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HD's Pre-FA 2020 Mock Offseason

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  • HD's Pre-FA 2020 Mock Offseason

    With the start of the new NFL league year approaching in two days, and the start of the legal tampering period in just mere hours, here is a mock offseason based on what I think Denver will do in free agency and what I would do in the draft.

    CAP SPACE: $57.4M

    REPORTED MOVES:

    DEN acquires JAX CB A.J. Bouye for a 4th round pick (SF).

    CUT:

    QB Joe Flacco – saves $9.5M

    RE-SIGN:

    FS Justin Simmons – franchise tag ($12.7M)
    C Connor McGovern – 4 years, $40M
    OL Elijah Wilkinson – 2nd round RFA tender ($3.2M)
    DT Mike Purcell – 2nd round RFA tender ($3.2M)
    DE Joel Heath – original round RFA tender ($2.1M)
    S Trey Marshall – ERFA tender
    WR Tim Patrick – ERFA tender

    SIGN:

    DL Javon Hargrave – 4 years, $48M
    CB Prince Amukamara – 1 year, $7M




    The free agency period results in three major signings. Our homegrown talents, Simmons and McGovern, are extended as they both rank among the top ten at their respective positions in the league. Hargrave is a big-money signing for Coach Vic Fangio’s defense with his best years yet to come. The former Steeler can line up all over the defensive line (including nose tackle), and wreaked havoc in both the running and passing game. Hargrave’s 83.4 PFF grade in 2019 was good for 8th among all interior defenders in the NFL. Elway & Co. give Chicago cast-off Prince Amukamara a one-year, “prove-it” deal to reunite him with Fangio and defensive coordinator Ed Donatell. Amukamara is in the twilight of his prime, but his experience with the defensive scheme will be valuable to the secondary. RG was a position that I admittedly struggled with while creating this mock. I think overpaying for Joe Thuney in FA would be short-sighted to the future of our personnel. My belief is that Munchak and the FO have enough confidence in Wilkinson to develop and take over as the starter at right guard.

    DRAFT:

    1 (15) Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

    A lot of things have to happen right for the 2018 Biletnikoff Award winner to slide into Denver’s lap at #15. In my TDN simulation, Jerry Jeudy became available as the top four OTs, CeeDee Lamb (AZ), and Henry Ruggs III (LV) all went off the board before our pick. Jeudy is a top-five prospect in this entire draft class and has remained the #1 WR on my board despite the pre-draft noise. A model of consistency for the past two years, Jeudy has arguably been the best wide receiver in college football during that time. The Alabama standout is an elite route runner with superb short-area quickness and a special gift for getting separation. Jeudy has reliable hands and can burn defenses deep with his gliding 4.45 speed. The combination of Pro Bowl wideout Courtland Sutton and Jeudy could make for the best WR tandem in the league. Drew Lock will need weapons to be able to go toe-to-toe with KC and Patrick Mahomes for the next decade. The addition of Jeudy will be a home run pick, gifting our franchise with a perennial All-Pro talent.



    2 (46) Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State

    With the departure of Chris Harris Jr., the last remaining piece of the original “No Fly Zone” is no longer with the team. Since 2015, our front office has desperately tried to fix holes at the cornerback position with a lack of success. Insert Cam Dantzler, the 6’2”, 185 lb. lockdown corner from Mississippi State. The 2018 second-team All-SEC selection is a long, wiry defensive back who excels in both man and zone coverages, making him a natural fit for Fangio’s defense. Dantzler’s ball skills are impressive as he knows when to turn around and look for the ball, tracking it in the air similar to a WR. He is very physical in press coverage without being liable for grabbing (unlike Isaac Yiadom or Brendan Langley). Dantzler plays with a competitive fire and that is reflected by the fact that he has allowed only ONE touchdown in his entire career at Mississippi State. At 185 pounds, Dantzler stands to add a bit of muscle to his thin frame—thus, he will likely be a rotational player during his rookie year as he develops behind Bouye and Amukamara. The one-year rental of the latter veteran will give Dantzler a fast track towards a starting spot in the near future.

    3 (77) Matthew Peart, OT, UConn

    Elway takes a step to invest in the future of our offensive line with the selection of the ultra-athletic Matt Peart from UConn. The likely scenario for 2020 is that our front office lets Bolles play out his final year of his rookie contract at LT without exercising his fifth-year option, while they also give Ja’Wuan James a chance to stay healthy and anchor the RT position. Peart is a raw prospect with light feet and great length. He has all the tools to be a quality OT in the NFL, so he would benefit from a full year working with legendary offensive line coach Mike Munchak. Peart has various technique issues that affect his playing strength, which need to be refined in order to become a starter in the future.

