Broncos Draft and Off-Season Moves

Broncos Update takes a look at the off-season acquisitions of the Denver Broncos. New players such as running back Tatum Bell (in photo) may play a huge role in the team's success.

From Sporting News to CBS Sports, everyone seems to have an opinion on the Denver Broncos off-season acquisitions. Broncos Update has studied both the 2004 NFL Draft and the off-season acquisitions and given Denver a grade of B-

BEST PICK: Second round pick Tatum Bell, Oklahoma State, has the ability to make everyone forget the name Clinton Portis. When training camp opens in July, expect Bell to be the talk of the offense, quite similar to the way Portis took the media by storm during his rookie season. Bell is widely known to be a very good inside runner, with a straight line burst of speed. He has also shown outstanding strength for his position, performing well at the Combine, completing 25 repetitions on the bench then running a pair of forties that averaged 4.42.

TFY DRAFT PREVIEW considers Bell - A hard working prospect and solid athlete, Bell has the skills which translate well to the next level. Known as a player that does the extras to become better on the football field, Bell possesses the skills to be a primary ball carrier in the NFL.

BEST OFF-SEASON PICK UP: Champ Bailey is expected to be the savior for a defensive backfield which took the brunt of criticism during last season's playoff run.  The sixth-year cornerback started 16 games for the Washington Redskins last season, registering 72 tackles with 2 interceptions. His $63 million contract will be under heavy media scrutiny but talent should override the criticism. Expect Bailey's contribution to equal or exceed the loss of Clinton Portis.  Throw in the additions of Raylee Johnson (DE), Marco Coleman (DE) and John Lynch (S), and the Broncos should have one of the top defensive units in the AFC. 

BIGGEST LOSS DURING OFF-SEASON: Losing both Shannon Sharpe and Ed McCaffrey will obviously take it's toll on offense. Not only were both players fan favorites, their offensive production goes without question. 

BIGGEST SURPRISE: Look for former Colorado State Ram QB Bradley Van Pelt to make quite an impact, most notably in the locker room. His young rock and roll attitude will  endear him with both players and fans alike. His contributions may not be recognized in official stat sheets but the fact that he's widely considered a home-town hero plays well in local markets looking for a quick story line. 

2004 Draft

Rd Sel# Pos. School
1 17 Williams, D. OLB Miami (Fla.)
2 41 Bell, T. RB Oklahoma State
2 54 Watts, D. WR Marshall
3 85 LeSueur, J. CB Michigan
5 152 Shoate, J. CB San Diego State
6 171 Luke, T. WR Alabama
6 190 Sewell, J. C Nebraska
7 225 Mauck, M. QB Louisiana State
7 247 Miree, B. RB Pittsburgh
7 250 Van Pelt, B. QB Colorado State
Free Agents Status
Blake Brockermeyer, OT Unrestricted
Steve Herndon, G Not tendered offer
Ryan McNeil, DB Unrestricted
Re-signed   Status
Reuben Droughns, RB (3/19)
Ben Hamilton, G (4/26)
Patrick Hape, TE (4/15)
Reggie Hayward, DE (4/8)
Mike Leach, TE (3/11)
Johnny Rutledge, LB (5/11)
Jimmy Spencer, DB (3/15)
Donnie Spragan, LB (4/22)
Scott Turner, DB (3/10)
Al Wilson, LB (3/3)
Additions   Status
Champ Bailey, CB From WAS - Trade (3/3)
Marco Coleman, DE From PHI - Free Agency (3/11)
Luther Elliss, DT From DET - Free Agency (3/23)
Cornell Green, OT From TB - Free Agency (3/26)
Raylee Johnson, DE From SD (3/21)
John Lynch, S From TB - Free Agency (3/17)
Mike Quinn, QB From HOU - Free Agency (3/10)
O.J. Santiago, TE From OAK - Free Agency (4/15)
Reggie Stephens, CB From NYG - Free Agency (3/16)
Jed Weaver, TE From SF - Free Agency (3/19)
Subtractions   Status
Bert Berry, DE  ARI - Free Agency (3/8)
Keith Burns, LB TB - Free Agency (3/8)
Chris Cole, WR OAK - Free Agency (4/7)
Ian Gold, LB TB - Free Agency (4/28)
Deltha O'Neal, CB CIN - Trade (4/9)
Clinton Portis, RB WAS - Trade (3/3)
Ephraim Salaam, OT Released (3/3) (3/8)
Ed  McCafrey, WR Retired
Shannon Sharpe, TE Retired

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