The Denver Broncos made several aggressive moves in free agency in order to make sweeping upgrades to their defense, and they are expected to add another impact player to their defense with the 31st overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Edge rusher, defensive tackle, and inside linebacker are three big possibilities for the Broncos at 31, and I currently have C.J. Mosley and Ryan Shazier as my “dream” picks for the Broncos. That said, I doubt they will be in a position to draft either top prospect, especially since Shazier is quickly gaining pre-draft steam.
The MMQB’s Peter King recently did an incredibly informative mock draft that includes some interesting nuggets, and these nuggets combine with his actual picks to give some valuable insight on what teams may be thinking. No nugget was more interesting than a quote from a GM telling King that Broncos head coach John Fox “loves” Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive line prospect Ra’Shede Hageman.
If the Broncos are indeed sold on Hageman, then I don’t see an issue with plucking him in the late first round. He is very much a boom-or-bust prospect, but he has ridiculous athletic tools and is a big, disruptive player. The Broncos did draft Sylvester Williams last year, but that probably won’t prevent them from taking another DT this year if they truly believe in Hageman.