Broncos Update Insider - 4/23

The Denver Broncos shook up the draft on Thursday night with four trades and two of the most controversial picks of the first round.

Denver selected Georgia Tech wide receiver Demaryius Thomas ahead of Oklahoma State's Dez Bryant with the 22nd pick. That was quickly forgotten three picks later when the Broncos made what will be the most talked about pick of the draft, selecting Florida quarterback Tim Tebow with the 25th overall pick.

The Broncos traded second-, third- and fourth-round picks to get the 25th pick from Baltimore to select Tebow, who many believe can't develop into a top-flight NFL quarterback.

Coach Josh McDaniels has always shown he is willing to do things his way, and he did exactly that in the first round.

"We were fortunate to have the opportunity to get two players we coveted, who we think can fit in here," McDaniels said. "We know what we're going to get from them: hard work, and they're both talented players."

McDaniels called Kyle Orton his starting quarterback, which will take some pressure off of Tebow. He won't have to play right away, but McDaniels did say he could contribute immediately in packages that take advantage of his athleticism and skills running and throwing.

Tebow, who has been dissected for the months leading up to the draft, said he felt grateful for the chance.

"I want to repay Josh McDaniels for the faith he showed in me," Tebow said. "I want to be a great quarterback."

Thomas has big-play ability and similar size to Brandon Marshall, whom the Broncos traded last week. He said a foot injury he suffered before the combine, in which he broke his fifth metatarsal and had surgery, is about 90 percent healed. Thomas said he and Marshall had some things in common.

"We're both big guys, probably the same speed, very complete receivers," Thomas said.


--TE Tony Scheffler was sent to Detroit, with Denver receiving the 137th overall pick from Philadelphia and the Eagles landing LB Ernie Sims. Unhappy with his contract in Denver, Scheffler told The Denver Post that he committed to not seeking a new contract or holding out in Detroit before the trade. Scheffler signed his $1.176 million tender as a restricted free agent last week.

Scheffler is an in-state product who was drafted by the Broncos out of Western Michigan.

Scheffler's time in Denver was numbered after he clashed with coach Josh McDaniels' staff and was benched at the end of last season. The four-year veteran has 138 catches for 1,896 yards and 14 touchdowns

--The Brandon Marshall trade happened quickly after Marshall signed his tender. No team wanted to give up its first-round pick for Marshall by signing him, but the Broncos still got a pair of second-round picks from the Dolphins.

"I'm pleased with how the whole thing went down," Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said.

--Broncos tight end Daniel Graham, one of the team's captains, said he wasn't too surprised by the team trading Brandon Marshall to Miami. Marshall had indicated many times he wouldn't be happy without a new contract in Denver.

"It seemed like he really wanted to get out of here," Graham said. "He wanted to go somewhere where he felt he could be happy. He didn't feel that could be here in Denver."

--Broncos rookie running back Knowshon Moreno hasn't missed an offseason workout, as he tries to get prepared for the rigors of his second season. He admits his December struggles were at least in part because of hitting the rookie wall.

"I kind of wore down, but at the same time I was feeling good, I was having fun, everything was going well," Moreno said. "At the same time: a little bit. Just slightly."

--Broncos coach Josh McDaniels wished Brandon Marshall the best after he was traded to the Dolphins.

"I'm happy and excited for Brandon to have an opportunity do something he wanted to do," McDaniels said.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm also excited about the opportunities we're going to be presented here in the coming week with the draft." -- Broncos coach Josh McDaniels on the aftermath of the Brandon Marshall trade.




--P Mitch Berger was a midseason signee who had an up-and-down year. With the late-season addition of Britton Colquitt, don't expect Berger back.
--S Vernon Fox added some depth on special teams late in the year. He could return for camp.
--OT Brandon Gorin gave the Broncos some experience at tackle but was not the primary backup at the position. Denver could look elsewhere.
--LB Nick Greisen missed all of last season with a knee injury, and his health could determine his future.
--G Ben Hamilton was benched last season, and as a better fit in a zone-blocking scheme, is unlikely to return.
--DE Vonnie Holliday was a pleasant surprise as an addition right before the season started and would seem like a good bet to return for another year.
--CB Ty Law played well after being picked up during the season but did deal with some injuries and is near the end of his career. If he is re-signed, it's a sign the Broncos don't have much faith in 2009 second-round pick Alphonso Smith.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (*indicates restricted because of uncapped year)
--*OLB Elvis Dumervil (tendered at $3.168M with first- and third-round picks as compensation) should be a high priority for the Broncos after leading the NFL in sacks.


--S Josh Barrett: ERFA; terms unknown.
--G Russ Hochstein: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
--*G Chris Kuper: RFA; (tendered at $2.521M with first-round pick as compensation); $2.521M/1 yr.

--WR Brandon Lloyd: UFA; terms unknown. --*QB Kyle Orton (tendered at $2.621M with first-round pick as compensation).
--K Matt Prater: ERFA; terms unknown.
--*DE Le Kevin Smith: Not tendered as RFA; terms unknown.

--RB J.J. Arrington: FA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--DT Justin Bannan: UFA Ravens; $22M/5 yrs, $6.3M SB.
--DE Jarvis Green: UFA Patriots; $20M/4 yrs.
--CB Nate Jones: UFA Dolphins; $4.33M/4 yrs. --QB Brady Quinn (trade Browns).
--NT Jamal Williams: FA Chargers; $16M/3 yrs, $7M guaranteed.

--LB Andra Davis (released).
--OG Mitch Erickson (released/signed with Seattle).
--FB Peyton Hillis (traded Browns).
--RB LaMont Jordan (released).
--WR Brandon Marshall (traded Dolphins).
--DL J'Vonne Parker (released).
--DE Kenny Peterson (released).
--TE Tony Scheffler: Trade Lions.
--QB Chris Simms (released).
--C Casey Wiegmann (released).

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