2018 NFL Mock Draft: Predictions of Denver Broncos’ selections, team needs

Denver Broncos executive Vice President and General Manager John Elway gestures during preseason game three on August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver. Elway faces numerous personnel questions entering the 2018 NFL Draft. File photo by Gary C. Caskey/UPI | License Photo

By Howard Balzer, NFLDraftScout.comUPI

The Denver Broncos have eight picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, including No. 5 in the first round April 26 in Arlington, Tex.

Here is a look at the Broncos’ five-year draft record with roster tallies reflecting totals as of the end of the 2017 season. Below that are the team’s current needs heading into this draft and our projection for all their 2018 picks.

BRONCOS’ FIVE-YEAR DRAFT BREAKDOWN

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

TOTAL PICKS 7 6 9 8 8

STARTERS 0 1 3 7 1

BACKUPS 0 3 1 1 7

OTHER TEAMS 5 2 1 0 0

OUT OF LEAGUE 2 0 4 0 0

TOP 3 NEEDS IN 2018 DRAFT

1. Right tackle: The trade for Jared Veldheer solidifies the position for the moment, but the Broncos could look for a long-term answer in the draft. Denver cycled through four right tackles last season, and the results were predictable. Another guard is also a possibility.

2. Wide receiver: Denver is set at the top two spots for the short term with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, but both are now nine-season veterans in their 30’s, so the Broncos could look to get younger at the position. Denver needs a true slot receiver, and while there are unproven internal options, Denver could look to find a player with a slot skillset — and perhaps punt-return ability, too.

3. Defensive line: Derek Wolfe is expected to be back to full health, but he has struggled with injuries in recent years. Nose tackle Domata Peko is 33 and in the last year of his contract. Third-year veteran Adam Gotsis, who turned in some solid play last year, was arrested in March for an alleged rape from five years ago, and until that matter is resolved, a question mark will linger.

Below is a list of all eight of the Broncos’ picks, with players suggested by NFLDraftScout.com.

BRONCOS 2018 Draft (Eight picks)

Rd./overall pick: Player selected (*indicates compensatory pick)

1-5: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming (6-5, 237, 4.76)

2-40: Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn (6-1, 206, 4.44)

3-71: Orlando Brown, T, Oklahoma (6-8, 345, 5.68)

*3-99: Dante Pettis, WR, Washington (6-0, 186, 4.47)

4-106: Dane Cruikshank, S, Arizona (6-1, 209, 4.41)

4-113: Gerard Avery, LB, Memphis (6-0, 248, 4.59)

5-149: Tyler Conklin, TE, Central Michigan (6-3, 254, 4.80)

5-160: Jamil Demby, G, Maine (6-4, 319, 5.68)

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