NFL DRAFT 2022
2022 NFL Mock Draft: Mapping out all nine of the Broncos picks
The Denver Broncos don’t have a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Their first pick is set to be No. 64 overall at the end of the second round. That means Broncos fans will have to wait a long time for their team to pick. This year is different with the trade for superstar quarterback Russell Wilson, but that doesn’t mean this draft is not crucial to the success – both in 2022 and beyond – of the Broncos.
I feel they are set to find at least a few quality players of starting caliber in this draft class where they’re picking. The “meat” of this class is between picks 50-120, and the Broncos have five picks in that area. This means they’ll be able to find great players with upside who could be reserves in 2022, but starters in 2023 (where they only have four draft picks).
Here is what I think the Broncos will do in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Round 2, Pick 64: Abraham Lucas | OT | Washington State
This pick could be one of the final quality tackles available in this draft class. The Broncos brought Abe Lucas to UC Health Training Center for one of their 30 private visits, so I know they like him. There’s certainly a lot to like about a massive player with good feet and good feel in pass protection. Lucas is a durable player, starting over 40 games in a row and compiling over 3,000 snaps for the Cougars. He started every year at right tackle but still has technique to work on – mainly as a run-blocker. He’s the perfect player to add in the second round and develop behind Billy Turner to eventually take over as the starter at right tackle in 2023.
Round 3, Pick 75: Greg Dulcich | TE | UCLA
It may seem like a luxury pick for some, but tight end is a larger need than some think with the Broncos. When they traded away Noah Fant to get Wilson, the Broncos moved Albert Okwuegbunam up the depth chart. He’s a fine starting option, but the Broncos need better depth and perhaps someone to push Okwuegbunam for the starting job (or to start when he gets hurt). Greg Dulcich is your prototypical “F” tight end – that means he’s a big-bodied receiver who can create mismatches in the passing game. He is an effort blocker who needs to improve that part of his game, but Dulcich has the speed to be a “seam ripper” at the tight end position and could make plays immediately for Wilson.
Round 3, Pick 96: Myjai Sanders | Edge | Cincinnati
This class of edge players is incredibly deep, and I think the Broncos need to add a couple of players at this position. They have Bradley Chubb and Randy Gregory as their top two edge defenders and starters this year, but they need to be ready for the future. Chubb and Gregory both have big injury concerns, so adding depth and future starting talent at edge is a smart move. Myjai Sanders is one of my favorites in this draft class. He’s got length and hustle for the position. He gets off the line quickly (his snap anticipation is elite) and does a good job closing to the quarterback. Sanders could be a reserve this season and potentially start in 2023.
Round 4, Pick 115: Cameron Thomas | Edge | San Diego State
I can get you future starters at Edge into the fourth round. I’m not sure if Cameron Thomas from San Diego State makes it this far as he could go in round three. However, I think the Broncos should pounce if he’s on the board when they pick – even if that means taking him the previous round. Thomas has size, length and versatility up front. He played all over the defensive line for the Aztecs, lining up at nose tackle, defensive end and edge during his highly productive college career. Like Sanders picked before him, Thomas could be added as a reserve for this year but a potential starter next year.
Round 4, Pick 116: J.T. Woods | S | Baylor
I think the Broncos could look to bolster the safety position with a playmaker at this point in the draft. JT Woods can flat out fly. He’s got legit 4.3 speed and is a threat when he gets his hands on the ball (see his 97-yard fumble return for a touchdown in 2021). On film, Woods is a ball hawk who can get interceptions and even in the Senior Bowl he got his hands on a pass. Earned the nickname “The Heartbreak Kid” because he was known to break the heart of opposing quarterbacks. The Broncos don’t really have a player like him on the roster.
Round 5, Pick 145: Cordale Flott | CB | LSU
The Broncos have a need in the secondary – mainly for next season to potentially replace Ronald Darby on the outside, but it would be nice to draft a player this year to develop for one season as a backup. Cordale Flott from LSU fits the bill for the Broncos. Flott is versatile, having played outside, in the slot and as a split-safety for the Bayou Bengals. His game is all about anticipation plus click-and-close ability. He’s one of the youngest players in this draft (20 years old) and can still add more stength to his frame in an NFL weight program.
Round 6, Pick 194: Keaontay Ingram | RB | USC
The Broncos are looking for help at the running back position. Some fans want “lightning” to go with starter Javonte Williams’ “thunder”, but the Broncos add more thunder with Ingram here. Even with the signing of Melvin Gordon in free agency on Tuesday, I think the Broncos select a back on Day 3 of the draft. Ingram is a sleeper of mine and a favorite in this class because of his intent as a runner, strength and underrated receiving ability.
Round 7, Pick 234: Tariq Carpenter | S/LB | Georgia Tech
There’s a chance the Broncos help the inside linebacker position much earlier in the draft. They’d have to move up in the second round if they want a Chad Muma (Wyoming) type of linebacker, but they might opt to wait instead. In fact, they may wait to get a guy like Tariq Carpenter late in the draft. Carpenter is listed as a safety, but he profiles as a linebacker hybrid at the pro level. He’s got a nose for the ball and loves to hit – plus, he gives you special teams value. That sounds like a great late-round pick.
Round 7, Pick 250: Reggie Roberson Jr. | WR | SMU
I feel that SMU wide receiver Reggie Roberson is a good addition for the Broncos late in the draft. Roberson is a receiver who can give you help as a return man. He’s got speed to take the top off the defense, and he knows how to change up his speed to create space in his routes. Roberson is one of the best deep threats in college football, but a 2020 knee injury led him to not looking quite like himself in 2021. Get him back healthy and Roberson makes a nice depth player.
To see Cecil’s first-round mock draft, click here.