Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos 2014 Draft: The Good, the Bad and the Baffling

Christopher HansenNFL AnalystMay 11, 2014

Denver Broncos 2014 Draft: The Good, the Bad and the Baffling

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    GM John Elway (left) and HC John Fox (right) welcome first-round pick Bradley Roby.
    GM John Elway (left) and HC John Fox (right) welcome first-round pick Bradley Roby.Ed Andrieski/Associated Press

    Everyone expects the Denver Broncos to contend for a Super Bowl again in 2014 after making it there in 2013. The Broncos also added a lot of talent on defense via free agency and several key players will also return from injury in 2014.

    The Denver Broncos didn't have a ton of holes on their roster to fill in the 2014 NFL draft, which made them one of the more interesting teams to follow. The Broncos may have been looking further into the future than many teams around the league.

    General manager John Elway has made a few head-scratching picks in recent years, but he's also made quite a few great ones. What often separates teams is which of their draftees are making a big impact, not necessarily what mid-round picks they missed on.

2014 Draft Picks

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    Round 1, Pick 31- Bradley Roby, CB 

    Round 2, Pick 56 - Cody Latimer, WR 

    Round 3, Pick 95 - Michael Schofield, OT

    Round 5, Pick 156 - Lamin Barrow, OLB 

    Round 6, Pick 207 - Matt Paradis, C

    Round 7, Pick 242 - Corey Nelson, OLB

The Good

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Round 2, Pick 56 - Cody Latimer, WR

    Latimer was a hot name before the draft, and many people thought he could sneak into the first round. For the Broncos to be able to get him in the middle of the second round is a great value, even if they had to trade up to get him.

    Slot receiver Wes Welker will be a free agent next season, meaning the Broncos will need his replacement if they don't bring him back. Emmanuel Sanders can slide into Welker's role, but then they would need someone who can win outside. Latimer is 6'2" and has great hands that quarterback Peyton Manning will love.

    It's never a bad thing to give Manning more weapons, but Latimer was a great value and should become a productive player in time.

     

    Round 5, Pick 156 - Lamin Barrow, OLB

    The Broncos would have loved to land one of the top linebackers in the draft, but they would have had to give up a lot of value in trade to move up to get one. Instead, they added depth in Lamin Barrow in the fifth round.

    Barrow isn't a big thumper, but he can play on special teams, and he's athletic enough to drop into coverage. On a defense that should be playing a lot of pass defense and using sub packages, Barrow could come in and push for some type of role. At worst, Barrow will contribute on special teams.

     

    Round 6, Pick 207 - Matt Paradis, C

    This pick is very much for the future for the Broncos. Will Montgomery and Manny Ramirez have proven to be solid starters at center, so Paradis will likely have a hard time making the roster.

    If Paradis does well enough, he could force the Broncos make a difficult decision at the end of training camp. At least that's the hope with this pick.

    "Paradis is a stoutly built, intelligent, hard-nosed overachiever who will make it difficult for coaches to cut him," per Nolan Nawrocki of NFL.com.

    Extra centers often land on the practice squad as teams like to have two healthy ones on the active roster at all times. Even if he is cut, he can develop on the practice squad while he refines his game.

The Bad

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Round 1, Pick 31- Bradley Roby, CB

    The Denver Broncos needed a cornerback because there are questions surrounding Chris Harris Jr.'s health after he tore his ACL late last season. That fact alone makes the pick of Roby feel a lot like when the Broncos drafted quarterback Brock Osweiler when there were still concerns about Peyton Manning's return from multiple neck surgeries.

    Roby was considered one of the better cornerbacks in the draft, but he wasn't as good his junior year and was shredded by Wisconsin wide receiver Jared Abbrederis. There are definite concerns about Roby's game because there is a lot of inconsistency to Roby's technique.

    Like last year's third-round pick Kayvon Webster, Roby needs time to develop. The pick also makes you question if Webster was a good pick because the Broncos just signed Aqib Talib at cornerback.

    Maybe Roby proves to be a quick study and can survive on this athleticism alone behind Denver's front seven. The Broncos have arguably the two best pass-rushers in the league and should be playing with the lead the majority of the time. 

     

    Round 7, Pick 242 - Corey Nelson, OLB

    Tough to call any seventh-round pick a bad pick, but it's hard to believe Nelson wouldn't have been available as an undrafted free agent. Nelson applied for and was denied a fifth year of eligibility at Oklahoma and had an injury in 2013

    Linebackers from big schools like Oklahoma don't slip through the cracks, especially not ones with good character, like Nelson. Linebackers that apply for a fifth year of eligibility also don't typically have good pro prospects.

    Nelson is also small for a linebacker, at 6'0" and 230 pounds, and doesn't have the frame to get much bigger. He's likely just a guy.

The Baffling

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Round 3, Pick 95 - Michael Schofield, OT

    Schofield was perhaps Denver's oddest pick. He has experience at guard and offensive tackle, but he's not particularly athletic. Athleticism is usually what zone-blocking teams are looking for.

    He's also relatively small at 306 pounds, even for a zone-blocking offensive lineman. His 6'6" height means he could gain a few pounds, but that will take time. Adding weight also likely won't make Schofield more athletic than he is now.

    The biggest problem with the pick isn't Schofield as a prospect, but all the talent the Broncos left on the board by drafting him. They could have used the pick on a prospect with fewer concerns. There were a number of cornerbacks the Broncos could have added in this range that have a lot of upside, but they likely didn't consider them after taking Roby. 

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