Broncos News Blogs - Sunday, April 30

The Denver Broncos surprised everyone, including Jake Plummer, with their selection of Vanderbilt quarterback Jay Cutler in the first round of the NFL Draft. Read what they're saying about the Broncos draft picks in today's news reports.

Broncos bust a move - Denver Post – Bill Williamson
04/30/2006 - Colorado has been waiting for the Broncos to make a big move this offseason. This big enough? After dancing with Terrell Owens, Jamal Lewis and Andre Carter, the Broncos got their payoff Saturday: quarterback Jay Cutler, the potential next face of the organization; and Javon Walker, a veteran playmaker Denver had desperately sought. The Broncos finished the first day of the draft by selecting tight end Tony Scheffler of Western Michigan at No. 61. "It's a big day," Broncos owner Pat Bowlen said. "Very exciting." In a matter of hours, the team addressed the present and the future of Mike Shanahan's offense, potentially signaling the end of the Jake Plummer era. Walker, if he recovers from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered last September, becomes the team's best playmaker, and Cutler, the SEC player of the year, has a chance to take over for Plummer as soon as 2007.

Broncos' draft is a Cutler above - Denver Post – Thomas George
04/30/2006 - Boy, this Jay Cutler, with a 58-inch chest, 22-inch arms, an eminent Las Vegas bodybuilder and frequent Mr. Olympia finalist who ... Oops. Wrong Jay Cutler. Oh, that Jay Cutler. From Vanderbilt. Won 11 measly games there in four years. Big arm. Big dreams. The highest NFL draft pick (No. 11) Mike Shanahan has made in 12 Broncos drafts. And Shanahan traded up four spots from No. 15 to swipe Cutler on Saturday.

Santa Claus' gift - Denver Post – Mike Klis
04/30/2006 - Yes, Broncoland, there really is a Santa Claus. It's about 45 minutes down the road from Evansville, Ind., a town of about 2,000 where Christmas is a daily theme and its most famous resident is not a man with a white beard and jolly belly, but Jay Cutler. It was there Broncos coach Mike Shanahan hopes he found the greatest gift of all - a franchise quarterback for the future. Cutler is the pride of Santa Claus, Ind., a 6-foot-3, 226-pound specimen with a gifted arm who woke up Saturday morning thinking draft day would bring him just about anywhere but Denver.

Starting QB of the future: Cutler - Denver Post – Jim Armstrong
04/30/2006 - How much of a big-play element will Javon Walker bring to the Broncos' offense? He started 12 games and caught 12 touchdown passes in 2004, the same total Ashley Lelie has in his entire four-year career. Just as sure as Walker is here, Lelie is gone. It's one thing to frustrate Mike Shanahan and another to make him angry. But when you defy him by boycotting the Broncos' offseason training program, you're outta here. Then again, the Broncos, having whiffed on their attempts to unload him, may keep Lelie around for one season before he bolts via free agency. The bottom line: "Ashley is still on our football team" is as close as Shanahan could come to a ringing endorsement.

Dealing Up a Draft - Denver – Andrew Mason
Saturday, April 29, 2006 - Deal or no deal? For the Broncos, it was the former. Following an active pre-draft process that saw the team shuffle its picks in trades with the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers, the Broncos dealt three of their four first-day selections, resulting in the acquisitions of quarterback Jay Cutler and veteran Green Bay wide receiver Javon Walker. The Broncos sent the No. 15 and No. 68 selections to the St. Louis Rams for the 11th pick, which became Cutler. Hours later, the Broncos traded out of the No. 37 slot to acquire Walker, who missed all but one game last year with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. "The only time you usually get some big-time, impact players is when you lose 12 or 13 games, and that's not what you want as a head football coach," Head Coach Mike Shanahan said. "To be able to have the type of season we had and still be able to get some guys that will help our football team is real encouraging." Denver then kept its No. 61 selection and took Western Michigan tight end Tony Scheffler. (Click here for more on Scheffler.)

Quite the Gift - Denver – J. Michael Moore
Saturday, April 29, 2006 - Quarterback Jay Cutler won only 11 games during his college career at Vanderbilt. He's now part of a team that won 13 games in 2005 and came one win away from the Super Bowl. The Broncos traded with the St. Louis Rams for the 11th pick in the draft Saturday to acquire Cutler, who holds most Commodore passing records and was named SEC Offensive Player of the Year in 2005. He is the first quarterback taken in the first round by Denver since Tommy Maddox in 1992. The move even surprised Cutler, who celebrated his 23rd birthday during the draft.

Packers trade Walker to Broncos -
Saturday, April 29, 2006 - The Denver Broncos acquired disgruntled Packers receiver Javon Walker in a draft-day trade Saturday, sending Green Bay their second-round pick. Walker, coming off a serious knee injury as he enters the final year of his contract, had vowed to never again play for the Packers. Green Bay refused to redo his deal last year and Walker tore up a knee in the season opener. Walker had a breakout season in 2004, catching 89 passes for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns, leading to his request for a big payday. The Packers acquired the Broncos' 37th overall pick and immediately sent it to the Atlanta Falcons for three picks - a second-rounder (47th overall), third rounder (93rd) and fifth-rounder (148th).

Despite Plummer, Broncos take QB anyway; why? - Mercury News – Milo F. Bryant
Sun, Apr. 30, 2006 - Coach Mike Shanahan made several interesting statements after the Denver Broncos finished drafting Saturday at the team's headquarters. The most interesting tidbits, however, were the things Shanahan didn't say. The Broncos traded up four first-round spots from 15th to 11th to draft Vanderbilt quarterback Jay Cutler. Later Saturday, the Broncos, in what amounted to a steal, traded the 37th selection to Green Bay for wide receiver Javon Walker. Afterward, Shanahan talked about his new quarterback and his incumbent, Jake Plummer. "All you like to do is have competition," Shanahan said. "You like to create competition. ... Jake is in his 10th year and took us to the AFC Championship Game. He played quite well, a Pro Bowl level. He's an athlete, played at a very high level. ... But when there is an opportunity like that, you don't want to pass it up."

Cutler's presence puts pressure on Plummer? - CBS – Clark Judge
April 29, 2006 - The biggest loser in this year's NFL Draft wasn't Matt Leinart or LenDale White. It was Jake Plummer. Think about it. The Denver quarterback has his best season ever, takes the club to the AFC Championship Game and is named to the Pro Bowl. The Denver Broncos reward him with an eviction notice. That's what Saturday's draft of Jay Cutler amounts to. You don't draft a quarterback in the first round unless you plan to start him, and no, I don't think Cutler steps in tomorrow as Denver's starter. But I think the clock just started ticking on Plummer.

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