Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential solutions in May's draft.
For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.
No. 1 Team Need: Offensive line
Chris Clark's 2014 inability to nail down right tackle duties and LG Orlando Franklin's 2015 departure have created question marks on Denver's line. LT Ryan Clady and RG/RT Louis Vasquez are the Broncos' only locked-in starters. New coach Gary Kubiak utilizes a zone-run game requiring athleticism up front. As Peyton Manning's body has begun to deteriorate late in his career, Kubiak figures to adhere to a more-balanced offensive approach with an increased emphasis on running the football.
No. 2 Team Need: Safety
The Broncos let Rahim Moore walk in free agency and currently have journeyman Darian Stewart penciled in as the starter opposite SS T.J. Ward. Denver has acknowledged free safety is a weakness, openly discussing giving nickel back Bradley Roby reps there during offseason workouts. Ideally, Roby would be kept at corner and the Broncos would find a long-term center-field safety in the draft. Stewart would be a solid No. 3.
No. 3 Team Need: Defensive line
The Broncos will embrace a full-blown 3-4 defense under new DC Wade Phillips. Although GM John Elway has stocked the cupboard with young defensive line talent, the nose tackle position is unsettled. Whereas many 3-4 coaches prefer hulking nose tackles, Phillips' scheme is "one gap" and values the ability for down linemen to penetrate and cause their own disruption. Top in-house NT contender Sylvester Williams has not played this position before and at the very least could use competition.
Norris’ Mock Draft:
Round 1 (28): T Ereck Flowers, Miami - A variety of tackles could be selected here: Flowers, Cedric Ogbuehi, D.J. Humphries, Jake Fisher, etc. Flowers is very good at moving his opponent off the line of scrimmage, but the question is if he has enough athleticism to fit in Kubiak’s slanting system.
Round 2 (59): DT Michael Bennett, Ohio State - It is tough to know how much the team values the 1 technique nose tackle. I think grady Jarrett is a perfect fit in the first round, since he offers upfield penetration and disruption. But if not in the first-round, Bennett and Carl Davis make sense. Both showed tremendous ability in flashes.
Round 3 (92): FS Gerod Holliman, Louisville - A free safety with “instincts” who can cover and catch the ball but is the worst tackler in the draft and tested like a bad athlete. Still, a team will likely value those ball skills and select Holliman in the third round range.
Round 4 (133): RB Malcolm Brown, Texas - Whenever I watch brown I think he can thrive in a zone focused running scheme. In fact, I’d rank Brown as the top back in this class after the “big names” (8 or 9 of them). He never reached his high school billing, but Brown has a lot of talent.
Round 5 (143): OL Greg Mancz, Toledo - An interior offensive line prospect who can play guard or center who is also athletic to hook defensive linemen or get to the second level.
Round 5 (164): DL Tory Slater, West Georgia - A new name, but a real athlete who will need patience. However, good teams with talent on the roster and GM/HC connections can show that patience. Slater needs to improve his backfield vision in order to “stay alive” on more plays.
Round 6 (203): TE Casey Pierce, Kent State - A nice move tight end option who is an above average athlete and a willing blocker. Pierce and Delaware’s Nick Boyle intrigue me on the third day.
Round 7 (250): WR Deontay Greenberry, Houston - Greenberry did not receive a Combine invite, but he has plenty of vertical speed. He does not have reliable hands or success on a wide number of routes, which lands him in the seventh round.
Round 7 (251): OL Nick Easton, Harvard - Another interior prospect potentially worth investing in due to his athletic scores. He is one of the most athletic OL in this class.
Round 7 (252): QB Trevor Siemian, Northwestern - I have no idea why the Broncos brought Siemian in for a visit, spending time with Greg Knapp. But I do not know what else to mock here, and the Broncos could still be looking to hit on a quarterback. They were in on the position in last year’s draft despite not selecting one.
Broncos Current Offensive Depth Chart
QB: Peyton Manning
RB: C.J. Anderson
WR: Demaryius Thomas
WR: Emmanuel Sanders
WR: Cody Latimer
TE: Owen Daniels
LT: Ryan Clady
LG: Shelley Smith
RG: Manuel Ramirez
RT: Louis Vasquez
Broncos Current Defensive Depth Chart
LE: Derek Wolfe
RE: Malik Jackson
OLB: Von Miller
OLB: DeMarcus Ware
ILB: Brandon Marshall
ILB: Danny Trevathan
CB: Aqib Talib
FS: Darian Stewart
SS: T.J. Ward