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Horse Tracks: Let the 2017 NFL Draft declarations begin

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The Denver Broncos are in a playoff hunt but with collegiate football's bowl season just around the corner, some of the nation's top talent are making their declarations to enter the 2017 NFL Draft.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Broncos Country.

While the Denver Broncos are in the midst of a playoff race, dozens of college football's best players will be making their declarations to stay in school or head to the NFL over the course of the next few weeks. Collegiate football's most prolific underclassmen have until January 16 to make their final decisions.

As of yesterday, a handful of intriguing prospects have already made their intentions known, foregoing their final year(s) of eligibility to pursue their dreams of playing at the most pinnacle league in all of sports.

One of them is junior star Stanford running back, Christian McCaffrey, who is the son of former Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey.  A versatile weapon as a runner, receiver and return man, McCaffrey is expected to be a high selection in the upcoming draft. Expect a lot of hype about him being in the running for the Broncos' first-round pick in 2017, but don't be disappointed if he finds a home elsewhere when his name is called in April.

Other rushers joining him are Leonard Fournette of LSU, Wayne Gallman of Clemson and D'Onta Foreman of Texas. They haven't declared yet, but FSU's Dalvin Cook, Oregon's Royce Freeman and Georgia's Nick Chubb are also rumored to be leaning towards heading to the NFL.  If so, this could be one of the deepest drafts at running back of all-time.

The Broncos' backfield has been decimated by injuries, with C.J. Anderson and Kapri Bibbs both being placed on injured reserve.  2016 fourth-round pick Devontae Booker has shown flashes of excellence, but Denver would be wise to use one of their many early selections on a versatile back who can help boost their stagnant offense and inconsistent rushing attack.

Other players worth noting are Michigan State's Malik McDowell and UCLA's Eddie Vanderdoes, who could provide upgrades to a Broncos defensive line that is thin on depth and talent. The Broncos could also use reinforcements on the offensive line, but the tackle depth in this years' draft took a significant hit when Notre Dame's Mike McGlinchey decided to return to the Fighting Irish for his senior season.

If you love the NFL Draft and are interested in who the Broncos will add to their team in 2017, stay tuned to Mile High Report over the next few months.  A plethora of draft content will be available from mock drafts, to scouting reports and various rumors regarding the teams' intentions this April.  You won't find a better Broncos draft source on the internet, I can assure you of that.

Feel free to discuss some of your favorite prospects in the comments section and give us your thoughts on the 2017 NFL Draft.  We'd love to hear them!

As always, thank you for reading and here is today's offering of Horse Tracks.

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