The first group of prospects took the field on Friday to participate in the on the field drills. This group included the top offensive tackles in this year's class. Andrus Peat, La'el Collins, Ereck Flowers, T.J Clemmings, D.J. Humphries, and others all were tested on and off the field, interviewed, and went through team medicals. Some stood out, some disappointed and some backed up what people already thought about them.
One team that has shown a bit of interest in the offensive tackles in this year's draft class is the Denver Broncos. The Broncos had issues along the offensive line in 2014 and will be looking to improve in that area in 2015.
Mike Klis of the Denver Post tweeted out late last night that the Broncos are showing interest in two tackle prospects, and that it looks certain that they will be selecting one in the first two rounds of April's NFL Draft.
Among the Broncos' 60 formal combine visits: Colorado State OT Ty Sambrailo.— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) February 21, 2015
Among the Broncos' combine visits: Utah's 6-6, 330-pound OT Jeremiah Poutasi.— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) February 21, 2015
Ty Sambrailo is a local product out of Colorado State who could be a late first or second round option for the Denver Broncos in this spring's draft. Opinion's are all over the board on him, but one thing most evaluators agree on is that he needs to get stronger to succeed in the NFL. During the on the field drills on Friday, NFL Network's Mike Mayock suggested that he have a "red-shirt year" in 2015 and work on his strength.
The thing evaluator's do like about him is his athleticism. He has the athletic ability to be a solid left tackle in the NFL. He also his frame still has room to grow in the future. Once he grows into his body I believe he can be a solid NFL player.
Jeremiah Poutasi is an interesting prospect. He has improved his game every year in college, but he may not be a fit at tackle in the pros. He lacks the athletic ability to be a solid tackle in the pros, and many believe he's better suited to play inside at the next level. I believe he could be a solid mid-round option for the Broncos who need help/depth all over the offensive line.
The Broncos are also reportedly showing interest in a couple of the top tackle prospects in this year's class. I already touched on them meeting with LSU's tackle/guard La'el Collins who figures to be a top 15 pick, but the other is Florida's D.J. Humphries.
According to Matt Miller, the Denver Broncos "are in" on the athletic tackle.
Chargers, Panthers, Broncos are all teams late first round I'd say are "in" on DJ Humphries.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) February 18, 2015
Humphries is a very athletic tackle who has the ability to play left or right tackle in the NFL. One thing that could be an issue with him is his weight. Usually being overweight is the issue here, but for Humphries it is him being "too lean". Most people believed he would show up at the Combine around 285-295lbs, but he showed up at 307lbs which is a very good weight for a player like Humphries.
I believe he would be a solid fit in Kubiak's zone-blocking scheme that has utilized "smaller/faster" offensive linemen in the past. The problem is some believe he might be the first offensive linemen taken in this year's draft.
Now just because the Broncos haven't met or interviewed with a player does not mean they are not interested in the other top tackle prospects. It does however backup the theory that the Broncos are looking to improve at the right tackle spot, and may not target one during Free Agency.
Juwan Thompson the fullback?:
Andrew Mason an independent analyst at DenverBroncos.com touched on the subject in this week's mailbag. Mason suggests that the Broncos already have their fullback on the roster.
The fullback is back -- and it might be Juwan Thompson. More in this week's Mailbag: http://t.co/MwVKemSiYf pic.twitter.com/ktxhfAoqz9— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) February 21, 2015
The most effective fullbacks during the Broncos zone-blocking area were former tailbacks. Howard Griffith, Mike Anderson, and Cecil Sapp all had solid stints at fullback for the Broncos. Could Juwan Thompson join those ranks? Andrew Mason seems to think so.
Broncos 2015 NFL Draft interests tracker
•Mile High ReportThis is an updating list of players the Denver Broncos have been connected to ahead of the 2015 NFL Draft, whether that's pro day visits, private workouts, Senior Bowl interviews, Combine interviews or rumored interest.
After a promising rookie year that ended with multiple nagging injuries, Thompson could be the most intriguing back of the offseason. If the Broncos choose to look for a fullback from their current stable of backs, Thompson could be a viable candidate, given his skills with the football, power and blocking ability. He uses his 225 pounds to maximum effectiveness.
I believe Thompson could be a solid running back option in Kubiak's offense, but with C.J. Anderson, Montee Ball, and Ronnie Hillman already in the backfield the number games could push Thompson to fullback.
On Thursday, General Manager John Elway spoke about the importance of a fullback in the run game.
"I think to be real effective in the running game, you've got to run with the fullback, you've got to have 21 (two backs, one tight end) personnel and put somebody in the backfield," Elway said. "Whether that be a fullback, or a combination of a 'Y' fullback type thing or whatnot, but we'll have people that will be playing the fullback position, and Gary (Kubiak) will have more 21 personnel."
Do you guys think Juwan Thompson should be the Broncos fullback next season?
- The San Diego Chargers and tackle King Dunlap agree on new four-year $28 million dollar contract.
- Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will throw during today's on the field portion of the Combine.
- Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll said the team has given running back Marshawn Lynch "big offers" in the past.
- St. Louis Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher said that the Competition Committee will look into more replay.
- Could the Browns really move up for quarterback Marcus Mariota.
- The Jacksonville Jaguars are interested in moving out of the number 3 pick.
- The Green Bay Packers have released linebacker Brad Jones.
- Is Jameis Winston having shoulder issues?
- Green Bay Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk had ankle surgery.