What’s On Draft: Who are the Broncos taking according to the experts?

LSU Tigers cornerback Jay Ward (16) tries to bring down Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Henry Ruggs III (11) after a reception during the second half of an NCAA college football game at Bryant-Denny Stadium
Nov 9, 2019; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; LSU Tigers cornerback Jay Ward (16) tries to bring down Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Henry Ruggs III (11) after a reception during the second half of an NCAA college football game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

It’s finally everyone’s favorite season. No, we’re not talking about winter, spring, summer, or fall, we’re talking about mock draft season.

Now, with a quarterback in place, the Broncos have to wonder whether they want to prioritize protecting Drew Lock, giving him an arsenal of weapons, or replacing some of the defensive holes that sure to open up this offseason.

Here’s what the experts think Denver should do:

Lance Zierlein (NFL Network): Andrew Thomas, LT, Georgia

“Thomas doesn’t always look pretty doing it, but guys get blocked. He’s an instant upgrade over Garett Bolles and is a tough competitor.”-Zierlein

The biggest question with Andrew Thomas as a Bronco would be scheme fit. He’s an immensely gifted and powerful tackle, but his movement skills lead to concerns about how he’d operate as a tackle at the next level.

That being said, Broncos fans should be thrilled with this pick, as the worst-case scenario would be to shift Thomas to guard, where he also has Pro Bowl potential.

Bucky Brooks (NFL Network): Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

“Adding another jump-ball specialist to the WR corps will accelerate Drew Lock‘s growth as a franchise quarterback.”- Brooks

This would be a pretty stunning pick if it came to fruition for the Broncos, especially with Henry Ruggs on the board. Higgins is a very talented receiver and drafting him in the top 15 wouldn’t be much of a reach in my eyes, but his ceiling is a Courtland-Sutton-type receiver and the Broncos already have that. They need to add a speed demon to give themselves a different element offensively, not another contested-catch receiver like Noah Fant, Tim Patrick and Sutton.

Daniel Jeremiah (NFL Network): Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

“Jeudy would give the Broncos one of the most exciting collections of young skill-position players in the league. Adding him to a group that already includes Drew Lock, Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant and Phillip Lindsay would strike fear into opposing defensive coordinators.”-Jeremiah

Broncos Country should be doing double backflips as John Elway personally swims this card up to the Bellagio-based stage so fast it’d make Michael Phelps’ jaw crater the floor.

Jerry Jeudy is the best scheme fit for the Broncos of any receiver in this class, he’s also the best receiver in this class and he’s my top receiving prospect since Julio Jones.

Matt Miller (Bleacher Report): CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

“CeeDee Lamb is still on the board [for me] and that is a travesty so I’m taking him. I’ll pair him with Courtland Sutton, pair him with Noah Fant, and now you have an offense that Drew Lock can really unload in. When you hire Pat Shurmur, you know you want big plays. CeeDee is gonna give you those.”-Miller

This pick would be a much more palatable version of the Tee Higgins selection earlier. Do the Broncos really need a jump-ball receiver? No. Is Lamb so good that he’s still worth taking at 15? Yes, without even a second thought.

Mel Kiper Jr. (ESPN): Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

“Does Denver have its quarterback of the future? Second-round pick Drew Lock, who flashed in his late-season cameo, has given Broncos fans hope, and he’ll get every opportunity to start all 16 games in 2020. So let’s help him out and give him the draft’s fastest pass-catcher to pair with Courtland Sutton, who looks like he could be a future superstar. Ruggs took a step forward as a route runner this season, but his game is all about speed — he can run by any defensive back.”-Kiper

Of all the players mocked to the Broncos in this exercise, the selection of Henry Ruggs seems to be most likely. Benjamin Allbright already reported the Broncos won’t let the lightning-fast receiver slide past them in the draft. The question now is, does Ruggs’ world-class speed make him too attractive to last to the 15th selection?

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