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Denver Broncos 2013 NFL Draft Big Board: Real-Time Updates and Analysis

Jon HeathContributor IMarch 12, 2013

Denver Broncos 2013 NFL Draft Big Board: Real-Time Updates and Analysis

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    Free agency is in full swing, but when the signings die down, the draft will quickly become a hot topic.

    The Denver Broncos currently own six selections in the draft and are scheduled to make their first pick 28th overall in the first round.  

    Prior to free agency, Denver's biggest positions of need arguably are: DL, OL, RB, DB, WR, MLB.

    The team did release quarterback Caleb Hanie on Monday, but unless they are planning on only carrying two quarterbacks this summer, most outlets believe the team will sign a QB in free agency.  For that reason, coupled with the fact that the team drafted Brock Osweiler last April, quarterbacks are not included in this list.

    Other positions not included are specialists (kickers and punters), tight ends and outside linebacker.  Denver's Matt Prater, Britton Colquitt, Jacob Tamme, Joel Dreeseen, Von Miller and Wesley Woodyard appear to have those respective positions locked down.

    Check back daily leading up to the draft for updated rankings.  Note that only players projected to be drafted 15th overall or later will be highlighted, because the Broncos do not own a high selection.

Top 15 Players

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    Note: Top-15 prospects are not considered because Denver is selecting 28th overall.

    1. Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

    2. Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina

    3. Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU

    4. Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State

    5. Keenan Allen, WR, California

    6. Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington (Stock Up)

    7. Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU

    8. Matt Elam, S, Florida

    9. Kawann Short, DT, Purdue (Stock Down)

    10. Alex Okafor, DE, Texas

    11. Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame (Stock Up)

    12. Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

    13. Jonathan Jenkins, DT, Georgia

    14. Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State (Stock Up)

    15. Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama (Stock Down)

    3/12/13, 7:00 a.m. ET: Considered to be one of the top candidates to go off the board 28th overall, Kawann Short fell from the top spot because he was unable to participate in Purdue's pro day earlier this month due to a hamstring injury.  Short will get a chance to raise his stock on Mar. 25th, when he is scheduled to workout in private for NFL scouts.

    3/12/13, 7:00 a.m. ET: Trufant ran a 4.38 40-yard dash at the NFL's Scouting Combine last month and is considered one of the top cornerbacks in the draft.  Because Denver is looking for another corner, Trufant's Mar. 12th pro day will be especially important for his draft stock.

    3/12/13, 7:00 a.m. ET: Is Te'o's stock rising?  Not dramatically, but the Broncos certainly seem to be interested.  He'll look to better his 40-yard dash time at his Mar. 26th pro day.

    3/12/13, 7:00 a.m. ET:  Banks ran a 4.58 40-yard dash during his Mar. 6th pro day, an improvement from his 4.61 40 time at the combine last month.  Present at Banks' pro day was Denver's defensive coordinator, Jack Del Rio.

    3/12/13, 7:00 a.m. ET: The only reason Lacy's stock has fallen is because he is still battling a minor hamstring injury that rendered him unable to run at the combine and could cause him to skip Alabama's pro day on Wednesday.  Lacy will eventually run for scouts and when he does, it should help his stock.

Top 5 Defensive Linemen

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    1. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah, (Projected 1st)

    2. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State (Projected 1st) (Stock Rising)

    3. Jonathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State (Projected 1st)

    4. Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina (Projected 1st)

    5. Kawann Short, DT, Purdue (Stock Down) (Projected 1st-2nd)

    3/17/13, 12: 15 p.m. ET:  The Broncos have released defensive end Elvis Dumervil, causing Werner's stock to rise.

    3/12/13, 7:00 a.m. ET:  Short was unable to participate in Purdue's pro day earlier this month due to a hamstring injury.  His pro day is Mar. 25.

Top 5 Running Backs

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    1. Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama (Projected 1st)

    2. Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin (Projected 1st-2nd)

    3. Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson (Projected 2nd-3rd)

    4. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina (Projected 2nd-3rd)

    5Le'Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State (Projected 3rd)

    2/12/13, 7:00 a.m. ET:  Read my case for the Broncos to draft Lacy right here.

Top 5 Wide Receivers

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    1. Keenan Allen, WR, California  (Projected 1st)

    2. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson (Projected 1st)

    3. Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia (Projected 1st-2nd)

    4. Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State (Projected 2nd)

    5. Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M (Projected 3rd-4th) (Stock Up)

    3/12/13, 7:00 a.m. ET:  Swope is seeing his stock rise after running a 4.34 40-yard dash at the combine and impressing scouts at his Mar. 6th pro day.

Top 5 Defensive Backs

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    1. Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas (Projected 1st)

    2. Matt Elam, S, Florida (Projected 1st)

    2. Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State (Projected 1st) (Stock Down)

    3. Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington (Projected 1st-2nd) (Stock Down)

    5. B.W. Webb, CB, William & Mary (Projected 2nd) (Stock Down)

    3/17/13, 12:19 p.m. ET:  The Broncos signed cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in free agency, making it unlikely that they will draft a CB early in the draft.

Top 5 Offensive Linemen

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    1. Luke Joeckel, T, Texas A&M (Projected 1st)

    2. Chance Warmack, G, Alabama (Projected 1st)  (Stock Down)

    3. Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin (Projected 1st)

    4. Eric Fisher, T, Central Michigan (Projected 1st-2nd)

    5. Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina (Projected 1st-2nd)  (Stock Down)

    3/17/13, 12:29 p.m. ET:  The Broncos signed guard  Louis Vasquez in free agency, making guard less of a position of need.

Top 5 Middle Linebackers

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    1. Alec Ogletree, MLB, Georgia (Projected 1st) (Stock Up)

    2. Manti Te'o, MLB, Notre Dame (Projected 1st)

    3. Kevin Minter, MLB, LSU (Projected 1st)

    4. Kevin Redderick, MLB, North Carolina (Projected 2nd)

    5. Kiko Alonso, Oregon (Projected 2nd-3rd)

    3/12/13, 7:00 a.m. ET: Olgetree ran an underwhelming 4.7 40-yard dash at the combine, but he has jumped to the top spot in Mike Mayock's NFL.com top MLB pre-draft rankings.  His pro day is Mar. 21st.

Top 5 Late-Round Sleepers

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    1. Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M (Projected 3rd-4th) (Stock Up)

    2. Jordan Hill, DT, Penn State (Projected 4th)

    3. Dwayne Gratz, CB, Connecticut (Projected 4th-5th)

    4. Alvin Bailey, OG, Arkansas (Projected 4th-5th)

    5. Keelan Johnson, S, Arizona State (Projected 7th)

    3/12/13, 7:00 a.m. ET:  Swope is seeing his stock rise after running a 4.34 40-yard dash at the combine and impressing scouts at his Mar. 6th pro day.

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