Yesterday began the first ever SB Nation Arizona mock draft. The Carolina Panthers selected Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, and that got a pretty even reaction across the board. The grade that readers gave the pick was almost split between an A, B, C or D. The pick is a risky one, but Newton has the highest ceiling with his size and skillset.
Now the Denver Broncos are set to make their selection. They were so bad that they were beaten last year by Cardinals kicker Jay Feely 25-14 (the entire Arizona team put up another 18 points en route to a 43-14 victory). As such, it would be pretty hard to make a bad pick, except maybe a quarterback, as they drafted Tim Tebow in the first round in 2010. Will they go with cornerback Patrick Peterson, Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller, Georgia receiver A.J. Green or any one of the talented defensive linemen rated near the top of the draft?
SBN AZ editor Cory Williams represents the Broncos with the second pick in the draft. Here is his selection:
Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
Denver had a disaster of a season in 2010, and it was mostly because the defense couldn't stop anyone. With that knowledge in mind, the Broncos will look to develop their defense, and there's no better way to do that than to draft an excellent athlete to play linebacker for your team.
Von Miller has exactly what the Broncos need -- speed and an insatiable desire to make tackles. Miller clocked in at 4.49 seconds in the 40-yard dash at Texas A&M's pro day last week, and also had 68 tackles in 13 games for the Aggies in 2010. Most impressively, 47 of those tackles came in Big 12 play.
Miller will be an integral part of the newly formidable Broncos linebacker corps, joining D.J. Williams and Elvis Dumervil to plug the running lanes and allow superstar cornerback Champ Bailey to be more effective in the secondary.
Seriously, Denver could pick Miller or Marcell Dareus out of Alabama. Either way, the team will benefit from picking up a young, talented defensive player come draft day.
Scott Howard and the Buffalo Bills are on the clock!
2011 SBN AZ Mock Draft recap:
1- Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
2- Denver Broncos: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M