2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Broncos look for help on D-line in draft

By EDDIE PELLS - AP National Writer
    2013-04-23 11:32

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Safe to say, the Broncos will not be faxing their pick to league headquarters.

Still, it's that balky fax machine and the repercussions of losing Elvis Dumervil that helped shape the way Denver heads into this week's draft.

The team that tied for the best record in the league last season, then lost both its playoff game and Dumervil to the Baltimore Ravens, needs a pass-rushing defensive lineman as much as anything this offseason.

The Broncos have the 28th pick Thursday and whether Executive Vice President John Elway decides to use it, or trade down as he did last season, he figures to have his pick from a deep group of defensive ends, including Tank Carradine and Bjoern Werner of Florida State and Datone Jones of UCLA.

``There are a lot of good football players there,'' Elway said. ``It's kind of a matter of what kind of flavor you like.''

Entering his third draft as a Broncos executive, Elway acts like a true NFL front-office veteran in his pre-draft meetings with the media - speaking in broad generalities, discussing his appreciation for ``the best player available'' and even talking up Dumervil's replacement, Robert Ayers, a first-round pick in 2009 who has 6 1/2 career sacks.

Dumervil had 11 sacks last season and 63 1/2 over his six healthy years in Denver.

``Robert Ayers had a good year last year,'' Elway said. ``He was coming on and he's the starter there at right end right now. I have faith that he is going to come in and have a good year.''

That message could, of course, be one part true and another part for the benefit of Dwight Freeney, the free-agent pass rusher who could still wind up in a Broncos uniform but only at the right price. Freeney kept himself out of the frenzy of signings when the market opened; word is he's holding out for a better deal that could come when teams see what they have come the end of draft weekend.

The Broncos certainly won't have Dumervil, and in his pre-draft news conference, Elway fielded a few questions about what, exactly, happened. The short version: Things got dicey when the Broncos said ``OK'' to Dumervil even though he'd missed their deadline to agree to a restructured deal and a significant pay cut. In a late rush to complete the deal, Dumervil and his agent didn't get the signed contract faxed to the Broncos in time and the team had no choice but to waive him.

``If there's anything I would take back it's the fact that if there's a deadline, there's a deadline,'' Elway said. ``There's a reason why there's a deadline, because you can't get everything done fast enough. It's an unfortunate situation, but that won't happen again.''

Why the fax machine?

``I'm not going to get into that,'' Elway said.

While Elway talks about drafting the best player available, there are some positions where he will almost certainly not go, at least not early.

Quarterback. Tight end. Receiver. Denver is set at all of them.

The Broncos could use some depth at linebacker. They might also be looking for the cornerback of the future, now that Champ Bailey is 35. His rough game against Baltimore - he was the man in coverage on a pair of long touchdowns by Torrey Smith - brought on the predictable chirping about him moving to safety someday.

``That's fine,'' Bailey said of the possibility of Denver drafting a corner. ``I don't really look at that any kind of way. I see what players they draft, how can they help us? Plain and simple. Every guy is looking to be replaced at some point. I've been looked at that way for the past six or seven years. It doesn't affect me one bit.''

Elway's most intriguing decision could very well revolve around running backs.

Some Denver fans think the Broncos would have a third Lombardi Trophy had they had a running back who could've milked the clock down in January during the drive before Joe Flacco completed the game-tying 70-yard touchdown pass over safety Rahim Moore.

Willis McGahee was on injured reserve and Knowshon Moreno got dinged up earlier in the game, leaving the heavy lifting to a rookie, Ronnie Hillman, who was built more for change of pace than grinding it out. All three are under contract, though if the Broncos find a better every-down back, they might go there.

Elway, however, is a realist when it comes to drafting running backs. Using a first-round pick on one is a risk. (See, Moreno). Meanwhile, the back who helped him finally win the Super Bowl, Terrell Davis, was a sixth-round pick.

``That's not to say that a good running back is not still very important, because you're going to need to be able to have some balance in your attack,'' Elway said. ``I think with the trend and where it is going, the running back has been bumped down a little bit.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Julius ThomasNov 27 07:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Arian FosterNov 27 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Jordan CameronNov 27 06:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Latavius MurrayNov 27 04:52p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 27 04:02p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Jordan ReedNov 27 03:02p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Dwayne AllenNov 27 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 10:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is out for Week 13 Thursday, Nov. 27. His ankle isn't responding well enough, but the hope is to return for Week 14.

R. Griffin IIINov 27 09:53a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is highly unlikely to return to the team next season, sources within the organization said. Head coach Jay Gruden convinced owner Daniel Snyder [ More ]

Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent DT Jimmy Staten (Seahawks) to their practice squad Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also released OT Andrew McDonald from their practice squad.

Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

The Tennessee Titans waived TE Richard Gordon Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle, back) was limited in practice for the third straight day Wednesday, Nov. 26, and is questionable for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.

Jordan CameronNov 26 04:43p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains day-to-day, but the team is looking for him to practice symptom-free this week, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Jordan ReedNov 26 04:13p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

R. Griffin IIINov 26 02:53p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III needs more seasoning, and he'll likely do it from the bench for the rest of this season, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 26 02:33p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has an excellent chance to return in Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans after missing the last two games.

Mark SanchezNov 26 02:23p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez has thrown six interceptions this year, but all of them haven't been game-changing turnovers. In Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans, Sanchez thrived on [ More ]

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