NFL Combine Provides New Targets for Denver Broncos in 2014 NFL Draft
NFL Combine Provides New Targets For The Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos are entering the offseason with many questions to be answered. The 2013 season proved that they are the class of the AFC going into the 2014 season, but they fell one game short of their ultimate goal when they were embarrassed by the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl by a score of 43-8. It's such a shame that a season in which so many offensive records broken by perhaps the best Broncos team in years didn't ultimately end by winning the franchise's third Lombardi Trophy.
The Broncos will be looking towards free agency to help them fill some holes, but that is not the only place to look for some of the players the team seeks. They will also use the draft to obtain the players they feel will fit the team in the longer run. The draft has brought about some star players for the Broncos as in the last few years we have seen Demaryius Thomas, Derek Wolfe, Von Miller and Montee Ball to name a few.
The main area of focus that I see the Broncos having in the draft is on the defensive side of the ball. The defense was a weakness in the early parts of the season but got stronger as the year went along. However, it is an area that does need some slight improvement. It also would not hurt to look at the offensive line and maybe one or two playmakers on the offensive side of the ball.
The Combine is a perfect chance for the Broncos to see what players could fit into their system. In this article, I will be providing some players that the Broncos should draft that could be new targets due to their performance in the scouting combine in no particular order.
7. De'Anthony Thomas - RB, Oregon
De'Anthony Thomas can provide that explosive power in the running game as well as catch some passes from Peyton Manning. At 5-foot-9 he may seem a bit small, but he has the abilities to score every time he touches the football. He was also a great returner, so if Trindon Holliday returns, opposing teams will have to look out for both players in the punt and kick return game.
6. LaMarcus Joyner - CB, Florida State
Another small player, LaMarcus Joyner has the abilities to play like a taller and hard hitting cornerback. The best thing about him is that during his collegiate career, he has bounced between cornerback and safety. This shows that he has that ability to help out anywhere in the secondary which is the kind of hybrid player the Broncos could be looking for. His speed could be the X-Factor for the Broncos, who have seen some of their corners slow up a bit. A player who is zero to 60 in a mere seconds is a player who could help the Broncos in a huge way.
5. Tyler Gaffney - RB, Stanford
Despite his lack of burst and change in direction, Tyler Gaffney does have the ability to break tackles in the inside. He is a player who is difficult to bring down with just a simple arm tackle and he has the ability to have the same amount of running power in the late stages of the game as he did in the first quarter. His blocking ability also helps his cause as he can block for his quarterback well.
4. Carl Bradford - OLB, Arizona State
Carl Bradford is another player who has hybrid experience and can shift from the front line to the linebacker position which makes him really helpful. His speed to get to the ball is quite remarkable as well as he ran a 4.76 in the 40 yard dash. His use of leverage and quickness could be what the Broncos defense could be looking for, and his ability to rush the passer is certainly useful as well.
3. Cornelius Lucas - OT, Kansas State
I mentioned in a previous article that Cornelius Lucas could provide protection for Manning. I will be a broken record for this in the fact that his abilities to eat up pass rushers trying to get to Manning is going to be very helpful in the protection game. He is projected to be a late-round pick, but there is no doubt that he has the talent to play in the league for years to come.
2. Calvin Pryor - FS, Louisville
If the Broncos needed a hard-hitting safety, Calvin Pryor could be the player to deliver. Despite his small frame, Pryor can make the whole crowd cheer in excitement over his huge hits. His speed and vision would be excellent skills for a Broncos secondary that could use some help. His open field tackling is going to be a huge plus because of the team's lack of performance in that area.
1. Jordan Matthews - WR, Vanderbilt
If for some reason Eric Decker finds a better deal in free agency, Jordan Matthews could be a wideout to fit well in the Broncos' system. His ability to run routes and a solid catching radius makes this a receiver the Broncos might not pass up. His specialty comes after the catch where he can rack up quite a few yards once the ball is in his hands.