Denver Broncos: 5 Intriguing Draft Prospects That the Broncos Can't Pass On

Scotty McGrawCorrespondent IIIMarch 4, 2012

Denver Broncos: 5 Intriguing Draft Prospects That the Broncos Can't Pass On

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    The Broncos have a lot of room for improvement this year. However, they are well on their way to Super Bowl contention.

    They may not be contenders in 2012, but come 2013 and 2014 they are going to be a scary team no matter who is quarterbacking their offense.

    The draft is the best way to build a team. The Panthers were bolstered immensely by the selection of Cam Newton. If the Broncos can find a first-season Pro Bowler like Von Miller last season, or if they can find a late-round steal, they will be way on their way to the summit of the NFL.

    The Broncos will be faced with adversity in 2012—age, unconventionality and strength of schedule—so improving their roster is a must.

Number Five: RB Doug Martin, Boise State Broncos

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    At 5'9" and 223 pounds, former Boise State Broncos running back Doug Martin is very tough to tackle.

    During the Scouting Combine, Martin ran a 4.55 40-yard dash and had 28 bench press reps. He is nothing short of extremely athletic.

    Martin paired up with Willis McGahee and Tim Tebow would be a very strong trio. Martin and McGahee run the ball almost identically; meanwhile Tebow runs like a fullback. The option system is perfect for Martin.

    If the Broncos can land Martin, they will have their future solidified at the running back position. Martin is a punishing, brutal back that can bring energy to an offense in one play. 

    Martin also possesses the speed to take it to the house every touch he gets. He is very dynamic.

    The running back should be available in the third round. If the Broncos have the opportunity to select him, they definitely should.

Number Four: QB Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois Huskies

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    Chandler Harnish has a zip to his passes that is nearly identical to Peyton Manning's.

    While comparing Harnish to Manning may seem like a stretch, the former NIU Huskie quarterback has the potential to be that good.

    Harnish is 6'2" and 221 pounds. He is durable, as he runs through the offensive line numerous times per game. He came from the spread offense in college, but with his knowledge and wisdom of the game, he could easily adapt to the NFL in a season or two.

    You are probably thinking why would the Broncos need another project football player? Quite frankly, I do not think Timmy Tebow is the long term solution for the Broncos. Harnish, however, could be.

    Chandler Harnish fits into the read option system, but is flexible enough to gel into a pro-style offense. He is one of the smartest quarterbacks in this draft.

    Harnish is a projected late-round pick, and if available the Broncos have no choice but to draft him.

Number Three: DT Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State Bulldogs

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    The Broncos get two defensive linemen back from injury next season, but they don't have a long-term future at that position.

    Fletcher Cox is a late first-round prospect that would be an immediate starter in the Broncos defense. He would anchor the defensive line.

    The Broncos are in a phase where they are building on their foundation. Right now, their defensive foundation consists of Elvis Dumervil, Von Miller and Champ Bailey. They need to build on what they have, and clearly they lack a top-tier defensive tackle.

    Cox would step in and provide both run support and pass rush. The Broncos had absolutely no interior defensive line pass rush last season.

    Cox would complete the defensive line, and the Broncos would be able to then focus on linebackers and defensive backs.

Number Two: CB Chase Minnifield, Virginia Cavaliers

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    Chase Minnifield is an under-the-radar cornerback who could crack the first round but isn't likely to.

    Minnifield is 6'0" and 185 pounds, and is a shutdown corner. He plays very well on the outside. If the Broncos select him, he'll play alongside Broncos legend CB Champ Bailey.

    Minnifield is projected to be a second-round pick. The Broncos need youth at his position, and there is no reason why they should not take him.

    The cornerback would easily be a starter by the end of his rookie season. Broncos CB Andre' Goodman, who, like Bailey, is 33 years old, would get to rest on the sideline more than he does now and preserve his career.

    The Broncos are so old at the defensive back position that it will be a problem in the next few years. Minnifield would add youth, depth and potential to the Broncos' defensive back core.

Number One: MLB Donta' Hightower, Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Broncos MLB Joe Mays is scheduled to be a free agent; meanwhile, fellow MLB Nate Irving has yet to emerge onto the big scene.

    Donta' Hightower and Von Miller would formulate a lethal linebacker crew that would terrorize the National Football League. Hightower would be a factor in pass defense and run defense.

    If the Broncos draft Hightower, their linebacking core would be set for years to come. Talent is available at that position late in the draft, but Hightower easily worth a first round pick.

    The Broncos' defense would be bolstered by week one with the selection of Hightower. Having a strong interior linebacker is crucial for succeeding in the National Football League.