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Horse Tracks: 2018 NFL Draft early entrant declarations are underway

Some of the best underclassmen in college football are already declaring their intent to enter the 2018 NFL Draft. The more prospects that declare will benefit the Denver Broncos in their draft plans.

NCAA Football: UL Monroe at Florida State Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Broncos Country.

It’s been a lost season for the Denver Broncos in their underwhelming 2017 campaign that will undoubtedly end as a losing season. Currently sitting at 5-9 and last place in the AFC West, the franchise is going to need all the help they can get to turn things around next year — regardless of who is coaching them.

The 2018 NFL Draft will present itself as the best opportunity for the Broncos to help get their franchise back to their winning ways, perhaps not immediately, but most certainly in respect to their long-term efficacy. After winning their past two contests, the Broncos have likely played themselves out of a top five selection, and any further wins could jeopardize the potentiality of them picking in the top ten.

As it stands now, which Scotty mentioned in yesterday’s Horse Tracks, the Broncos currently hold the ninth overall pick in next year’s draft. In addition to that selection Denver has a quality bounty of picks holding the 40th, 74th, 102nd, 105th, 136th, 151st, 170th and 201st picks, and have the potential to gain more through the compensatory process — and could have as many as six selections in the top 125 when April rolls around.

While the Broncos aren’t engaging the tank anymore, they can now turn their hope toward having as many top-tier underclassmen declare as possible. Prospects have until January 15th to decide whether to remain in school and finish their eligibility or to set their sights toward the glory of the NFL gridiron. It’s quite early, but nearly twenty high-caliber prospects have already made their intentions to take the next step.

Some prospects I've discussed in my Future Broncos series are among them, such as offensive tackles Connor Williams and Brian O'Neill, who would most certainly help fix Denver's offensive line. Versatile defensive back Derwin James has also thrown his hat in the ring, along with heralded South Carolina tight end Hayden Hurst. With the shot of a top five pick all but gone, the more of these guys that declare, the better shot the Broncos will have at obtaining top-tier talent early on in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Here is to hoping more prospects declare and that John Elway and his scouting staff are searching everywhere in the country to improve the team’s roster for next season and beyond. It’s been a while since the Broncos have gotten a lot of early impact from any of their draft classes in way of Pro-Bowl accolades and All-Pro honors. Without question, that’s a trend the franchise certainly needs to buck.

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

Horse Tracks

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