Top NFL Prospects: What Round Might They Be Drafted?

A final resource I will provide to everyone is a list of draft prospects, regardless of position, and the rounds it appears they are likely to be drafted.

Sterling Mallory Archer has done a good job starting off with a look at the Broncos’ draft needs on offense and plans to do one for defense, too. I will leave that area to him, but it is useful to look at which prospects might be drafted in what rounds, because that helps people get an idea about how the draft board may take shape when it’s time for the Broncos to draft.

I’ve only focused on the highest rated prospects per, which should encompass the bulk of the players who will be drafted in the first three rounds. The prospects I list are by no means the only ones who will be drafted in those rounds, and some of them may not get drafted until the final four rounds. But it will give you a rough idea about which players are likely to draw interest and at what points of the draft teams might consider them.

Definite first rounders: These are the 12 players I expect will be drafted in the first round at some point. Most of them are likely top-10 picks but a few could slip out of the top 10. None of them are likely to fall out of the first round unless there’s a major issue (whether injury-related or off-field-related) that comes up between now and the draft. I would not expect any of these players to be on the board when the Broncos’ pick first comes up. If the Broncos try to trade up for one of them, the price may be a bit steep, so I wouldn’t count on that happening unless one of them tumbles far down the board for some reason.

Laremy Tunsil, OT
Myles Jack, OLB
DeForest Buckner, DE
Ezekiel Elliott, RB
Jalen Ramsey, CB
Joey Bosa, DE
Vernon Hargreaves, CB
Jared Goff, QB
Carson Wentz, QB
Ronnie Stanley, OT
Reggie Ragland, ILB
Leonard Floyd, OLB

First-round talent: These are players who are talented enough to consider using a first-round pick, but some may fall out of the first round because of injury concerns, off-field issues or teams simply wanting to address other needs. A few of them will likely be off the board when the Broncos pick at No. 31, but a couple might be available at that point. There may be a couple of players who the Broncos could consider trading up for, but only if they fall far down the board and only at the right price.

Jaylon Smith, OLB
A’Shawn Robinson, DT
Jack Conklin, OT
Kevin Dodd, DE
Robert Nkemdiche, DT
Will Fuller, WR
Laquon Treadwell, WR
Hunter Henry, TE
Sheldon Rankins, DT
Andrew Billings, NT
Shaq Lawson, DE
Chris Jones, DT

First- or second-round selections: Most of these players aren’t necessarily first-round talents, but could be chosen late in that round because teams have a pressing need at that position. If any of these players fall into the second round, they are good options. Some of these players should be available at pick No. 31. If the Broncos are interested in any of them, they need to be careful in considering a move up the board, but in a few cases, they may be better off waiting to see if the player is available at No. 31.

Paxton Lynch, QB
Derrick Henry, RB
Jordan Howard, RB
Cody Whitehair, OG
Jarran Reed, DT
Vernon Butler, DT
Emmanuel Ogbah, DE
Hassan Ridgeway, DT
Noah Spence, DE
Corey Coleman, WR
Le’Raven Clark, OT
Jonathan Bullard, DT
Darron Lee, OLB
Eli Apple, CB

Second-round talent: These are the players I expect will be mostly considered in the second round, but a couple could be taken late in the first round. If the Broncos have a strong interest in one of these players, I would expect them to be available at pick No. 31, but it would benefit the Broncos to trade down if they really want one of these players. Otherwise, they should pass unless they are available at the final pick of the second round, or if they can make a trade up in the second round at the right price.

Josh Doctson, WR
Sterling Shepard, WR
Tyler Boyd, WR
Willie Henry, DT
Mackensie Alexander, CB
William Jackson III, CB
Karl Joseph, S
Connor Cook, QB
Charone Peake, WR
Michael Thomas, WR
Germain Ifedi, OG
Taylor Decker, OT
Joshua Garnett, OG
Shon Coleman, OT
Christian Westerman, OG
Ryan Kelly, C
Austin Johnson, NT
Kenny Clark, NT
Su’a Cravens, OLB
Kyler Fackrell, OLB
Keanu Neal, SS

Third-round talent: These are the players I expect will get most consideration in the third round, but a couple could be chosen late in the second round. The Broncos should follow the same rule of thumb regarding these players as for the ones I listed as second-round talent.

Paul Perkins, RB
Devontae Booker, RB
Kenneth Dixon, RB
Austin Hooper, TE
Nick Vannett, TE
Jason Spriggs, OT
Kamalei Coorea, DE
Shilique Calhoun, DE
Jordan Jenkins, OLB
Scooby Wright III, OLB
Artie Burns, CB
Pharoh Cooper, WR
Braxton Miller, WR
Tyler Higbee, TE
Nick Martin, OG
Rees Odhiambo, OG
Max Tuerk, C
Landon Turner, OG
Carl Nassib, DE
Shawn Oakman, DE
Adolphus Washington, DT
Maliek Collins, DT
Rashard Robinson, CB
Kendall Fuller, CB
Xavien Howard, CB
Will Redmond, CB
Vonn Bell, FS
Miles Killebrew, SS
Jeremy Cash, SS

Borderline third-round pick, better as Day Three pick: These are players who I could see some teams target late in the third round, but it might be better to wait until the fourth round to draft them. With these players, the Broncos could consider drafting them to close the third round. If they fall down in the fourth round, the Broncos might be better off playing the waiting game than trying to trade up.

Christian Hackenberg, QB
Jacoby Brissett, QB
Jonathan Williams, RB
Alex Collins, RB
C.J. Prosise, RB
Darrell Greene, OG
Jack Allen, C
Graham Glasgow, C
Jerald Hawkins, OT
Matthew Ioannidis, DT
Jihard Ward, DE
Sheldon Day, DT
Bronson Kaufusi, DE
Ronald Blair, DE
Adam Gotsis, DT
Roy Robertson-Harris, DE
Deion Jones, OLB
Kentrell Brothers, OLB
Harlan Miller, CB
KeiVarae Russell, CB
Cyrus Jones, CB
D.J. White, CB
Zack Sanchez, CB
DeAndre Houston-Carson, FS
T.J. Green, FS
Darian Thompson, S

From my gut-reaction perspective, it would be nice to see Paxton Lynch become available late in the first round, where the Broncos only need to move up a few spots. Then they could draft either an offensive lineman or defensive lineman in the second round, and whichever position is addressed at that point, they could draft the other in the third round. If they are somehow able to keep both third-round picks, then they could draft a safety with the other third-round selection.

If they don’t get Lynch, I’d look to either Cody Whitehair or a defensive lineman in the first round. Drafting Whitehair means they should target a defensive lineman in the second round, a safety in the third round and consider the available QBs with the final pick of the third round. If they don’t get Whitehair, then use the second-round pick on an offensive lineman.

Of course, things would change depending on whether or not the Broncos acquire another quarterback through a trade or after another team releases somebody.

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Bob Morris

I'm a sports writer in real life, though I've always focused on smaller communities, but that hasn't stopped me from learning more about some of the ins and outs of the NFL. You can follow me on Twitter @BobMorrisSports if you can put up with updates on the high school sports teams I cover.