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Watching the Mocks: 6.0

Posted Apr 18, 2014

NFL.com analysts Daniel Jeremiah and Charles Davis give their in-depth takes on what the Broncos could do early in the 2014 NFL Draft.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The sixth edition of Watching the Mocks is a little different.

We'll get back to checking in on all the mock drafts next Friday, but today you'll hear from two NFL.com analysts -- Daniel Jeremiah and Charles Davis -- who gave their in-depth thoughts on the Broncos' needs entering the 2014 NFL Draft.

Both analysts addressed the Broncos on a conference call Thursday afternoon. Below are their thoughts on the team's potential strategy early in the draft. According to Jeremiah and Davis, wide receiver, linebacker, cornerback, offensive lineman and running back could be options.

What positions do you think the Broncos could address early in the draft, and are there names Broncos fans should keep an eye on?

Jeremiah: "I think you could look a couple different places. It seems like they've got a ton of weapons, but obviously Eric Decker's gone. So you've got an opportunity to put another player in that offense with Peyton Manning to be successful. One guy that didn't run well in Indianapolis (at the NFL Scouting Combine) but cleaned things up a little bit at his pro day is (LSU wide receiver) Jarvis Landry. There are certain guys -- it's the same way when Peyton was in Indianapolis -- certain receivers you'd watch and you go, 'OK, this guy is kind of a Peyton Manning-type guy. He's very intelligent, runs great routes and catches everything.' So I could see a receiver like Jarvis Landry, just giving Peyton one more weapon to play with. Now you've got Emmanuel Sanders, you've got Wes Welker, you've got Demaryius Thomas -- what the heck, give him another one.

"Then when you look on the defensive side of the ball, linebacker to me, I think you could continue to add a linebacker in there. Charles talked about him a little -- Ryan Shazier out of Ohio State. What he does best is play against the pass. So you're talking about somebody who can run and cover, somebody who can blitz. He's not a great point-of-attack, take-on player, but when you've got Peyton Manning on offense, you're going to spend a lot of time playing with a lead and playing against the pass. So I think he could make some sense for them there as well. You always can have more corners. You can throw that in there. But this team, when you look at it, there are some teams where these needs just jump off the page. You go, 'OK, they literally can't line up and play a game unless they get this solved.' This Broncos team is pretty deep."

Davis: "And if you're trying to add to that depth, I still say offensive line is a spot they could take a look at. The pressure that Seattle brought to them in the Super Bowl that got in Peyton's face really, really hurt them. Obviously getting (Ryan) Clady back is huge, because that's like getting one of the best free agents in the pickup there."

"And to me, running back is still not out of line. Now they lost Knowshon Moreno, Montee Ball goes into this year as the acknowledged starter. ... I don't think that's out of line if you can find a guy that can do the things that Peyton wants -- protect, make sure you catch the football out of the backfield, and did I say protect? Yeah, that part's a big part of what you're going to need, too. And then the corners, Daniel touched on it, you're not out of line there. To me, Jason Verrett out of TCU might make sense late in that first round for them, a guy who can go inside and be your nickel cover guy even though his size isn't imposing by any stretch."

For the record, in their latest mock drafts, Jeremiah has the Broncos selecting Shazier and Davis sees Denver picking Verrett in the first round.

For a look at others' mock drafts, look back at Watching the Mocks 5.0 here.