ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– With the Senior Bowl in the books, many of the top prospects have either seen their draft stock improve or fall. So, how does the Senior Bowl affect the way the experts believe the Denver Broncos will pick in the first round?
K’Lavon Chaisson – 6-4, 250 lbs., Sophomore – Outside Linebacker – LSU
Stats: 34 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble
CBS Sports Prospect Rank: 20, Position Rank: 4
What they said (Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports) “Von Miller will be 31 next year and has two years left on his deal, and Bradley Chubb is rehabbing from an ACL injury that limited him to just four games last season. The Broncos have a big need at wide receiver, but this class is so incredibly deep that they can find quality players in subsequent rounds. There are far fewer quality edge rushers and Chaisson is among them.”
Why this pick makes sense: Broncos General Manager John Elway has a history of selecting defenders in the first round. Since 2011, Elway has drafted a defensive player in five of eight first round selections. Chaisson would also give Denver a boost in the sacks department as they were tied for 17th in the NFL with 40 sacks.
Tee Higgins – 6-4, 215 lbs., Junior – Wide Receiver – Clemson
Stats: 59 receptions, 1,167 yards, 13 touchdowns
CBS Sports Prospect Rank: 14, Position Rank: 3
What they said (Bucky Brooks, NFL.com) “Adding another jump-ball specialist to the WR corps will accelerate Drew Lock’s growth as a franchise quarterback.”
Why this pick makes sense: The Broncos need help at wide receiver and grabbing Higgins would give the team another wide receiver to pair with Courtland Sutton. After Sutton’s 72 catch season, the next leader in catches was running back Royce Freeman 43 receptions.
Henry Ruggs III – 6-0, 190 lbs., Junior – Wide Receiver – Alabama
Stats: 40 receptions, 746 yards, 7 TDs
CBS Sports Prospect Rank: 17, Position Rank: 4
What they said (Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN) “Does Denver have its quarterback of the future? Second-round pick Drew Lock, who flashed in his late-season cameo, has given Broncos fans hope, and he’ll get every opportunity to start all 16 games in 2020. So, let’s help him out and give him the draft’s fastest pass-catcher to pair with Courtland Sutton, who looks like he could be a future superstar. Ruggs took a step forward as a route runner this season, but his game is all about speed — he can run by any defensive back.”
Why this move makes sense: Henry Ruggs III has the game-breaking speed, which is sorely lacking in the Broncos offense. Pairing him up with the bigger Courtland Sutton will give Denver a legit one-two punch at the wide receiver position.