Denver Broncos NFL Draft Prospect Watch: Stanford OL David Yankey


Nov 23, 2013; Stanford, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal linebacker Shayne Skov (11) and guard David Yankey (54) wave to the Stanford fans from the field after the game against the California Golden Bears at Stanford Stadium. Stanford won 63-13. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

With the moves made by the Denver Broncos in free agency, it’s clear that the team is going to look to the draft to add depth on the offensive line, as well as a potential starter at left guard or center.

One player who will really intrigue the Broncos is former Stanford guard/tackle David Yankey, who is currently projected as a late first-early second round pick by most major draft sites, and I assume will be heavily considered for the 31st pick by Stanford alum John Elway, the one calling the shots in Denver.

The Broncos knew going into free agency that their ‘Plan A’ involved letting Zane Beadles walk, which either means they are planning on using a high draft pick on left guard, they thought they might solve the problem in the short term through free agency, or they have an in-house solution in mind.

My money is on the Broncos using one of their first three selections to shore up the interior offensive line, be it with a guard or center as the pick and that should excite Broncos fans and the quarterbacks and skill players on the team.

As a prospect, Yankey is almost as good as it gets for a guard. His biggest knock is his ‘initial punch’ specifically in pass protection but this is a guy who started over 40 games for Stanford at both guard and tackle, and is a very athletic 6’6″ 315 pounds.

His greatest strengths include footwork and mobility, as well as toughness. Yankey was born in Australia and added 75 pounds since he arrived at Stanford.

Picking a guard wouldn’t be the sexiest possible pick for the Broncos, but it’s a necessary one with other needs still pressing at cornerback and inside linebacker. The Broncos could turn to some more inexpensive free agent acquisitions in the weeks leading up to the draft to clear the air on some of these issues, but for now we’ll continue to dive into draft preparations and look at who might join forces to get this team back to the Super Bowl this season.