With the 2017 NFL Draft upon us, it’s time to dig into some names the Denver Broncos could target.
Having sizes and times for G, C and T puts the players into a better perspective. A Guard doesn’t need the same arm length as a tackle. Speaking of which, 34” is the magic number. Tackles need that or higher.
Chase put color codes, it’s easier to see who is elite (Blue), above average (Green), average (White), below average (Yellow) and Houston we have a problem (Red). Black is for those who didn’t perform. Many athletes opted out because they worked out on Pro Day or were sick or recovering from an injury. Don’t let that sway you.
Because some positions have so many, I broke out only five or so for those, otherwise this would be a novel and Random House would be calling. Some positions only have one or two for obvious reasons.
Giving a shout out to NFL Female who procured press passes. Please support them!
As of this writing, Denver has yet to sign a Left Tackle. Vance Joseph says he giving Donald Stephenson a chance. (lighting a candle in church for our QB’s)
Unless that changes (please), we might actually do what all those mock drafts have us doing and that’s taking a LT in the first round. Sniffle.
Several mocks have Garrett Bolles to us. I’m not raising my hand for that. He comes from a spread offense which means he won’t be a week 1 starter. I’m not a fan of drafting a one to sit him when you have a need at the spot. Plus, he’s going to be 25. Not to mention, if Mixon and Cook are considered issues, add him to the list.
Others have injured Ryan Ramczyk coming to us. Wisconsin does put out good OL; however, we just spent two years on a hurt tackle. You have no idea how hip surgeries effect his lower body strength. His one negative is he can be pushed back and one wonders how will this surgery effect that? Ready to start week 1? Extremely doubtful.
Cam Robinson is the lone one who doesn’t send my stomach on a Tower of Terror ride. More like Space Mountain, which I can handle. I’m probably alone in this, but to me, he feels like he’s playing the position because of his size, push and athleticism, better suited to play the DL, than as a pass protector. I love him as a run blocker, though. Just not enthusiastic as a week one LT who’s going to save our QB’s from being road kill. Even so, in this year’s pitiful draft class, tough to imagine him still being there at 20 when several teams above us need him, too.
If we’re going to pick a Tackle, who could start at Guard and be moved to RT, is Taylor Moton. Ninja and I love this guy. (go here for his write up) He’s a second round guy who will most likely be there when we draft. He had 52 starts at WMU—A record. He played both LT and RT there and never missed a start. Iron Man. With some better coaching to work on his agility in run blocking (he’s a good pass protector), he could be a great addition. He’s working on his Masters in accounting. He grew up playing basketball, but his grandfather, who passed away when he was in HS, urged him to play in middle school. He wears the #72 in honor of him. He told me his guys growing up were, Shaq O’Neal and Ray Lewis. I asked, oh, you like those aggressive guys? Huge grin, “yup”. (my kind of guy!)
I’m just not thrilled with this list. Julie’n Davenport, Antonio Garcia and Adam Bisnowaty are ok. Rod Johnson finally improved at the end of the season, as if a light bulb went on. He could be a late round guy who can be developed. He at least comes from a pro-style offense and one that is more complicated than most. FSU used a FB and HB, plus he was in front of several different QB’s during his time and they played in shotgun and under center. Understanding what’s needed won’t be the problem, the question is if he can continue to progress in technique.
I like Forrest Lamp, Isaac Asiata, Dan Feeney, Ben Braden, Jermaine Eluemunor. None in the first round. Not even sure I’d draft any because we are arm pit deep in Guards and if we draft one, we need to cut some dead weight in Englewood, first. Plus, this class isn’t great.
He’s not on this list, but Ethan Pocic should be a Guard. He says he wants to be a ZBS Center (he’d play anywhere though), but with his size, 6’6”/310, he could kick out to left guard and he’d give us a really good option if Paradis can’t go back to his All-Pro ways.
Pocic was moved to both LG and RG during the week in Mobile and did really well. That stood out to me and why I wanted to interview him. I must confess, I can’t remember which LG couldn’t play, but he did as well as some of the other true guards there. His two favorite players growing up were Brett Farve and Devin Hester. (Go for broke guys, love it!) If Elway stays to form in drafting dual guys, Ethan is my first choice (outside the first round). Coming from a pro-style system helps. He’s a big athlete. Ok, I’ll put my pom poms down, now.
Forrest Lamp is probably the only guy who has a shot of being in the first round. He is so good in technique and powering offenders off their marks. Being able to just move a guy, slow him, make him turn is usually all the time a QB needs to release the ball. Doing it correctly is easier said than done, his bend and hand placement is why he can. He’s smart and he gets it. His time spent as a LT gives him an edge in pass protection.
Dan Feeney missed games this season and was hurt in Mobile. When he’s healthy, he’s a bull in blocking and pass protection. There is some good film on him, but he’s not a four year player to warrant my swooning. This class isn’t great, so that’s why he makes my list.
Asiata is on this list because he’s a good run blocker. A former teammate of Devontae Booker, he helped pave the way for many of his yards.
I added Braden and Eluemunor because they come from systems that will help them at the next level.Kyle Fuller is my pick as a Center, but can’t see taking anyone from this group unless it is Pocic, like I laid out above.
Sorry readers, but in my not so humble opinion, I’d draft a LT next season. There are a few more choices and very good ones. It normally takes a year for OT to be starting material, this would put them at the perfect time for expiring contracts of our current players.
Let’s all send John Elway a massive wave of thoughts asking him to make a trade for a LT and save us from not signing a better choices at 20…RB, TE, LB.
Be kind in the comments, I finally got my armor back, but haven’t tested it, yet.