    3 (83) Zack Moss, RB, Utah

    Our young RB corps are a polarizing bunch. On one hand, Phillip Lindsay has been an electric Pro Bowl stud, epitomizing what it means to wear the Orange & Blue with his gritty style and willingness to block. On the other hand, Royce Freeman has been largely unspectacular despite being the more reliable receiver out of the backfield. Competition in the backfield will only make our offense better. With the second 3rd round selection, Elway gifts new OC Pat Shurmur a new toy at RB in Utah star Zack Moss. The 2019 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year is a much better prospect than our previous third round Ute RB Devontae Booker. At 5’10”, 222 lbs., Moss has a strong frame to go with a low center of gravity and highly-elusive feet. With an elite PFF overall grade of 91.5 last season, Moss is a complete back with great vision, hands, and blocking effort. Shurmur and Drew Lock will appreciate Moss’ pass protection skills and smarts in the backfield.

    3 (95) Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB, Appalachian State

    For years, Denver’s defense has lacked an athletic, sideline-to-sideline linebacker anchoring our defense. Last year’s emergence of A.J. Johnson was a breakout surprise that our defense needed. Todd Davis has been our team’s most productive and reliable tackler for awhile now, however, it is evident that an upgrade will take our defense to the next level. With the jury still largely out on Josey Jewell, Elway grabs one of the best athletes in this LB class in Akeem Davis-Gaither from Appalachian State. Fangio will absolutely love Davis-Gaither’s versatile skillset. He can blitz or drop back into coverage seamlessly due to his smooth hips and outstanding agility. Although Davis-Gaither is quite undersized (6’2”, 215 lbs.), his intense physicality and quick instincts more than make up for these “limitations”. His stellar PFF grades reflect his excellent prowess against the run (87.0 run-defense grade) as well as rushing the passer (82.2 pass-rush grade). Scouts liken Davis-Gaither to Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith, so snagging him with our last Day 2 pick is an absolute steal with high upside in Fangio’s defense.

    4 (108) Jordan Elliott, DT, Missouri

    As the first two days of the NFL Draft come to a close, several sure-fire Day 2 prospects fall to the 4th round. Missouri DT Jordan Elliott being one of them. With the highest overall PFF grade of any SEC defender in 2019 (92.4), Elliott is a major grab for Denver in the 4th round. His high motor and consistency, combined with his polished skills at DT could make him a candidate to see the most defensive snaps out of any rookie from this class. After signing Javon Hargrave to a big deal in free agency, Elliott is added to the mix at defensive tackle. With the departures of Derek Wolfe, Shelby Harris, and Adam Gotsis, more talent and depth on the interior of our defensive line is much needed.

    5 (178) Antoine Brooks Jr., S, Maryland

    Letting Will Parks walk in free agency was a tough decision. Fortunately, the addition of Antoine Brooks Jr. in the 5th round cushions that blow quite a bit. Brooks Jr. is equally as physical and aggressive as Parks (perhaps even better), with a 90.8 PFF run-defense grade. A Tony Jefferson-type of box safety, Brooks Jr. can play near the line of scrimmage in a variety of looks. Pass coverage is not a strength for him, so I would trust Fangio to utilize him correctly.

    continued below...
    Last edited by HDbroncos02; 03-16-2020, 03:26 AM.

  • #2
    6 (182) Lynn Bowden Jr., QB/WR, Kentucky

    Denver double-dipping at wide receiver? Not exactly. Lynn Bowden Jr. figures to be Pat Shurmur’s swiss-army knife on offense. I would not go so far as to dub Bowden Jr. as our “Taysom Hill”, but he is explosive with the ball in his hands and a silly threat in the open field. Truthfully, he is not a player that should be relied on either as a QB or WR, but moving him around the offense and using his dangerous athleticism as a returner will allow him to have a nice career.

    7 (238) Stanford Samuels III, CB, Florida State

    Considering the ice-thin depth at corner the past few seasons, FSU product Stanford Samuels III will be brought in to compete with Isaac Yiadom for the CB4 or CB5 spot (depending on Callahan’s health). Samuels III’s draft stock has fallen a bit due to an underwhelming Combine, but his game tape is encouraging. Similar to Dantzler, Samuels III is a lengthy CB who excels at press coverage. He has above average instincts and good fluidity for a defensive back at his size (6’2”, 190 lbs.).

    7 (252) Robert Windsor, DE, Penn State

    Elway and Fangio are betting on their young guns, Dre’Mont Jones and DeMarcus Walker, to carry the DE position in 2020. Behind them, there is virtually zero depth with the only other notable player I have coming back being Joel Heath. Penn State DE Robert Windsor is a player who will provide decent depth with some NFL upside. Windsor has solid technique and has improved every year as a pass-rusher in college.

