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Todd McShay's Latest Mock Draft Nets The Broncos Two Playmakers at Linebacker

Sayre BedingerSenior Writer IFebruary 3, 2009

If you have read any of my Denver Broncos draft articles, you will know how strong of a supporter I am in favor of the Broncos drafting Iowa running back Shonn Greene in the second round, while focusing on defense in the first.

However, I have also stuck by the option of going defense in round two if, and only if, an elite prospect somehow would slip through the cracks to pick number 48. 

On ESPN.com, Todd McShay released his first two round mock draft today, in which he has the Broncos taking USC standout middle linebacker Rey Maualuga in round one. 

Analysis

This pick is a no-brainer for the Broncos.  If Maualuga slips all the way to the 12th overall pick, McDaniels and company will snatch him up right then and there, assuming B.J. Raji is also off the board.

Maualuga is a tackling machine who was the leader of the best defense in all of college football last season.  He is a first team All-American, and had he come out last offseason, probably would have been a top 15 pick still yet.  At 6'2" 260 pounds, he is the ideal size that you look for in a 3-4 middle linebacker, and would join a group of Broncos linebackers that is already fairly strong.

Adding one of the nation's best defensive players to one of the NFL's worst defenses could really improve this squad for 2009.

In round two is where the Broncos really strike gold.  With the 48th overall pick in the up-coming draft, McShay thinks the Broncos will be able to snag former Georgia Tech defensive end Michael Johnson.

Analysis

This is what we would call a "steal" in the draft business.  In my initial mock drafts back in October and November, Michael Johnson never found his way out of the top ten.  For whatever reason, scouts have dropped him all the way out of the first round.

At 6'7" 259 pounds, he has the frame to add weight and still keep his unmatched quickness.  In his senior season, he put that quickness and agility on display posting career highs in sacks (9) and tackles (45). 

The best part of this pick is that Denver will have the option of flexing Johnson to the outside as a pass rushing outside linebacker in their new scheme.

A first day like this would significantly improve the Denver defense, and would open the door for their seven other picks on day two of the draft. 

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