Polumbus: Position Broncos most likely to draft in first round

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers offensive lineman Forrest Lamp (76) celebrates his teams victory following the CUSA championship game against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium. Western Kentucky won 58-44. Lamp is among the offensive line prospects mocked to be selected by the Denver Broncos. Photo by Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The absolute best draft experts in the world usually only get eight to nine from their entire mock drafts right. That’s not a shot at any individual’s expertise but rather a valid point toward the relevance of any given mock draft in which you choose to put much weight.

Best player available, BPA on the radio, has been the trend of draft experts in the way they choose players for their mocks. In reality, general managers have had this philosophy for years.

But what gets lost in the wind sometimes when discussing the draft on air is the BPA is never a simple enough approach as your only guiding principle.

Every team has needs. Some teams have giant craters at the left tackle position — cough, cough — and every team accounts for its needs to some degree in conjunction with the best player available.

Sometimes a need is so glaring that it can indeed outweigh the best player available philosophy, and instead teams find the top guy at a position of need. It is different every time, but the reality is that there is some ratio between position of need and BPA used on every draft pick.

With all that in mind, I give to you my predictions about the most likely position group to get picked in the first round by the Denver Broncos:

Offensive lineman

Unfortunately, the hole here for the Broncos is so large it might just force the team to pick an offensive lineman in the first round, even in a year that many experts are calling the worst offensive line class in the last decade.

The hole is so large that an offensive lineman is my most likely position to get drafted.


With guys like Alabama’s Reuben Foster and Temple’s Haason Reddick rumored to potentially be hanging around at No. 20, I lean back into the best player available philosophy.

These guys are game-changing linebackers with the potential to solve Denver’s rush defense issues. If either of those guys is there at No. 20, I would not be surprised if the Broncos go linebacker.

Running back

I believe the Broncos will draft a running back in the first three rounds, regardless, but with a broken heart I moved the position down to my third, and least likely, position to get drafted in the first round.

I am beginning to find peace with the fact that Christian McCaffrey will not be available at a pick Denver can comfortably go fire for him.

However, I leave running backs on this list specifically for McCaffrey because I believe the sweet spot for the Broncos to trade up to get him would be in the picks 10 to 12 range.

I don’t believe he gets past the Philadelphia Eagles or Indianapolis Colts at No. 14 and No. 15, respectively, so the Broncos need to move up into that No. 10 to No. 12 range if they want him.


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