After trading up in the first round with the Bengals in exchange for the disappointing Deltha O'Neal, Denver made D. J. Williams the draft's first outside linebacker to be chosen. Williams is an athletic player that was the number one prep prospect coming out of high school. While he lacks the height for a linebacker, his speed and athleticism should make him stand out at the next level. If he is anything other than a starter from day one it will be considered a disappointment, though the Bronco's must spoon feed the defensive assignments to Williams. Tatum Bell, the teams first of two second round selections, appears to be the feature ball carrier for Denver. Bell is a patient runner that finishes strong. While he will need to refine his blocking and receiving skills he projects nicely to the Bronco's many cutback and counter plays. Darius Watts is a nice sized receiver that has consistently displayed a knack for making plays throughout his college career. A thin player that needs to add weight, Watts, has both injury and consistency concerns and was thought to have fallen dramatically heading into the draft. He does possess a nice upside and should be a solid complimentary receiver for the team in the future. Jeremy LeSueur may be Denver's best value selection in the draft. LeSueur is a big physical cornerback that has the ability to follow his man across the field. While speed is a concern LeSueur should have no problem fitting in as a nickel specialist as a rookie and has the ability to be a very good pro once he fully develops his skill set. Jeff Shoate will provide depth for the secondary throughout camp but may be best suited for the practice squad as a rookie. He lacks the speed to be effective in man situations but he does have the skills to play in a zone system. Triandos Luke gives the Bronco's another young receiver to develop. Luke is a speed merchant who shot up draft boards after this past season by being characterized as a coachable kid who works hard. Josh Sewell, like Tatum Bell, is another young player that can be plugged into the Bronco's machine. Sewell is a quick and explosive center that must get bigger and stronger. He does have the explosiveness to succeed at center and after a few seasons of NFL training could offer Denver and alternative to the pricey Tom Nalen. Matt Mauck is likely headed to dental school but offers some developmental skills which makes him an intriguing prospect. He will need at least a season in Europe before he can contribute following a short college career. Brandon Miree may be considered insurance in case Tatum Bell does not work out at first look. Upon closer inspection though he is exactly the type of running back that Mike Shanahan favors. A nice blocker that can contribute in the passing game, Miree is known as a punishing runner that always fights for yardage and finishes his runs by moving forward. It would not be surprising to see him push Bell and Garrison Hearst for serious playing time this year. Bradlee Van Pelt offers Denver a quarterback with an honest chance of developing. While he does not yet have the requisite feel for the position Van Pelt does have the arm strength and footwork that is needed to succeed. He can evade pressure and throw on the run but he must work on his overall accuracy .
Adding several young players at key offensive positions as well as two likely future defensive starters, Denver had one of the better drafts this April. They did a nice job protecting themselves from injury or ineffective play by doubling up at four positions. In the end this draft could reap 5-to-6 potential starters in the future.