Steve Atwater had one response to Ryan Edwards when the Broncos Country Tonight host asked “Hof” what his reaction would be if Denver came away from Thursday night’s first round draft with Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy.
Then he added, “I’ll be hyped. I’ll be a happy camper.”
But when Edwards said the Broncos would have to trade up to do that, Atwater cooled.
“Now that’s where you got problems,” he said. “I don’t necessarily think we have to trade up because one of those two - Jeudy or Henry Ruggs - will be available.”
Atwater started to argue that Ruggs might make it to the second round before being picked, but Benjamin Allbright, an unabashed fan of Ruggs for the Broncos, wasn’t having it.
“Every year there are people that are wrong, this is year is no exception,” Allbright added.
But Atwater remained steadfast that trading up - when there are so many good options no matter what at 15 - isn’t very prudent.
“Until they get in the building and play some games in the NFL, it’s still a coin toss if they’ll be good players,” Atwater schooled.
It’s no secret, though, that Atwater would love Broncos to walk away with Jeudy. Of the offensive players he scouted, the Alabama wideout was his top choice for best player.
“I also liked Cesar Ruiz (Michigan center), but I doubt Broncos would take him that high in the first round,” Atwater said.
Edwards and Allbright asked Atwater his thoughts on a few other later round prospects that may/may not be of interest to the Broncos.
Parnell Motley, Oklahoma safety:
“He’s a good player. Only thing I don’t like when he goes in to make a tackle, he goes in like a turtle. He lowers his head down. He makes a lot of tackles, but I fear he’ll get injured. But he makes plays. He’s not afraid.”
Terrell Burgess, Utah safety:
“I like him too. Makes a lot of tackles. He goes low on his tackles. I don’t like his vertical jump - 33.5, a little higher than yours, Ryan. Good speed, though. It looks like he’s confused at times. I see him doing that a little too frequently. He does a good job playing man-to-man on tight ends. He’s pretty good in the slot. I’d like to see him play some Cover 2 and middle-of-the-field coverage but did well in the slot and in the box.”
Jaylen Reagor, TCU wide receiver:
“He’s nice, man. His dad was drafted to Denver in 1999 - Monte Reagor. He had a few drops, though, but when he catches the ball, he makes some real nice sudden movements. He’s fast down the field with the ball. He’s a tough receiver. I’ve also seen him catch the ball, run down field and guys come after him, and he runs out of bounds. I’m like, man, you could get three or four more yards.”
Finally, in a hat tip to our own Joe Rowles who did a Twitter game - “safest pick, riskiest pick, best pick, worst pick” among all the draft picks - the guys asked Atwater to do the same. It’s more fun to listen to, but here are his answers:
Safest pick: “Come on, man, I say it every week - Jerry Jeudy.” But that was for Broncos. Overall, Atwater couldn’t help but pick another defensive back: “Actually I say Jeff Okudah, but he’ll be long gone for us.”
Riskiest pick: “Man, I hate to say this, Laviska Shenault.”
Best pick: “Who’s gonna ball out? You know what, probably Chase Young.”
Worst pick: “I don’t like saying negative things before they play in the league.”
Sleeper pick (replacement for “worst” pick): “Justin Jefferson, he’s going to be a sleeper. He’s good, man.”
And there you have it.
Always worth getting Atwater’s takes - especially on what has now been announced as Colorado’s “best evening show” in its inaugural year on the air.
Huge congrats to Ryan, Ben and the entire Broncos Country Tonight crew for the Colorado Broadcasters Association award last weekend!
Colorado Broadcasters Association Awards are out, and "Broncos Country Tonight" won "Best Evening Show" in its inaugural year.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) April 17, 2020
So proud of what we've created, and thank you guys for listening and making the show what it is.@KOAColorado pic.twitter.com/bUO5C3yNxm