AFC West: Desmond Trufant

Denver Broncos draft options

April, 20, 2013
Let's take a look at some possible targets of the Denver Broncos, who have the No. 28 pick in the April 25-27 draft:

Tank Carradine, defensive end, Florida State
  • Why is he a top prospect? He has tremendous pass-rush burst and great college film.
  • How would he help? He would help make up for the loss of Elvis Dumervil.
  • What are the risks? Carradine is coming off a major knee injury.
  • How he could be the choice? If Carradine had been healthy last year, he probably would have been a top-15 pick. But there is a strong chance he will be available. Denver could pull the trigger or perhaps even trade down a few spots to take him.
D.J. Hayden, Houston, cornerback
  • Why is he a top prospect? He is a big, strong competitor.
  • How would he help? The Broncos are looking to get younger at the position.
  • What are the risks? He is not an elite talent, and he may never become an elite player.
  • How he could be the choice? He should be available at No. 28 and perhaps even in a trade down. It could be a matter of choice compared to another cornerback.
Margus Hunt, defensive end, SMU
  • Why is he a top prospect? He is huge, and he has natural pass-rushing skills.
  • How would he help? He would add to the pass-rush mix.
  • What are the risks? He is raw, and he is 26. That is a tough combination for a top pick.
  • How he could be the choice? If Denver thinks all the pluses outweigh the risks, he could be the choice. He would be a possible target in a trade down.
Johnathan Jenkins, defensive tackle, Georgia
  • Why is he a top prospect? He is huge at 359 pounds, and he is athletic.
  • How would he help? Denver is solid at defensive tackle, but adding a young talent like Jenkins would be tempting.
  • What are the risks? He takes plays off, and he is far from a finished product.
  • How he could be the choice? If Denver thinks Jenkins is too good to pass up, his selection at No. 28 could easily be justified.
Eddie Lacy, running back, Alabama
  • Why is he a top prospect? He is the best running back available, and many scouts think he can be a top primary back.
  • How would he help? Denver wants to get younger at running back, and Lacy would be a terrific addition for an already strong offense.
  • What are the risks? Some scouts think he may just be average and may be benefiting from a weak overall class.
  • How he could be the choice? If he is available, I think Lacy has a strong possibility of being Denver's choice.
Xavier Rhodes, cornerback, Florida State
  • Why is he a top prospect? He is huge for a corner at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds and knows how to play the position.
  • How would he help? Who couldn't use a young, big corner?
  • What are the risks? Some scouts think he is just average at everything and will not be an impact player.
  • How he could be the choice? Some teams will be in love with Rhodes' size. Some teams would think he'd be worth taking at No. 28.
Jamar Taylor, cornerback, Boise State
  • Why is he a top prospect? He has impressed scouts with his solid, steady play. He seems NFL-ready.
  • How would he help? Again, with Champ Bailey nearing the end of his career, this is a position where Denver could use some youth.
  • What are the risks? He has had injury concerns, and he may have not have a high ceiling.
  • How he could be the choice? The word is, Denver likes Taylor more than some other cornerbacks.
Manti Te'o, linebacker, Notre Dame
  • Why is he a top prospect? He has great film. He was highly productive, and there were few flaws in his college playing career.
  • How would he help? Denver needs a strong inside linebacker, and he'd be another talent to a solid defense.
  • What are the risks? There's concern about the hoax he was involved in, and his combine performance was weak coming off a poor performance in the title game against Alabama.
  • How he could be the choice? If Te'o falls to No. 28, I'm sure Denver will be tempted to take him. Production like his is rare.
Desmond Trufant, cornerback, Washington
  • Why is he a top prospect? There are few flaws with this player, who has the ability to get better.
  • How would he help? See above.
  • What are the risks? He is not overly big or physical.
  • How he could be the choice? The cornerback position at the bottom of the first round will be a matter of taste. If Trufant is there, Denver could be forced into making a tough decision.
Bjoern Werner, defensive end, Florida State
  • Why is he a top prospect? He has everything a team would want in a pass-rusher.
  • How would he help? A Werner-Von Miller pairing could quickly make folks forget about Dumervil's ugly departure.
  • What are the risks? Some scouts think the NFL may be too big for Werner, and his skill set may not be exceptional at the next level.
  • How he could be the choice? Earlier in the draft process, Werner was considered a potential top-five pick. If he falls all the way down to No. 28, Denver would have a difficult time bypassing him.
NFC Eight in the Box: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

What’s the ideal first-round scenario for each team?


