Browns acquire #3 pick, presumably for Richardson

7:59 pm - Mike Klis says the Broncos have Doug Martin rated as the #2 RB behind Richardson

7:40 pm - Adam Schefter says the Jags are still trying to move up for Justin Blackmon

7:10 pm - Cleveland has moved up one spot to #3 overall, and they reportedly gave up a fourth-, fifth-, and seventh-rounder to do so. Speculation on NFLN is that they've done so with the intention of drafting Trent Richardson there.

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Scouting the Draft - Worthy versus Still

You never know what choices you’ll have in the draft when you’re at #25 - or wherever Denver ends up making their first pick. I expect some movement - GM Brian Xanders has moved around a good deal in all three drafts he's run for Denver, and likely will again, so the first pick could be one other than 25. 

I’m a bit DT-centric in general at times, but a bit more so at the moment. I’ve made no secret of my feelings about the trenches, and DTs often take a few years to develop. Denver hasn’t made the move to deal with that in a long time, and the people they've wanted haven’t dropped to them. I understand that. Even so - each year you can’t find the right one, you are another year away from having one developed and in place. It puts more emphasis on free agency.

In the short term, that’s fine. I have no problems with the FA approach as long as it’s intentional, planned and generally fairly brief. However, it’s not a great approach long term to stick guys into holes because time is running out, and that’s shown for a long time with Denver. I’ve said this before - I think Denver should take two DTs in this draft. There are likely to be good RBs available in most rounds. The better DTs, though, are at the top. Like Willie Sutton, the famous old bank robber, said when asked why he robbed banks, "because that’s where the money is." That’s true of DTs, too, and it’s an unusual and deep year. Denver needs to fill their slots with the kind of talent that’s available this time. Claiming that this or that guy doesn’t fit your scheme has been overplayed. There are plenty of good guys this year that do.

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The NFL may put us out of our Pro Bowl misery

Pro Bowl game likely to be shelved
espn.go.com

Many players who will be selected during this week’s NFL draft are regarded as future Pro Bowl selections, but the game itself likely will be suspended this season and beyond, according to league sources.

Sources say that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who has previously voiced his displeasure with the lack of competitiveness in recent Pro Bowl games, is strongly considering suspending this year’s game, sources say.

Beyond 2013, another league source believes the Pro Bowl is “DOA (dead on arrival).”

If the game is suspended, the league still would have a Pro Bowl balloting process to identify the season’s top players and would direct teams to negotiate Pro Bowl clauses into player contracts and to honor Pro Bowl incentive clauses to avoid any serious conflict with the players association. Those players also likely would be honored in some fashion during Super Bowl week.

Good riddance.

The Daily Lard 4-26-12

Happy Draft Day, Broncos fans! As Mike Klis sees it, Denver might be picking within the top five tonight had it not been for the singular heroics of Tim Tebow ($4.99, please).

But wait, there's a draft to talk about - Klis figures the team would be happy to take either of defensive tackles Dontari Poe from Memphis or Michael Brockers of LSU if they're still on the board, and GT WR Stephen Hill if not.

In the absence of those three prospects, Klis reports the team would consider Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick, MSU DT Jerel Worthy, and UConn DT Kendall Reyes. He says the team is finally "almost certain" to finally take a defensive tackle (finally!) in the first three rounds, and he floats BSU RB Doug Martin, Washington RB Chris Polk, Baylor RB Terrance Ganaway, Arizona QB Nick Foles and ASU QB Brock Osweiler as other Day 2 possibilities, with a cornerback and kick returner thrown in for good measure.

