Every NFL team has a multitude of draft pundits, NFL analysts, and rabid fans debating who they should take in the NFL draft that starts April 26. The Denver Broncos are no different. Many believe that the Broncos are in desperate need of upgrades at defensive tackle, wide receiver, and running back. While I believe that the Broncos should draft these positions, it's impossible to determine ahead of time when (or even if) they will draft them. Most feel that defensive tackle is the most important need, but it's quite possible that the Broncos wouldn't take a DT until the third round or later.
Typically each NFL team will have a list of the individual college players that they'd like to select and where they feel they should be selected. It's their master draft board. I think that this list is by far more important than fufilling any positional needs. Grabbing a high-quality player or someone that you think fits your system really well is sometimes more important than grabbing that defensive tackle you think you might need. It also wouldn't surprise me to see the Broncos make a few draft-day trades. Moving down from the 25th overall selection to pick up additional picks later in the draft is a smart move if they don't absolutely love anyone in the first round.
With that noted, here are five individual college players that I think are potential choices for the Broncos.
Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
I like this particular defensive tackle because of his experience in the 4-3 at Michigan State. He could go a long way towards improving the depth and production in the middle of the defensive line (or even starting) for the Broncos. He is extraordinarily strong and played well against some exceptional offensive lineman in the Big Ten conference during his college career.
Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
If the Broncos are lucky enough that Martin slips to the second round, I'd love for them to grab him. With a reputation as a hard worker, Martin would fit in well with this new Peyton Manning-style offense. He played in a dynamic offense at Boise State and had 16 rushing touchdowns in 2011. He'd be an excellent backup or replacement for current Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno.
Jamel Fleming, CB, Oklahoma
Denver would seem to be set with both Champ Bailey and Tracy Porter as starting cornerbacks, but depth is a concern. Fleming is a big (5'11", 206 lbs) cornerback that the Broncos could also convert over to safety if needed. He could potentially be taken in the third round.
William Vlachos, Center, Alabama
Vlachos played for the national champion Alabama Crimson Tide but is rated a late-round offensive line prospect. Vlachos is only 6'1" and 319 pounds, but he played well enough at center to start for Nick Saban for three years. I think that's pretty good. The Broncos are currently set at center with J.D. Walton, but having a quality backup in this spot that could potentially play another position if needed is a good thing.
Nick Toon, WR, Wisconsin
When the Broncos select a wide receiver, they will want someone who is smart and a good route runner. Toon is both of those. As the son of former NFL great Al Toon, Nick Toon has the advantage of knowing what it takes to be a success in the NFL. I look at him ultimately being a very savvy receiver who could be very productive in a Peyton Manning offense. He'd fit in well with the other young receivers on the Broncos team (Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker) and form a solid core of offensive talent.
Julie is a rabid NFL fanatic who absolutely loves the NFL Draft. This year she's taken some vacation time so that she can fully immerse herself in the three-day event. Currently she lives in Denver approximately five minutes from Broncos headquarters.