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Mystery Mockster's 9 pick Broncos draft starts with Muma

It won't be easy for the Broncos to have a good draft after trading away picks No. 9 and 40 for Russell Wilson. But the Mystery Mockster gets the job done, anyhow.
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Wyoming's Chad Muma runs during an NCAA football game against Texas State on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 in San Marcos, Texas. Wyoming won 23-14. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — It was nice knowing you, Devin Lloyd and Carson Strong.

The Utah linebacker and Nevada quarterback looked great on tape back in late-January, when Mike’s Mystery Mockster published his first 2022 mock draft for the Broncos.

But adjustments had to be made. The Mystery Mockster had no problem with Broncos’ general manager George Paton surrendering picks No. 9 (Lloyd) and 40 (Strong) to Seattle in exchange for Russell Wilson, who at 33 years old is still one of the top 5 to 10 quarterbacks in the league.

Still, not having those No. 9 and 40 picks does hurt. It’s now unlikely the Broncos will have a great draft. Not when 63 players go off the board before they pick at No. 64. But if Paton, top assistant Darren Mougey and coach Nathaniel Hackett follow the suggestions made by the Mystery Mockster, the Broncos can still have a productive draft.

Here are the 9 selections – and yes, No. 234 is the Broncos’ ninth and final pick – the Mystery Mockster made on the Broncos’ behalf for the 2022 NFL Draft:

Round 2: No. 64

Chad Muma, ILB, Wyoming, 6-3 241

With Baron Browning getting a look at outside linebacker and the Broncos projected inside linebacker starters on short term deals, inside linebacker will be a priority on Day 2 of the draft. Muma, a product of Legend High School in Parker, is an excellent prospect with near perfect technique and enough athleticism to be a 3-down backer at the next level.

Credit: AP
Oklahoma outside linebacker Nik Bonitto participates in a drill at an NCAA college football pro day, Wednesday, March 9, 2022, in Norman, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Other Option:

Nik Bonitto, edge, 6-3, 248

In the deepest edge-rush class in years, Paton will strongly consider adding depth with this quick and versatile outside linebacker. Broncos are hoping starters Bradley Chubb and newly signed Randy Gregory can be healthy for all 17 games this year but history says they better get second wave reinforcements. Malik Reed is a very good No. 3 outside linebacker who winds up in the starting lineup more times than not.

Troy Anderson, ILB, Montana State, 6-4 235

Anderson has been shooting up draft boards. This small-school, do-it-all linebacker was a sleeper prospect a few months ago but now may end up in the second round due to his amazing athletic skills.

Credit: AP
Colorado State tight end Trey McBride runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine, Thursday, March 3, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Bonus Option: 

Trey McBride, TE, CSU, 6-4, 260

If he’s there at No. 64 – there’s no way he will be, but if for some reason he is – the Broncos should not hesitate to take him. Another local high school (Fort Morgan) and college (Colorado State) product, the John Mackey Award winner would be a perfect fit for Hackett’s new offense. Predictions have McBride going anywhere from the end of the first round to middle of the second. But if the best tight end in this draft starts to slip, perhaps Paton will consider trading up a few spots, then run to the podium.

Round 3: No. 75 

Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington State, 6-7 332

Mike – not necessarily Mike’s Mystery Mockster – wouldn’t be surprised if Paton trades back from this spot – as he did twice last year with the No. 71 overall selection – in order to get an extra pick. Paton likes to have 10 draft picks so he needs to trade back somewhere to make it happen.

But mysterious as Mike’s Mockster may be, he or she only deals with present moment absolutes. In a deep offensive tackle class, Lucas could slip into the third round and become the Broncos future right tackle.

Other Option:

Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa, 6-6 332

Smith is exactly the type of O-line prospect the Broncos seem to be interested in -- athletic and versatile. There is a lot of buzz around Smith but the Mockster’s hope is either Lucas or Smith fall into the third round.

Credit: AP
Houston's Marcus Jones (8) in action during the second half of an NCAA college football against Temple, Nov. 13, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Round 3: No. 96 (from Rams)

Marcus Jones CB/Returner, Houston, 5-8 185 

The Broncos will be looking for cornerback depth in this draft and not only will Jones challenge for playing time as a slot corner, he will also be the starting returner from Day 1.

