Denver Broncos 2012 Mock Draft: 7-Round Predictions
As the combine approaches, the Broncos are releasing more and more information about needs that could be addressed via the draft.
The good news about the Broncos' draft pick is that it reflects an exciting season and an unexpected playoff victory, but the bad news is that it isn't another top-10 pick that can come in and deliver a Pro-Bowl caliber season (we think).
Nobody has room to complain, however, because with success comes lower draft picks, and that hasn't hurt the NFL's best teams over the years.
Here are the players that Denver may be targeting with their current collection of draft picks in 2012
1st Round, 25th-Overall Pick: Dont'a Hightower, ILB
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There is still a lot of clamor for the Broncos to take a defensive lineman, but with the return of players like Ty Warren and Kevin Vickerson from injured reserve, the chance to take a former defensive captain from Alabama is too tempting.
Hightower can be a stabilizing force in the middle of the defense and help to free up the athletes on the outside in Von Miller and DJ Williams.
The Broncos simply cannot afford to be pushed around in third-and-short situations anymore, and that is something that Hightower and his teammates at Alabama did not allow to happen very often.
2nd Round, 57th-Overall Pick: Kendall Reyes, DT
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Kendall Reyes is a versatile defensive lineman who can contribute in the middle, as well as on the outside should new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio want to change up the looks.
He has a solid frame that can eat up blocks, but also possesses the strength to shed those blocks and stop the rush right at the line of scrimmage.
The draft has a lot of talent in the defensive line area, but much of it is at the defensive end position, so taking an interior lineman here is a good value for Denver and not too much of a reach.
3rd Round, 88th-Overall Pick: Jayron Hosley, CB
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The pedigree of defense and special teams from Virginia Tech is a well-known one, and those are both things that Denver is in need of help with.
Hosley has game-changing ability in coverage and is athletic enough to be a lockdown cornerback in the NFL.
Time spent working with Champ Bailey will be perfect for Hosley, and he can grow into the No. 1 corner for Denver when it is time for Bailey to move on.
4th Round, 120th-Overall Pick: Nick Foles, QB
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This former Arizona Wildcat QB delivered a gutsy performance in the Senior Bowl and led an inspiring scoring drive that may have helped his draft stock significantly. Or at least enough to catch the eye of a former legend at the position.
According to the Denver Post, the Broncos want to add two quarterbacks to compete with TIm Tebow, and Foles could be the right man for the team coming out of the draft.
He has a big frame, strong arm and cool head on his shoulders, which are all pluses for a Denver team that needs to limit mistakes from the QB poisition.
5th Round, 129th-Overall Pick: Dan Herron, RB
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Dan "Boom" Herron is a straight-line runner from Ohio State that will be an ideal fit for the new-look rushing attack of the Denver Broncos.
He averaged almost five yards per carry in his shortened senior campaign with the Buckeyes, and that kind of production is exactly what the Broncos are looking for in order to keep their offense on schedule.
He will be a great compliment to Willis McGahee and provide the same kind of power from the backfield.
5th Round, 152nd-Overall Pick: Marvin McNutt, WR
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This Big Ten standout is an absolute steal in the fifth round, considering he led the conference in receiving yards last season.
He has an incredible mix of size and agility that will benefit the Broncos expanding aerial attack. If Tim Tebow is tossing the ball, then he needs another player with size like Demaryius Thomas to help him win jump-ball situations, and McNutt can do that.
7th Round, 216th-Overall Pick: Darius Fleming, OLB
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Darius Fleming dropped in the rankings at his position, but it may not have all been his fault. There has been a lot of turnover at Notre Dame, and some think that may have stunted the growth of Fleming.
His biggest knock is a lack of ability in the pass rush, but that is an area that Denver has plenty of help at anyway. Denver will look to develop Fleming as a pass defender, which is something that the Broncos need serious help at.
As a matter of fact, with the emergence of the "un-coverable tight ends" in the NFL, most teams should be looking to strengthen their coverage from the LB position.