2013 NFL Draft: With the 28th Pick, the Denver Broncos Select…

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A Defensive Lineman.

The Denver Broncos have only been in this situation (picking 28th) once before this year, but boy did they make it count.  In the 1997 NFL Draft they selected Defensive Tackle Trevor Pryce. The Broncos have only chosen six Defensive Linemen in the 1st round since the AFL-NFL merger.

  • 2009 (18th) Robert Ayers (DE)

  • 2007 (17th) Jarvis Moss (DE)

  • 1997 (28th) Trevor Pryce (DT)

  • 1993 (11th) Dan Williams (DE)

  • 1988 (26th) Ted Gregory (NT)

  • 1978 (27th) Don Latimer (NT)

As you can see, Denver has had average results for this area in the first stanza of the draft. Trevor was undoubtedly their best selection and the jury is still out on Robert Ayers. We will see if he steps up and fills the void from Elvis Dumervil’s departure. It is a contract year for Robert after all.

32 players have been selected with the No.28 overall pick since the 1976 expansion to 32 teams. One ended up in the Hall of Fame (Darrell Green, Washington).

By position, the 28th pick in the history of the Draft, when the Broncos have been on the clock, has favored the Defensive side of the ball. It breaks down like this:

OFFENSE -13 players

  • Centers – 2

  • Guard – 0

  • Tackles – 2

  • Tight Ends – 3

  • Wide Receiver – 1

  • Running Backs – 3

  • Full Back – 1

  • Quarterback – 1

DEFENSE – 19 players

  • Defensive Ends – 5

  • Defensive Tackles – 2

  • Linebackers – 4

  • Defensive Backs – 8

The game has altered quite a bit since 1976, due to changes in coaching philosophies and the  rulebook. Examples of this include Pass Interference and the importance of the Left Tackle in the modern Offense. To adjust for those numbers, I offer another sample:

Since the Broncos chose Trevor Pryce in the 1997 NFL Draft, the 28th pick has been made up of

  • Linebackers – 2

  • Defensive Backs – 4

  • Defensive End’s – 4

  • Tight End’s – 2

  • Tackle – 1

  • Center – 1

  • Running Back – 1

The Defensive side was drafted twice as often as the Offensive side of the ball.

Now that doesn’t mean the Broncos will necessarily draft a Defensive player just because they have in the past. The reason could be that prior drafts were more top-heavy with defensive players. Or it could mean Denver was drafting for need over best player available. While those two requirements should be inclusive, that isn’t always the case.

The NFL Draft has often been referred to as a “Crap shoot.” This has proven to be true and if you don’t believe me, try setting up a Mock Draft yourself. When Thursday rolls around, see how many picks you get right.

I have never heard tell of anyone being able to do so, simply because as soon as the first trade is announced, your board is done. Now ranking players for positions they go off the board is different. You aren’t choosing teams, just selection spots. Still, it’s a difficult task that even the more notable draft guru’s (Kiper and McShay) have a hard time with.

Here are some of the guys I like for the Broncos and their round projections:

Defensive Tackle

  • Sylvester Williams, No. Car. – 1st round

  • John Jenkins, Georgia – 2nd

  • Brandon Williams, Missouri So. – 3rd

  • Jordan Hill, Penn St. – 4th

  • Josh Boyd, Miss. St. – 5th

I really like Brandon Williams. He’s going to be good. He comes from a small school and already has a chip on his shoulder.

Defensive End

  • Datone Jones, UCLA – 1st

  • Tank Carradine, Florida St. – 1st-2nd

  • Cornelius Washington, Georgia – 2nd-3rd

  • David Bass, Missouri W. St. – 5th

  • Devin Taylor, So. Car – 6th

I like all these guys and would be highly excited if our team grabbed two of them.

Cornerback

  • Jamar Taylor, Boise St. – 1st

  • Johnthan Banks, Miss. St – 2nd

  • Dwayne Gratz, Conn. – 2nd

  • Darius Slay, Miss. St. – 2nd-3rd

  • Blidi-Wreh Wilson,Con. – 3rd

  • Jordan Poyer, Oregon St. – 3rd-4th

  • B.W. Webb, William & Mary – 4th

This position is so deep that there should be a good one available in each round. Keep in mind, the Broncos looked at Kayvon Webster, who is projected as a CFA.

Between the rankings at Draft Scout and CBS Sports, here are some of the players ranked around the Broncos picks. However, things will likely change by Friday.

1st round 28th overall pick

Jamar Taylor, Boise St. – CB

Datone Jones. UCLA – DE

2nd round 58th

Johnathan Franklin – RB

Dwayne Gratz – CB

3rd round 90th 

Brandon Williams – DT

Blidi Wreh-Wilson – CB

4th round 125th

B.W. Webb – CB

Jordan Hill – DT

*Marcus Lattimore – RB

5th round 161st

*Tony Jefferson – FS

Malliciah Goodman – DE

Josh Boyd – DT

David Bass – DE

7th round 234th

Ryan Jensen – OG

Chad Bumphis – WR

Mike James – RB 

This draft is heavy on Defensive Linemen and Cornerbacks. That is why I emphasized those positions. I personally hope Denver drafts heavy on the Defensive side of the ball this year. We are still catching up for the Shanahan years when he ignored the Defense.

I won’t make any predictions, I simply hope the Defensive Line, Cornerback and Running Backs positions are addressed. There should be room for about 10 more Undrafted Free Agents after the draft.

Go Broncos!

– Kaptain Kirk

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