The NFL draft is an exciting time when experts and the casual fan can both speculate and make predictions with both having the same chance at getting it right. The trade scenarios and “areas of need” dictate a host of mock drafts. And as John Elway put it last week “there are mocks for the mocks” meaning it all really doesn’t matter until the team is on the clock.

With all that said here are three possible players to join the orange and blue in varying degrees of surprise and risk factor when the team picks 28th in the 2015 NFL Draft.

The safe pick

Cedric Ogbuehi represents just what the Broncos need and he should be available at 28th overall. He is a NFL-ready tackle out of Texas A&M and a player the Broncos have shown a lot of interest in. They have had the big 6’5”, 305-pound lineman in for a visit and believe he fits the mold of a zone-blocking tackle.

At Texas A&M Ogbuehi played both right tackle his junior year and switched over to the left side in 2014. He started each game this past season and earned first-team All-SEC by the league’s coaches. He also had a great sophomore season blocking for Johnny Manziel from the guard positions. His versatility cannot be understated as he would join an offensive line unit that has a lot of question marks and competition entering the offseason camps.

He would immediately compete for the right tackle position with last year’s third-round pick, Michael Schofield and veteran Chris Clark. The left guard position would also be an option if Shelley Smith, Manny Ramirez and Ben Garland can’t step up into a starting role.

The questionable pick

Benardrick McKinney would be a leap up if the Broncos were to use their first round pick on the Mississippi State alum. He is a beast and possibly the best inside linebacker in the draft but taking him 28th overall would be considered too early for his ranking on most team’s draft boards. McKinney is projected to go in the late first round by some but most have him as the 40th to 50th overall selection.

McKinney, a 6’5”, 249-pound junior linebacker played exceptionally well this past year. According to MSU’s site he led the team in tackles, compiling 71 and was named first-team All American. He started all of the team’s 13 games and was a force in the middle. His size and strength makes him a great fit for the Broncos shift to a 3-4 base defense.

Wade Phillips would love to have this player and what he would be able to do and allow his fellow linebackers to do in certain situations. He could roam the middle of the field in pass downs and allow Danny Trevathan to split out to the end and drop into coverage. McKinney would not only add instant depth to a thin position for the Broncos but has shown the mental capacity to grasp game plans and his physical prowess is undoubtedly ready for the professional level.

The surprise pick

Randy Gregory has made the news recently for all the wrong reasons. He was considered a top-ten pick early in the draft process but has fallen to the second half of the first round on many people’s mock draft boards. He failed a drug test at the combine and his small size has contributed to his draft stock dropping recently.

The 6’5” 235-pound outside linebacker reportedly has “character concerns” and therefore has been dropped completely off some team’s boards but his talent in unmistakable. The two-time first-team Big Ten pass rusher from the University of Nebraska finished the season with seven sacks, 16 quarterback hurries and 10 tackles for a loss according to the team’s site. He accomplished all of that while sitting out two games due to injury.

The need for another pass rusher may seem strange when you look at the Broncos roster but a few factors could lead the team to picking one up in the early rounds. DeMarcus Ware is in possibly his last season as a Bronco or in the NFL for that matter and his backup; Quanterus Smith was released earlier in the week. On the other side, Von Miller has been a great asset when on the field but injury and contract issues will be a major question when he reaches unrestricted free agency after this year.

Gregory has top-ten pick talent but his issues off the field may let him slide all the way to 28 and the Broncos would be foolish to pass on him.

Broncos possible trade partners to move up in round one

It is a common consensus that with 10 picks in the 2015 draft that the Broncos will be trading some of those in order to move up sometime this week. If they do so in round one it could be costly but a few teams come to mind as possible partners in a deal.

Two obvious teams that will be looking to stack additional picks would be the Cleveland Browns who have two first-round picks at 12 and 19 overall. The Saints are in the same boat with picks at 13 and 31 in round one. There is likely several other teams that would like to move back and add picks. Most of those suitors would be teams in full rebuilding mode like the Oakland Raiders and the Miami Dolphins. Oakland would be asking for a King’s ransom with the fourth overall pick and considering the frosty relationship between Elway and Jack Del Rio the deal would seem very unlikely. Miami sitting at No. 14 would be a likely spot for the Broncos to move up and possible surprise some people with a possible pick up of Breshad Perriman, WR or Arik Armstead, DL.

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