2020 NFL Mock Draft: Sifting through the pre-draft noise
Ruggs has been a popular pick here. It feels like every mock drafter has him at this spot. But if he’s off the board, the Broncos may wait until later to grab a receiver. And instead, they may focus on shoring up Vic Fangio’s defense ahead of his second season.
The Broncos don’t have a lot at the linebacker position. Alexander Johnson, a 2018 undrafted free agent, has emerged as a solid tackler. And former fourth-round pick Josey Jewell falls into that boat as well. But a three-down playmaker for the middle of their 3-4? That’s something that they lack.
If the Broncos want to upgrade that position, they could look to do it with a guy like Kenneth Murray. The Oklahoma product is the best linebacker in the draft and could appeal to Fangio because of his instinctive play.
Murray is fast. He’s athletic. He’s aggressive, at some points, to a fault. But the man loves football and was extremely productive for the Sooners, notching at least 102 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, and four sacks in each of the past two seasons.
Murray would be able to start in place of either Johnson or Jewell. He’d hold up well enough in coverage to stay on the field all three downs and when paired with Denver’s strong pass rush, he could have a big impact. He should clean up the middle of the field, help stop the run, and create a lot of opportunities for big plays.
Ruggs will be an option if on the board here. So would Jeudy. And the team could trade up. But if they stay put and the receivers are gone, don’t be surprised to hear Murray’s name called. He could fill one of the few needs that the Broncos have as they look to emerge in a tough division as playoff competitors in 2020.