Which 2013 Draft Prospects Should Denver Broncos Already Be Scouting?
One draft and offseason is usually never enough time for a team to address every need that it has, especially when that team is still on the tail end of a rebuilding process that has been put on a fast track like the Broncos have with the addition of Peyton Manning.
Here are five players that Denver may have its eye on to come in and be immediate-impact players in 2013.
Tyrann Mathieu, CB LSU
The "Honey Badger" could be the perfect complement to the new-look Denver defense, which will go crazy trying to generate turnovers and get the ball back into Peyton Manning's hands.
Mathieu has a nose for the ball on defense and was a dark-horse candidate for the Heisman last season. If his second-round projection holds true (as it might be hard to recreate the magic of last season and keep him in first-round consideration), he can be a great addition to the Broncos.
Possibly more impactful for the team, though, could be his ability in the return game, which keeps a player like Eric Decker off the field in those situations, but still adds electricity and the quick strike capability that great teams need.
Jesse Williams, DT Alabama
The Broncos shocked some by selecting Derek Wolfe early in the second round, as he didn't seem to fit the traditional size and stature that Denver appeared to need at the tackle position. Jessee Williams is nearly 320 lbs. and certainly fits the bill.
Denver is so light at the tackle position that it won't be surprising to hear fans and experts alike pining for another sturdy defensive tackle to help continue to solidify the middle of the defense.
Williams was a stalwart on the stingy Crimson Tide rush defense last season and could be an impact player for Denver immediately, or at least create a deep and talented rotation.
Tavon Austin, WR West Virginia
The age of Brandon Stokley is definitely a concern for Denver beyond this season (or maybe even sooner) coming out of the slot position. The nimble Mountaineer, Tavon Austin, might be just the right type of player for Denver to slide into that position.
Considering his gaudy statistics from last season, Austin is still a relatively unknown name nationally but his 101 receptions, 1,186 yards and eight touchdowns would be the perfect complement to Denver's offense.
In the interest of getting value, it might be better if Austin didn't garner too much attention next season, but with Heisman hopeful Geno Smith at QB tossing him the ball, that might be tough.
Barrett Jones, OG Alabama
The Denver Broncos can never spend enough on trying to ensure that Peyton Manning is well protected, and the running game is able to thrive.
Jones is the type of player that Denver can feel confident drafting late in the first round if it realizes the dream of making the playoffs again and are stuck with a low first-round choice.
Jones has experience at multiple positions, but is the right mix of size and athleticism to fit the mold of today's interior NFL lineman.
William Gholston, DE Michigan State
Every team in the NFL is searching for another Jason Pierre-Paul, who admittedly is a special talent. That desire could lead the Broncos to Gholston, who is currently terrorizing the backfields of the Big Ten.
At 6'6", the wingspan and athleticism of a player like Gholston is rare, but trying to find an impact pass-rusher in the draft has been a risky proposition.
Regardless of the risk, Denver wants to create a deep and threatening rotation on its defensive line, and a player like this adds the right kind of depth.