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Depth of wide receiver class leads ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. to mock offensive tackle to Broncos

200219_Jones

If the Broncos opt to add offensive talent in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, they may choose to add power rather than speed.

In his latest mock draft, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. projected the Broncos would select University of Houston tackle Josh Jones.

Jones, a 6-foot-5, 311-pound redshirt senior, could play several positions in Denver, according to Kiper.

"If you find you're OK at tackle then you can move a guy inside to guard," Kiper said. "We've seen that in the NFL even going back to [Hall of Famer] Jonathan Ogden. He didn't start out at left tackle, he started out at guard. With Jones, I think left tackle, right tackle, guard — he gives you that kind of versatility. … Based on the Senior Bowl practices and the great year he had at Houston, he has a grade in that mid first-round area."

Kiper said he also considered mocking a wide receiver to the Broncos at No. 15, but the depth of the class led him away from the position.

And, if the Broncos want to select a tackle in the draft, they may need to select one with an early pick.

"There's no depth at tackle, that's the issue," Kiper said. "Really, after the top group, you're not going to find one, unless you can develop a Saahdiq Charles at LSU, or you can develop a Matt Peart at Connecticut or an Austin Jackson at USC. The top five [tackles] are pretty defined. Where [at] wide receiver, you can find guys that may be better second-round picks than some of the guys that go in the first round. I like a lot of these second-round receivers. That was the debate."

Kiper said he considered mocking either Clemson's Tee Higgins or Alabama's Henry Ruggs III to the Broncos.

Higgins' 40-yard dash time at next week's Combine will be important to his draft stock, Kiper said. Ruggs, meanwhile, will likely propel himself into the top 22 picks with his speed in Indianapolis.

"I think 15 may be a little high [for Ruggs], so that's why I went with the guy [Jones] that had the higher rating," Kiper said.

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