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2011 NFL Mock Drafts: Broncos Focusing On Defense, Prospects Marcell Dareus, Patrick Peterson Ranked Highly

During yesterday's Denver Broncos press conference, John Elway stressed the need to increase the amount of talent on roster and to improve the defense. Those two notions go hand-in-hand, so it is highly likely that the Broncos will use the No. 2 overall draft pick on a defensive player. Mock drafts have been doing that for weeks already.

Chad Reuter at updates his mock draft and goes with LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson as the selection because Champ Bailey is unlikely to return. Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers goes fourth to the Cincinnati Bengals, a player the Broncos will also have interest in should he declare for the draft (and that seems all but assured right now). Two surprising selections are putting Auburn QB Cameron Newton at No. 3 to the Buffalo Bills and Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert at No. 7 to the San Francisco 49ers. Newton has had a great season, but it far from a sure thing to select third overall. Gabbert's performance against Iowa in the Insight Bowl demonstrated why he should not have come out, though he has already declared for the draft.

Rob Rang, also of, has an updated mock draft and goes in a bit of a different direction for the Broncos. He finds Alabama's Marcell Dareus "a logical candidate to build a defense around" no matter the team's defensive scheme. A 6-foot-4, 306-pound defensive tackle, Dareus had 11 tackles for a loss (41 yards) and 4.5 sacks in 2010. In 2009, he had 6.5 sacks. This is one of the first mocks to deviate from a Peterson or Da'Quan Bowers selection, but one that certainly would provide an infusion of talent to the defense.