Schon: Broncos scout the Senior Bowl

Miami of Ohio Wide Receiver Martin Nance and Offensive Tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson from Virginia are among several players the Denver Broncos are showing an interest in as they scout the 2006 Senior Bowl.

Hours after Sunday's devastating 34-17 loss in the AFC Championship, the Denver Broncos began setting their sights on next season.

Monday the team announced the signing of ten players, all of whom were on the 2005 roster in some form, and allocated seven players to NFL Europe (full story).

Tuesday the emphasis was on the draft, as several Broncos scouts made the rounds in Mobile, AL. charting, ranking and interviewing players as they prepared for the 2006 Senior Bowl.

One player gathering a lot of interest on Tuesday was Miami (OH) WR Martin Nance who, at 6'4", 212 lbs., seems to offer a good combination of size and speed, clocking out at 4.50 in the 40.

In 2003 Nance was the primary target for Ben Roethlisberger, where he finished out the season with 90 rec. for 1,498 yards and 11 touchdowns. He missed most of the 2004 season with an ACL injury to his left knee, but bounced back during his senior year, ranking 11th nationally in receiving yards per game (100.4), sixth nationally in receptions per game (7.4) and third in receiving touchdowns (14).

While receivers may not be the biggest area of concern for Denver, it is one they're certainly addressing, and with his size Nance may fit the bill alongside Ashley Lelie as a deep threat receiver.

Others gathering initial interest included two Colorado players, FB Lawrence Vickers and LB Brian Iwuh, as well as RB Cedrick Humes from Virginia Tech and OL D'Brickashaw Ferguson from Virginia.

Ferguson is highly regarded as one of the strongest, most solid tackles in the nation, and was considered a potential first-round draft pick in the 2005 NFL draft, before deciding to stay with Virginia for his senior season.

Although unlikely, if Ferguson is still available with the 31st pick in the first round, Denver would be foolish not to jump at the opportunity to bolster up their offensive line.

Throughout the week Broncos Update will continue to cover the Senior Bowl as well as provide the inside scoop on who the Broncos are charting. Check back daily for more information.

Michael John Schon has covered the National Football League and the Denver Broncos for the past nine years. As a member of the Pro Football Writers Association he has published and syndicated columns to both newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and Canada. His syndicated radio broadcast: "Schon Live" airs weekly on various radio stations around the country.

Schon can be reached at

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