2013 NFL Draft: Grade the Denver Broncos

Sylvester Williams poses for a photo with head coach John Fox (left) and John Elway (right) at Broncos headquarters. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

With the 2013 NFL Draft in the books, it’s time to grade the Denver Broncos on their overall draft. Let’s quickly go through the team’s picks first.

Round 1 (28): DT Sylvester Williams (North Carolina)

Williams wasn’t supposed to last until No. 28. Williams wasn’t supposed to make it to the NFL. An aspiring basketball star, Williams didn’t start playing football until his senior year in high school. Once he graduated he took a year off to work in a radiator factory before spending two years at a community college. In his first year at North Carolina, he had 54 tackles (seven for a loss), and 2.5 sacks. Last season, Williams had six sacks and 13.5 tackles for a loss in 12 games.

That makes sense to me. This is a kid that can immediately come in and start at defensive tackle. He can stay in the game on sub packages. With what they have inside, I think he’s going to be a rotational guy that will get a lot of production. – Mike Mayock 

Montee Ball (28) during a touchdown run against the Stanford Cardinal during the 2013 Rose Bowl game at the Rose Bowl. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Round 2 (58): RB Montee Ball (Wisconsin)

Ball has roughly 17 pounds of bulk on Knowshon Moreno and nine years less of wear and tear on the body than Willis McGahee.

Ball led the country with 1,923 rushing yards and 39 total touchdowns (33 rushing) in 2011, which was also the year that he was a Heisman Trophy finalist. He returned for his senior season and racked up 1,850 yards and 22 touchdowns in 2012.

The Broncos went with Ball over Eddie Lacy for medical reasons, as John Elway described.

Interesting, interesting, interesting. When you play with Peyton Manning, your first priority is pass protection. But he catches the ball better than people think. - Charles Davis

Round 3 (90) : CB Kayvon Webster (South Florida)

Webster was projected as a 6th or 7th round pick, but the Broncos saw something much different.

The 5-10, 195-pound defensive back ran a 4.41 40-yard-dash. In 2011, Webster had 49 tackles (one for a loss), two interceptions, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. Last season he had 82 tackles (four for a loss), two sacks, and three forced fumbles for a very poor USF team. Webster is said to play very aggressively and could be used on corner blitzes because of his quickness.

This is an interesting pick. This is a big, good-looking back with good foot-pedal skills. He opened some eyes at the East-West Game. Obviously, Denver believes in him enough to take him late in the third round. – Mike Mayock

 Round 5 (146 from Dolphins through Packers): DE Quanterus Smith (Western Kentucky) 

The 6-5, 250-pound end led the nation in sacks before he tore his ACL. He was so relentless in the pass rush that despite the injury, he still led the FBS in sacks per game (1.25).

He had 12 sacks in 2012 with three coming against Alabama and five sacks coming against Florida International.

If you have some edge ability and you’re a little raw that’s the kind of guy they want to develop right there. – Mike Mayock

LSU Tigers quarterback Jordan Jefferson (9) runs with the ball in front of Western Kentucky Hilltoppers defensive lineman Quanterus Smith (93) during the first half at Tiger Stadium. (Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports)

Round 5 (161): WR Tavarres King (Georgia)

The  6-0, 189-pound wide receiver isn’t the biggest guy, but he brings quickness and the ability to reel the ball in over either shoulder. In his time with the Bulldogs, King averaged 19.1 yards off of 136 receptions. He had 6 catches for 205 yards and one touchdown in the Outback Bowl.

Round 6 (173 from Eagles through Browns, 49ers, and Packers): T Vinston Painter (Virginia Tech)

The 6-4, 306-pound tackle started his collegiate career at defensive tackle during his redshirt season. Then he moved over to offense. This could add some great depth to the Broncos’ practices.

“If put in immediately I’d say right tackle, but I have played both sides so I’m pretty comfortable with each,” Painter said of whether he’s more comfortable at left tackle or right tackle. “This season coming up I’d say right tackle.”

 Round 7 (234): QB Zac Dysret (Miami of Ohio)
John Fox told Dysert that it doesn’t matter where you go in the draft. “Just remember, Tom Brady was a sixth round pick,” Fox told the young quarterback over the phone. Dysert will be the third string QB as it stands now.
He threw for 3,483 yards (62.9 completion percentage), 25 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions in his senior season. Since his first year when he threw 12 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, he’s come quite a long way.
“I tore my hamstring February 11th, but that’s 100 percent now—nothing to worry about,” Dysert said on a conference call. “I’ve been working out fully; I’ve been cleared any everything.”

Now it’s time for the overall grade!

What grade would you give the Broncos at the conclusion of the 2013 NFL Draft?

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Topics: Denver Broncos, Draft Grade, Montee Ball, Sylvester Williams

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