Broncos News Briefs - Sunday, April 24

Even though he was the Denver Broncos last selection on Day 1 of the NFL Draft, running back Maurice Clarett dominated the news. Read more about Clarett in today's reports.

Broncos avoid 2nd-day surprises - Denver Post - Eddie Pells, Associated Press
Sunday, April 24, 2005 - The Denver Broncos avoided any more draft day surprises Sunday, choosing an offensive lineman and a punter with their final two picks and leaving Maurice Clarett as the headliner of their 2005 class. With their sixth-round pick, the Broncos chose tackle Chris Myers of Miami. With their seventh-round pick, they chose kicker Paul Ernster of Northern Arizona. Denver didn't have picks in the fourth or fifth rounds. Myers will have a chance to add depth to Denver's line. The Broncos released longtime starter Dan Neil in the offseason and re-signed former backup Cooper Carlisle to replace him. Broncos get back: Clarett - Denver Post - Eddie Pells, Associated Press
Sunday, April 24, 2005 - He sat out for two years, sued the NFL and alienated his alma mater. After being regarded as one of the best prospects in the country, he wound up as little more than an out-of-shape curiosity. It's no wonder Maurice Clarett surprised a lot of people by getting chosen in the third round of the draft. On Sunday, he reported to his new team and his new life, wearing a smile and holding a Denver Broncos jersey.

Clarett passes buck to Broncos - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Sunday, April 24, 2005 - Anytime a team uses its first three draft picks on guys who play the same position, one would figure that would be the story of the proceedings. That was until the final pick of an 11-hour day, when Maurice Clarett walked out of a two-year cloud of controversy into the Broncos' backfield, a reputed running back haven. "His slate is clean," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said of Clarett, who likely will be a national curiosity as a rookie.

Dizzying game of finders keepers - Denver Post - Thomas George
Sunday, April 24, 2005 - After delivering players at slots 2, 5, 9 and 25, including the first complete backfield ever selected in the first round, Auburn is fuming again about finishing second to Southern Cal in voting for the mythical national championship. After nabbing a receiver with their first-round pick for the third straight draft, the Detroit Lions offer new meaning to plugging a leak. How can a team with the No. 3 pick - Cleveland - make the statement that came from general manager Phil Savage: "We just got the top player in the draft."

Covered by confidence - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Sunday, April 24, 2005 - Growing up in Fort Worth, Texas, Darrent Williams' heroes were Cowboys: Dallas wide receiver Michael Irvin and cornerback Deion Sanders. That figures. Irvin, nicknamed "The Playmaker," and Sanders, nicknamed "Prime Time," never were shrinking violets. Williams, the Broncos' second-round pick Saturday, doesn't plan to be one, either.

Jackson charges into NFL - Denver Post - Adrian Dater
Sunday, April 24, 2005 - It was a few minutes before 7 o'clock Saturday night when Vincent Jackson's cellphone rang. An NFL team was on the line, wanting the former skinny kid, the one none of the big Colorado football schools ever wanted, to play football for it. With about 250 hushed friends and family members still in suspense, the entire backyard at Sherry and Terence Jackson's house became a mosh pit of joy when ESPN2 flashed the news: The San Diego Chargers had chosen their son as the 61st pick in the NFL draft.

Clarett pick means Shanahan's OK - Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
Sunday, April 24, 2005 - First, the trade for Washington's 2006 first-rounder, then the third-round flyer on Maurice Clarett, who might be a player a couple years down the road. Funny, but Mike Shanahan isn't acting like a coach at the crossroads of his career. If these developments suggest anything, it's that Pat Bowlen is telling it straight. Shanahan, playoff wins or no playoff wins, will be coaching the Broncos for years to come. Why else would he make two lightning-bolt moves with an eye toward the future?

Division gets defensive in early rounds of draft - Denver Post - Anthony Cotton
Sunday, April 24, 2005 - For a division boasting the likes of LaDainian Tomlinson, Priest Holmes, Antonio Gates and now Randy Moss, the AFC West took a decidedly defensive bent Saturday during the first day of the NFL draft. The defending division champion San Diego Chargers used their two first-round picks on Shawne Merriman, a linebacker from Maryland, and Luis Castillo, a defensive tackle from Northwestern. The Kansas City Chiefs, who traded Friday for a premier cornerback, Patrick Surtain, took Texas linebacker Derrick Johnson with the 15th pick.

Denver shows interest in LB Brown - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Sunday, April 24, 2005 - Chad Brown's agent said he has been in contact with the Broncos about the recently released linebacker who played at the University of Colorado and lives in Lone Tree. "They are one of the teams that we're talking to," agent Peter Schaffer said. "There have been numerous teams showing interest in Chad." Thursday, the day Brown was released by Seattle, Schaffer said Denver was interested. Brown, 34, will visit New England on Monday, then possibly Cincinnati. Green Bay and Cleveland also are interested in the former all-pro player.

Broncos aren't picky with corners, Clarett - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
April 23, 2005 - Broncos coach Mike Shanahan waited until the last pick of Saturday in the NFL draft and then he simply turned this year's event on its ear. Denver used the 101st pick of the draft — the final pick of the third round — on embattled Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett. Clarett has not played since the 2002 season when he gained 1,237 yards for the national champion Buckeyes after a failed lawsuit against the NFL to gain early entry into last year's draft.

