The NFL Draft order has now been finalized, and teams are in the process of evaluating potential draft picks.
The Denver Broncos have made no secret about the fact that they are looking to improve their defense in the early part of the draft, and here are nine players I think the team should look at with its picks.
1st Round (12th overall)
Tyson Jackson; Defensive End, LSU
This pick didn't change from my last Broncos mock draft. The team has worked privately with Jackson, and appear to be very interested.
Jackson is widely considered by NFL Draft experts to be the one and only "elite" five-technique the draft has to offer. What this means is that Jackson would serve a similar role to a Richard Seymour type of player in a 3-4 defense.
The Broncos are making the big switch to the 3-4, but really lack beef up front. The addition of Jackson paired with the return of Carlton Powell from injury could provide the Broncos with great depth up front. Undoubtedly, Jackson would start for Denver right away and become a run-stuffing, athletic end in their new defensive scheme.
2nd Round (48th overall)
Lawrence Sidbury; Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, Richmond
6'2" 266 40-yard dash time: 4.66 seconds
I think it would be fair to compare Sidbury to another former Patriot: Adalius Thomas. For a player 266 pounds to run a 4.66 second 40-yard dash is simply unbelievable.
Sidbury was a big-time playmaker for the Spiders, and would fill a big need for the Broncos as a pass rushing outside linebacker. One spot is taken already by Elvis Dumervil, but there is an open competition on the other side with Jarvis Moss. An athletic pass-rusher like Sidbury could be very attractive for Denver in the second round.
The Broncos will have to address the nose tackle position at some point in the draft, and I will address that when I do my full seven round mock draft for the Broncos in the next couple of weeks.