Elway, Xanders Talk Broncos’ Draft

By Editorial Staff

Denver is a quarterback’s town. It was established as such when John Elway led the city’s beloved Broncos to two Super Bowl titles in the late 90’s.

I’ve always said that if Colorado had its own state currency, Elway would be on the $1 bill.

When QB controversy spikes in Denver, so do blood pressures. If in doubt, just ask Josh McDaniels.

That’s why Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert’s visit to Dove Valley yesterday and today, respectively, has people up in arms.

Don’t we already have our franchise quarterback? Why bring two highly successful college quarterbacks in for a visit when audition No. 1 was held last year, and the team drafted Tim Tebow with the 25th pick.

“Quarterbacks are just as important as DBs as just as important as offensive linemen and defensive linemen,” John Elway said in a pre-draft press conference Wednesday.

For all positions, the Broncos are looking for a franchise player that can help the Broncos win for the next ten years.

“We have to look at is there a franchise guy there,” Elway said. “I’m not saying we don’t have the franchise guy on our team, but we had to go through the process to see what was out there.”

That’s why the best of the best from all positions are visiting Dove Valley in the weeks leading up to the draft. As far as progress goes, the Broncos are still looking for the crème de la crème.

“A franchise guy has not stood out to us yet, but that’s not to say that there isn’t one there. We’re still in the process,” Elway said.

The process is one of intense time and energy spent on evaluating close to 200 college athletes. Brian Xanders reported that the Broncos are looking at approximately 190 players, whereas in the past couple of years, they evaluated about 100 players. Credit that to a deep draft and an extensive need for change in the Broncos’ organization.

The scouts have been hard at work throughout the year, stating their case for a particular player in February and getting character reports done.

When looking at a particular player, position coaches speak first, and then anyone else that has watched the player states their case for him. Then, it’s on to more game film where scouts and high level team executives watch 150 plays on tape, watch All-Star games, and take the Combine into account.

For the Broncos, it’s all about the game film. The medical reports, psychological tests, and Combine numbers paint a nice little picture, but it’s how a player competes on the field that matters most.

“The most important part is their game film – how they compete, their talent, their skills, their athleticism, their play speed, their production, their competitive toughness, their instincts…The most important thing is how they play football,” said Brian Xanders.

The Broncos are looking to get four very good players in this year’s draft. In fact, Elway said that they plan on getting their best players through the draft and then filling the holes in the free agent market.

“The most successful teams in the NFL over time, they draft well, they develop those players, and they retain them,” concluded Xanders.

If Lao Tzu were a football expert, he would say “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single snap.”

Here’s to no false starts in the draft and in this new era of Broncos football.

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