Stock Up, Stock Down for Denver Broncos' Top Draft Targets
The NFL draft takes place in less than one week, and like every other team in the league the Denver Broncos are finalizing their draft board and trying to figure out the best way to have a chance to select the players they want.
The long process is nearly over, and soon the Broncos will add another group of young players to a team they hope contends for a return to the Super Bowl.
Who are some of the prospects the team is looking at, and why would they be a good fit in Denver? Is the draft stock for these players spiraling up or down?
These questions are answered here.
Ryan Shazier: Stock Up
Has the value of any player risen in the upcoming draft as much as that of Ryan Shazier?
The former Ohio State linebacker is sitting right behind C.J. Mosley as the next-best inside linebacker in the draft. The Broncos could use his athleticism in the middle of their defense in a big way.
As Mike Klis of The Denver Post reports, it's the speed of Shazier that has him rising up draft boards. He ran a 4.38 40-yard dash at his pro day.
The big question now is will he still be on the board when the Broncos come up at No. 31 in the first round? If he is, the team can't hesitate to draft him.
David Yankey: Stock Up
The Broncos lost Zane Beadles this offseason to free agency, and the protection of Peyton Manning has to be one of the primary goals for this team.
As SI.com reports, selecting Stanford's David Yankey in the first round would be considered a safe option.
However, with the plan to move Orlando Franklin from tackle to guard, it isn't a likely one. If Yankey is still on the board when the Broncos select in the second round, then he would have tremendous value.
Ka'Deem Carey: Stock Down
Ka'Deem Carey was a serious force at running back during his college playing days at Arizona.
Over the course of his career, he ran for 4,239 yards and 48 touchdowns. Still, his draft stock took a hit when he ran a 4.69 second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Is Carey too slow? Many teams probably feel he is, and that is the reason he will drop to the third or fourth round—perhaps even further.
The Broncos shouldn't write him off because of that, however. They still have plenty of questions at running back heading into next season.
Marqueston Huff: Stock Down
Marqueston Huff played college football at Wyoming and doesn't have a lot of fanfare coming into Thursday's draft. In other words, many teams may overlook him.
But they shouldn't.
Huff is an athletic, versatile player who lined up both as a cornerback and safety during his college career. He could contribute at the NFL level from either position.
The Broncos added T.J. Ward through free agency and still believe in Rahim Moore. But they could certainly use some depth behind them, and Huff could be an excellent candidate to be selected in the fourth or fifth round of the draft.
Jason Verrett: Stock Down
If Jason Verrett was 6'1" or 6'2", he'd be considered the best cornerback available in the draft. But since he's only 5'10", teams will shy away from him, thinking he's too small.
Teams around the NFL watched the Seattle Seahawks win the Super Bowl due in large part to their big, physical secondary. The NFL is a copy cat league and each team will be looking for the same thing.
But the Broncos shouldn't get pulled into the belief that Verrett can't be a top cornerback because of his height. If they do, they will watch an excellent football player go play somewhere else.
Verrett has excellent ball skills and his 39-inch vertical jump shows what kind of an athlete he can be. Sure, he's only 5'10", but he plays much bigger than that.
He would be an excellent addition to a Denver secondary that already features Aqib Talib and Chris Harris.
Paul Richardson: Stock Up
Paul Richardson played for the Colorado Buffaloes in college and suffered through many defeats. None of them were his fault. In fact, he was the biggest reason the team won many of the games it did.
Richardson will bring speed to the NFL few players in the league possess. He also has very good hands. He is a threat to burn the secondary deep each time he's on the field.
As a junior in 2013, he caught 83 passes for 1,343 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The Broncos have an excellent group of wide receivers, but a player like Richardson could give them an extra weapon that could blossom into one of the more dangerous receivers in the entire league.