A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
The Broncos need to land a QB in this draft, but Goff, Wentz, and Lynch are all off the board, and no other signal callers are really worthy of being picked at this spot.
Lucky for the Broncos, John Elway is smart. He knows that it was his defense, and not his QB that won Super Bowl 50. That defense returns almost entirely intact (with the exception of DL Malik Jackson and ILB Danny Trevathan) and should have the Broncos in position to compete for the AFC title once again, even if Mark "Butt Fumble" Sanchez winds up starting for them. Even the Sanchize can't have a higher interception rate than Peyton Manning did in the regular season last year.
So, with no signal callers here worth taking, Elway opts to see which QB's fall to them in rounds 2 and 3, and instead uses this pick on the best player available, who also happens to fill the behemoth-sized hole that Malik Jackson's defection created along their D-Line. Ladies and Gents, I give you Alabama DL, A'Shawn Robinson.
At 6'3, 307lbs, Robinson is an elite athlete for his position. He's big and strong, and can move extremely well for a guy his size. He was a 2-year starter for a nasty defense at Alabama, proving himself in the toughest conference in college football, and earning first team All-SEC, and All-American, as well as being named a finalist for the Outland Trophy.
But don't just take my word for it. Here's what the experts have to say about Robinson.
Charlie Campbell of Walterfootball.com:
In speaking with sources, they say that Robinson has a ton of natural talent, and if weren't for his lack of consistency, he would be in contention for the No. 1-overall pick. Robinson has a rare combination of size, strength and quickness. He can fire by blockers, run them over, and is very tough to move at the point of attack. There were plays where Robinson demonstrated serious power to bully offensive linemen around.
In the pass rush, Robinson has the ability to fire his gap. He can use strength to shed blocks and can close quickly on the quarterback. He just has to get far more consistent. There were pass plays where he would get caught up in the line and seemed to get stuck in the trash. Robinson could use more refinement of pass-rushing moves. It would be nice to see him use a rip or club move.
Robinson is very tough as a run defender. He fills his gap and is very hard to move at the line of scrimmage. Robinson eats up his block and prevents holes from opening up. As a nose tackle, he should immediately be a good run defender in the NFL.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com:
Body beautiful for an interior lineman. Well proportioned with powerful, treetrunk legs make it tough to move him off the spot. Has boom in his punch and dislodges guards and centers if they try and wait on him. Pure power to toss a one-on-one block aside. Athletic enough to give reasonable chase to the ball. Well schooled in using length to stuff cut blocks. Has frame and length to eat blocks and allow linebackers to run free. Heavy tackler. Running backs do not break his tackles and he rarely fails to finish when he's locked in on his target. Able to generate pocket push when he gets it cranked up as a pass rusher. Boss man in the locker room and in practice helping to hold teammates accountable. Has brute force to match NFL power immediately.
David Brugler of CBSSports.com:
Big-boned frame with proportionate thickness throughout. Powerful core and limbs to control the point of attack and stack-and-shed. Smooth athleticism with the lateral range to mirror and scrape down the line of scrimmage in pursuit. Hip flexibility and body control to work tight spaces. Shows the ability to lock out, press the hole and make stops in the gap.
Plays with shock in his hands to work through the trash. Can sink and drive his lower body to create separation from blocks or push the pocket. Strong ball awareness and backfield vision to recognize things quickly. Uses his big hands and long arms to knock the ball down at the line of scrimmage. Drawing constant double-teams and keep blockers busy.
Not convinced yet? Check out his highlight video. Keep your eyes on #86:
Now it's not all sunshine and rainbows for Robinson. There are some concerns about him, such as lack of consistency and effort on certain plays. He also needs to refine his arsenal of pass-rush moves in order to be effective in that area at the next level. But if anyone can coach these flaws out of Robinson, it's Wade Phillips, who should be ecstatic that the Broncos were able to acquire such a tremendous physical talent at the bottom of the first round.
Bottom line: Robinson's floor is that of a solid, two-gapping five-technique who is strong against the run and provides the occasional big play as a pass-rusher. His ceiling is as a dominant run defender who can take on and beat double teams as a pass-rusher (think Marcel Dareus). He is a top-10 talent that the Broncos are extraordinarily lucky to be able to acquire at this juncture, and he'll be a force next to Derek Wolfe and Sylvester Williams for years to come.
2016 BGN Mock Draft Order
1) Titans (ablesser88) - Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss - [Explanation]
2) Browns ( Genius) - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State - [Explanation]
3) Chargers (StoneColeKiller58) - Jared Goff, QB, Cal - [Explanation]
4) Cowboys (kamjam) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State - [Explanation]
5) Jaguars (drc242) - Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State - [Explanation]
6) Ravens (rohan915) - DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon - [Explanation]
7) 49ers (LAOJoe) - Myles Jack, LB, UCLA - [Explanation]
8) Eagles (slickpablovick) - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame - [Explanation]
9) Buccaneers (OneBucFan47) - Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky - [Explanation]
10) Giants (Paulie97) - Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida - [Explanation]
11) Bears (Kiko's Delivery Service) - Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State - [Explanation]
12) Saints (kylebruneault) - Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson - [Explanation]
13) Dolphins (wildcatlh) - Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State - [Explanation]
14) Raiders (Luxury_Used_Vehicles_By_Braman) - Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State - [Explanation]
15) Rams (NowWhat?) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis - [Explanation]
16) Lions (bri g) - Jason Sprigs, OT, Indiana - [Explanation]
17) Falcons (thealien2696) - Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State - [Explanation]
18) Colts (ei78) - Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame - [Explanation]
19) Bills (naderg43) - Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville - [Explanation]
20) Jets (Quacking_Eagle) - Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia - [Explanation]
21) Washington (TheCoxishere) - Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama - [Explanation]
22) Texans (jeppsforst) - Josh Doctson, WR, TCU - [Explanation]
23) Vikings (WScott151) - Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss - [Explanation]
24) Bengals (burkhart_b) - Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor - [Explanation]
25) Steelers (theaction) - Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia - [Explanation]
26) Seahawks (tfrank9811) - Le'Raven Clark, OT, Texas Tech - [Explanation]
27) Packers (sports00fan00) - Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama - [Explanation]
28) Chiefs (jawmo) - William Jackson III, CB, Houston - [Explanation]
N/A) Patriots - Cheaters
29) Cardinals (big DUB) - Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson - [Explanation]
30) Panthers (zatch2k) - Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State - [Explanation]
31) Broncos (JALupowitz) - A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama - [Explanation]