clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Denver Broncos Draft Prospect Visit List (Updated 4-10-10)

As the NFL Draft grows closer and closer, I figured I would put something out other than a mock draft (for once) because even I feel they get old after a while.  After the jump is a list of prospects the Broncos have reportedly had private, in-depth workouts with.

What does this list prove? 

The answer to that question is still a mystery to me, but clearly the Broncos are favoring some positions to others when it comes to this process.  Perhaps that means they are sure of certain positions, or it could mean that they are not considering certain positions whatsoever. 

Either way, the list of players the Broncos have had private workouts with is very interesting, because it features a good mix of both familiar faces and some relatively under the radar prospects. 

More after the jump...

Breakdown by Position

QB:  1

RB:  3

WR:  7 8 9

TE/FB:  0

OT:  1

OG:  1

C:  4

DE:  4 3

NT:  3

DE/OLB:  1 2

ILB:  1

CB:  3

S:  0



1.  Tony Pike, Cincinnati  6'6" 223

Projected Round:  Third

Chance of landing with the Broncos:  Pike was in for a visit before the Broncos traded for Cleveland quarterback Brady Quinn, but if he is available in a round the Broncos don't expect him to be, such as the sixth, he would probably be drafted just based on the fact that he has good value. 

I don't see Pike landing with the Broncos, especially after the Quinn trade.


Running Back

1.  Toby Gerhart, Stanford  6'1" 235

Projected Round:  Second/Third

Chance of landing with the Broncos:  Of the RB's the Broncos have worked out, Gerhart has already become a fan favorite.  The Broncos lacked production last season in short yardage situations, and Gerhart would certainly fix that.  He is powerful, instinctive, and a fantastic two-sport athlete for the Cardinal.  Plus, he wore number seven at the alma mater of John Elway.  Could it be fate? 

I think the Broncos have a really good chance of landing Gerhart in the second round, provided running back is a position they are serious about upgrading early on.


2.  Montario Hardesty, Tennessee  6'0" 225

Projected Round:  Third

Chance of landing with the Broncos:  This is dependent on whether or not the Broncos go an alternate route with their second round pick, obviously.  Hardesty is a powerful running back with surprising speed for his size (ran a 4.49).  Hardesty's big flaw is his injury history, which is what is essentially keeping him out of the first or second round.  He is incredibly talented, and could be good (or not so good) insurance in the Broncos' backfield.

If Denver doesn't go with Gerhart in the second, I expect them to take Hardesty in the third if he is still available.


3.  Dexter McCluster, Ole Miss  5'8" 172

Projected Round:  Third

Chance of landing with Broncos:  McCluster may be one of the most electrifying prospects in the draft, but he is also one of the most versatile.  His size is the only thing keeping him from the first round, but it didn't prevent him from racking up impressive statistics at Mississippi.

Numerous outlets have placed McCluster at the wide receiver position for the future, but his small hands raise questions to me in that area.  He certainly has the capability to be a slot type receiver, but I question whether the Broncos will actually pick this guy up.

If he falls to them in the third round, I think the Broncos have to think long and hard about taking Dexter.  He is quick, and can have an impact at three different positions.


Wide Receiver

1.  Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State  6'2" 225

Projected Round:  First

Chance of landing with Broncos:  Bryant is a guy who has been consistently linked to the 11th overall pick, mainly as a replacement for Brandon Marshall, who most NFL analysts expect to be traded by or during the draft.  Bryant is a polarizing figure.  His on-field production is undeniable, and he has been regarded as the best WR prospect to come along since Calvin Johnson (though Megatron is, well, crazy good). 

Bryant has been the butt of much ridicule over the last couple of weeks, and reports indicate that his off-field issues are far overblown.  I tend to agree.  Bryant's character has never been a concern before now, and though his work ethic has been questioned, his production on the field has never shown it.  He is a real option for the Broncos with the 11th overall pick based on his talent alone. 


2.  Damian Williams, USC  6'1" 197

Projected Round:  Second

Chance of landing with Broncos:  Williams is the best route runner in this draft.  His quickness and elusiveness after the catch have to be enticing for the Broncos.  Depending on whether the Broncos go with Dez Bryant in the first round, I think Williams would be a nice alternative in the second.  He has had problems with fumbling throughout his career, which is his biggest concern right now.  That and his ability to go across the middle. 


3.  Arrelious Benn, Illinois  6'1" 220

Projected Round:  Second

Chance of landing with Broncos:  Benn has been compared to Anquan Boldin.  Like I said above, if the Broncos decide to go a different route in the first round, Benn is a serious option.  If the team plans on trading Brandon Marshall, he is a definite option in the second round.  If the Broncos' focus is on re-loading the receiver position, they could trade Marshall and draft Dez Bryant and Benn/Williams in the first couple of rounds.