Other Option:

Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati, 6-1 191

Maybe it’s because Bryant’s teammate, Sauce, gets all the headlines, but it was Bryant who won the Jim Thorpe award. Bryant is going to make a fine pro and should be available in the third round.

Credit: AP
Arizona State running back Rachaad White runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine, Friday, March 4, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Round 4: No. 115

Rachaad White, RB, Arizona State, 6-1 214

Rushed for 1,005 yards on 5.5 yards a carry, and added 43 catches for another 456 yards for the Sun Devils last season. A two-time college transfer – which isn’t all that unusual any more -- White’s speed and pass catching ability would make him a perfect complement to Javonte Williams.

Other Option:

Pierre Strong, RB, South Dakota State, 5-11 205

An FCS star, Strong has starter potential at the next level.

Bonus Option:

James Cook, RB, Georgia, 5-11 190

As predicted in January, Cook’s all-around skill set has him flying up draft boards. If the Broncos covet the Mockster’s favorite back, they will need to spend a day 2 pick or trade up.

Credit: AP
National Team tight end Jeremy Ruckert of Ohio State runs through drills during practice for the Reese's Senior Bowl Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Round 4: No. 116 (from Seahawks)

Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State, 6-5 250

The Broncos have a pass-catching tight end (Albert Okwuegbunam) and inline blocking tight end (Eric Tomlinson). Now they need a guy who can do both and Ruckert may be that guy. Not a huge pass catching threat in college, but Ruckert has the physical attributes to contribute early in his NFL career.

Other Option:

Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State, 6-6 256

Kolar may not be the best athlete in this draft but his size and toughness could make him both a pass catching threat as well as a capable blocker.

Credit: AP
Miami defensive back Bubba Bolden runs the 40-yard dash at the NFL football scouting combine, Sunday, March 6, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Round 5: No. 145 (from Lions)

Bubba Bolden, S, Miami, 6-3 206

An athletic safety with big-hit potential. Bolden could learn from K-Jack for a year before taking on a more prominent role.

Other Option:

Smoke Monday, S, Auburn, 6-2 206

A really good safety with an even better name.

Credit: AP
Western Michigan quarterback Kaleb Eleby runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine, Thursday, March 3, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Round 6: 206 (from Eagles)

Kaleb Eleby, QB Western Michigan. 6-1 215

Broncos may be in the market for a developmental QB and Eleby would be a nice choice. Eleby isn’t going to wow anyone with his size or arm strength, but his leadership ability and intangibles make him an interesting late-round sleeper.

Other Option:

E.J. Perry, QB, Brown, 6-1 210

Another smart, high character guy. Perry is projected to be a RPO threat at the next level.

Credit: AP
SMU wide receiver Danny Gray runs the 40-yard dash at the NFL football scouting combine, Thursday, March 3, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Round 7: No. 232

Danny Gray, WR, SMU, 6-2 199

Gray has elite speed and would provide the Broncos with a great downfield weapon, especially if K.J. Hamler isn’t 100 percent at the start of the season.

Other Option:

Tyquan Thornton, WR, Baylor, 6-3 182

Another burner, Thornton was brought in for a top 30 visit by the Broncos staff.

Credit: AP
West punter Ryan Stonehouse, of Colorado State, (13) punts the ball against the East during the East West Shrine Bowl football game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Doug Benc)

Round 7; No. 234 (from Lions)

Ryan Stonehouse, P, CSU, 5-11, 180

The Broncos used the No. 234 selection twice before – and took Miami of Ohio quarterback Zac Dysert in 2013 and Arizona halfback Walt Mince in 1962. Stonehouse was one of the very best punters in the nation and could provide stiff competition for Sam Martin, a top 10 punter in both performance and pay.

Other Option:

Jordan Stout, P, Penn State, 6-3 209.

With Matt (Punt God) Araiza going off the board in the mid rounds, Stonehouse and Stout are the next best bets.

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