2012 NFL Mock Draft: 7-Round Denver Broncos Predictions
The Denver Broncos draft in 2012 will look to be even more successful than the 2011 version which netted Pro Bowler Von Miller and starters like Orlando Franklin and Quinton Carter who played huge roles in Denver.
Matching the talent of Miller with the 25th overall pick could be tough, but if Denver plays it right there could be impact players in every round.
There are many who want Denver to address every need for the team via the draft, but free agency must be taken into consideration as well. That is why Denver can feel more free to take the best talent available at the time (in most cases) and not constrict themselves by simply drafting for need.
With evaluations ongoing and the Senior Bowl, NFL Combine and Pro Days yet to occur, here is a very early cut at what Denver could be looking at with every pick in the 2012 NFL draft.
First Round 25th Overall: Dont'a Hightower ILB Alabama
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
I may be the only person out there that thinks Denver will go away from a defensive tackle in the first round again, but I think the decision to go with a linebacker in the first round makes sense two years in a row.
Hightower was not only a physical beast in the middle for Alabama, he was also their defensive captain over players like Courtney Upshaw and Dre' Kirkpatrick.
Denver definitely needs help up front, but they also need a big, strong run-stopping leader for the middle of their defense which is a role that Al Wilson used to fill in Denver.
Players like Nate Irving and Mike Mohammed could turn into nice depth players, but Hightower has the potential and the pedigree to be special.
Second Round 57th Overall: David Wilson RB Virginia Tech
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
David Wilson put his talents on display against Michigan in the BCS and caught the eye of the NFL prompting the junior to declare for the draft early.
Wilson may be the player that Knowshon Moreno was expected to be, possessing an intriguing mix of tough inside running ability and pure speed on the outside.
Wilson needs to work on his pass blocking but could be a great change of pace for Willis McGahee and an insurance policy for years to come if Moreno (like many expect) doesn't remain in Denver much longer.
Third Round 88th Overall: Marcus Forston DT Miami
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Value time for the Broncos comes in the third round where they may have the chance to select Marcus Forston, the 6'3'', 300lb. defensive tackle out of Miami.
Forston has had trouble with a knee injury and saw two seasons be cut short, but many experts agree that Forston would have graded higher without the injury risk. Obviously a knee injury can be serious and one of Forston's greatest attributes is his agility, but the Broncos don't need someone to run sideline to sideline.
The Broncos will look for Forston to help eat up blocks and make life easier on the linebackers.
Fourth Round 120th Overall: DeQuan Menzie CB Alabama
Greg McWilliams/Getty Images
It's possible that a player like Kirk Cousins, QB Michigan State, could be available here but with the glaring need to develop talent at corner due to the age of Bailey and Goodman it is hard to pass on Menzie.
Cousins is an intriguing pick, but likely not ready to challenge even Adam Weber for the backup position which is an important spot for Denver to fill this offseason.
Menzie is showing great versatility at the Senior Bowl getting reps in practice at both safety and corner, and that is the kind of talent that Denver needs in an often banged up secondary.
The only problem here is that if Menzie has a great Senior Bowl, his stock will rise above this draft position.
Fifth Round 129th Overall (From St. Louis): David Molk C Michigan
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
David Molk showed great determination and toughness staying in the Sugar Bowl when it was clear that his offense was not going to be able to run without him.
This may not be a sexy pick in return for the Brandon Lloyd trade but it is a much needed one in terms of depth on the offensive line. JD Walton has done an excellent job as the Broncos center but there isn't much in the way of backing him up if he were to go down.
Molk has the technique and agility to fit in with rest of the Denver offensive line and is a proven leader as evidenced by his time with Michigan.
Fifth Round 152nd Overall: Chad Diehl FB Clemson
Chad Diehl is the top ranked fullback in the draft and has excellent blocking skills coming out of Clemson. His only knock is that he hasn't shown much more than the ability to block, but that could due to how he was used at Clemson.
The Broncos have been in need of a true fullback for years, and even though Spencer Larsen has done a nice job as a fill in, Diehl could be the man to fill that void.
He has the speed, at 4.72, to be a threat carrying the ball but with players like McGahee and Tebow in the backfield, he really just needs to do a great job of clearing the way. In further support of his case, Diehl has proven to be a sure tackler on special teams which is something Denver can certainly use.
Seventh Round 216th Overall: Ryan Miller OG Colorado
This picture is of New England Patriots tackle Nate Solder (6'8'') on the left, and on the right is teammate Ryan Miller (6'7'') on the field goal block team. It is made even more impressive when you find out that both players are offensive lineman.
Miller has been playing interior offensive line at CU, but obviously possesses the size to play tackle as well as special teams defensive line.
That kind of versatility is rare and so is someone with Miller's size playing something other than basketball. Denver fans should be happy to see this homegrown talent out of Columbine High School in the orange and blue after the draft.