock Draft Predicts Broncos Make Bold First-Round Trade to Land a LB
'Tis the season for mock drafts.
Mile High Huddle has released four 7-round Denver Broncos mock drafts, the last of which most of you have probably already read. In that last mock, the Broncos traded up from pick 15 to pick 11 in order to land Alabama WR Henry Ruggs III.
The MMQB just released their latest first-round mock, and SI's Kevin Hanson also had the Broncos trading, only this time, it was a move back with Philadelphia to pick 21. The Eagles took Ruggs at 15.
*Proposed trade: Philadelphia sends the 21st and 53rd picks to Denver for the 15th pick.
21. Denver Broncos: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
One of the youngest prospects in the draft (he turns 21 in August), Queen played his best football down the stretch of LSU’s title run. While he’s a bit undersized, Queen is a three-down linebacker with outstanding speed who excels in coverage.
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What it Means
Broncos' GM John Elway is no stranger to maneuvering in the first round. Since arriving as the team's front-office czar, we've seen Elway trade up and trade back multiple times, the most recent of which was last year when the Broncos moved from pick 10 to pick 20, taking a couple of Pittsburgh's third-round picks for their trouble and nabbing TE Noah Fant.
However, knowing what we do about the Broncos' pursuits in 2020, the idea of Elway trading back from 15 with Ruggs sitting right there is questionable. All due respect to Hanson and the MMQB, but the worst-kept secret in the NFL is the Broncos' desire, not only for a speedy wideout, but for Ruggs specifically.
Now, there is the outside chance that Elway's purported compulsion for Ruggs at pick 15 is a smokescreen. It is the 'lying season' after all.
But most of us on the local level view this as one of those instances of 'where there's smoke, there's fire'. The Broncos are likely to take a wideout in the first round and Elway, based on multiple accounts, has his heart set on Ruggs.
The MMQB's trade-back would make more sense if all of the 'Blue-Chip 3' wide receivers were off the board by pick 15. In this mock, only Ruggs remained, which, again, is the Broncos' top target in the class.
But assuming for a second that Hanson and the MMQB are right and that all of this Mile High wide receiver talk has been a smoke-screen, what would LSU LB Patrick Queen bring to the table?
Quite a bit, actually. Queen is one of three linebackers in this class who would be ideal fits in the Vic Fangio defense. Queen brings sideline-to-sideline speed to the table, on top of multiple other coveted LB traits.
As an athletic complement to Alexander Johnson, Queen would thrive in the Broncos' scheme. And if indeed the Broncos are sending up smoke signals to force WR-needy teams to try and trade up (and maybe offer Elway a king's ransom in picks), Queen is one prospect I wouldn't be upset to see land in Denver — so long as it wasn't at 15. That would be a little too rich for my blood.
Make sure you check out Erick Trickel's 'Finding Broncos' breakdown on Queen and how he would fit in Denver. Another day, and another mock draft is in the online zeitgeist. Only three more weeks and fans will get the real thing as the NFL Draft is scheduled to kick off on April 23.