Broncos Update Insider

The Denver Broncos drafted four players from large programs. Coach Mike Shanahan said he didn't intend it that way, but the benefit could be that they might be more prepared to play in the NFL right away.

The Denver Broncos didn't set out to draft four players from major, successful college programs, but that was the common thread of their draft.

Florida defensive linemen Jarvis Moss and Marcus Thomas, Texas defensive end Tim Crowder and Notre Dame offensive lineman Ryan Harris arrived in Denver from three of the best college programs in the country.

Based on that experience, none of the four rookies should be intimidated in their first NFL season.

"It's not going to be new to us to be in a big game," Harris said.

Harris might not play much as a rookie, but the three defensive linemen should immediately be in Denver's defensive line rotation. The Broncos need Moss and Crowder to help their pass rush, and Thomas improves the interior depth.

Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said he didn't intend to draft players only from large programs. But the benefit might be that they might be more prepared to play in the NFL right away.

Moss said playing in the SEC will help his transition. The conference had the most first-round draft picks this year, with 11.

"It's really fast and competitive," Moss said. "They've got great players in the Southeastern Conference at every position."

The attention won't bother the players either. All four got plenty of attention in college. Crowder was unfazed by the amount of media that came out for the draft picks' introductory press conference.

"I've been doing this for four years," Crowder said.

NOTES, QUOTES --Both of Denver's first two draft picks, Florida end Jarvis Moss and Texas end Tim Crowder, won national championships in college. They compared championship rings at their introductory press conference, and Crowder got in a dig at Moss.

"Mine says 'Undefeated,'" Crowder said.

--The Broncos signed two more undrafted rookie free agents, Colorado center Mark Fenton and Virginia Tech kicker Brandon Pace.

To make room on the roster, Denver waived offensive lineman Tim Duckworth, who was signed last week.

--The autopsy of running back Damien Nash was inconclusive. Nash collapsed and died at his home after playing in a charity basketball game on Feb. 24.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Pretty much every defensive end picked, I've played against. Those things help you so much." -- Rookie offensive tackle Ryan Harris, who played in college at Notre Dame.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: Not available.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED
--LB Louis Green: Potential RFA; 3 yrs, terms unknown.
--FB Kyle Johnson: RFA; terms unknown.
--WR Quincy Morgan: UFA; terms unknown.
--DT Kenny Peterson: UFA; terms unknown.
--FB Cecil Sapp: RFA; $1.3M/1 yr.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED
--CB Dre' Bly (trade Lions).
--TE Daniel Graham: UFA Patriots; $30M/5 yrs, $15M guaranteed.
--RB Travis Henry: FA Titans; 5 yrs, $12M guaranteed; other terms unknown.
--LB Warrick Holdman: UFA Redskins; terms unknown.
--OG Montrae Holland: UFA Saints; $1M/1 yr, SB unknown.
--LB D.D. Lewis: UFA Seahawks; terms unknown. --DT Alvin McKinley: UFA Browns; $8M/4 yrs, SB unknown. --QB Patrick Ramsey: FA Jets; $4.5M/2 yrs, SB unknown.
--P Todd Sauerbrun: UFA Patriots; $820,000/1 yr.
--FB Paul Smith: UFA Rams; $2.55M/3 yrs, $300,000 SB.
--WR Brandon Stokley: FA Colts; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--WR David Terrell: FA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

PLAYERS LOST
--RB Tatum Bell (traded Lions).
--DE Courtney Brown (released).
--LB Keith Burns: UFA; retired.
--OG Cooper Carlisle: UFA Raiders; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
--DE Patrick Chukwurah: UFA Buccaneers; $5.5M/5 yrs, SB unknown.
--RB Cedric Cobbs (released).
--OT George Foster (traded Lions).
--DT Michael Myers: UFA Bengals; $1.65M/2 yrs, $100,000 SB.
--RB Damien Nash (deceased).
--QB Jake Plummer (traded Buccaneers).
--CB Darrent Williams (deceased).
--LB Al Wilson (released; post-June 1 designation).



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