A big-name running back and a speedy cornerback later, the Denver Broncos are feeling good about their draft thus far.
After passing on Eddie Lacy in favor of Sylvester Williams in round one, the Broncos found their running back with their first pick on day two. Even with Lacy still on the board, the Broncos felt the better running back for them was Montee ball out of Wisconsin.
Ball paid a lot of attention to the Broncos as he was growing up. He took note of former Broncos running back Terrell Davis and made sure to pay attention to what Davis did and said during his career. Prior to the draft, Ball had limited contact with the Broncos, only sitting down for a formal interview during the NFL Combine.
“Evidently it went really well and I’m blessed to be a part of the Broncos family,” Ball said. “I’ve watched Terrell Davis–all of his interviews; all of his highlights; everything.”
Back at Dove Valley, executive vice president of football operations John Elway and head coach John Fox raved about Ball and what he will bring to the Broncos’ now crowded backfield.
“The area on offense where we need to improve the most is the run game,” Fox said. “We thought that Montee would add a lot to our football team.”
The Broncos now face a dilemma of potentially having too many backs and maybe having to trim that number down during training camp.
“It’s a competitive game, a competitive lifestyle year-to-year,” Fox said. “You bring guys in and let them compete and the guys who play the best play.”
Elway maintained that the Broncos are only focused on the draft right now and not what will come out of it. Training camp is still months away and the Broncos are still trying to do what’s best for their team right now.
That includes continuing their efforts to get better on the defensive side of the ball which they felt they did by adding cornerback Kayvon Webster from South Florida.
There was little doubt that the Broncos would target a cornerback in this year’s draft, the only question proved to be when. Webster stood out to Fox and Elway because of his tackling ability and speed on the field.
“Kayvon is a fast and explosive player who had great production during his career at South Florida,” head coach John Fox said. “He was one of the faster cornerbacks in the draft with sub-4.4 speed, and he will be a great addition to our team.”
Champ Bailey isn’t getting any younger and although the Broncos have gotten excellent play out of Chris Harris, they have continued to add players to bolster the defensive backfield. Tracy Porter did not pan out in 2012 and the Broncos brought in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to assume that role in 2013.
Long-term, the Broncos hope they struck gold with Webster. The rookie-to-be totaled 190 tackles in his four years at South Florida.
“Corner was a position we wanted to address; of course we staged that through the whole draft,” Fox said. “We were happy he got us. We felt good about his upside and what evidence he put on tape.”
Like Ball, Webster took note of the Broncos early in his life and, as his football career has advanced, has had his own idol to look up to.
“I love Champ. Favorite corner,” Webster said. “The Broncos were my first team I grew up watching, when John Elway was in the Super Bowl in ’98 and that got my eye wanting to play football.”
The Broncos will make their final three picks in rounds four, five and seven Saturday. Their sixth round pick, which is currently held by Tampa Bay, was part of the trade that brought Broderick Bunkley over from Philadelphia.
The Broncos were able to find some value late in the draft last year when they selected Danny Trevathan in the sixth round. Trevathan was able to find his way onto the field enough to rack up 33 tackles and a sack.
With the loss of Elvis Dumervil to Baltimore, the Broncos could take a long look at adding an outside pass rusher.
“To find a great pass rusher you have to find a needle in a haystack and coach them well,” Elway said. “If you find somebody that that has the athletic ability side to where we can coach them into it–hopefully there are a couple of nuggets there where we can find one.”
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