The majority of the 2012 NFL Draft order will be set at the end of the day on Jan. 1, and the Denver Broncos will know whether they will pick among the non-playoff teams or if they will need to wait until a playoff run ends to determine if the selection will be in the 20s or 30s.
Before Sunday's loss to the Buffalo Bills, the Broncos were still selecting at No. 23 in most mock drafts. Draft Tek had to run two different mock drafts earlier in the week once USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley announced his return to school for a senior year. However, neither draft projection forced the Broncos to look elsewhere for a defensive tackle. Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still is selected both times for Denver.
Here is an excerpt of what Scott Nelson had to write in his blurb:
While I admit I'd prefer to look in other directions here (LaMichael James or Vontaze Burfict anyone?), the Broncos could do much worse than taking the 2011 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Lineman of the Year.
Either would appear to be a good fit for the Broncos as well. Burfict could replace Joe Mays in the middle of the linebacker corps. While Mays has proven effective, Burfict is perhaps the top linebacker in the draft should he come out and would form an outstanding trio with Von Miller and D.J. Williams (provided the latter is still with the team).
James would help the Broncos establish an even stronger ground game. Willis McGahee has found new life as a 30-year-old back, but we've seen over the last few weeks of the season that he is still an injury risk.