1st- Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
2nd- Rahim Moore, S, UCLA
2nd- Orlando Franklin, OT, Miami (FL)
3rd- Nate Irving, LB, North Carolina State
4th- Quinton Carter, S, Oklahoma
4th- Julius Thomas, TE, Portland State
6th- Mike Mohamed, LB, California
7th- Virgil Green, TE, Nevada
7th- Jeremy Beal, DE, Oklahoma
Synopsis: This was John Elway’s inaugural draft as the commander in chief of the Denver Broncos. He along with new head coach John Fox set out to reconstruct the defense from a base 3-4 to John Fox’s base 4-3, while also looking to upgrade the tight end position and give young quarterback Tim Tebow some weapons for the middle of the field.
Best Selection: Quinton Carter. Based on where Carter was selected, and also what Carter brings to the secondary from a skill set standpoint, I would say that he was the best value. Some may say Von Miller, but I disagree because Von Miller has never played the linebacker position in a 4-3 alignment, where the responsibilities are much different than a 3-4 linebacker (which Miller played in college).
Biggest Risk: Julius Thomas. Thomas is an extremely raw prospect who only played one full season at Portland State (a small school). He lacks size and strength to block in-line, shows inconsistent hands, and hasn’t proven he can stand up to solid competition or run NFL routes. He was selected above much more pro ready tight ends.
Sleeper: Jeremy Beal. He’s not a natural fit in a 4-3 alignment at linebacker or defensive end, but he plays hard and has deceptive closing speed in his pass rush. I had him graded much higher but projected him as an inside or outside linebacker in a 3-4. He was highly productive in college and plays the game smart, disciplined, and won’t miss many assignments.
I wasn’t as keen on the selections as others as I feel that Denver is dealing with some misplaced parts. My grade would’ve been higher for this class had Denver decided to stick with a 3-4 alignment. I also felt there were more polished tight end prospects available who could be just as productive.
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