2016 NFL Mock Draft: February edition
31st Pick – Denver Broncos (12-4)
Jaylon Smith – ILB
Notre Dame – Junior
6-3, 240 Pounds
It is very peculiar how the Broncos didn’t need solid quarterback play from Peyton Manning or that the offense won the Super Bowl by scoring one C.J. Anderson touchdown (another guy who needs a contract extension). We saw the suffocating defense the Broncos brought the whole game. In particular, we saw how Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, and Derek Wolfe destroyed Cam Newtons focus and confidence. The Broncos are a strong defense, inside and out, but they shouldn’t be satisfied just by that. The Broncos need a lot more then a strong defense to get them to the promise land two straight years, but that’s not where I am going with this. I’m still giving the Broncos a defensive stalwart, and it sticks with the play of a Notre Dame linebacker who has all the potential you want.
Jaylon Smith fell way down my board for this mock draft, not because of the injury that he had at the end of the season, not because of the lack of size, but because of the type of draft class it has been. Smith is really a baller, he plays ferocious at the line of scrimmage, and always seemed to have a hand on the ball. The Broncos will probably lose Danny Trevathan, but they gain a potential pro-bowl type of player in Jaylon Smith. It’s always hard to find a player who is so good at filling the gap, and a guy who is very talented in coverage. I don’t know how he is going to heal from the injury, but Jaylon has that warrior mentality. Don’t be surprised if the Broncos find a gem that everyone knows about at 31.
The Broncos are set to lose Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan, but really those guys are about to see the most amount of money on the open market. The Broncos don’t seem to have enough fire-power to be able to keep those guys, don’t be sad Broncos fans, it just means that your guys are developing into stars. The Broncos are one of the best teams out their, only if they find a way to get better at the quarterback position.
Player Comparison: Ryan Shazier – Pittsburgh Steelers