4.  Jacoby Ford, Clemson  5'9" 186

Projected Round:  Third

Chance of landing with Broncos:  Ford has been a hot commodity for the Broncos.  They looked hard at him at the Senior Bowl, and now with his private workout, it appears as though Denver has real interest in bringing this kid in.  Ford has exceptional speed at 4.22 seconds in the 40 yard dash, and is an electrifying return man.  His immediate impact for the Broncos would be on special teams.  If they go WR in the first two rounds, his chances of being drafted diminish, but his return capabilities keep him in play undoubtedly.


5.  Jordan Shipley, Texas  5'11" 193

Projected Round:  Third

Chance of landing with Broncos:  Shipley is considered to be the best slot wide receiver prospect coming out in this year's draft.  He has extremely reliable hands, and though he is older than most rookies, his collegiate production cannot be ignored.  He was extremely productive at Texas, and was the favorite target of QB Colt McCoy.  Brandon Stokley is aging, so it's no question the Broncos are looking to groom someone behind him on the depth chart.


6.  Mardy Gilyard, Cincinnati  6'0" 187

Projected Round:  Third/Fourth

Chance of landing with Broncos:  Gilyard was flat out a playmaker for the Bearcats the last two seasons.  In all, he scored a whopping 28 touchdowns for Cincinnati in the last two seasons (22 receiving, 4 KR, 1 PR, 1 rushing).  He is a very versatile player who is faster than his timed speed would indicate.  He would be a fantastic value in the fourth round, and it would be hard for the Broncos to pass on this kid if he is available at pick 114.


7.  Armanti Edwards, Appalachian State  6'0" 187

Projected Round:  Fourth/Fifth

Chance of landing with Broncos:  Edwards may be the most decorated prospect available in this draft.  He is the first player to win the Walter Payton Award twice, which is the Div. II equivalent of winning the Heisman Trophy twice.  He played quarterback in college, but projects as a Josh Cribbs type of player in the NFL.  He is an interesting prospect for the Broncos' fourth round selection.  There is speculation that he will not make it past the fifth, and the Broncos don't have a fifth round pick.  They could try to maneuver to get him, but he is definitely a hot prospect right now. 

He has great speed, and tremendous vision as a ball carrier.  A playmaker, to say the least. 


8.  Eric Decker, Minnesota  6'3" 217

Projected Round:  Third/Fourth

Chance of landing with Broncos:  In the comment section, I described Decker as a gutiony who is very intelligent, and one who has hands like "bear claws lined with super glue".  Maybe a bit of an exaggeration there, but Decker caught nearly anything and everything that was thrown his way with poor quarterback play at Minnesota.  I think he's more than an option with the Broncos' 80th overall pick, and if he is still there at 114, you can expect his name to be called right away.


9.  Carlton Mitchell, USF  6'3" 214

Projected Round:  Second/Third

Chance of landing with Broncos:  Mitchell is one of the hottest prospects right now.  He has ideal size for the position, and very good speed given that size.  The former South Florida Bull has exceptional athleticism, and CBS even compared his physicality to that of our own Brandon Marshall.  How's that for potentially replacing our upset WR?  Mitchell could be had potentially with the 80th overall pick, but I wouldn't be surprised if he comes off the board before that.  Mitchell only had 105 catches in his three year career at USF, but his NFL ready  talent is undeniable.  He will be a bargain in the 2nd or 3rd.


Offensive Tackle

1.  Jared Veldheer, Hillsdale  6'8" 312

Projected Round:  Second/Third

Chance of landing with Broncos:  Veldheer is an extremely athletic tackle, and the Broncos could certainly use depth along their offensive line.  The second round would be too high to take this hot, quick rising prospect, but if he is available in the third round, the Broncos could definitely give him a look. 


Offensive Guard

1.  Vladimir Ducasse, UMass  6'5" 331

Projected Round:  Second

Chance of landing with Broncos:  Denver worked out Ducasse a while ago, and his skills are very raw.  He picked up the game when he was in high school, and while he wasn't recruited by big schools, he has proven he is an athletic specimen who can make an impact at the next level.  I have mocked Ducasse to the Broncos at 45 overall, but am veering away from that.  He is a guard/tackle tweener, and depending on which way they go in round one, I think Ducasse would be an excellent add in round two, though he may be a slight reach.



