Denver Day Two Draft/CFA Review: Broncos Add Versatility

Sayre BedingerSenior Writer IApril 27, 2009

PISCATAWAY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 01:  Tom Brandstater #7 of the Fresno State Bulldogs looks to pass against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Rutgers Stadium on September 1, 2008 in Piscataway, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

On day two of the NFL Draft, many Broncos fans expected Josh McDaniels and Co. to add a lot of big bodies.  Denver's braintrust did not veer away from that goal, but they added a lot more on the offensive side of the ball than was expected. 

4 (114) David Bruton; Safety, Notre Dame

Bruton became the third defensive back taken by the Broncos in a span of four picks (Darcel McBath, Alphonso Smith). 

Bruton reminds me a lot of last year's seventh round pick, Josh Barrett, in that he has excellent size (6'2" 219 lbs) and great speed (4.46 second 40-yard dash). 

Josh McDaniels said that Bruton will see the field a lot in his first season, but it will likely take him time to develop as a starting safety in the league.

Bruton will make an instant impact as a special teams ace, and will join Darcel McBath and Josh Barrett in Denver's promising, young defensive backfield. 

4 (132) Seth Olsen; Offensive Lineman, Iowa

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Well, I do not think I have left Iowa out of my Broncos mock drafts since I began making them, and this is a pick that I really love, not just because I'm an Iowa fan.

Olsen is an extremely versatile lineman, who can play right tackle, left tackle, and either guard position.  For the Broncos, he will be the heir apparent to Ben Hamilton at left guard.

Olsen is very strong, and very instinctive, and you know coming from Kirk Ferentz's system he is well-coached. 

5 (141) Kenny McKinley; Wide Receiver, South Carolina

We all figured the Broncos would go after a slot receiver at some point in the draft, and they made sure they got their man in Kenny McKinley. 

The former South Carolina star is a very fast receiver who has excellent slot potential for Denver. 

Josh McDaniels figures to implement an offense that features many four wide receiver sets, and the speedy receiver figures to fit in nicely. 

NFL.com raves that McKinley is a "polished route runner with good hands," and could potentially remind McDaniels of former Patriots receiver Wes Welker.

6 (174) Tom Brandstater; Quarterback, Fresno State

If the Broncos were looking for the carbon copy of Tom Brady or Matt Cassel from this draft, they may have found him. 

Although Brandstater is a bit more athletic than the two quarterbacks that flourished under head coach Josh McDaniels, his NFL.com scouting report seems to indicate that he is strikingly similar.

"Brandstater possesses the range and arm strength that National Football League teams look for in a pro style quarterback.

"The unquestioned leader of the team put up impressive numbers since taking over the starting position as a sophomore, but has also excelled in the classroom, earning conference academic honors the last three seasons.

"His intelligence on the field is evident, but academically it is even more impressive, having graduated before his junior campaign and is finishing up work on his Master's degree."

Smart, both on the field and off, great arm strength, "unquestioned" leader of his team, and he has impressive numbers.  The Broncos may have gotten a steal with this kid, which is probably why they traded up to get him.

7 (225) Blake Schlueter; Center, Texas Christian University

Well, this was the second of two picks that I got correct in my final Broncos mock draft, and to be honest, I could not have been happier when we called his name. 

Schlueter is an extremely versatile lineman who ran a reported 4.67 40-yard dash at his pro day at TCU. 

He and Kory Lichtensteiger will compete for the center job when Casey Wiegmann retires, and Lichtensteiger may now be able to make the move to guard, where he could be a better fit.

College Free Agents

Lee Robinson; Linebacker, Alcorn State

The Broncos could have easily drafted Robinson, and reading his scouting report, it is clear that the only reason he went undrafted was due to the level of competition he faced. 

At 6'2" 250 pounds, he is a great fit for rush linebacker at this level, and with Jarvis Moss on the chopping block, he could make the final squad.

Domonique Johnson; Cornerback, Jackson State

Another small-school prospect whom I had going to Denver in one of my seven-round mock drafts as a fourth-round selection.  He has prototypical size, speed, and arm length for the cornerback position, and with Denver only having six cornerbacks on their current roster, he could have a good chance of making the team.

Chris Baker; Defensive Tackle, Hampton

Another player that could have easily been drafted, the versatile Baker is a virtual lock to make the opening day roster.  His size (6'2" 325) make him an ideal fit to play nose tackle in the 3-4 scheme, and I think he is a guy the Broncos targeted all along.


Everette Pedescleaux; Defensive End, Northern Iowa

A small school kid who, at 6'6" 305 pounds could be an ideal fit as a 3-4 defensive end.  The Broncos will have him compete in mini camp, and probably training camp to add depth to their offensive line.

Lucas Taylor; Wide Receiver, Tennessee

Great athlete who struggled in terms of production at Tennessee when Erik Ainge left, and he suffered an injury last season as well.

With Denver's receiving corps looking pretty deep, he will have to make a significant impact in camp to have a shot at the final roster.

Nate Swift; Wide Receiver, Nebraska

Swift, in my opinion, has the best shot at making Denver's roster of any undrafted rookie.  He has great hands, runs good routes, and is mentally tough.  I like this kid a lot, and some Broncos observers are comparing his overall game to that of Ed McCaffery.

Travis Shelton; Wide Receiver, Temple

Shelton will be given a chance to come in and fill a void at kick returner for the Broncos, but he is undersized and reportedly has attitude problems.  He will have a tough time making the team.

David Grimes; Wide Receiver, Notre Dame

Another small receiver with good speed who will compete to return kicks or make an impact on special teams with Denver.  Joins a now crowded receiver group.

Tony Carter; Cornerback, Florida State

Carter is extremely fast, and while he is undersized, he is a very tough player.  He could make the team due to his speed and tackling ability.

Britton Colquitt; Punter/Kicker, Tennessee

Colquitt will come in and try and compete with Brett Kern, but likely will not make the final roster. 

Rulon Davis; Defensive End, California

Davis is a player I really like, and he is an ideal fit for defensive end in the 3-4 defense.  He has good quickness and strength, and could end up making the final roster as a backup or special teams guy.

Marquez Branson; H-back, Central Arkansas

I will try and stay calm here, but this is by far my favorite addition to Denver as far as an undrafted free agent goes.  YouTube has a 10-minute highlight reel of this kid out of Central Arkansas, and Broncos fans will not be disappointed. 

He has excellent size (6'2" 247 pounds), and very good hands.  Some are comparing him to Peyton Hillis, although I do not think Branson is as tough.  Still, his hands are great, and he should make Denver's final roster.

It was a great draft weekend for the Broncos, and they improved their team in many areas.  While the defensive line was not addressed as frequently as some of us mock draft nerds would have preferred, the Broncos added great players and will go into mini camp with a solid core of athletes.