Broncos hosting Christine Michael today, says player Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Texas A&M running back Christine Michael says he'll be visiting with the Broncos today and tomorrow following his prior visit with the LOLJets, and he'll be heading from Dove Valley to Oakland.

Jeff Legwold reported last week that the Broncos were interested in Michael, a 220-pound back with an injury history and reported maturity issues.

Mike Tanier writes that Michael has also been plagued by fumbles and some iffy blocking skills, and he says of Michael:

At 5-foot-9, 220 pounds, with legs that churn constantly, he runs a little like a wind-up toy. Michael is incredibly quick for a bigger back and makes sudden cuts. He breaks a lot of tackles and can be a little elusive in the open field.

Tanier likens the 22-year-old to Baltimore's Bernard Pierce, which can't be a bad thing, but he thinks Michael's injury and fumble problems should keep him on the board until at least the fifth round.

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Scouting the 2013 Draft: Offensive Tackles, Part 4

Here are our previous columns on tackle prospects:

Today we'll discuss another trio of prospects: Lane Johnson of Oklahoma, Xavier Nixon out of Florida, and Justin Pugh from Syracuse.

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Denver Broncos 2013 pre-draft meeting, visit tracker

As the 2013 Draft approaches, word is slipping out regarding the Broncos' prospect visits and workouts. We'll be updating this post regularly to reflect reported interest, trying as always to filter out unsubstantiated rumor. We've also added Shrine Game and Senior Bowl meetings via Walter Football, and draft profiles for each player from NFL.com and CBS Sports where applicable.

Of course, much of this activity could be pure smokescreen on the team's part, but more information can never hurt, right? If you happen to see any names go across that we don't have listed here, please send us an email with the corroborating link.

Updated 4/20/13 5:10pm ET

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Broncos tied to BSU corner Jamar Taylor Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Until recent days, news had been nonexistent regarding Denver's visits and workouts with 2013 draft prospects.

As we noted yesterday afternoon, the DP has reported that Denver auditioned Michigan State RB Le'Veon Bell recently and hosted Miami (Ohio) QB Zac Dysert at Dove Valley on Monday.

Next up is a report from Tony Pauline that the Broncos were among several teams to have met with BSU corner Jamar Taylor. Pauline calls Taylor the "hottest" corner prospect and says he's either visited with or worked out for Denver, Houston, New England, Atlanta, San Francisco, Baltimore, and Miami.

The 5-11, 192 lb. corner ran a blazing 4.39-second forty, put up 22 reps on the bench press, and ran a 4.06-second 20-yard shuttle at combine, all of which were among the best marks of any corner prospect who participated. Here are his NFP and NFLDS reports, plus some highlights from his BSU career.

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Lance Ball signs RFA tender with Broncos

Reserve running back Lance Ball became the first Bronco to sign his right of first refusal only restricted tender on Monday.

Ball saw the field for just 151 snaps in 2012, but as a restricted free agent, he'll make nearly double the $715K minimum for a player of his experience this season. However, none of his $1.323M salary is guaranteed, so if he fails to make the final 53-man roster out of training camp, Ball won't count a penny toward the Broncos' 2013 salary cap.

Aside from Ball, Denver has running backs Willis McGahee, Knowshon Moreno, Ronnie Hillman, Mario Fannin, and Jeremiah Johnson on the roster. Jacob Hester is listed as a fullback but functioned more as a running back, since the Broncos abandoned the idea of using two-back sets rather early on.

Updated 8:29am ET 4/9/13

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Leonhard to New Orleans; third Denver defender to leave via free agency

Former Broncos safety and punt fair-catcher Jim Leonhard is headed to New Orleans, where he'll reunite with the Ryan family.

Leonhard had played under Rex Ryan with the Ravens and LOLJets, and he'll now play under Sexy Rexy's twin brother Rob, who is coordinating the Saints defense.

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Klis: Broncos hosting QB Zac Dysert

According to Mike Klis, the Broncos are meeting today with Miami of Ohio QB Zac Dysert in preparation for the upcoming draft.

Dysert (pronounced DAHY-surt) was a four-year starter for the Redhawks, completing 63.8% of his throws for 6.7 adjusted yards per attempt and a 132.4 QB rating.

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Banging the table for the Broncos to draft a matchup safety at #28

Happy Monday, friends.  Yesterday, Jeff Legwold wrote a very Legwoldian article.  That is, it made a really obvious point, which is that the Broncos struggled to defend tight ends in the passing game during the 2012 season.

It also made references to what “people in the NFL” think, in sweeping generalities, and really didn’t go very far in suggesting real solutions for how the Broncos could solve the problem in 2013.

That way, if the Broncos draft anybody in the defensive back seven, Jeff will be able to say, see, I told you – they want to defend the TE better.  What would make me laugh (again) would be if the Broncos took somebody that Legwold had never even heard of (again) with their top draft pick.

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Several options for Denver’s home opener

Broncos regular season schedule expected next week
blogs.denverpost.com

For the Broncos, the greatest intrigue is with their opener. A league-opening, Thursday night playoff rematch against the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 5 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High is a possibility. But nothing is finalized and several other possibilities are in play, from opening at home on a Sunday afternoon, to primetime Sunday night on the road, to Monday night at home.

My wild guess has all along been that Denver would open in New Jersey against the Giants, in a Peyton v. Eli Sunday Night affair. Whatever happens, we all know the Broncos will be featured plenty of times on primetime national television; the IAOFM staff will just hope that the opener isn't the back half of the MNF doubleheader, for sleep considerations.

IAOFM is ahead of the curve, again

Some think Rivers is down to his last chance in San Diego
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

There’s an asterisk that applies to that school of thought.  If the quarterback that a new coach has inherited lands on the short list of NFL franchise quarterbacks, the new coach has no issue with the status quo.

The biggest question in San Diego is whether Philip Rivers still falls on the presumptive do-not-cut-trade-or-bench list.  Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego believes 2013 will be Rivers’ “final audition” with the Chargers.  Tom Adams of the same publication believes that, if Rivers is indeed playing for his job, he’ll pass the test.

OMG, who would have ever possibly thought that Rivers may not be the apple of the new Chargers regime's eye?  Oh yeah, I did.  I had more to say here, too.  In fact, I've been saying Rivers isn't a franchise QB for a few years now.  Good luck getting rid of a putative "franchise QB" when he sucks again in 2013, suckers.  The only thing the Chargers have going for them is that their fan base is so crappy and apathetic that not many people may even notice.

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