Theory: The Denver Broncos are about to trade up, draft Ryan Shazier (Update)

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With rumors swirling just hours before the Denver Broncos are supposed to pick in the NFL Draft, a new picture of what might happen tonight is starting to take shape.

The team needs an inside linebacker, that’s no secret, but likely won’t get either elite prospect (C.J. Mosley or Ryan Shazier) at No. 31. Therefore, I fully expect the Broncos to try to trade up, somewhere in the late teens or early 20s and snag Shazier.

The thought process…

  • The Broncos likely won’t have seven roster spots available for rookies, so giving up draft picks later in the draft makes sense. With Quanterus Smith expected to make the team this year, Denver’s fine with only adding four or five guys in this draft, so as to not have to relegate this year’s rookies to the practice squad or let them go all together.
  • Since Eric Decker, Knowshon Moreno and Zane Beadles all left in free agency this year, the Broncos will likely receive one or more compensatory picks next year for those guys. Trading 2015 picks is definitely in play as well, again because of a crowded roster.
  • The Broncos like Shazier better than Mosley because he’s a bit of a hybrid guy who can play both inside and outside linebacker. He projects to be a three-down player, while Mosley does not.

Again, it’s just a theory, but look for Ryan Shazier to possibly wearing orange and blue next year — it certainly makes a lot of sense.

(UPDATE 7:45 p.m.) – The Steelers just took Shazier. So never mind.

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