Round 4, Pick 115: Jason Strowbridge, DL, North Carolina
This Broncos 7-round mock draft is full of exciting picks (of course, I’ll let you be the final judge), but this one might be one of the highest on my list of favorites, or at least one of the picks that intrigues me the most.
Jason Strowbridge is somewhat of a hybrid player on the defensive line, standing at 6-foot-4, 267. With a wingspan over 80 inches, he has the length to disrupt blocks and pry open lanes, but he wasn’t consistently proactive in using it during his collegiate career. That said, Strowbridge blew his expectations out of the water at the Senior Bowl, showing excellent athleticism and nuance in 1-on-1 drills.
Strowbridge is listed as an edge player in this mock, but with Fangio as his coach, he could potentially take on a role similar to that of Chicago’s Roy Robertson-Harris. As a big-bodied lineman with the athleticism to out-finesse blockers, Strowbridge could move along the defensive line and simultaneously provide edge depth and spark-plug ability as an even front interior lineman. Versatility is the name of the game in today’s NFL, and Strowbridge has a chance to provide that.
Round 4, Pick 134: Saahdiq Charles, OT, LSU
The Broncos don’t get their surefire replacement for the much-maligned left tackle Bolles in this 7-round mock draft, but with some development, LSU’s Saahdiq Charles is a potential future candidate.
Charles is a bit undersized at 6-foot-4, 295, but he offers very good athleticism and foot lightness when moving laterally. He seems to have an innate understanding of leverage when blocking, and while he can certainly add more bulk to his frame, he has the foundational traits to build around at tackle. Some have speculated that he could move to guard as well, but that’s for the Broncos to decide once they have him. Getting the traits in-house so that you can decide what to do with them is always a good first step.
Round 5, Pick 178: Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois
This is another selection that excites me due to the potential versatility it might yield. Jeremy Chinn will undoubtedly have a learning curve transitioning from the FCS to the NFL. Still, at 6-foot-3, 219, with great range, physicality, and volition as a playmaker, he has the potential to be a valuable complement to free safety Justin Simmons. With his size and speed, Chinn also has the physical traits to file in as a linebacker on certain snaps. Having that flexibility on a situational basis is a staple of Fangio’s defense.
Round 6, Pick 181: Darrynton Evans, RB, Appalachian State
Too. Much. Speed.
The valuation of running backs seemingly evolves every year. Less than a decade ago, running backs were routine franchise cornerstones. Now, teams are growing more and more hesitant to invest in a position that’s ultimately replaceable.
Case in point? The Broncos get a running back with starting potential in Round 6 right here. Darrynton Evans might be one of the most underrated prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft with his combination of home-run hitting speed, 5-foot-11, 200-pound size, and vision to find holes and elongate them. He also has value as a receiver, as he accumulated 198 yards and five scores in 2019.
For a Broncos running back room that’s somewhat lacking in depth and flexibility, Evans provides precisely that and more. He can be a superb safety valve for Lock out of the backfield, and in tandem with Lindsay, he’d be a legitimate threat as a runner.
Round 7, Pick 237: Thakarius Keyes, CB, Tulane
Noah Igbinoghene should help the Broncos with their cornerback situation, but the team can still add depth at that position. Thus, with this Broncos 7-round mock draft selection, it makes sense to double-dip, and go with Thakarius Keyes, a high-upside cornerback from Tulane.
In late November, Keyes won Prospect of the Week from Pro Football Network senior draft analyst Tony Pauline, who lauded Keyes for his enticing combination of length and near-4.4 speed. Keyes’ ball production throughout his collegiate career left something to be desired, but the physical cornerback has athletic traits to mold at the next level, and this late, he’s well worth a flier.
Round 7, Pick 252: Tyrie Cleveland, WR, Florida
Public service announcement: You can’t get caught speeding if you’re going too fast to be caught. The Broncos might be too fast after this pick.
Tyrie Cleveland’s speed is a different type than what’s been seen so far. He’s not as agile or elusive as he is linear with his speed. But he’s a long strider with very good size-speed parameters at 6-foot-2, 205. There’s talk he could run a sub-4.4 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, and in Round 7, getting another offensive weapon with that kind of dynamic potential is a win for the Broncos.
Round 7, Pick 255: Tre’Vour Wallace-Simms, OG, Missouri
At this point, all that’s left to do is keep an eye on areas where depth or late-round developmental players can be added, and an interior offensive lineman fits the bill nicely here. In this 7-round Broncos mock draft, Denver’s Mr. Irrelevant is Missouri offensive guard Tre’Vour Wallace-Simms.
Wallace-Simms has a lot of room for polish with his hand technique, and he can stand to show more consistent power at the point of attack. That said, he’s a huge lineman at 6-foot-5, 350, with a massive 82-inch wingspan, and he’s also displayed competent mobility for his size. Wallace-Simms has the traits to at least become valuable interior depth for the Broncos, and on the offensive line, having that kind of security is never a bad thing.
Broncos 7-round mock draft recap
It took forever, but it was worth it. Twelve selections, three wide receivers, and one speeding ticket later, we’re done with the Broncos 2020 NFL Draft. Here’s how our selections aligned with the needs listed earlier:
- WR: Alabama WR Henry Ruggs III, Penn State WR KJ Hamler, Florida WR Tyrie Cleveland
- OL: Michigan iOL Cesar Ruiz, LSU OT Saahdiq Charles, Missouri OG Tre’Vour Wallace-Simms
- DL: Oklahoma DT Neville Gallimore, North Carolina DL Jason Strowbridge
- CB: Auburn CB Noah Igbinoghene, Tulane CB Thakarius Keyes
- S: Southern Illinois S Jeremy Chinn
- RB: Appalachian State RB Darrynton Evans
With ten picks and all five early-round selections invested into primary needs, the Broncos are positioned to take a significant leap in 2020. Drew Lock, my QB2 from 2019, now has a vastly re-tooled arsenal on offense, and the defense has been infused with depth and athletic potential. Feeling some shortness of breath? No, that’s not the altitude. It’s your excitement. Breathe, and be happy.
What do you think about this Broncos 7-round mock draft? Feel free to let us know on Twitter at @PFN365!