1.  Maurkice Pouncey, Florida  6'5" 304

Projected Round:  First

Chance of landing with Broncos:  Center is clearly the Broncos' most glaring need.  The only center currently on the roster is Dustin Fry, who has yet to play any meaningful NFL snaps.  Broncos brass indicated they were high on Fry coming out of Clemson, but Pouncey is a clear upgrade over anyone on the Broncos' roster at the position. 

Russ Hochstein has played C in his career, and Josh McDaniels indicated that Seth Olsen had been taking snaps this offseason in preparation to play the position if needed.  So technically, the Broncos believe they have three centers who could play if called upon.

Pouncey has been dubbed the best center prospect in ten years by some outlets, and he may very well be.  I am of the opinion that the Broncos should make Pouncey a high priority, and clearly center is a position they will address at some point in the draft.  A potential 15 year starter in the 20 year old Pouncey has to be enticing.


2.  Matt Tennant, Boston College  6'5" 300

Projected Round:  Second/Third

Chance of landing with Broncos:  If the Broncos opt to select a player other than Maurkice Pouncey in round one, certainly they will be planning on selecting a developmental player at center rather than a guy they desire to start immediately.  Tennant fits that description.  He is a tall, lanky offensive lineman with room for plenty of additional muscle mass in his frame.

He is a leader, durable, and has excellent athleticism.  The Broncos could reach for him with the 45th pick, or hope he falls to them in the third round.


3.  J.D. Walton, Baylor  6'3" 300

Projected Round:  Third/Fourth

Chance of landing with Broncos:  If the Broncos are looking for a last resort for a guy who can possibly start in 2010 if need be, Walton is the guy to call upon.  He has short arms, which is not ideal for a center, but he has tremendous toughness and intangibles.  If the Broncos take Walton, it will likely be with their 80th pick, as he has little chance of falling to the mid-fourth round.


4.  Joe Hawley, UNLV  6'3" 297

Projected Round:  Sixth/Seventh

Chance of landing with Broncos:  Hawley may be the most interesting of the center prospects the Broncos have worked out.  He's obviously not a highly touted prospect, but he is a workout warrior who will most certainly hear his name called on draft weekend, and one who is being worked out by plenty of NFL squads right now. 

Hawley is described as the vocal leader of the UNLV offensive line, and he packs a big punch.  Hawley threw up 35 repetitions of 225 pounds in the bench press, and is considered one of the toughest linemen in this draft.  His versatility along the line will be attractive, as well as his positive attitude and durability.


Defensive End

1.  Jared Odrick, Penn State  6'5" 305

Projected Round:  First

Chance of landing with Broncos: Odrick may be the hottest prospect out there right now in terms of some team who could look to need over value in the first round.  More specifically, the Cleveland Browns are the latest team to be rumored to be interested in Odrick, and some feel he could go as high as seven overall. 

The Broncos' interest in Odrick is not shocking, but it's not likely they will come away from the first round with him.  If they do, they are getting probably the best 3-4 defensive end prospect available in this draft outside of Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy, who can dominate in any scheme.


2.  Tyson Alualu, California  6'3" 297

Projected Round:  Second

Chance of landing with Broncos:  Alualu has been mocked around MHR to the Broncos quite a bit, but recent reports indicate he may be a better fit for the 4-3 defense.  Not sure I agree with that assessment completely, as this high motor defender has proven throughout his collegiate career that he is more than capable of causing havoc in the offensive backfield in any scheme. 

Alualu is a hard worker, and will be a sound addition to any defensive line.  The Broncos are quite loaded on the defensive front, but some feel they could use a youth infusion.  Alualu would have to be drafted with the 45th overall pick, and that seems like a high price to pay.


3.  Al Woods, LSU  6'4" 305

Projected Round:  Fifth

Chance of landing with Broncos:  Woods has the ideal size you look for in a 3-4 defensive end, but it seems unlikely that the Broncos would reach for him in the fourth round.  If they can acquire multiple extra picks, he might be a later round option, but right now, it seems like they are just doing their due diligence by privately working out Woods. 



Nose Tackle

1.  Terrence Cody, Alabama  6'4" 349

Projected Round:  First/Second

Chance of landing with Broncos:  Quite honestly, it seems more likely that Cody will become a rival of the Broncos than a player for them.  Cody's services are highly coveted by both the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs, both of whom will select twice before the Broncos.  Cody has been mocked to the Chargers at 28, and that seems like a very likely destination for the Alabama All American. 

If he falls to the Broncos at 45, they will have a tough time passing on him.


2.  Dan Williams, Tennessee  6'2" 327

Projected Round:  First

Chance of landing with Broncos:  I am openly not a fan of Dan Williams in the 3-4 scheme, though football players tend to simply play football when it comes down to it.  Williams really emerged as a stout run defender in his senior season under defensive guru Monte Kiffin, who implemented the Tampa 2 system at Tennessee.  I believe Williams to be a much, much better fit for the 4-3 scheme, where he can better utilize his superior quickness. 

