For even the most casual of football fans, the first round of the NFL draft is pure exhilaration. It doesn’t matter if your team (the Broncos) is picking last in the first round; every pick matters. When “your guy” comes off the board too early, it hurts, down deep. And when a major trade shakes up the draft order, you wonder how it’s going to affect your team.

We all read hundreds of mock drafts in preparation for this day, and every one of them is wrong. Dead wrong.

Why? Because the NFL draft is as unpredictable as they come, and that’s what makes it so fun.

So while you’re waiting for the Broncos to come on the board at pick 31 — if they don’t trade out, that is — make sure you’re following Mile High Sports’ live blog for instant reaction to each and every pick.


No. 23: Laquon Treadwell (Minnesota Vikings)

TAKEAWAY: For much of the pre-draft process, Treadwell was the consensus No. 1 wideout; a slow 40 time, though, dropped him down to the mid 20s.

IMPACT ON BRONCOS: Read the last two picks … rinse and repeat.

No. 22: Josh Doctson (Washington Redskins)

TAKEAWAY: To some, Josh Doctson was the best wideout in this year’s class. The fact that Washington got him at No. 22 is a good value, but not necessarily their biggest need.

IMPACT ON BRONCOS: Once again, as long as these teams keep taking offensive skill players, the Broncos are happy.


No. 21: Will Fuller (Houston Texans)

TAKEAWAY: The Texans obviously felt someone else was jumping up to grab Fuller, because otherwise it makes no sense to jump up one spot for Fuller. Otherwise, good pick

IMPACT ON BRONCOS: Right now, as long as Paxton Lynch or one of the falling defensive players isn’t getting called, it’s good news for the Broncos.


No. 20: Darron Lee (New York Jets)

TAKEAWAY: The Jets decided to pass up on Paxton Lynch, taking the fifth Ohio State player in the first round. Lee is athletic and can do a lot at the linebacker position.

IMPACT ON BRONCOS: Lee was high on the Broncos boards because of his athleticism, but this is not a major disappointment for the Broncos staff.

No. 19: Shaq Lawson (Buffalo Bills)

TAKEAWAY: This is not a surprise. The bills needed defensive line help and loved Shaq Lawson.

IMPACT ON BRONCOS: Lawson was not supposed to drop to the Broncos. This pick leaves Paxton Lynch on the board. Is it time the Broncos trade up to get Lynch?

No. 18: Ryan Kelly (Indianapolis Colts)

TAKEAWAY: The best center in the draft, the Colts added much needed offensive line help to protect their most valuable asset, Andrew Luck.

IMPACT ON BRONCOS: Kelly could have stepped in as an immediate starter and helped the Broncos at guard this year. Now that he’s off of the board the Broncos could look to Cody Whitehair if they want offensive line help.

No. 17: Keanu Neal (Atlanta Falcons)

TAKEAWAY: A physical safety out of Florida, Keanu Neal will help the Falcons secondary immediately. However, many had the Falcons going after a pass rusher.

IMPACT ON BRONCOS: The Broncos are looking to add safety depth in the draft, but in the first round that would have been a reach. Still lots of talent, both on offense and defense, left for Elway and the Broncos

No. 16: Taylor Decker (Detroit Lions)

TAKEAWAY: Ohio State continues its great draft, adding a very solid offensive tackle to help protect Matt Stafford.

IMPACT ON BRONCOS: The Broncos had Decker on their board, with a chance that he slid to them. The Broncos may now be on the lookout for a guard if they want to go offensive line in the first round.

No. 15: Corey Coleman (Cleveland Browns)

TAKEAWAY: The first wideout off of the board, Coleman was an absolute monster at Baylor, consistently making plays

IMPACT ON BRONCOS: The Broncos weren’t going after a wide receiver in the first round, had no chance at Coleman, nor any interest.

No. 14: Karl Joseph (Oakland Raiders)

TAKEAWAY: The first safety taken in the draft, Joseph hits like TJ Ward and has the hands to make plays all day long.

IMPACT ON BRONCOS: This move does change the Broncos plans. The Broncos were connected to Joseph in some projections, but since safety is not a weakness it shouldn’t hurt the Broncos board, just adjust it.

No. 13: Laremy Tunsil (Miami Dolphins)

TAKEAWAY: Tunsil slid after some character concerns, specifically with a video leaked 10 minutes before the draft, but he could be the best player in the draft.

