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Candidates for the Broncos' No. 5 pick

After months of preparation and player research, the NFL Draft is just 2 weeks away.
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KUSA — KUSA – Here’s a top 5 mock draft that may not go the way the Broncos would like:

1. Browns, Josh Allen

2. Bills (trade with Giants), Sam Darnold

3. Jets, Baker Mayfield

4. Browns, Saquon Barkley

5. Broncos, Josh Rosen/Quenton Nelson/Trade back

In some ways, the Broncos have more player options at No. 5 than the Browns do at No. 1. The Browns must take who they believe is the best quarterback. For the Broncos, at least two quarterbacks will be gone by the time they’re on the clock with the No. 5 overall selection, and maybe three. The top non-quarterback player, and maybe the top two, maybe be gone by No. 5.

It seems No. 5 could be viewed as a so-close, yet so-far-away position. It’s also a slot where the possibilities are many. A look at some candidates the Broncos would consider either with their No. 5 draft pick, or a few spots later in the first round:

Josh Allen throws a pass under pressure from the Colorado State Rams defense during the first quarter at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Fort Collins. Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images.

Josh Allen, Quarterback, Wyoming

This would be my No. 1 pick because he has once-every-two-generation-type physical talent. Yes, he is probably the fifth or sixth best quarterback in this class right now. Accuracy and ability to process reads are concerning. He might not develop as I think he would.

But I’d show faith in his coaches and his ability to learn with that 37 Wonderlic score of his.

Sam Darnold runs from Tyquan Lewis #59 of the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second half of the 82nd Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic between USC and Ohio State at AT&T Stadium on December 29, 2017. Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images.

Sam Darnold, Quarterback, USC

Most view him as the most complete quarterback. Turnovers and an elongated release are a concern.

Doesn’t turn 21 until June, which is a major plus, although there was thought he should have returned to play his redshirt junior season for the Trojans.

Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Baker Mayfield, Quarterback, Oklahoma

Case Keenum’s honeymoon period in Denver would end the night of April 26 if, say, the Jets took Rosen at No. 3, leaving Mayfield for the Broncos at No. 5.

The Broncos will have dinner with Mayfield on Monday night, then visit with him at team headquarters Tuesday.

It will be their fourth significant, offseason meeting with the Heisman Trophy winner. They also spent several days with Mayfield at the Senior Bowl in late-January, had a 15-minute formal interview with him at the NFL Combine in early-March, and watched his Pro Day workout in Norman, Okla. In mid-March.

And the Broncos brass loved the playmaking skills he showed on tape before they got to know him.

Josh Rosen passes as Dante Wigley of the Colorado Buffaloes defends during the first half of a game at the Rose Bowl on September 30, 2017 in Pasadena, California. Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images.  

Josh Rosen, Quarterback, UCLA

Considered the best pocket passer among the Big 4 draftable quarterbacks and therefore the most NFL-ready. He also has an edge to his personality the Broncos like. It’s maybe not Mayfield’s over-the-top edge, but Rosen has demonstrated a bite during his draft interview process.

Having him sit as a rookie, though, would be time wasted. If he’s the only quarterback of the Big 4 remaining by the time the Broncos pick at No. 5, I wouldn’t be surprised if they trade back with a team that is willing to move up to get Rosen.

Saquon Barkley walks on the field during the second half of the Playstation Fiesta Bowl against the Washington Huskies at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 30, 2017. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

Saquon Barkley, Running Back, Penn State

Ever since the value of running backs reached bottom in 2013 and 2014, when zero ball carriers were taken in the first round, there has been a run of franchise running backs taken high in the first round.

Todd Gurley in 2015. Ezekiel Elliott in 2016. Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey in 2017.

Barkley in 2018.

The Browns haven’t had a 1,000-yard rusher since Peyton Hillis in 2010. All projections have the Browns not bypassing their obvious need and taking Barkley with one of their top two picks.

But if somehow Barkley slipped to No. 5, the Broncos would have a difficult time passing him up – although they might because this is considered the deepest running back classes in years.

Notre Dame offensive lineman Quenton Nelson in action during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 2, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images.

Quenton Nelson, Guard, Notre Dame

Sometimes, it takes courage to take the safe choice. John Elway has guts, but they’re known to churn in a swashbuckling manner.

The Broncos agree with everyone else that Nelson is a once-every-decade guard. Problem is, guard is considered one of the game’s less-valued positions. You’d like to pick a game-changer at No. 5 but as they say, sometimes the pursuit of greatness is the enemy of good. Something like that.

Denzel Ward #12 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates an interception against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the first half during the Big Ten Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 2, 2017. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images.

Denzel Ward, Cornerback, Ohio State

It’s really not Bradley Roby who replaces Aqib Talib. It’s Tramaine Brock.

Ward is considered the best pure corner in this draft as Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick is a tweener between corner and safety.

Corner is a more valued position than running back or guard. It’s possible the No. 5 slot would be considered too rich for Ward, but the Broncos probably couldn’t trade more than three or four spots back and expect to get him.

Credit: Harry How/Getty Images
Baker Mayfield looks to avoid a sack by linebacker Roquan Smith of the Georgia Bulldogs at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2018.

Roquan Smith, Linebacker, Georgia

Tremaine Edmunds, Linebacker, Virginia Tech

The Broncos want a 3-4 inside linebacker within the first five rounds of this draft. Edmunds can run and could be an inside Will on first down, outside rusher on third down. This position would likely come into play if the Broncos trade back from No. 5.

Calvin Ridley celebrates a reception for a touchdown in the first quarter of the AllState Sugar Bowl against the Clemson Tigers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images.

Calvin Ridley, Wide Receiver, Alabama

Courtland Sutton, Wide Receiver, SMU

I believe adding a young receiver to the Demaryius Thomas/Emmanuel Sanders mix is the Broncos’ No. 1 need.

Problem is, this is not a strong, first-round class so a receiver would come into play only if the Broncos trade back.

Minkah Fitzpatrick of the Alabama Crimson Tide defends against Colorado State at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 16, 2017 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.

Bradley Chubb, Defensive End/Linebacker, North Carolina State

Minkah Fitzpatrick, Defensive Back, Alabama

The Broncos have taken enough Chubb-type players in the top two rounds in DeMarcus Walker and Shane Ray – although both players must come on in 2018. And with the addition of Su’a Cravens to a group that includes Darian Stewart, Justin Simmons and Will Parks, the Broncos are set at safety if that’s what they view as Fitzpatrick’s best position.

Bradley Chubb of the North Carolina State Wolfpack reacts after a win against the North Carolina Tar Heels on November 25, 2017 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images.

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