Williams has outstanding upper body strength, but some see him as a one year wonder at Tennessee (Robert Ayers?).  I personally do not think he is a good fit for the Broncos in the first round, but if he is around in the 2nd I wouldn't think twice about taking him.  Williams was considered a 2nd or 3rd round pick prior to his Senior Bowl performance.  He would be a reach at 11 overall as the Broncos have many other glaring needs to address.


3.  Torrell Troup, Central Florida  6'3" 314

Projected Round:  Third

Chance of landing with Broncos:  If Denver is going to take a nose tackle in this draft, I really hope they go after UCF's Torrell  Troup in the third round.  Troup has fantastic upper body strength, but fairly average initial quickness.  Troup is known as a hard worker, an unselfish player, a leader, and a high effort guy.  That's the type of 315 pound man you want roaming around the middle of your defensive line.  Said to be an ideal fit for the nose tackle position because of the leverage he gains. 


Hybrid Linebacker

1.  Koa Misi, Utah  6'3" 251

Projected Round:  Second/Third

Chance of landing with Broncos:  Misi will be making the conversion from college defensive end to outside linebacker in the pros, so he is automatically a candidate for any 3-4 team.  Is known as a high character guy, a team captain, and a guy who plays to the whistle on every down.  Misi's price tag may be a bit high for a team who might only be looking for depth, but the situation of Elvis Dumervil could cause the Broncos to have to go for a hybrid linebacker early on.

Misi is said to have very natural pass defense skills, and is very instinctive coming off the edge.  He is rarely found out of place, and It might not be a bad idea for the Broncos to take this kid with their second round selection, especially given the uncertainty of Elvis Dumervil.

2.  Brandon Graham, Michigan  6'1" 263

Projected Round:  First

Chance of landing with Broncos:  Denver invested a first round pick in last year's draft on Robert Ayers out of Tennessee, so it seems unlikely they would add Graham, though not for a lack of production.  Graham was one of the college football's most feared defenders last season, and he led the nation in tackles for loss.  He is a relentless, high motor player who will have a huge impact on a 3-4 defense in the NFL as a pass rusher.  The Broncos could do a lot worse in the first round. 


Inside Linebacker

1.  Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri  6'1" 240

Projected Round:  First

Chance of landing with Broncos:  Weatherspoon is an extremely strong linebacker with great leadership skills.  He is a real option for the Broncos with their 11th overall pick in the first round if they opt not to trade down.  His selection would become even more likely if the Broncos obtain an additional first round pick for wide receiver Brandon Marshall. 

Weatherspoon is very good in pass defense, but he is no slouch in the run game.  He has great quickness, excellent speed, and good vision.  If the Broncos are looking at an inside linebacker early on, this kid certainly fits the bill. 



1.  Kareem Jackson, Alabama  5'11" 196

Projected Round:  First/Second

Chance of landing with Broncos:  Jackson is a very hot prospect right now who possesses great size and speed for the position, and comes from an aggressive 3-4 defense.  Jackson has a high motor, is instinctive, and is a much better tackler than many of his peers.  The Broncos do not really need a cornerback early in the draft, but if Jackson falls to their 2nd round pick, he could be hard to pass on.  He gives them another option.


2.  Alterraun Verner, UCLA  5'11" 189

Projected Round:  Fourth/Fifth

Chance of landing with Broncos:  With the way the Broncos value special teams players, Verner's name becomes a serious option in the fourth round.  His special teams prowess and superb intelligence make him a very attractive prospect for this new Broncos regime.  If he is available in the fourth round, look for the Broncos to call his name depending on the talent available, even though this team is not desperate for another corner.


3.  A.J. Jefferson, Fresno State  6'0" 193

Projected Round:  Fifth/Sixth

Chance of landing with Broncos:  Jefferson is a guy who has great size and speed, but who is very raw.  If he is available in the sixth round, he could be a nice value due to his stock skyrocketing.  I have previously suggested Jefferson as an undrafted option, but great measurables have set him up nicely to be selected some time on draft weekend. 


4.  C.J. Lovett, Fort Hays State, 5'11" 195

Projected Round:  Undrafted

Chance of landing with Broncos:  The Broncos brought this kid in for a private visit, and admittedly there is not much info on him out there.  He doesn't have great speed, though he does have good size for the cornerback position.  He will likely go undrafted unless we pull the trigger in the seventh round, and you could/should/probably will see him signed as an undrafted free agent.


