|2||19(51)||Terry Pierce*||ILB||Kansas St.|
|5||22(157)||Ben Claxton||C||Ole Miss|
|6||21(194)||Aaron Hunt||DE||Texas Tech|
UDFA of Note: Cecil Sapp/RB/Colorado St
Offensive tackle was a big need area for Denver and they addressed it tabbing
George Foster in round one. A big, strong blocker that can be used on either
side of the line, Foster is a prospect that needs a lot of work and was a reach
to our minds. He moves well for a lineman close to 350-pounds and dominates the
opposition but is all over the place and lacks any sort of balance or body
control. Granted, recent injuries forced him to miss time and hampered his
development but even still, the Broncos are a team teetering on the edge.
With talent such as Kwame Harris and Rex Grossman still available, Foster was a
One position Denver heavily addressed in the draft the past five years is
linebacker and they got a bargain with Terry Pierce in round two. An explosive
defender that forces the action, Pierce was an impact player for Kansas State
since his freshman campaign. Poor post season workouts both on campus and at the
combine knocked him out of the top 32. Still, he can be eased into the line-up
and should be a productive starter in the future.
Another area the Bronco's always seemingly address in the draft's first
day is running back and this year they did it yet again. Quentin Griffin had a
splendid senior campaign and then went on to perform well at the combine,
improving his draft ranking at least two rounds. Griffin is a consummate
third-down back that should help as a return specialist but the question must be
asked, was this pick totally necessary.
Pair of undersized Clemson Tigers was chosen in round four. Nick Eason is an
explosive tackle that may also project to left end. He fights hard and has
decent playing speed but lacks bulk and has had injury problems in the past. It
will be interesting to see where Eason's college teammate, Bryant McNeal,
eventually ends up in Denver. McNeal, a small pass-rushing end, was projected by
many (including ourselves) to outside linebacker. In fact, we reported from the
combine how seamless McNeal looked during the alternate position drills when run
through a battery of linebacker skills. He could be a player that lines-up with
his hand on the ground during third and long situations yet a prospect Denver
looks to fashion for strong side linebacker in the future.
Ben Claxton was a solid choice in round five and a player we have always
liked. He can play several positions on the line and should be an inexpensive
back up for Tom Nalen at center.
Adrian Madise must earn his wage as a return specialist if he is to make the
team while Aaron Hunt is the type of player Denver has had success with in the
past. Hunt was exceptionally productive in college and does a solid job
defending the run or rushing the passer. He lacks the big frame and needs to
play next to a wide-body but his tenacity and intelligence will help him
Clint Mitchell was well worth the risk in the final frame. The long lanky
pass rusher is a very good football player but physically undeveloped. Terrible
workouts at the combine coupled with character questions pushed Mitchell deep
into the draft but if the Broncos are patient with him and he matures in all
aspects, they could hit a home run with the former Gator.
Ahmad Galloway, a running back coming off major knee surgery, was a strange
Analysis: This is a draft that may need time to develop and rank, as none of
the picks are sure things. They seemed to take prospects that will require a lot
of development and even worse, situational players.