SOURCE: Denver Broncos Are Targeting Oklahoma Running Back Joe Mixon On Day Two

Having secured a franchise left tackle in round one, could the Broncos be targeting a troubled running back with some "juice" on day two?

The Denver Broncos selected Utah offensive tackle Garett Bolles with the 20th pick in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Their gaping hole on the offensive line has been filled. 

The move to take Bolles now frees up the Broncos to target impact players at other positions of need. New Head Coach Vance Joseph has talked about the need for Denver to add more "juice" to their offensive attack. 

With the top two running backs off the board, there are only two prospects left who received a first-round grade by most draftniks — Florida State's Dalvin Cook and Oklahoma's Joe Mixon. Cook's plummet out of the first round was a surprise to many, but Mixon's off-the-field concerns rendered him untouchable to all 32 teams on opening night. However, Mixon has round-one talent, and were it not for his troubled past, he wouldn't still be on the board, in all likelihood. The Broncos brought Mixon in for a visit recently, to get an up-close look at him and to gauge for themselves the true depth of his penitence regarding his past.

The Broncos have been evaluating the question of Mixon's character vs. talent, as GM John Elway intimated in his pre-draft presser. 

“We’re still evaluating that," Elway said. "Obviously, that’s an issue and it’s something that we’re continuing to look at while getting as much background as we can on Joe to see where he may fall for us.” 

Elway's last words there — reading between the lines — would suggest the Broncos do have Mixon on their board and are anxiously paying attention to "where he may fall" for them. Denver area radio personality Benjamin Allbright, when asked on Twitter, said that the Broncos are exploring the possibility of trading up for Mixon on day two of the Draft.

We reached out to our own sources around the building at Dove Valley and they confirmed it — the same sources who assured us early Thursday that Garett Bolles would be Denver's choice in the first round. The Broncos have great interest in Mixon but to draft him, they'd have to be willing to accept any and all backlash in the media and fanbase. 

For those who don't know, Mixon was caught on camera punching a woman in the face back in 2014. A lot of time has passed, and Mixon has assured NFL teams that he's turned over a new leaf. But it scares teams and the New England Patriots have gone so far as to announce publicly that Mixon is off their board. 

After the PR disaster that was the Ray Rice incident — and the moral question of rewarding players who perpetrate violence on women — the Broncos, or any team who drafts Mixon, will take their lumps publicly. However, based on pure talent, there's no question that Mixon would bring some "juice" to Denver's rushing attack. 

The Broncos currently own three picks on day two — No. 51 overall, 82 and 101 (compensatory). Denver also has six more day-three selections, so if there's a player they want to target in a trade-up, they'll certainly have the capital to make it happen. 

UPDATE: For what it's worth, 9NEWS' Mike Klis reports that the Broncos are expected to pass on Mixon. Klis is as plugged in as anyone in Denver. As the team's kind of go-to media personality, this could be true, or it could be a smokescreen. 

Based on what we've been told, we believe Mixon is on Denver's board and that he'll be a target on day two. This source was solid enough that we felt confident in sharing it with you, our valued premium members. 

• Keep it with Mile High Huddle as we continue to cover the Broncos' NFL Draft haul. Our coverage will include in-depth analysis of each pick and All-22 film reviews. Be sure to take advantage of our 3-for-1 Draft sale on premium memberships so you don't miss a thing

Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.

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