The Broncos are in a decent position sitting at No. 28. Yes, all of the elite players will be long gone. But the Broncos can get better at this spot. Denver doesn’t have many pressing needs, but it can surely upgrade at a few positions. Among the spots Denver could use some help at are on the defensive line, running back, cornerback and middle linebacker. This is a deep class on the defensive line and at cornerback, and the better running backs and inside linebackers may be available late in the first round. Denver would love to see these players available at No. 28: Alabama running back Eddie Lacy, Florida State pass-rushers Bjoern Werner and Tank Carradine, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant and Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden. I think, at least, one of these players will be available. Thus, Denver should get a player it covets.

Kansas City

Since the Chiefs will start the draft with the No. 1 pick, they dictate the show. But we’ve long talked about this being a bad year for the Chiefs to have the top pick. After a tremendous quarterback class last year, this year’s crop is devoid of top talent. The Chiefs could still find talent at the top of the draft, but they would prefer to trade out of the top spot to collect more picks and get out of paying the highest rookie contract. For that to happen, some team will have to come out of the woodwork. Thus far, there aren’t many indications there will be a market for the top pick. But if some team falls in love with a specific player, the Chiefs would accommodate them.


The Raiders are in a similar spot as the Chiefs -- they want to trade down. In fact, Oakland likely wants to deal the No. 3 pick more than the Chiefs want to get rid of the No. 1 pick. Oakland badly needs to stock its roster. Trading the No. 3 pick may be easier than dealing the No. 1 pick. The price will be less and teams may be intrigued by the way the first two picks fall. So, I could see Oakland getting a suitable trade offer while on the clock. Oakland would love to still get a top-15 pick to get a top defensive talent and recoup its second-round pick lost in the Carson Palmer debacle. Now, if the Raiders don’t make a trade, they will be in good shape at No. 3. The Raiders badly need defensive talent. Among the top defensive prospects are Oregon pass-rusher Dion Jordan, Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei, Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner. At least two of those players will be available at No. 3, so Oakland will be sitting pretty.

San Diego

This is pretty simple: The Chargers want to see Oklahoma left tackle Lane Johnson still on the board at No. 11. But it may be iffy. The Chargers have a lot of needs, but no need is greater than at left tackle. The Chargers do not have a blindside protector for quarterback Philip Rivers. That’s scary. But there is no sure thing San Diego will find its left tackle in the draft. Top prospects Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher will both be gone by the time the Chargers pick. Johnson has been a fast riser and there is a good chance he will be gone. Arizona at No. 7 is considered a strong landing spot for the super-athletic Johnson. The Chargers need quarterback Geno Smith to go in the top seven picks. If the Eagles take him at No. 4, it could push Fisher to No. 7 and Johnson to No. 11. If the Cardinals take Smith, Johnson could fall to the Chargers.
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has offered another mock draft Insider in an Insider piece. Let’s take a look at his choices for the AFC West teams:

1. Kansas City: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

My take: It’s starting to look like Joeckel may be the pick. He’d move to right tackle for this season and be insurance if Branden Albert leaves in free agency next year.

3. Oakland: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

My take: This is starting to look like a strong possibility. Todd McShay had him tabbed here last week and I have him here in my latest mock. He would help Oakland’s defense immensely.

11. San Diego: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

My take: This is also starting to look like a real possibility. Along with McShay, I also selected Johnson at this pick. But the Chargers could sign a left tackle in free agency.

28. Denver: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

My take: This isn’t a bad idea. Trufant is rising and the Broncos are looking for a cornerback. But they could add one in free agency.