71. Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse
Melifonwu joins a cornerback room that is pretty stacked this year, but next year he may need to step up and play a more predominant role. Fortunately for him, he should be able to benefit from this as he can learn from some savvy veterans in Bryce Callahan, Kyle Fuller, and Ronald Darby.
Melifonwu, a guy who has plenty of size to play on the outside, stands around 6’3″ and 215 pounds. He reportedly ran a 4.48 in the 40-yard dash, and that is plenty fast especially considering his size and how physical he is.
While he isn’t a polished player, he certainly has all the traits you look for in a boundary corner. As long as he keeps plays in front of him, he has amazing closing speed. Right out of the gate, you can tell he isn’t afraid to tackle. In a bend-don’t-break scheme like Fangio’s, checkmate.
81. Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina
Carter brings in some youth as well as some play-making ability behind Melvin Gordon. With Gordon being the bell-cow back and under contract for only one more year, look for Carter to see his fair share of touches.
In 2021, he shouldn’t be the primary ball carrier here as the Broncos should look to get every penny out of Gordon. He possesses the ability to be a solid third-down option as he is impressive catching the ball out of the backfield. His measures are around 5’8″ and 200 pounds; his small compact frame makes him difficult to bring down on the first contact.
What I came away most impressed with after watching some additional tape on Carter is his vision and ability to catch the football in stride without missing a step. He finishes every single run, and he gets the most out of every touch he gets.
Carter ran an unofficial 4.55 40-yard dash at North Carolina’s pro day, but he is one of those guys that understands angles and once he gets on top of you, he doesn’t really get caught. Shurmur gets a back that is sturdy enough to tote the rock in between the tackles and can catch the ball well out of the backfield in Carter.
86. Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State
For many years now, the Broncos have struggled to fill the void that Danny Trevathan left, and some may even include Brandon Marshall in that category as well. With Alexander “the dinosaur” Johnson next to him, and a tough front and secondary behind him, Browning could flourish in a Vic Fangio-led scheme.
He is athletic, and he closes well. Once he diagnoses a play, he has the ability to make the play and does so promptly. That is also the one thing I noticed as well watching his tape, is “when” he diagnoses the play.
There were times where he would seem kind of lost, but that is where coaching steps in and takes him to the next level. Browning wouldn’t have to step in immediately and be the guy, as Johnson and Jewell are serviceable. Having a year under Fangio could help the player he is and the player he could be, meet.