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Jameis Winston's combine performance draws Peyton Manning comparisons - Horse Tracks

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Jameis Winston has impressed scouts with his Peyton Manning-like football IQ... Orlando Franklin appears to be gone... more in Sunday's Horse Tracks.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Jameis Winston has the opportunity to be the #1 overall pick in the NFL Draft, and by the sound of it, he isn't taking that opportunity lightly. Winston has been impressive as a top-drafting team could have hoped for in the Scouting Combine, even impressive enough to draw comparisons to Peyton Manning in the football intelligence department.

Freeman related it this way--

Before the 40s and the jumping and the throwing, Jameis Winston went through interviews with a number of teams. The results were, well, allow me to let one team's personnel man who was in the room with Winston explain.

"I think he's probably the smartest player I've ever interviewed," he told me.

Ever?

"Ever," he responded. "Football IQ as good as I've ever seen."

Winston is saying all the right things to the media, too. He claims his current competition isn't only among his fellow draft mates, but against the likes of Peyton and Tom Brady, adding, "I plan on winning the Super Bowl next year." These comparisons have Bucs fans pretty excited.

Combine Horse Tracks

Jameis Winston well aware NFL demands its QBs pass image test too - The Denver Post
"First off, I want to let you all know I know I made mistakes, and I know I have a past. But right now it's about me moving forward and earning the trust of all these 32 teams out there," the Florida State product says.

John Elway: 40 time matters, but also a bit of 'showbiz'
"You know, it's a big part of it, but it's also showbiz, too," Elway said of the 40. "It is important to be able to see what these guys can run, but they also train for it now, too. "So it does help you, and you like to see guys run fast, but you can also see how fast they play on tape, too. A lot of it is game speed. A lot of guys can come run a 4.2 here, put pads on them and they run a 4.7. "So a lot of guys don't carry their pads nearly as well as other guys."

Day 2 Workout Stock Watch: Receivers rising
The Force with was with Star Wars aficionado Chris Conley on Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Perhaps no wide receiver did more to open eyes than the 6-foot-2, 213-pound University of Georgia standout, who had the third-best 40-yard dash time (4.35) -- just behind UAB receiver J.J. Nelson's 4.29-second 40 -- and led the way in the vertical jump (45 inches) and the broad jump (11 feet, seven inches).

Potential Broncos: QBs, DLs, LBs
A handful of Friday images of prospects that might be on Denver's Draft radar

Mike Mayock previews Draft: Part 1
NFL Network's Mike Mayock gives his thoughts on the Combine and how it will affect the draft.

Mike Mayock previews Draft: Part 2
NFL Network's Mike Mayock gives his thoughts on the Combine and how it will affect the draft.

Denver Broncos tight end/offensive line prospects to keep an eye on - ESPN
Minnesota tight end Maxx Williams, who is likely the top prospect at the position, was also the third-fastest tight end who ran the 40-yard dash. He was officially clocked at 4.78 seconds. Williams is intriguing to a team such as the Broncos -- whose three tight ends are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents -- because he plays hard, is a quality receiver who gets off press coverage and is an effective blocker on the move, something that will be a part of the Broncos’ new scheme. He might not even be on the board by the time the Broncos pick in the first round, but due diligence is always required.

47" inch vertical jump at Regional Combine
Willie Creear of Eastern Michigan jumps 47 inches at the Regional Combine.

NFL Combine Notebook: Day 4
Without doubt, a question that always gets asked at any combine interview session is who they model their game after. For Ellis McCarthy, that person isn't a current player or even a player from the past. He models his game after the Hulk, he said. "Violent and destructive."

Broncos Horse Tracks

Klis: Broncos have nine positions of need - The Denver Post
Expect free agent Orlando Franklin to get handsomely paid by another team.

Denver John Elway: Broncos 'not afraid to play young guys' - ESPN
"They’re going to have expectations for those young guys to be able to step in and be able to contribute early,’’ Elway said. "That’s the coaching staff, that’s Gary’s mindset, the coaching staff’s mindset, they’re not afraid to play young guys. They’ll get them trained up to play, which is going to be beneficial to us.’’ Wide receiver Cody Latimer (second round) played just 37 snaps on offense last season. Tackle Michael Schofield (third round) was a gameday inactive for 16 regular-season games as well as the Broncos’ playoff loss in Janusry, and center Matt Paradis spent the season on the practice squad.

Paige: Broncos can reload and do better with key free agents - The Denver Post
And this will lift your eyebrows: safety Devin McCourty. It would require about $9 million a year to pry him out of New England, but the Patriots can't pay him and Darrelle Revis.

Hochman vs. Kiszla: Would it be a mistake to let Julius Thomas go? - The Denver Post
Gone? Shoot, was he even here for the second half of last season? Yeah, this guy is gone, and my guess is he will make less than the $8 million per year he could have had by signing a long-term contract with Denver. New Broncos coach Gary Kubiak has a track record of grooming and growing tight ends. When offensive coordinator Rick Dennison was asked this month how important the tight end position is, he said, "I don't know that there is any one position that's more important as far as just getting ready to move the ball."