BRONCOS

Latest mock drafts can’t pin down the Broncos pick at No. 9

Jan 14, 2022, 6:46 AM | Updated: 2:02 pm
Matt Corral...
(Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos currently have the No. 9 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. If they keep the pick, which direction will they go with that premium pick?

One of the best resources out there is NFL Mock Draft Database. It has a list of the latest mock drafts, and the site is updated constantly as the barrage of mock drafts are released in the pre-draft process.

I’m not going to look at all the mock drafts, but I will peek at what my friends and the people I trust in the media are mocking for the Broncos. I decided to look at what these trusted sources are thinking the Broncos will do. The following article is a result of my inquiry.

The latest mock drafts from these sources cannot pin down the pick for Denver. Let’s look at what these mocks have projected for the Broncos in the first round.

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Matt Corral | QB | Mississippi

Most mock drafts have the Broncos selecting a quarterback at No. 9 overall. When these mocks have the Broncos selecting a quarterback, it’s usually my top passer in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Charles McDonald, from For The Win, has the Broncos going with Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral with the No. 9 overall pick. Corral is my top quarterback (early swipe), but he’s the second quarterback off the board in McDonald’s mock draft. He’s got the Carolina Panthers going with Pitt QB Kenny Pickett at No. 6 overall.

Corral is my favorite quarterback in this class, again early in my analysis, because he plays like a modern quarterback. He’s a smaller quarterback, measuring in at 6-feet-1-inches and 205 pounds, but his mobility and hyper accuracy makes him an intriguing prospect. Corral plays in an RPO system, and he can threaten a defense with both his legs and his arm.

He’s cut down the turnovers that plagued him in 2020, only throwing four interceptions in 2021, and Corral also did a better job of playing patient and not going for the “home run” throw every time. Corral has uncanny accuracy as a passer, and he does a good job of leading his receivers correctly to maximize yards after the catch. He doesn’t have a rocket arm, but Corral can make all the throws required in the NFL.

I would not take him with a top-10 pick, and he’s my No. 1 quarterback so far in this draft class. But I understand in this quarterback-desperate league ,he could easily be the players the Broncos take at that spot – if he’s even on the board at that time.

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Ikem Ekwonu | OL | NC State

If mock drafts don’t have the Broncos taking a quarterback, then you’ll see someone on the offensive line as the pick. The Broncos need help at right tackle, and the interior of their offensive line could use some work as well.

Luke Easterling, from DraftWire.com, has the Broncos selecting NC State offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu with the No. 9 overall pick. Ekwonu is one of the most-versatile offensive linemen in this draft class, and he could end up as a starting left tackle or right tackle in the NFL. In addition, Ekwonu could move inside to guard seamlessly – in fact, there are some in the scouting community who feel that’s his best spot in the pros.

Ekwonu was a high school wrestler, and that shows up on film. He understands leverage and uses it to his advantage early and often. Ekwonu is one of the strongest and most tenacious blockers on film in this year’s class. He’s also a bright player who plays with a high level of football intelligence.

He is super aggressive as a blocker, and that nature can get him in trouble sometimes. He’ll punch and overextend at times, and Ekwonu can let too many inside moves get by him. Because of his size, strength and athleticism a move inside to guard could be in his future – but that doesn’t hurt his draft stock but instead may help it come the end of April.

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Nakobe Dean | LB | Georgia

In addition to help at quarterback and the offensive line, current mock drafts have the Broncos looking for more defensive talent as well. Last year with the No. 9 overall pick, the Broncos went defense with cornerback Patrick Surtain, and there is a thought out there by some they could go defense in back-to-back first rounds.

Chris Trapasso, from CBS Sports, has the Broncos selecting Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean with the No. 9 overall pick. Dean is one of the biggest playmakers at any position in this draft class. He’s a modern NFL linebacker who can rush, tackle and cover – making him an attractive option for the Broncos in the first round.

Many in the scouting community compare Dean to Baltimore Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen, a former first-round pick out of LSU. Like Queen, Dean can play sideline-to-sideline in the NFL. Dean is a smart player who can diagnose quickly and has the athleticism to keep up with tight ends or running backs in space.

In addition to what he can do in coverage, Dean is the type of player who can make plays on the other side of the ball regularly. The Georgia defense was one of the best in the country, and Dean led the Bulldogs in tackles for loss. He can scrape and flow to the ball-carrier, or Dean can get to the running back or quarterback when blitzing inside.

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(Graphic by Johnny Hart/Bonneville Denver)...
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Latest mock drafts can’t pin down the Broncos pick at No. 9