    7 (254) Logan Wilson, LB, Wyoming

    While I understand Logan Wilson’s stock is rising in the pre-draft process, TDN gifted me with him being available at pick 254. Wilson has the upside to replace Todd Davis as the sure-tackling “thumper” at middle linebacker. Despite playing for Wyoming, Wilson was productive all around, earning strong PFF grades across the board (91.6 run-defense, 81.4 coverage, 85.6 pass-rush). He offers plenty of explosiveness and physicality, with his run-stopping ability being his best bet towards success at the next level.


    PROJECTED ROSTER:
    *new additions in italics

    QB – Lock, Rypien
    RB – Lindsay, Moss, Freeman
    FB – Janovich
    WR – Sutton, Jeudy, Hamilton, Patrick, Winfree, Bowden Jr.,
    TE – Fant, Heuerman, Beck, Fumagalli
    OT – Bolles, James, Peart
    OG – Risner, Wilkinson, Schlottmann
    C – McGovern, Morris

    DE – Jones, Walker, Heath, Windsor
    DT – Hargrave, Elliott, Purcell
    EDGE – Miller, Chubb, Reed, Hollins
    LB – Johnson, Davis, Davis-Gaither, Jewell, Wilson
    CB – Bouye, Amukamara, Callahan, Dantzler, Yiadom, Samuels III
    FS – Simmons
    SS – Jackson, Brooks Jr., Marshall

    K – McManus
    P – Wadman
    LS – Farnsworth/Bobenmoyer

    Comment


    • #3
      Pretty good. I love the Bowden pick. If I could pick your brain...

      - If Derrick Brown or one of the OTs is still on the board, would you take one of them over Jeudy? Any love for Kinlaw?
      - If Jeudy is gone, how would you feel about taking Jefferson at 15?
      - Dantzler or Arnette?
      - Lawrence, Hamilton, or Elliott at 95 or 108?
      - I've done a couple mocks on there as well, and noticed Thaddeus Moss drops a lot. Would you take him, and if so where?

      Comment


      • #4
        I like this draft. Logan Wilson is going before rd 7 IMHO. Appalachian St guy is intriguing. If he can cover a TE that would be a big deal. Moss looks like a really good RB prospect.

        If I had a choice between Derrick Brown, Jeudy, or Andrew Thomas I am not sure what I would do. All three seem like instant upgrades and starters. I wouldn't take Jefferson at #15.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by WYBRONCO View Post
          I like this draft. Logan Wilson is going before rd 7 IMHO. Appalachian St guy is intriguing. If he can cover a TE that would be a big deal. Moss looks like a really good RB prospect.

          If I had a choice between Derrick Brown, Jeudy, or Andrew Thomas I am not sure what I would do. All three seem like instant upgrades and starters. I wouldn't take Jefferson at #15.
          Agreed. He's getting a lot of juice it seems because of his versatility. I don't think Bowden is going to be around that late either, unfortunately. I have seen Claypool drop all the way to the back of the 5th on there. Higgins has gone in the late 3rd.

          I get the caution where Jefferson is concerned. Jefferson is one of those things that if you really like him, you have to take him at 15. He's going to get picked shortly after that. I'm not taking a receiver at 15 unless I have to though. I would try to trade to the back of the first if something I really liked didn't fall.

          Comment


          • #6
            I may not agree with, or even have enough knowledge to agree or disagree with every move, BUT I love the effort put into this. Thanks!

            :thumb:

            Comment


            • #7
              I think the values are off a bit but I really don't like the dantzler pick he has bust written on his chest. He is slow at the combine and his film doesnt really show the speed. Seems like at least a reach but I wouldn't touch him cause I don't think he is fast enough to be a cb at the nfl level.

              I also will be surprised if ruggs goes before jeudy.

              I like moss but I am not sure what I think of him as a draft pick. He seems like a good back. My biggest worry with him is he has alot of tread on his tires and is a older prospect. Plus his running style doesnt generally lead to long careers so my biggest worry is he would bust in the nfl just due to how many carrys he has already has
              sigpic
              oakland raders gm
              latavis murray trade bait

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Kyousukeneko View Post
                I think the values are off a bit but I really don't like the dantzler pick he has bust written on his chest. He is slow at the combine and his film doesnt really show the speed. Seems like at least a reach but I wouldn't touch him cause I don't think he is fast enough to be a cb at the nfl level.

                I also will be surprised if ruggs goes before jeudy.