IMPACT ON BRONCOS: The Broncos never expected Tunsil to fall to them, even with his character concerns.

No. 12: Sheldon Rankins (New Orleans Saints)

TAKEAWAY: A talented defensive tackles from Louisville, Rankins will need to step in and play right away for a defensive that was horrendous last year.

IMPACT ON BRONCOS: Rankins could have fell to the Broncos at 31, and the Broncos would have taken a strong look at him if he did. Still plenty of defensive line talent available though.

No. 11: Vernon Hargreaves (Tampa Bay)

TAKEAWAY: After trading back two spots, Tampa Bay added Florida cornerback Hargreaves. A three time selection for All-SEC, Tampa Bay added a great player.

IMPACT ON BRONCOS: Sitting at 31, the Broncos weren’t going to land most of these guys in the first round, and Hargreaves is one of them.

No. 10: Eli Apple (New York Giants)

TAKEAWAY: Another Ohio State player chosen in the top 10. Very talented and full of potential.

IMPACT ON BRONCOS: Apple was widely considered a top corner in the draft, but with the potential that he has, he wasn’t expected to make it to 31. Broncos war room remains unchanged.

No. 9: Leonard Floyd (Chicago Bears via trade from Tampa Bay)

TAKEAWAY: After trading away a fourth round pick to move up two spots, the Bears added a talented pass rusher from Georgia to attack the likes of Rodgers, Stafford and Cutler.

IMPACT ON BRONCOS: Floyd was a top 15 pick in the draft. The Broncos are loaded at OLB and weren’t expected to go after this in the first round.

No. 8: Jack Conklin (Tennessee Titants via trade from Cleveland Browns)

TAKEAWAY: The Titants ended up with a very good tackle after trading out of the first overall pick.

IMPACT ON BRONCOS: The Broncos would have loved Conklin, but the chance he was available at 31 was very small. Now the Broncos could start looking at Laremy Tunsil, who continues to fall in the draft.

No. 7: DeForest Buckner (San Francisco 49ers)

TAKEAWAY: The 49ers add a very physically talented player to bolster their defensive line. Another Oregon defensive lineman for Chip Kelly.

IMPACT ON BRONCOS: Buckner, while being very physically gifted, was never supposed to come close to the Broncos.

No. 6: Ronnie Stanley (Baltimore Ravens)

TAKEAWAY: With their highest pick in the draft since 2000, the Ravens added the first tackle in the draft.

IMPACT ON BRONCOS: The Broncos way be looking at offensive line in the first round, but it wouldn’t have been Stanley.

No. 5: Jalen Ramsey (Jacksonville Jaguars)

TAKEAWAY: Potentially the best player in the draft joins Malik Jackson in Jacksonville.

IMPACT ON BRONCOS: Nothing at all. It would have been a miracle for him to fall out of the top 10, let alone to the Broncos.

No. 4: Ezekiel Elliot (Dallas Cowboys)

TAKEAWAY: Jerry Jones get his man with the fourth overall pick. A playmaker, and also a really high pick for a running back.

IMPACT ON BRONCOS: No change within the Broncos war room. Elliot wasn’t going to drop to the Broncos, nor do the Broncos need a running back.

No. 3: Joey Bosa (San Diego Chargers)

TAKEAWAY: A bit of a surprise at No. 3. The talent is not the question for Bosa.

IMPACT ON BRONCOS: The first defensive player is off the board. Doesn’t change Elway’s draft board at all, there was no chance he was ending up even close to the Broncos.

No. 2: Carson Wentz (Philadelphia Eagles)

TAKEAWAY: No surprise at all. Philadelphia wanted Wentz and now they have a quarterback circus on their hands.

IMPACT ON BRONCOS: Same as Goff going to the Rams, none. The Broncos knew both of these guys would be gone after the second pick; it was just a matter of determining the order.

No. 1: Jared Goff (St. Louis Rams)

TAKEAWAY: Not much to take away here; we’ve had a good week to process the pick. Simply put, the Rams needed a quarterback and they got one.

IMPACT ON BRONCOS: Zip, zilch, zero. The Broncos would love to have Jared Goff in their building, but they’d love to have an in-their-prime Peyton Manning or John Elway, too. They knew this guy would never be around when they got on the board.