MILE HIGH MONDAY

Mile High Monday: The Broncos have five picks in the draft’s sweet spot

Apr 4, 2022, 6:33 AM
Chad Muma...
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The 2022 NFL Draft is going to be here before you know it. We are finally into the month of April, and the draft is at the end of the month. With the weather warming up, I put the soft top on my Jeep and took the car cover off my Shelby this weekend. I’m ready for the warmer weather and the draft.

I like this month, but it’s also something I’ve dubbed “the month of lies.” We are going to hear/read disinformation from teams as they attempt to cover their tracks.

I also like contemplating life and sports when driving around with the top down on my old Jeep TJ! The following is a result of those trips during the week.

Buckle up, let’s take a ride through my thoughts.

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Take Two

It’s my favorite time of year, the draft season! We’re almost to the 2022 NFL Draft, and on nearly every website that covers the NFL will have at least one mock draft for readers to enjoy. In fact, most sites that cover the draft will have multiple versions of mock drafts at this point. What are we on, mock draft version 20?

Mock drafts are fodder for the audience. They don’t mean much, but people love to click on them, read over the details, and then crush the writer/analyst on social networking. It’s like the swallows coming home to Capistrano, a yearly tradition we all can enjoy. I will only do one mock draft, just like I do every year – and it will come out the week of the draft at DenverFan.com.

I’ll do a first-round draft, like I do every year, but I’m also going to do a full mock draft for the Broncos in a separate article. Denver doesn’t have a first-round pick this year (thanks Russell Wilson!), so I’ll look at the collection of picks they have after that – beginning with No. 64 overall.

The meat of this draft, a place that is jam-packed with talent, is between picks 50-120. In that area, the Broncos have five draft picks. They cannot only find talent with these selections; they could find starters and impact players with those five picks.

Look at any mock draft for the Broncos, and you’ll see several of the common positions checkmarked with a player. You’ll find ILB, CB, RB, OT and edge with these picks – and that’s great – but I think edge should be the primary focus with a couple of these selections.

I’m sure all mock drafts for the Broncos will include a pass-rusher early. If they don’t, well, that’s just a mistake. I know everyone is trying to connect the dots with the Broncos to find them a right tackle in the draft, but this class could be dried up by No. 64 overall. There are concerns at inside linebacker (still), but the best player they could find in that spot (Wyoming’s Chad Muma) may not be on the board. I can find pass-rushers who could be starters in a year or two all the way into the early fourth round. With the strength of this class, I think the Broncos don’t need one pass-rusher with their first five picks – they need two.

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This Year = Meh. Next Year = Yeah!

Thank God the Broncos are not in the quarterback market this year. As I wrote about in my draft preview of the quarterback position at DenverFan.com, this is not a great class of quarterbacks. Sure, guys like Malik Willis (Liberty) are interesting to consider when it comes to potential, but there are no sure-fire passers who look like “can’t miss” prospects coming into the NFL this season.

Next year, it’s a different story. There’s not one but two big-time quarterbacks who should be the top-two picks in the 2023 NFL draft. Bryce Young (Alabama) and C.J. Stroud (Ohio State) are going to have a battle going this upcoming college season. In this year, Young and Stroud will compete for the Heisman Trophy, they’ll compete to go up against each other in the National Championship, and then they’ll compete to be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.

I haven’t done a deep dive in either quarterback just yet. I always wait until guys are draft eligible before I sink a bunch of time into scouting them. However, I know what scouts think of these two and I’ve seen enough of their games to know they have elite-level skill sets and could be superstars in the NFL.

Young had one year of starting experience so far for the Crimson Tide, and he has few flaws to his game. He’s got a big arm and is an accurate passer, but the physical talent is easy to see in all quarterbacks. What makes Young special is his ability to rise above when under duress. Pressure is the name of the game in football, and Young performs with a calm mind when chaos is swirling around him.

Stroud is a playmaker. When the game is at hand, he’s the type of quarterback you want to have the ball. Stroud must clean up some pass placement issues (he misses high too often for my liking), but all the tools are there for him to shine as a modern-day passer. I like the way he marches his team back after an opponent makes a big play. Stroud, like Young, is cool under fire and that’s going to help a ton in the NFL.

I’m looking forward to next year’s class. Again, the Broncos won’t be in the quarterback market next year either – but the draft is more fun when there are elite quarterbacks coming into the league. Young and Stroud will give us plenty to watch in this upcoming college football season, and then it will be fun to watch what they do jockeying for position in the 2023 pre-draft process.

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Yay! RSP Day!

I can’t stand April Fool’s Day. It’s just a waste of time in my opinion – my old fuddy-duddy opinion. I’ve been accused (by many including Tyler Polumbus) of being too serious when it comes to football – and everything in general – so maybe my opinion on this day is skewed.

However, I do love April 1 because every year my good friend Matt Waldman releases his Rookie Scouting Portfolio. I’ve known Matt for nearly 20 years, and we have made multiple trips to the Reese’s Senior Bowl together. He’s one of the brightest minds in the media when it comes to the NFL draft. I’ve seen the draft industry change dramatically over the years. There was a time when finding draft information was for the most hardcore fans. Now, the NFL draft is a cottage industry, and every site puts out some sort of draft content.

I know some sites that have “draft experts” that nobody has ever heard of. Not only are these so-called experts unknown in the scouting community, but they also usually have terrible film study habits and often make up the information they get this time of year – per source. Therefore, we get the terrible “anonymous scout” rumors that proliferate during this month.

Waldman’s work is something that cannot be duplicated. I work my tail off to study the draft every year, and my work pales in comparison to what Matt does in his RSP.

I have read for the RSP for years and years. The level of work you’ll see when studying the skill position players in this draft class is second to none. In fact, I know NFL teams who have taken a liking to what Matt does with his RSP. If you want to get NFL War Room-level information, then check it out!

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Everything I Wanted and More

I’ve always been a fan of “Moon Knight.” Ever since I was a young comic book reader, the look of the character has always resonated with me. Learning more about Moon Knight’s story, and how he’s a superhero with multiple personalities, I was hooked.

Needless to say, I was over the moon (pun intended) when I learned that Disney+ was making a streaming show about “Moon Knight.” When I heard Oscar Isaac was playing Moon Knight, I could barely wait for the show to hit the TV screen. Last week, “Moon Knight” debuted on Disney+ and it was everything I wanted and more.

To the general public, or those not familiar with “Moon Knight,” the show might seem – well – a little weird. I’m okay with that. If you watched “Moon Knight” and it seemed strange, as it’s much different from the MCU “formula” of TV shows and movies, just give it time. The story of Moon Knight is fascinating from many angles, and he’s one of the most complex characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

What did you think of the first episode of “Moon Knight?” Hit me up on social meda and let me know!

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