clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Horse Tracks: 2018 NFL Draft early entrant declarations are underway

New, comments

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

Pro Bowl picks show Denver Broncos need more from draft classes
Denver has received little impact from its recent classes, with Von Miller being the team's last draft pick on the roster to have made a Pro Bowl.

Broncos' QBs trudge through season of disappointment, uncertainty
In a lost season for the Broncos, the team's struggling quarterbacks have gone week-to-week without knowing their starting status.

As the Broncos’ season winds down, Jordan Taylor adds more positions, responsibilities
As the Broncos look to close out their season with two wins, most players are also fighting for their jobs in 2018. Taylor’s versatility has provided the Broncos plenty of reasons to consider keeping him around in the future -- and on the field.

Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith not selected for Pro Bowl
Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt and Travis Kelce were all deserving of Pro Bowl berths, but some Chiefs with equally strong cases didn't make the cut.

Oakland Raiders have four Pro Bowlers despite underachieving season
Khalil Mack, Rodney Hudson, Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn earned Pro Bowl nods for the 6-8 Raiders, who entered 2017 with Super Bowl aspirations.

2018 NFL Pro Bowl selections, snubs for all 32 teams
Tom Brady, Todd Gurley and Drew Brees are in. Who else made it among the 88 players? And who should have made it? NFL Nation reporters detail every Pro Bowl pick, surprise and snub for all 32 teams.

New England Patriots strip Tom Brady's trainer of team privileges
Alex Guerrero, the trainer of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, has been stripped of several team privileges. He has been banned from boarding the team plane and has had his sideline access revoked, according to The Boston Globe.

Carolina Panthers LB Thomas Davis has suspension reduced to 1 game
The NFL announced Tuesday it has reduced its two-game suspension for Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis for his hit on Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams.

A.J. Green: Some players didn't take news of Marvin Lewis' exit well
Although he said it didn't affect him, A.J. Green said some players probably didn't take Sunday's Marvin Lewis news as well.

Malcolm Jenkins, teammates surprise families in North Philadelphia
Malcolm Jenkins and some of his teammates delivered gift baskets of food and presents to unsuspecting families in impoverished areas of Philadelphia.