Draft day is finally here. While a lot is made about who teams take in the first round, what really makes a great draft class is the gems they find a little later on. This article is for them, the players who will not hear their names called on the first day of the draft.
In the 2017 crop, there are a lot of players who could likely help the Denver Broncos. Even after the first round, there are people that may be able to make an impact right away.
Of course, being the “experts” we are, we’re pretty sure that we know who those players are here at Mile High Sports. As such, we asked several of our personalities what they thought. Here are their responses.
Kent Erickson, The Big Show: Taylor Moton, G/T, Western Michigan
In order to be considered a “sleeper” in the NFL draft I think you first have to be considered a third-day prospect. With today’s technology and access to information, I don’t think any projected second-day picks are under the radar. So when I go to Saturday’s possibilities, I still look at the biggest hole in the April version of the Broncos roster. Then I look at my board and hope to see a guy who is 6-foot-5, weighs 330 pounds, and ran his 40 in five flat. Taylor Moton can play guard or tackle and played them both extremely well at Western Michigan for the… Broncos. Get out of the way and make your biggest problem the least of your worries.
Les Shapiro, Afternoon Drive: Dalvin Tomlinson, DL, Alabama
I think Alabama defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson could be a helluva pick if he’s there in the third or fourth round. Really athletic. Good size. Yes, he has a history of injuries, but when he’s healthy, he’s a man. He gets lost in the “Alabama draft prospects” conversation because of those injuries, but if you can keep him on the field, he can make an impact. He can be that good.
Benny Bash, The Big Show: Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma or Eric Saubert, TE, Drake
Westbrook is a dynamic WR who can fill in in the slot and eventually be a replacement for Emmanuel Sanders. He will help instantly on special teams and be a much needed third threat on passing downs.
Ryan Edwards, Danny and Ryan: Curtis Samuel, WR, Ohio State
Clint Daly, Broncos columnist: Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma
There has been quite a bit of pre-draft talk about a certain running back from Oklahoma. I’d like to talk about the other one. There’s no question that Joe Mixon is an explosive player, and he could be a first or second-round pick. However, I’m a little more partial to Samaje Perine. He is a physical runner, that is capable of finding space in those short yardage, and goal-line situations. In his three seasons at Oklahoma, Perine averaged over 1,300 yards and 16 touchdowns per season. At 5-foot-11 and 233 pounds, the thing that stands about Perine is just how hard he runs. He runs angry, and that’s a very good thing. In addition, Perine has an excellent reputation for being a solid character in the locker room, and an extremely hard worker. He will probably last until at least the third round, so there wouldn’t be much risk in taking him at that point, but if the Broncos select a running back from the University of Oklahoma, let’s hope it’s the right one.
Sean Walsh, Walsh and TJ: Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland
Adam Uribes, Broncos reporter: Curtis Samuel, WR, Ohio State or Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado
Drew Demo, Managing Editor: Jalen Robinette, WR, Air Force
The Broncos could use another playmaker on offense. They need more performance out of the slot. Drafting Robinette is how they get it. Robinette would not be good in the slot. His size, big-play ability and tracking in the air make him ideal for the outside. What drafting him would do, would enable Emmanuel Sanders to play almost exclusively out of the slot, where his quickness and versatility can thrive. Robinette is raw, but his physical gifts are extraordinary. If he’s available with the last pick of the third round, the Broncos should unquestionably snatch him up.
John Mendoza, Broncos columnist: Will Holden, OT, Vanderbilt
Joe Williams, The Big Show: Jake Butt, TE, Michigan
Levi Waddell, intern: Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington
The Broncos have had some strong slot receivers in recent history; Brandon Stokley, Wes Welker and in some situations Eric Decker. Kupp should be the Broncos’ next in line. An elite route-runner, the 6-foot-2, 204-pounder’s competitiveness and confidence would give a well-needed boost to the Broncos’ dull receiving core. His strong hands and ability to bully corners make circus catches an easy feat, and his ball-tracking skills are top-notch.