                I like moss but I am not sure what I think of him as a draft pick. He seems like a good back. My biggest worry with him is he has alot of tread on his tires and is a older prospect. Plus his running style doesnt generally lead to long careers so my biggest worry is he would bust in the nfl just due to how many carrys he has already has


                I'm shameless. lol. If he's there in the 5th or even 6th though, how could you not?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Spice 1 View Post
                  Pretty good. I love the Bowden pick. If I could pick your brain...

                  - If Derrick Brown or one of the OTs is still on the board, would you take one of them over Jeudy? Any love for Kinlaw?
                  - If Jeudy is gone, how would you feel about taking Jefferson at 15?
                  - Dantzler or Arnette?
                  - Lawrence, Hamilton, or Elliott at 95 or 108?
                  - I've done a couple mocks on there as well, and noticed Thaddeus Moss drops a lot. Would you take him, and if so where?
                  I would still take Jeudy, to be honest. My Top 5 board is as follows:
                  1. Chase Young
                  2. Joe Burrow
                  3. Jeff Okudah
                  4. Isaiah Simmons
                  5. Jerry Jeudy
                  It definitely would be a tough decision if somehow Derrick Brown, Andrew Thomas, AND Jeudy were all available at #15. Because my mock offseason has us picking a DT in FA and the fact that I feel like Elway will let Bolles play out his final year of his contract, I don’t think either position is necessarily a priority in the 1st round— leaving WR as the biggest hole on our roster (besides RG). I love Javon Kinlaw. He’s going to wreck offenses in the NFL. Unfortunately, in my TDN simulation I believe he was picked ahead of us.

                  I really like Justin Jefferson as a prospect, he’s got a lot of polish and has some of the surest hands in the draft. I wouldn’t be upset if he was the pick at #15, although I prefer Denzel Mims over Jefferson.

                  Cam Dantzler has proven more to me on tape. I’m not the biggest Damon Arnette fan out there— if I remember correctly, when his teammate Shaun Wade was a prospect (before returning to school), Arnette was floating as a 3rd-4th round pick. One of his flaws lies in his slower mental processing in off-man coverage and his lack of refinement in zone coverage. Those two things are necessary to have to excel in Fangio’s defense as a corner.

                  Elliott without a doubt. I want to like Lawrence but his tape screams average. I don’t see any trait that particularly stands out. I’m afraid Hamilton might only be a two-down guy as a NT— but let’s say we didn’t pick up a DT in FA, I’d be open to Hamilton there. I just like Elliott’s skills and proven production against the best competition in the SEC.

                  I would take Moss if he was there in the 5th round. I’m not super high on him as a prospect, despite his Hall of Fame pedigree. My feeling is that the coaching staff really like the TEs we have now, especially the guys behind Noah Fant. I don’t expect any personnel changes there, aside from potentially cutting Jake Butt.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CanDB View Post
                    I may not agree with, or even have enough knowledge to agree or disagree with every move, BUT I love the effort put into this. Thanks!

                    :thumb:
                    Thank you! Spring Break (in isolation, I might add) makes this the optimal time to do this . Your feedback is always welcome, Can.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kyousukeneko View Post
                      I think the values are off a bit but I really don't like the dantzler pick he has bust written on his chest. He is slow at the combine and his film doesnt really show the speed. Seems like at least a reach but I wouldn't touch him cause I don't think he is fast enough to be a cb at the nfl level.

                      I also will be surprised if ruggs goes before jeudy.

                      I like moss but I am not sure what I think of him as a draft pick. He seems like a good back. My biggest worry with him is he has alot of tread on his tires and is a older prospect. Plus his running style doesnt generally lead to long careers so my biggest worry is he would bust in the nfl just due to how many carrys he has already has
                      That’s fair. I did what the TDN simulation gave me, so I know some of the values are a bit off. And yeah, Dantzler’s 4.64 forty is a bit alarming— but I believe in his skills as a corner that will translate to success in the NFL. I would have been slightly more comfortable if he ran, perhaps, a 4.55. Nevertheless, with annoyingly long limbs and outstanding press technique— he could take a receiver out of the play before they get a chance to “burn” him deep.

                      I would be surprised too. I think Ruggs III’s post-season has been phenomenal though. I could see someone like Mayock liking Ruggs’ potential more than Jeudy’s current polish.

                      Montee Ball is definitely a cautionary tale when it comes to the “tread on the tires” talk about RBs. Fortunately, I have Moss coming in as a guy who can rotate with Lindsay. I think the real concern would be if you’re bringing Moss into a bell-cow type of role with 15-25 touches a game. What I really like about Moss is his all-around skill set— with his receiving ability and blocking tenacity being a real asset to any offense that brings him in.

                      Comment

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