2012 NFL Mock Draft: Denver Broncos' Immediate Impact Players to Draft in 2012
The NFL Draft is upon us. Executive Vice President of Football Operations, John Elway, has really emphasized the need for the Broncos to make selections as immediate impact players in the 2012 draft.
The Broncos have seven total picks—one in each round except the seventh round, and two in the fourth round, thanks to the Tim Tebow trade.
Let's go through a rundown of immediate impact players the Broncos could possibly draft in this seven-round mock draft.
Round 1 (25th Overall): Dont’a Hightower, ILB
As far as impact goes, Dont’a Hightower would make a huge impact for the Denver Broncos if he were available and chosen by the Broncos in the first round.
He is big, fast and very smart. He has the ability to run the defense from the middle linebacker position making calls on the field, something the Broncos have struggled with on defense, especially when teams speed up the pace by switching into the no-huddle.
Putting Hightower together with Von Miller and D.J. Williams, Hightower would likely start from Week 1 and make a significant contribution out of the gate.
My other option in the first round would be to trade down for more picks. There are going to be lots of impact, value players available early in the second round, and adding an extra player there could pay huge dividends.
Round 2 (57th Overall): Brandon Thompson, DT
Brandon Thompson is a huge, defensive lineman at 6’2” and 311 pounds. He also excels in stopping the run. The Broncos could use a run plug like Thompson to keep offenses from victimizing them again this year in short yardage, since their run defense last season was atrocious.
He also is a consistent, disruptive force at the line of scrimmage. He routinely blows up plays at the line of scrimmage, which would help in the passing game too. He’s rated a bit lower than some of the top prospects from the first round, but will still have huge impact and potential upside for Denver.
His pass rush overall needs some work, but when you already have top pass-rushers in Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil, this guy could improve his game and learn on the go.
Round 3 (87th Overall): Marvin McNutt Jr., WR
Marvin McNutt Jr. is a former QB with a huge frame and clutch hands. If the Broncos are lucky enough to have him fall to them in the third round, they would be wise to take him. He has a wide catch radius and runs crisp routes.
He had 82 catches for 1315 in 2011 as an Iowa Hawkeye. He also pulled down 12 touchdowns. While he’s not overly fast, he has deceptive speed to sneak past people.
He typically comes up huge when he’s needed the most—late in games, when you have to have a first down, he has the intelligence to get to the sticks and make the first down. He also is smart enough to find the holes in zone defense.
Round 4 (108th Overall): Derek Wolfe, DT
He is a force on defense in the middle. Wolfe had an awesome senior season as a Cincinnati Bobcat in 2011. He ranked 12th in the NCAA in sacks with 9.5 and had 19.5 tackles for a loss, earning the co-conference player of the year in the Big East.
He really benefited from remaining in college one last season as his football IQ improved and overall he learned to work harder, run faster and ultimately improved his play. He was a four-year starter at Cincinnati and could make an immediate impact for the Broncos next season, especially with the departure of Ryan McBean.
Round 4 (120th Overall): Ryan Miller, OG
If the Broncos are looking to add depth on the offensive line and bring in a guy who can compete right away, Colorado Buffalo Ryan Miller could be their guy. He had a great career at Colorado starting 48 games.
He has shown some nastiness on the line and is a real fighter. He also possesses great in-line strength, and could see himself in the Broncos starting line-up if he can make some adjustments to improve at the pro-level.
Round 5 (137th Overall): Robert Turbin, RB
While Turbin attended Utah State and it's likely to affect his draft status, he also appears to have the size, speed and intuition to make a splash at the next level. Scooping up Turbin in the fifth round for the Broncos would be a steal. He has good hands out of the backfield. He has great speed—clocking a 4.44 second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine.
At 5’10”, 222 pounds, he has similar size as star running backs DeAngelo Williams (5’9”, 217 pounds) and Jonathan Stewart (5’10”, 235 pounds) who John Fox drafted in his time with the Carolina Panthers.
Round 6 (188th Overall): Coty Sensabaugh, CB
Coty Sensabaugh is a good man-cover cornerback. He has shown good zone reactions and uses a trail technique and has good closing speed. He performed exceptionally well during the regular season against South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery; a prospect looking to be a first-round selection.
Overall, he is inexperienced due to the type of defense he played in at Clemson. However, he could be a good find for the Broncos who are expected to boost their nickel-and-dime packages in 2012.
He’s about all you could hope for late in the sixth round.