DENVER — Everyone has a mock draft. I don’t even have a mock turtleneck. That changes today. With the draft, not the shirt.
The exercise of figuring out who NFL teams will select is fruitless, but wildly fun and entertaining. Mocks are like big-league hitters. Post a .300 average and you should feel special. This year’s draft figures to be the highest rated ever and runs on Denver7 on Thursday at 6 p.m. (round 1), Friday at 5 p.m. (rounds 2-3) and Saturday at 10 a.m. (rounds 4-7). Yes, there will be glitches. Expect them. Also, don't be surprised if the Broncos act boldly.
I have the Broncos trading into the top 10. This, of course, is subject to change. However, there remains a compelling argument to add another weapon for quarterback Drew Lock as the team aims to snap its four-year playoff drought. Let the spirited arguments and discussions begin:
TROY RENCK’S DENVER7 MOCK DRAFT
1. Bengals – QB Joe Burrow, LSU.
Posted best college season ever. Tough, poised, smart, leader. An Ohio kid.
2. Redskins – OLB Chase Young, Ohio State.
Safest pick in draft. Best player. Julius Peppers type ability.
3. Dolphins (trade) – QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
Is he next Russell Wilson? Miami was really Tanking for Tua, and trades up here to prove it. Lefty has breathtaking talent, but injuries create concern.
4. Giants – LT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
Giants desperately would like to trade back and add picks. Staying put, they land most athletic tackle on board who could play guard if needed.
5. Lions – CB Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State
Lions add picks from Dolphins and select player they wanted all along: a shutdown corner like kind that made Patriots’ defense go in New England when Matt Patricia was there.
6. Chargers – QB Justin Herbert, Oregon
Checks every box from physical standpoint. But, not a natural leader. Gambling San Diego can’t pass him up even though coach Anthony Lynn is bullish on Tyrod Taylor.
7. Panthers – LB/S Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
Need a tackle. But talent like Simmons is rare – he’s a hybrid safety/linebacker – and too intriguing not to take.
8. Cardinals – T Jedrick Wills,
Need a right tackle to protect Kyler Murray. A natural fit. Wills should play well right away.
9. Jaguars – DT Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
Size, athleticism, disruptive. He has highest upside of any defensive lineman. Shredded in Senior Bowl drills.
10. Broncos (trade) – WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
Broncos can’t wait and hope elite receiver is there at 15. They move, giving up second-round pick this year to land top threat. Marks first time Elway has drafted Alabama player.
11. Jets – WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
Ran 4.27 40. Is not just a burner. Can run full route tree, and make impact on special teams and on reverses. Would fit with Broncos depending on how round falls.
12. Raiders – WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
No one is better after the catch than Lamb. He brings competitiveness and sure-fire playmaking ability.
13. 49ers – DT Derrick Brown, Auburn
Niners won last year with best defensive line in football. They replace DeForest Buckner
with young brute up front. Also candidate to move down, possibly with Patriots, Broncos.
14. Buccaneers – LT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
Enormous size and power. If controls weight, should be future Pro Bowler.
15. Browns – LT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
Browns trade back and receive line boost. Stalwart for Bulldogs, a plug-and-play starter on left side.
16. Falcons – CB C.J. Henderson, Florida
If Broncos stay put, this could be their guy. He is rangy, excels in man coverage, but not a great tackler.
17. Cowboys – Edge, K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU
Rare talent. Played well vs. good tackles. Struggled with consistency.
18. Dolphins – LT Josh Jones, Houston
Miami takes daddy-hack swing for fences with Tua in trade, now gets future protection with a late-blooming tackle.
19. Raiders – CB A.J. Terrell, Clemson
Had bad night vs. LSU. But has great length, and smooth movements.
20. Jaguars – LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
Plays with hair on fire. Can make plays, but aggressiveness leads to missed tackles.
21. Eagles – WR Justin Jefferson, LSU
Worst-kept secret: Eagles need WR. Jefferson is ace in the slot, and has been on Broncos’ board, and could tempt them if they stay at No. 15.
22. Vikings – WR Denzel Mims, Baylor
With Stephon Diggs gone, need offensive firepower. Mims remains raw, but is physical and fast with enormous upside.
23. Patriots – Edge A.J. Epenesa, Iowa
Strong, big, powerful, smart. Not dominant, but sound and reliable.
24. Saints – LB Patrick Queen, LSU
Saints’ need help in the middle. They have plenty of intel on home state star.
25. Vikings – CB Jaylon Johnson, Utah
Tremendous instincts. And strong fit in zone coverage.
26. Dolphins – RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
Thought Melvin Gordon might sign with Miami. They get latest Badgers star RB.
27. Seahawks – Edge Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State
If don’t re-sign Jadeveon Clowney, require pass rusher. Gross-Matos is steady force.
28. Ravens – RB D’Andre Swift, Georgia
Three-down back, whose college production on yards per carry should translate to success.
29. Titans – RT Isaiah Wilson, Georgia
Mammoth size with unique speed. Can he maintain leverage at his 6-foot-7 height?
30. Packers – WR Tee Higgins, Clemson
Hard to argue with another weapon for Aaron Rodgers. Higgins has size, speed to be future No. 1 WR. Colorado’s Laviska Shenault could be in play with this pick and at 24 if teams trust his health.
31. 49ers – CB Kristian Fulton, LSU
Not as fast or as big as would like. But just plays well consistently. Has for years.
32. Chiefs – S Grant Delpit, LSU
Chiefs are returning 20 of 22 starters. Delpit provides depth and a future impact player.