Random Thoughts on Process

The Broncos still have a few more prospect visits to use, and I would expect them to be used on either the offensive line or linebacker, a couple of spots the visits seem thin given the players the Broncos currently have at the positions.  I think it's interesting that Denver has not gone out and gotten visits with more hybrid linebackers.  Perhaps Jarvis Moss has his name etched into a locker, and he's not giving it up.

What does all of this mean for the Broncos' draft?

Well, last year, the team had private workouts with each of its top five selections, so clearly they place a high value on these pre-draft workouts. 

Based on the amount of players being scouted at certain positions, the Broncos are prepared to significantly upgrade this team at wide receiver, center, and very interestingly given the offseason moves thus far, defensive line.  You could see those as our first three picks.  There are plenty of different combinations, but I will just throw some out there:

Option One

1.  Maurkice Pouncey

2.  Damian Williams

3.  Torrell Troup


Option Two

1.  Dez Bryant

2.  Tyson Alualu

3.  Matt Tennant


Option Three

1.  Jared Odrick

2.  Arrelious Benn

3.  J.D. Walton


List of 30 Prospects Visited (and CBS Overall Ranking)

1.  Dan Williams, NT (14)

2.  Brandon Graham, OLB (17)

3.  Dez Bryant, WR (18)

4.  Sean Weatherspoon, LB (25)

5.  Jared Odrick, DL (27)

6.  Maurkice Pouncey, C (28)

7.  Kareem Jackson, CB (33)

8.  Terrence Cody, NT (40)

9.  Tyson Alualu, DL (45)

10.  Koa Misi, OLB (53)

11.  Damian Williams,WR (54)

12.  Arrelious Benn, WR (55)

13.  Dexter McCluster, RB/WR/RS (56)

14.  Vladimir Ducasse, OL (59)

15.  Torrell Troup, DL (60)

16.  Toby Gerhart, RB (66)

17.  Tony Pike, QB (68)

18.  Matt Tennant, C (73)

19.  Carlton Mitchell, WR (77)

20.  Jared Veldheer, OT (78)

21.  Montario Hardesty, RB (80)

22.  Eric Decker, WR (84)

23.  Jacoby Ford, WR (90)

24.  J.D. Walton, C (95)

25.  Mardy Gilyard, WR (106)

26.  Jordan Shipley, WR (139)

27.  Alterraun Verner, CB (140)

28.  Armanti Edwards, ATH (162)

29.  A.J. Jefferson, CB (175)

30.  Joe Hawley, C (252)


Those options are, if the Broncos indeed do plan to go with the prospects they have most targeted in the first three rounds.

Denver has plenty of different routes to travel in this year's draft.  This is an unusually deep draft on paper, so they will be getting starting caliber players well into the third round.  This is something that needs to be taken advantage of, more specifically by trading down with other teams. 

Like last year, the Broncos will probably be one of the draft's most active teams in terms of trading.  Last year, they moved all around the draft, and wound up acquiring three second round picks before all was said and done.  This year, they could be looking to deal wide receiver Brandon Marshall and tight end Tony Scheffler, provided the price is right. 

Marshall and Scheffler have first and second round tender values respectively, so the Broncos have very high value for both players.  I think Denver would accept a third round pick or a package of lower picks for Scheffler, and I think they will end up getting their own first round pick back in exchange for Marshall. 

While I believe Scheffler has undoubtedly played his final game in a Broncos uniform, Marshall could very well wind up back in the Mile High City.  If no team is willing to offer the Broncos a first round pick for Marshall, they will have a very good player for a minimum of three years (franchise tag) or until he is traded for what the Broncos feel is prime value. 

There is not a question in my mind that Marshall is worth a first round pick, or something equivalent to a first round pick like a second, third, and future third, or something of the sort.  Either way, this prospect list indicates strongly that the team is looking to upgrade significantly at wide receiver, and they are potentially planning as though Marshall will be gone by the time the second round of the draft rolls around. 

The fact that the Broncos are willing to deal Marshall means Dez Bryant's name is always going to be in play.  The Denver Post reported today that the Broncos, as well as every other team in the NFL, view Bryant as a top ten talent in this year's draft, and I whole-heartedly agree.  Recent reports of Bryant's off field antics have been "overblown", and there was a report recently that the Dolphins would not let Marshall Bryant slip past their 12th overall pick, which drives the value of Brandon Marshall up, so thanks to the Dolphins for that.

As the anticipation of the draft continues to mount, the draft picture for the Broncos is becoming a bit clearer, but as we all know, anything can happen on draft day, so we cannot be too sure of ourselves. 

Happy Draftivus!