Russell Wilson has Denver in the playoff conversation, but they need to complete their roster. Let’s look at the Broncos’ 2022 NFL Mock Draft.

Denver’s acquisition of Wilson has fans dreaming of the Lombardi Trophy. And while they included three of their picks in this year’s draft in the package for Wilson, the Broncos still have plenty of draft capital to fill the remaining holes on their roster. This mock draft was conducted using PFF’s Mock Draft Simulator.

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R2/64th pick: LB Brian Asamoah, Oklahoma

The Broncos have to wait for the final pick of the second round to make their first selection. The wait is worth it. Denver picks up one of the draft’s most athletic interior linebackers in Asamoah. The former Sooner ran a 4.56 40-yard dash at the combine, and his instinctual, twitchy style of play fits an increasing trend at the position. Asamoah’s 89 tackles and two forced fumbles led to a second-team All-Big 12 selection in his final season at Norman. His aggressiveness at the point of attack and sideline-to-sideline speed will make him a nice compliment to Josey Jewell.

At 6 feet, 226 pounds, Asamoah is undersized for his position. While he can shoot gaps with his quickness, if he’s late, he can be erased by a pulling lineman. He relies on his aggressiveness to make impact plays, but play actions and misdirections can get him out of position.

The inside linebacker spot was a revolving door for Denver last year due to injuries, and Kenny Young and Alexander Johnson are both free agents. At best, Asamoah slots in beside Jewell at the start of the year. At worst, he’s a sub-package player who can contribute on special teams. The Broncos steal an instant impact player with the 64th pick.

TRADE: Giants Receive: R3/75 Broncos Receive: R3/81, R5/147, ’23 R5

The Broncos get two fifth-round picks for moving back six spots in the 3rd round. No brainer.

R3/81st pick: CB Marcus Jones, Houston

Jones gives the Broncos a much-needed option at the slot corner position. Patrick Surtain II, Ronald Darby, and Michael Ojemudia can all more than hold their own on the outside, but without Bryce Callahan, they need help in the slot. Jones gives them just that. His smooth hips are perfect for the inside, and though just 5’8″, he loves getting dirty in the run game. And if that’s not enough, Jones was the best returner in college football last year. He had 6 return touchdowns in his career at Houston.

Even for a slot corner, his size can be an issue. And though a prototypical interior corner, he lined up on the perimeter more than three times as often as he did in the slot last season. It might take some time for him to perfect his technique.

The Broncos get a high upside slot corner who adds value by becoming their return man on day one.

R3/91st pick: C Luke Fortner, Kentucky

Denver has a pretty solid starting offensive line on paper. But plug-and-play backups are essential in the interior, where injuries are all but guaranteed. Fortner offers flexibility, as he played over 600 snaps each at right guard, center, and left guard throughout his collegiate career. While the Broncos have solid interior depth with Lloyd Cushenberry, Graham Glasgow, Quinn Meinerz, Dalton Risner, and Netane Muti, Glasgow is likely entering his final season in Denver, and Cushenberry has had an up-and-down first two years. Fortner could develop into a starter at any of the three interior line positions in 2023.

He probably won’t see the field much this season, but Fortner is a good long-term investment due to his positional flexibility and leadership characteristics.

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R4/115th pick: DL Matthew Butler, Tennessee

Butler is coming off a productive season for an underwhelming Volunteers team. His 47.5 tackles, 8.5 TFL, and five sacks were all career highs. He’d slot into a rotational role in Denver’s defensive line immediately. Butler would likely be used as a three technique in Ed Donatell’s 3-4 defensive scheme, but he could line up at the nose in passing situations. He’s a little undersized at 295 pounds, and he got pushed around at times, particularly against Georgia’s mammoth o-line. But outside of free agent signee D.J. Jones, defensive line snaps are up for grabs for the Broncos, and Butler could see action quickly.

R4/116th pick: EDGE Sam Williams, Ole Miss

Yes, the Broncos need more edge help. Even after signing Randy Gregory, questions about durability linger at that position, as he and Bradley Chubb have combined to play just one full season. Williams had a school record 12.5 sacks in 2021, leading to first-team All-SEC honors. He comes in as a pure pass rusher, as he has struggled against the run.

R5/145th pick: CB Cordale Flott, LSU

You can never have enough corners, especially in the AFC West. Flott feels like a steal in the fifth round. He was overshadowed at times at LSU by teammate Derek Stingley Jr., but he got plenty of reps against top-tier SEC receivers when Stingley missed time due to injury. Flott is long and fast, and figures to feature primarily on the outside in the NFL. But he’s a bit raw, and at 175 pounds, he needs to fill out quickly.

R5/147th pick: HB ZaQuandre White, South Carolina

This may change if the Broncos decide to bring back Melvin Gordon. But with Gordon currently a free agent, Denver needs someone to spell Javonte Williams occasionally. That’s where White comes in. While he’s not even the Gamecocks highest-rated running back in the draft, he has perfect backup capabilities. His explosiveness and one-cut tendencies make him a big play threat, and he can break tackles – White ran for 557 yards in 2021, 410 of which came after contact. He’s a little stiff in pass protection and needs to develop his hands, but he has low mileage, and he’s a capable spell back at the NFL level.

R6/206th pick: TE Daniel Bellinger, San Diego State

Noah Fant was part of the package sent to Seattle for Russell Wilson, and while Albert Okwuegbunam has shown flashes of being a dynamic pass catcher, he has struggled to stay on the field at times. The Broncos’ other tight end option is Eric Tomlinson, who has 18 career receptions. Bellinger offers a solid, if not unexciting backup option in the passing game. He has good hands and has shown he can get open against zone coverage. He’s not going to beat you down the field but his 6’5″, 253 pound frame can inhale contested catches over the short middle of the field.

R7, 232nd pick: P Matt Araiza, San Diego State

Nothing more exciting than your team drafting a punter right? OK, it’s not exactly sexy, but this punter is different. Last year’s Ray Guy award winner as the best collegiate punter hit 18 punts over 60 yards, and two over 80. Yes, 80. This also allows the Broncos to cut current punter Sam Martin, saving over $2 million in cap room. It’s the seventh round, so finding a guy who can be a franchise player at the position makes this the best draft you could ask for…right?

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PFF Grade: B+

There you have it, the Denver Broncos 2022 NFL Mock Draft. This draft is mostly about depth, as Denver has a lot of starters already in place. But the Broncos address their biggest needs while not reaching on any prospects – fine, maybe the punter. But just wait till he hits one out of the stadium in the Mile High air.