2012 NFL Mock Draft: 7-Round Denver Broncos Picks to Help the Tim Tebow Offense
Yet, the offense that Tebow is running has been hastily put together and has a bunch of miscast parts. This is the fourth offensive style for many of these players, and if Tebow is the future, the 2012 NFL Draft should be used to put players around him that fit what he can do best.
So, what are the Denver Broncos looking for?
It's important to find a running back who can take over for Willis McGahee without missing a beat. Another wide receiver would be nice to continue to stretch the field and help Tebow in the redzone. The Broncos could use help all along the offensive line and at the tight end position as well.
Last but not least, the best offense is always a good defense, and the Broncos should certainly spend some time drafting over there as well.
What can the Broncos get? Here are my predictions.
Round 1: Chris Polk (RB Washington)
In my latest mock draft, I had Michael Floyd (WR Notre Dame) dropping to the Denver Broncos. Not only is he a fantastic wideout, but he's also the best blocking receiver I've scouted in some time. Since the Broncos won this weekend, it is unlikely he'd fall that far.
Instead, the Broncos nab Chris Polk, who is a phenomenal inside-out runner and would look perfect in the Broncos pseudo read-option scheme. No one breaks tackles quite like Polk, who is almost harder to bring down that Tebow himself.
Polk would likely be an immediate upgrade to Willis McGahee, but the two would look great on the same team while the latter fades into the sunset.
Round 2: Mike Brewster (OC Ohio State)
J.D. Walton has been terrible this year for the Broncos, and that is a shame. As good as the Broncos running game has been, a solid center would really put it over the top. In the option offense (really, any run heavy offense), the interior line is just as important as the perimeter. In a true option, the center can make or break the entire team.
Luckily for the Broncos, Walton hasn't broken his team this year, but he's come close at times.
Brewster is a big guy who can pull, trap and get to the next level with the best of them. Most importantly, he's a savvy guy who isn't going to get caught out of position as teams do their best to confuse the blocking scheme.
Round 3: Kendall Reyes (DT UConn)
John Fox was able to cobble together a really nice defense in 2011 with a lot of players he didn't put together. So, we have to give him some ability to get his kind of guys even while putting together a dream offense for everybody's favorite QB.
Reyes once looked more like an NFL tight end prospect, but added a ton of weight at Connecticut and didn't lose much athleticism doing it. Because of that, scouts will keep a close eye on Reyes at all of the pre-draft events to see if he will give them a reason to draft him much higher than his production would normally allow.
Fox is a great teacher, and if anyone is going to turn a diamond-in-the-rough like Reyes into a pro's pro, it will be him.
Round 4: Marvin McNutt (WR Iowa)
The untold story of Tim Tebow is that even with his erratic passing, quite a few of his incompletions are drops. Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas and Eddie Royal are all fine receivers, but the overall corps needs a shot to the arm.
In fact, the best-case scenario for the Broncos would move Royal into a slash-type role that Percy Harvin filled at Florida (and still does for the Minnesota Vikings).
Marvin McNutt is a big-bodied guy who can pluck the ball well and has nice body control. He has some maturing to do, but who better to be around than Mr. Tebow?
As a side benefit, McNutt (like the aforementioned Floyd) is a willing blocker and can help seal off the perimeter.
Round 5a: Ladarius Green (TE Louisiana-Lafayette)
Josh McDaniels spent a lot of time finding a blocking tight end and jettisoned Tony Scheffler, who would look awfully great catching passes from the Mile High Savior. So, to make up for those mistakes, the Broncos can draft a guy who could bring some similar things to the table as Tebow's former running mate, Aaron Hernandez.
Green is much bigger than Hernandez, but is a great receiver who can get enormous amounts of yards after each and every catch. Much like Hernandez, he does a good job of getting in defenders way in the open field and will put the effort into blocking even if the natural talent isn't there.
(This is the St. Louis Rams' pick received in the Brandon Lloyd trade.)
Round 5b: Chandler Harnish (QB Northern Illinois)
What? Another QB? How does that help Tim Tebow?
Simple: It takes away the temptation to pull the rug out from under this grand experiment at any sign of trouble.
Chandler Harnish is one of the most successful run/pass quarterbacks ever in the FBS. He's already a more polished passer than Tebow might ever be and can command a full route tree better than the former Florida Gator as well. On top of that, he's an awesome athlete and a big bodied guy who can run over and around defenders.
Moreover, like Tebow, Harnish "just wins games" and has helped turn Northern Illinois into a dangerous MAC team.
With this guy as the backup, the new Broncos offense wouldn't ever have to miss a beat if Tebow gets injured.
Round 7: Robert Golden (CB Arizona)
The Broncos traded their sixth round pick to receiver Joe Mays, so they'll need to get a good impact with their seventh round selection.
Here, they take a chance on a kid many thought would be a superstar at the college level. Robert Golden was a much-heralded five-star prospect for the Arizona Wildcats, but moved around from cornerback to safety and back again. He's a playmaker, but he's also liable to get burned because he's a bit overaggressive.
As a great athlete and a great character guy, the worst case scenario for Golden is as a core special teamer for the Broncos. However, the Broncos got a lot out of their young secondary in 2011 and might be the best team to get even more out of a kid like Golden.
Michael Schottey is an NFL Associate Editor for Bleacher Report and an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He has professionally covered both the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions, as well as NFL events like the scouting combine and the Senior Bowl. Follow him on Twitter.