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2013 NFL Mock Draft: ESPN's Kuiper has Broncos selecting CB Xavier Rhodes

After finishing as a top defense across the board in 2012, Denver could add to that late in the first round.


Heading into the second season of The Peyton Manning Experience, the Broncos have few question marks on either side of the ball. They finished third in both rushing and passing yards allowed in 2012, and were able to score with relative ease throughout the season. Due to their success, the Broncos select late in the 2012 draft at No. 28. Most experts agree that Denver will look for help on defense, though few agree which player will provide that help.

ESPN's Mel Kuiper Jr. has the Broncos taking cornerback Xavier Rhodes from Florida State, according to Bill Williamson. Denver has an aging Champ Bailey and a newly acquired Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and could use depth at the position. Rhodes was a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award, given to the nation's top defensive back. He started all but five of Florida State's games in his three seasons as a Seminole en route to being First Team All-ACC in his junior year.

With a look around the rest of the Mock-O-Sphere, it appears a bit of a stretch for the Broncos to get Rhodes. Most writers have the corner off the board in the first 12 picks, with some as high as No. 6. One of those writers is SB Nation's Matthew Fairburn, who agrees that Denver will stay on the defensive side of the ball with the 28th pick. But Matthew has them adding linebacker Alec Ogletree, the speedy linebacker from Georgia. Ogletree can work sideline-to-sideline, notes Fairburn, and can complement a linebacking corps that already features the ludicrous Von Miller.

Whether Rhodes slips late into the first round or not, the Broncos should continue to add depth to a defense that was among their many strengths last season.

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