The NFL Draft is a little less than six weeks away, which means it’s NFL mock draft season. Every national sports website and their cousin is starting to release first versions as the April 27-29 draft date draws closer.
NFL mock drafts are a little like the improv comedy show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” in that everything’s made up and the points don’t matter. Yes, Myles Garrett will probably go No. 1 to Cleveland. But most of these projections will be wrong on draft day.
That said, we’ve rounded up what five national websites think the Denver Broncos will do with the 20th overall pick. Maybe one of them will be right!
The Ringer — Ryan Ramczyk, offensive tackle, Wisconsin
The Ringer says: “Ramczyk is easily the most game-ready in a weak tackle class. The Wisconsin product is a technically proficient pass protector who plays with smooth athleticism in the run game and gives Denver the chance to jump-start its offense in 2017.”
ESPN — Garett Bolles, offensive tackle, Utah
ESPN says: “Bolles has just one year of major college experience, but he’s the most athletic left tackle prospect in this class and he plays with an edge. He has a lot of tools to develop, and after signing G Ronald Leary and OT Menelik Watson in free agency, Denver might have the time to bring him along properly.”
CBS Sports — Ryan Ramczyk, offensive tackle, Wisconsin
CBS Sports says: “Amid tons of speculation about the quarterback position, John Elway will more than willingly add another body to the offensive line and hope the Broncos can provide some protection up front for whoever is taking snaps.”
Sports Illustrated — David Njoku, tight end, Miami
Sports Illustrated says: “The Broncos currently have four TEs on their active roster, not one of whom worries defenses all that much. Njoku could be a huge difference-maker.”
Bleacher Report — Christian McCaffrey, tailback, Stanford
Bleacher Report says: No analysis provided.
Three of the five sites envision the Broncos taking an offensive linemen. Even after Denver signed Ronald Leary to a big deal, restructured Donald Stephenson’s deal and nabbed Menelik Watson in free agency, it’s not hard to see why. The Broncos were one of the worst offensive lines in football a season ago, and they just lost their starting left tackle, Russell Okung, to a division rival.
Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk (6-foot-6, 310 pounds) and Utah’s Garrett Bolles (6-foot-5, 297 pounds) are consistently rated as the top two O-linemen in the draft. Left tackle is an enormous question mark for the Broncos at the moment, and they might be forced into drafting the best lineman on the board at 20 and thrusting him into that role.
As for Njoku and McCaffrey, Denver appears set at the positions each play. But both could provide offensive firepower if they were brought in.
Njoku is an athletic tight end who caught 43 balls for 698 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior at Miami.
McCaffrey, who’s listed as a running back but is capable of lining up a slot receiver and returning kicks and punts, was the Heisman Trophy runner-up in 2015. He set the NCAA record for all-purpose yards (3,496) that season. The Broncos already have C.J. Anderson, Devontae Booker and Kapri Bibbs. But I could get on board with drafting McCaffrey and figuring how the playing time shakes out later.
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