Our very own Garrett Barnes shared his (very educated) Mock Draft earlier this month. Today though, we don't really have a mock draft for you. But rather, four predictions. We're going to name two players we are willing to bet money on Denver drafting and two others that we don't think will be drafted by Denver (and who we picked could surprise you).
When I say we I really mean myself, but saying we flows better than I. Anyways, let's get down to business:
1st player they will pick: Round one, 2nd pick overall: Alabam Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (pictured above, image courtesy of Getty Images). 'Oh come on,' one might say, 'isn't he an obvious pick?' Contray to popular belief, it's not yet cut and dry that Denver will be drafting Dareus come April - he may not even be available when they are on the clock! However, if he is, we believe Denver will draft him. The team is going through a rebuilding stage -- the defense in particular -- and they are looking to upgrade the starters across the board. The best way to do that is by starting in the trenches (the line) and that's just what they'll do.
1st player they won't pick: Round one, 2nd overall (or any other selection): LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson (pictured to the left, image courtesy of Getty Images). 'But wait! He's the best player in the draft,' I can hear you screaming now, 'there's no way Denver would be dumb enough to pass up on him.' Perhaps you're right, but like Dareus, he may not even be available. Yet, that's not the main reason we don't believe Denver will draft him. Broncos Head Coach John Fox and Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen will mainly be using soft, zone coverage schemes this season and probably longer. That makes perfect sense considering All Pro Cornerback Champ Bailey has thrived in that kind of defense in the past. However, Peterson thrives in jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage and playing man-to-man coverage, something the Broncos won't have their defensive backs do much of next season. At the same time, Peterson is such a talented guy that he could easily adjust and play zone or man. In the end though, Denver has to start back on the path to success by addressing the front seven, and that's just what they'll do.
2nd player they will pick: Round two 46th overall: Miami defensive end Allen Bailey. Denver has two second round picks in this years draft (36th and 46th overall) and it wouldn't be surprising to see them continue to address the front seven with those two picks. Bailey is a very versatile player who played a lot of defensive end in college but could probably play either end or defensive tackle in Denver's 4-3 defensive scheme. Behind Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers, the Broncos don't have a whole lot of depth at defensive end, so look for them to address the position in the draft. Coming in a 6'4 and 285 pounds, Bailey is projected to go anywhere from late in the 1st to 2nd round so if he's still on the board when Denver is selecting 46th overall, don't be surprised if they snatch him.
2nd player they won't pick: Any round: Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph (pictured to the right, image courtesy of the Associated Press). The number of mock drafts I have seen that have Denver picking this kid are innumerable. Be that as it may, don't plan on seeing him in a Broncos uniform next season. Many draft experts have dubbed tight end as a "position of need" on Denver's roster, I fail to see that logic, however. Currently on the team's roster are Daniel Coats, Dan Gronkowski and Richard Quinn (who has been a bit of a disappointment since arriving in Denver but is eager to prove himself in 2011). Broncos Head Coach John Fox doesn't even use a "pass-catching tight end" in his offense, so why should the team pass up on a much-needed defensive player in the early round to draft a "pass catching tight end"? There is a possibility that the Broncos will draft a tight end somewhere in the draft, just don't get your hopes up for Rudolph or any other tight end that will go in the first few rounds.