Shanahan takes flyer on Clarett - Daily Camera - Zak Brown
April 24, 2005 - With the 101st pick in the NFL draft — the very last pick in a very long day — the Denver Broncos select ... No way. The Mastermind finally lost his mind. Or has he just found another diamond? On a draft day headed for one of the most boring in Broncos history, coach Mike Shanahan made it potentially one of the more historic by picking Maurice Clarett with the last pick Saturday. The beleaguered running back who hasn't played in two years was expected to go in the fifth or sixth round. Maybe. Instead, the team that has turned draft diamonds into 1,000-yard rushers took a chance and took the most infamous player available.

Broncos load up on cornerbacks - Daily Camera - Zak Brown
April 24, 2005 - Last year, the Denver Broncos waited until the second round to pick up one of the fastest players in the Big 12. On Saturday, they waited again and got even more Stillwater speed. For the second consecutive year, the Broncos chose an Oklahoma State player in the second round. They chose blazing running back Tatum Bell in 2004 and selected OSU cornerback Darrent Williams on Saturday, giving them a player who can return kicks and hopefully make an impact immediately.

On Day 2, Broncos Hit the 'U - - Andrew Mason
Sunday, April 24, 2005 - Another lengthy wait faced the Broncos as they began their activities on Day 2 of the NFL Draft. The team waited through 98 picks over four hours and 45 minutes until making University of Miami guard/center Chris Myers its first selection of the draft's second and final day. Thirty-nine picks later, the Broncos closed out proceedings by selecting Northern Arizona punter/kicker Paul Ernster. Myers, a 6-foot-5, 300-pound guard and center at Miami, also played center and tackle. He started at right guard in 2002, played left guard in 2003 but went to right tackle in his senior season. He also played center during practices leading up to the Senior Bowl three months ago.

Notebook: Needs Addressed in Draft - - Andrew Mason
Sunday, April 24, 2005 - The first day is about fixed targets in the Broncos' draft sights. The second is about following the flow of the draft and the eventual adjustment and reaction. "On the second day, you really don't know," Head Coach Mike Shanahan said. "A lot of players went off the board early in that fourth and fifth round, so there weren't a lot of players on the board when we did pick, but the ones we picked, we were happy to get." The hard targets of the weekend were acquired -- a trio of cornerbacks to bolster a position hit by the loss of Kelly Herndon and a rookie to compete for the job at punter and kickoff specialist.

Ending With a Bang - - Andrew Mason
Saturday, April 23, 2005 - The loudest thunderclap of the 2005 NFL Draft's first day came with the final pick. After selecting cornerbacks Darrent Williams, Karl Paymah and Domonique Foxworth with their first three picks in the draft, the Broncos jolted the NFL world by taking Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett with the 101st pick, which was the final selection of the day's proceedings. Clarett hasn't played an organized football game since Jan. 3, 2003, when he scored two touchdowns -- including a 7-yard game-winner -- in Ohio State's 31-24 Fiesta Bowl win over Miami (Fla.), a triumph that clinched a national championship for the Buckeyes. Eight-hundred and forty-one days have passed since then. But Head Coach Mike Shanahan feels that Clarett could rediscover the form that allowed him to average 5.6 yards per carry and gain 1,237 yards for the Buckeyes in what was a spectacular freshman season.

Williams: Part II - - Mike Sarro
Saturday, April 23, 2005 - For the second consecutive year a defensive player named Williams was chosen by the Broncos to commence the NFL Draft. Oklahoma State cornerback Darrent Williams was selected by Denver in the second round with the 56th overall choice. In 2004, Denver began their draft by taking linebacker D.J. Williams. The secondary was an area that had been speculated by many as an area the team would reload through the draft, given the departures of Kenoy Kennedy and Kelly Herndon via free agency. The Broncos obliged by picking the 5'8", 188-pound Cowboy with their first selection.

On the Run - - Andrew Mason
Saturday, April 23, 2005 - It was 20 minutes after the Broncos had selected cornerback Karl Paymah, and the Washington State product was still breathless. That wasn't because the Broncos called his name with the 76th pick of the draft. Rather, it was because he'd just sprinted eight blocks through the streets near his home upon hearing the news. "I expected to hear my name, but it was just chaotic because I didn't know what team was going to pick me," Paymah said. "I left my room and went outside for a little walk, and that's when I got the call, so I was surprised." With that, he began a sprint home -- maybe not quite worthy of George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life, but perhaps just as joyous. "I've still got the energy," Paymah said.

Final Pick, Fresh Start - - Andrew Mason
Saturday, April 23, 2005 - The hour was late. Nearly 11 p.m. on the East Coast, a smidge under 11 hours since Commissioner Paul Tagliabue strode to the lectern and announced the opening of the draft's festivites. Typically, the site that hosts the draft has mostly cleared of the rabid fans who stand in line around the block to wait for entry in the morning hours. The loud buzz of the draft has been quelled to a soft hum. That's what's typical. The end of Saturday was anything but. The Broncos jolted the NFL by selecting Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett with the 101st and final pick of the 2005 NFL Draft's first day. Even Clarett didn't see it coming. "I had actually turned the TV off and had got in the car and was just betting on (Sunday)," Clarett said. Then the phone rang. The area code -- 303.

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