Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
The Denver Broncos don’t necessarily have a starting quarterback between Trevor Siemian an Paxton Lynch. Nor do they know which one can lead the team in the years to come.
The only way Denver can truly figure out if Siemian or Lynch are the future of the franchise, they need a good offensive line in front of them. Denver struck out last season with Russell Okung, and players like Ty Sambrailo and Michael Schofield just aren’t good fits at left tackle. That’s why going into the draft next week it’s imperative the Broncos find a starting left tackle.
Scotty Payne of Mile High Report didn’t take one in the first round of the mock draft, but he lands his blocker in the second.
51. Denver Broncos: Antonio Garcia, OT, Troy
Payne: I passed on top tackles Garett Bolles, Ryan Ramczyk, and Cam Robinson in the first round to select running back/wide receiver/offensive weapon Christian McCaffrey. This left the Broncos with a glaring hole at left tackle still, but I had my fingers crossed that this prospect would be there in the second round, and thankfully he was.
That prospect being Troy’s Antonio Garcia.
The 6’6, 302-pound Garcia would give the Broncos a potential Day 1 starting option at left tackle. Right now, for whatever reason, they have Donald Stephenson penciled in as their starter at left tackle, so it shouldn’t take much for Garcia to bypass him on the depth chart.
While Garcia needs to hit the weight room and doesn’t have the long arms you like at left tackle, I believe he has starter-quality traits and gives the Broncos a viable option at the left tackle position and someone with a high upside.
It is tempting to go tight end, inside linebacker, cornerback, or edge rusher here, but the Broncos really need an offensive tackle and there is a huge drop off in talent after Garcia. If the draft were to play out like this, I would imagine the Broncos go cornerback and tight end in round three.
Analysis: Waiting on an offensive tackle is a huge gamble. Unlike running back, for instance, it can be impossible to find a serviceable player off the scrap heap known as day three of the draft. In a way, the Broncos — and Mile High Report by extension — are lucky that Garcia is still around. While he doesn’t grade out as a first-round pick because of his current strength limitations, he has the type of athleticism desired in the position. If he can bulk up in the NFL, he strikes me as a David Bakhtiari sort of blocker.
Dan’s top five players remaining
26. Tim Williams, LB, Alabama 39. Teez Tabor, CB, Florida 41. Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee 45. Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida 46. Chris Wormley, DL, Michigan
That finishes our three picks for the day in the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft. We’ll get things going again tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. ET with the Cleveland Browns getting their fourth and final pick in thanks to Dawgs by Nature.