ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –Any NFL-related website fans visit boasts several editions of mock drafts during the lead-up to the 2013 NFL Draft.
As it turns out, fans aren't the only ones who get a kick out of seeing who people think the Broncos will select. Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway said that he uses them as well in his pre-draft preparation.
"It's kind of entertaining for me to look at the mock drafts because you can look at how many different people look at different players different ways," Elway said. "When you get to No. 28, some guys are going to say, 'I had him in the first round,' and some guy will say, 'I had him third round,' and some guys will say, 'I had him second round.'"
The media's mock drafts show the countless possibilities for how the first round could play out.
In addition to taking a glance at those predictions, the Broncos' personnel department holds a few mock drafts of its own to simulate scenarios that could occur during the actual draft.
Elway said that having already gone through the thought process helps when a decision has to be made under the pressure of the draft's time limit.
Whether it's a choice between several players that are still on the board or debating whether to make a draft-day trade, having run through the scenarios beforehand helps that decision-making process.
"With 10 minutes, you've got to have an idea exactly what you might do in that situation and try to figure out who would be available, and if they were available, would we do it," Elway said.
Over the next few days before the 2013 NFL Draft, Elway and his staff will start the mock-draft process.
"We're going to do several of them the next two or three days, so we can try to get to those scenarios," Elway said. "Also get the scenarios with trading up or trading down. OK, we get there, these guys are available, we get a phone call from X, Y and Z, and they want it and this is what they're willing to give up. Is it something that we want to do?"
So while fans look at the mock drafts for entertainment and a glimpse of which players might be next to wear the Broncos uniforms, the personnel department uses them like a walkthrough for a big game.
"To me, the mocks are very important," Elway said. "It's like practice. That's why you practice. To me, to be able to practice — mocks are nothing but practice and trying to get a leg up on every different scenario that we possibly can."