Broncos (10): DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia
It’s a rare occurrence when Mel Kiper and Todd McShay agree on a mock draft pick, and this probably won’t last forever when they release later iterations.
ESPN’s top two draft analysts have bucked the trend of the Broncos picking Lock by having the Broncos fill a position of need with one of the best defenders in the draft.
They both consider the Broncos to be in desperate need of upgrading the cornerback position with Bradley Roby set to become a free agent, and Chris Harris Jr. coming off of a broken leg.
Baker is considered to be the second best corner in the draft behind Greedy Williams and could make an immediate impact on any team
The Georgia Bulldogs star finished his career with seven total interceptions, two forced fumbles, 23 passes defensed, and 116 tackles.
Those numbers may not seem that high for someone who started as a sophomore, but when you compare the 2017 and 2018 seasons with the stats of Greedy Williams, Baker was just as productive as Williams if not more so in some categories.
Williams could go before the Broncos pick at 10, but the Broncos won’t complain if Baker falls to them.
How does Baker fit with the Broncos?
Yes, the Broncos need a franchise quarterback badly. They also need to plug some gaping holes on defense to make sure whoever that quarterback is has a chance to win a game without going into a shootout every Sunday.
Chris Harris Jr. carried the Broncos secondary all year in 2018 with little-to-no help from Bradley Roby, who was promoted to the starting role after the Broncos traded Aqib Talib.
Now, CHJ is coming off of a broken leg and will turn 30 later this year, which is considered “middle-aged” in football years.
Bringing in a guy like Baker would give the Broncos a player that can not only play right away but could make an immediate impact.
Baker played in one of the toughest divisions in college football and succeeded as one of the top corners in the country.
Drafting Baker would fill one of the Broncos’ biggest needs while still getting one of the best defenders in the draft without reaching.
Who was still available?
In Kiper’s mock, players like Devin White, Cody Ford, Jonah Williams, and Greedy Williams were long gone before the Broncos picked at 10.
However, quarterbacks Drew Lock and Kyler Murray are still there — in fact, Kiper doesn’t have Lock going in the first round at all and has Duke’s Daniel Jones going ahead of him.
Other players the Broncos could have considered in this mock are Jawaan Taylor OT, Ed Oliver DT, and Greg Little OT.
As for McShay’s mock, White and Cody Ford are still on the board when the Broncos pick at 10 along with Murray and Lock.
McShay doesn’t have Lock drafted in the first round either.