Denver Broncos Mock Draft: 6 Do's and Don'ts of the Draft's 1st Round
The Broncos' biggest need is undoubtedly defensive tackle, but they have other areas in which they would like to build.
Denver has options that include, but are not limited to, drafting a DT or even a wide receiver. Anyhow, here is a look at the Broncos' 2012 first-round do's and don'ts.
Do: Draft Michael Brockers, Fletcher Cox or Devon Still
While these three players are likely to be off the board by the time the Broncos are on the clock, if one is available, Denver should waste no time selecting him.
The loss of Brodrick Bunkley via free agency stings an already weak corps of defensive tackles, and now the need for a defensive line anchor is extremely evident.
Either LSU's Michael Brockers, Mississippi State's Fletcher Cox or Penn State's Devon Still would be a fantastic selection for the Broncos.
Denver also recently hired defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, so bolstering the defense's biggest need would be extremely positive.
Don't: Draft Jerel Worthy or Kendall Reyes
While the Broncos do need a defensive tackle badly, they shouldn't draft Jerel Worthy or Kendall Reyes in the first round.
Worthy and Reyes are both second-round prospects, and the Broncos should wait until the second round to scoop them up. They would likely have to trade up to pick Worthy or Reyes in the second, but it is a much better alternative to taking either in the first.
Do: Draft a Wide Receiver
In my "Denver Broncos: How They Can Make Their Offense Lethally Dynamic" article, I stated that the Broncos should look into drafting a wideout in the first round.
With Peyton Manning under center, Denver should take advantage and build its offense into a first-rate attack that could tear through the league.
Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill, Baylor's Kendall Wright or LSU's Rueben Randle are all valid first-round options for Denver.
Hill is a raw, undeveloped prospect who is freakishly athletic. He plays a lot like Calvin Johnson, who also attended Georgia Tech.
Wright is a downright speedy prospect whose draft stock plummeted following a subpar 40-yard dash at the combine.
Randle is an under-the-radar prospect who could emerge as a first-round prospect as April rolls around.
Don't: Draft a Safety
Even though Broncos safety Brian Dawkins is nearing the end of his career, the Broncos should hesitate on drafting a high-round safety.
They signed Mike Adams, a solid safety who will immediately start. And aside from Dawkins and Adams, Denver has two up-and-coming safeties in Quinton Carter and Rahim Moore.
Carter was a fourth-round pick out of Oklahoma in 2011. He emerged as a starter late last season and ended up playing well down the stretch.
Moore was a second-round pick out of UCLA and, like Carter, was drafted last year. Moore hasn't lived up to his full potential just yet, but he is only entering his second season in the NFL.
Do: Trade Down
The Broncos would benefit from having more picks, so trading out of the first round makes heaps of sense.
Say Denver could acquire Minnesota's second-round pick along with a fourth in exchange for its first—Denver would get two quality picks.
A high second-round pick could be used for drafting either Worthy or Reyes, which is the right draft position for the defensive tackles. The fourth could be used to build the offense, possibly by way of Devon Wylie (pictured) from Fresno State.
Don't: Trade Up
Yes, the reward for trading up could possibly be Brockers, Cox or Still, but the benefits of trading down are much greater than this alternative.
Having a high second-rounder and an extra fourth or fifth is much better than a high first. It makes more sense for the Broncos to trade out.
Even if they don't trade up, one of the three defensive tackles may be on the board. They should wait until they are on the clock, and then be prepared to take a player or trade down.