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Broncos Mailbag 4.14.2014

By Cecil Lammey
NFL/ Fantasy Insider
ESPNDenver.com

With less than a month left to go before the 2014 NFL draft, it’s time to check in with Broncos fans to see what’s on their mind. I invited questions through Twitter, and these are some of the best ones to answer.

There are a few center and guard prospects that are worthy of premium picks in this year’s draft class. It’s not a strong class at either position, but here are a few players the Broncos could add to start. Center, Weston Richburg, Colorado State: He has the athleticism to move well in space. Richburg controlled the line calls for the Rams, and he’s used to an offense which audibles frequently. With the addition of free-agent center Will Montgomery, it seems like the Broncos won’t add a center in the draft. Guard, Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA: He’s a mature player who has experience playing both tackle and guard in college. He started every game of his college career, and is known as a dependable and durable player. Su’a-Filo lacks a mean streak as a run-blocker, but he has the athleticism to work well in pass-protection. Guard, David Yankey, Stanford: Yankey is a smart player with a strong core and the ability to use his hands effectively. He can be a sticky blocker at the second level and can easily hit a moving target.

At this time, it seems like the Broncos will not spend a premium pick on a guard either.

I’ll consider an early pick a first- or second-rounder. I would say no at this time. However, the Broncos will select a running back in this draft class. That pick should come on the third day of the draft where there will be plenty of value picks—and perhaps a pick with the highest upside of any back in this class. In the fifth round the Broncos could select Isaiah Crowell (Alabama State, Georgia transfer). He’s arguably the most naturally talented back in this draft class. Crowell was kicked off the Bulldogs after his freshman season when he was charged with possessing illegal weapons. The charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence, and Crowell found his way to Alabama State. He stayed out of trouble there for two years, and now he’s ready to take his skills to the NFL. The Broncos have a history with Georgia backs (Terrell Davis, Olandis Gary, Garrison Hearst, Knowshon Moreno), and I feel it would be in their best interest to add Crowell. He has a complete skill set, and has the upside to be a quality starter in this league. If the Broncos want a specialist at the position, they will have several different options to choose from late in the draft. If a speed back is wanted, the team could select a guy like James White (Wisconsin) or LaDarius Perkins (Mississippi State). If a power back is wanted, then the Broncos could add somebody like Tyler Gaffney (Stanford) or James Wilder Jr. (Florida State). With Moreno moving on to the Miami Dolphins in free agency, the Broncos do have a need at the position. They’ll fill that need in the draft.

The starter for Week 1 at the cornerback position is a bit of a mystery opposite of free-agent addition Aqib Talib. Chris Harris Jr. is coming back from a partially torn ACL injury that he suffered in the playoff game against the Chargers. All reports indicate that he is ahead in his recovery and that he should be ready for the start of the season. The Broncos may choose to put Harris on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list to begin training camp. Even if he’s ready for the start of camp, I would expect the Broncos to bring him along slowly so there’s no aggravation of the injury. If Harris suffers a setback, then the Broncos are likely to turn to a rookie cornerback or second-year pro Kayvon Webster. At this time, it seems like the Broncos are zeroing in on a middle linebacker or cornerback as their first-round pick in 2014. Thanks to everyone for your questions! I’ll do another Broncos mailbag as we get closer to the draft.

Broncos to face Seahawks in first game of preseason

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - FEBRUARY 02: Outside linebacker Malcolm Smith #53 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates his 69-yard touchdown with teammates after intercepting a pass thrown by quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos intended for running back Knowshon Moreno #27 in the second quarter during Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium on February 2, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The Denver Broncos' preseason opponents were announced on April 9. Clearly, the most notable game will be an early rematch with the Seattle Seahawks.

Week 1: vs. Seattle Seahawks -- Aug. 7-10, time TBD
Week 2: at San Francisco 49ers -- Aug. 14-18, time TBD
Week 3: vs. Houston Texans -- Aug. 21-24, time TBD
Week 4: at Dallas Cowboys -- Aug. 28, time TBD

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