For only the third time in the past decade, the Denver Broncos looked to improve their offense with their first selection in the NFL Draft, selecting WR Ashley Lelie from the University of Hawaii with the 19th overall pick.
Lelie was an All-American first-team choice by the NFL Draft Report, earning second-team recognition from CBS Sportsline and third-team honors from Football News and The Sporting News.
He became Hawaii's first All-American since 1992 and the first wide receiver to earn such accolades since 1985. He was an All-Western Athletic Conference first-team selection as he broke two WAC receiving records including yardage with 1,713 and touchdowns with 19.
Those who've studied Lelie agree that the 6-2, 197-lb. receiver is regarded as a big downfield target who is very quick getting through the crease. He excels at keeping his feet inbounds while going up for the sideline passes. Lelie runs sharp pass routes and has shifty movements to avoid contact. He does a nice job stopping and coming back for the ball and has great concentration and confidence when hauling down the high pass in traffic.
"One of the things that he has going for him is how much they've thrown the ball at Hawaii with June Jones. I talked to June and he says that he (Lelie) is probably the best wide receiver he's had since he's been coaching. He has a lot of good traits and hopefully he'll develop into a top-notch player."
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