Mile High Monday: Denver Broncos Focusing on Draft

Von Miller is introduced as a member of the Broncos at the 2011 NFL Draft. (US Presswire)

The Denver Broncos have been working to sign a free agent defensive end in recent weeks and they still may get it done before the season starts. But the news that negotiations have stalled with Dwight Freeney means that issue could drag on for a while. In the meantime Denver has focused their attention on the NFL Draft which will begin on April 25th in New York City.

Had Denver retained Elvis Dumervil or gotten Freeney signed defensive end wouldn’t be a big position of need. As it stands now however, the biggest holes on the roster are at defensive end, cornerback, running back, and middle linebacker.

This is a good year to have a need along the defensive line. Ten of the top-32 players available according to ESPN Scouts Inc. play either defensive tackle or defensive end. There are also four cornerbacks, two middle linebackers, and one running back in that group.

The Broncos first selection will be at #28 in the first round. That means they won’t have a shot at the very top-rated players, but there will still be plenty of talent available when it gets to them.

This draft is more important than usual since Denver is a team trying to win right now. A good draft could push the Broncos over the hump in regards to their Super Bowl aspirations. They need to find some impact players in the first few rounds that can come in and contribute immediately. That puts a lot of pressure on John Elway, but he’s been known to respond well in pressure-packed situations.

Here are the top-five players available at the positions mentioned above (Including defensive tackle) according to ESPN Scouts Inc.:

Defensive End:

  • Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
  • Barkevious Mingo, LSU
  • Bjoern Werner, Florida State
  • Sam Montgomery, LSU
  • Damontre Moore, Texas A&M

Cornerback:

  • Dee Milliner, Alabama
  • Desmond Trufant, Washington
  • Blidi Wreh-Wilson, UConn
  • Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
  • DJ Hayden, Houston

Middle Linebacker:

  • Alec Ogletree, Georgia
  • Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
  • Kevin Minter, LSU
  • Kiko Alonso, Oregon
  • Kevin Reddick, North Carolina

Running Back:

  • Eddie Lacy, Alabama
  • Montee Ball, Wisconsin
  • Andre Ellington, Clemson
  • Le’veon Bell, Michigan State
  • Christine Michael, Texas A&M

Defensive Tackle:

  • Sharrif Floyd, Florida
  • Star Lotulelei, Utah
  • Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
  • Sylvester Williams, North Carolina
  • Johnathan Jenkins, Georgia

Several “expert” mock drafts currently have Denver taking CB Desmond Trufant, MLB Manti Te’o, DE Damontre Moore, DE Bjoern Werner, DT Sylvester Williams, or some other DE or DT with their first pick.

Every year we see that anything can happen, especially considering there will probably be about a dozen trades in the first round alone. But the odds are decent the Broncos first selection will be among these names.

So who do you think Denver takes with the 28th pick?

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Tags: Denver Broncos Dwight Freeney Nfl Draft

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