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Mile High Morning: New ESPN mock draft from Kiper and McShay frontloads Broncos draft with defensive talent

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The Lead

In a new mock draft, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay have split GM duties and alternated making the picks through the upcoming draft's first three rounds.

For Denver, which holds three picks but zero in the first round, the results show an increasingly defensive focus early in the draft, as Kiper and McShay project Nebraska safety Cam Taylor-Britt and Wisconsin linebacker Leo Chenal to be the Broncos' first two selections.

While Taylor-Britt would bring a lot of speed and add depth in the defensive backfield, it's Chenal who could "make a splash," as McShay writes.

"Chenal is the best player still on the board," McShay wrote, "and even though the Broncos re-signed Josey Jewell, he'd make a splash in the middle of the Denver defense with his sideline-to-sideline range."

With Denver's third pick, Kiper has the Broncos looking to add depth at tight end, as he did in his most-recent solo mock draft. This time, though, Colorado State's Trey McBride is not on the board, so he opted for Virginia's Jelani Woods, who "has some intriguing physical tools," Kiper wrote.

Below the Fold

About a month ago, Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett spoke of the importance of having "a big stable" of running backs, and at this time, the team has just three — Javonte Williams, Mike Boone and Damarea Crockett — on the roster. While Denver could still sign a veteran in free agency, there is the possibility that the team could look to the draft to add to the position group.

To get a good breakdown of the talent at the position, look no further than former Pro Bowler Maurice Jones-Drew's ranking of the top running backs. Perhaps a mid-round prospect like Missouri's Tyler Badie would be a possible fit.

"Badie changes pace quickly and has great stop-start quickness," Jones-Drew wrote. "He produced against top-tier competition and would likely see his best results in a zone running scheme like a raft of others in this class. He has the goods to be an asset in the pass game, as well. His size (5-8, 197 pounds) could be a sticking point for some evaluators."

The Unclassifieds

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