John Elway and the Denver Broncos have had an extremely disappointing 2017 NFL season after a start that made them look like serious AFC contenders. After getting off to a 3-1 start to the season, Denver currently has a 3-9 record and are currently projected to get a top-five pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
If they do indeed end up getting a top-five pick, the Broncos will have quite a few prospects to choose from. They could decide to take a quarterback, although that isn’t the route that many see them going. Elway has had success signing free agent quarterback and Kirk Cousins is thought to be a top target for the Broncos.
That being said, Bleacher Report’s latest mock draft has the Broncos taking Florida State safety Derwin James with the No. 4 overall pick.
Needless to say, adding James to an already talented Broncos’ defense would make them even more lethal. James would add yet another hard-hitting playmaker to a secondary that is full of playmaking talent.
James had put together an impressive 2017 season with the Seminoles. He totaled 84 tackles from the safety position and racked up a sack, two interceptions, a defensive touchdown, and 11 defended passes. Those numbers speak for themselves as to why he is worthy of going so high in the draft.
Denver made the move to get rid of T.J. Ward ahead of the 2017 season. It was a bit of a surprise, but one that hasn’t hurt them too terribly much. Justin Simmons has stepped into the starting role and has done a solid job, but pairing James with Darian Stewart would be a nightmare for opposing offenses.
According to a report from NFL.com, James will skip the Seminoles’ bowl game and enter the 2018 NFL Draft. He simply does not want to risk injuring himself in a game that doesn’t mean all that much in the grand scheme of things. Some do not like when players skip bowl games, but he is wise to not jeopardize his future, especially with head coach Jimbo Fisher on his way out of Florida State.
One NFC scout talked about James and what he sees from him. What that scout said should excite Broncos’ fans about the potential drafting of James.
“He’s pretty-looking. He’s got one of those body types where you could play him at about seven different positions. He looks most like a strong safety, but he’s got the frame to put weight on and be a linebacker, he could be a huge corner. He looks kind of like what Patrick Peterson was coming out. Just a great-looking frame.”
All of that being said, it will be interesting to see what the Broncos end up doing in the draft. They could look to shore up their offense, but James would make their defense even more intimidating. If Elway can sign a quarterback before the draft, selecting James with their top-five pick seems like a perfect move.