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Denver Broncos 2012 draft picks

Rd Pick Player Position - School Notes
2 4 (36) Derek Wolfe DT - Cincinnati via TB (w/ #101 for #31 and #126)
2 25 (57) Brock Osweiler QB - Arizona State  
3 4 (67) Ronnie Hillman RB - San Diego State via CLE (for #87 and #120)
4 6 (101) Omar Bolden DB - Arizona State via TB (w/ #36 for #31 and #126)
4 13 (108) Philip Blake OL - Baylor via NYJ (Tim Tebow)
5 2 (137) Malik Jackson DE - Tennessee via STL (Brandon Lloyd)
6 18 (188) Danny Trevathan LB - Kentucky via NYJ (Tebow)

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Mike Klis thinks Brandon Spano is absurd

According to Mike Klis, the speculation (led by Brandon Spano) that the Broncos are going to move up in the draft to the #7 pick to take Stephon Gilmore is pretty ridiculous:

There's a report out there saying the Broncos have talked about trading up to Jacksonville's No. 7 spot for CB Stephon Gilmore. Absurd. The Broncos have just one second-round pick (end of round at No. 57) and one third-round pick (end of round at No. 87). You can't get there from here. Broncos may move up a spot or three from No. 25, but even that is unlikely. Broncos wouldn't mind moving back, but they go to bed tonight expecting to make their pick at No. 25.

By this time tomorrow, one of these guys will be wrong.

Evening Lard 4-25-12

Good Evening, Broncos fans! We're less than 24 hours away from the start of the 2012 NFL Draft, and as you've seen, there's been a ton of news all week. So much so that I've been collecting a lot of it the day/evening before posting, and the results have been unwieldy and overwhelming Lards. So, I figure I might as well just post what I've collected so far tonight, and in the morning I'll share anything that posts between now and then.

As for tomorrow, look for Ted to provide his live pick-by-pick analysis of the first round (and the second and third rounds on Friday night), and the four of us will be doing Chewing the Fat entries throughout the draft. We'll post those after each of Denver's picks, and TJ will present some of his Gut Reactions in the wee hours of the night.

Whatever the Broncos do, whether it's making a stunning move upwards or a ho-hum slide down the board, we'll have you covered. See you in the morning, friends, and have a great night!

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Samuel accepts hefty pay cut to join Falcons

Asante Samuel agrees to three-year, $18.5M deal as part of trade
www.nfl.com

The deal to send cornerback Asante Samuel to the Atlanta Falcons from the Philadelphia Eagles has been finalized, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

As part of the trade, Samuel and the Falcons have agreed to terms on a three-year, $18.5 million deal.

Mike Klis reported last week that Denver was essentially out of the running for Samuel, and now it's official. Samuel had been due about $21.5M over just two seasons according to the terms of his prior contract.

Atlanta sent Philly a seventh-round pick in return for Samuel; according to Kils, Denver had been offering either a fifth- or sixth-rounder, or a player.

Overspeed and Luke Kuechly

Take a likely top-15 pick at middle linebacker and add one trip to the Combine and what do you get? Good form on the testing. Luke Kuechly (KEEK-lee) produced such an outcome two months ago, and in doing so he showed exactly why the Combine’s best functions are to get medicals and interviews, look for outlying anomalies and serve to make sure that time will reward those expected to become higher draft picks with expensive semi-private training at the top facilities in the country, courtesy of their friendly, hopeful agents. His elite status also permits elite training. It showed. 

I say hopeful agents because those representatives put out the cash for that training, which runs to 20 thousand dollars, and sometimes higher. They front other funds as well, and often lose money on the endeavors, but they’re hoping enough good will to get the next contract to negotiate as well. Much as it surprises no one who’s been in business, the best agencies usually take the lion’s share of the top market. Everyone scrambles to try to be the next success story - among both the athletes and their agents.

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The Daily Lard 4-25-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Panthers WR Steve Smith says a Saints defender told him during a game that he'd get fined were he not to "go after (Smith's) legs" while forcing him out of bounds. Smith also relates a conversation he had with Gregg Williams during a game last year, saying "He took responsibility, he was saying it wasn't right, but that's who he was."

And yet, Joe Vitt incredibly claimed yesterday that the team's players never tried to hurt opponents. Really, Joe? It's a wee bit late for denials. Saints fans? At least they're honest.

Meanwhile, the FBI and Louisiana State Police are investigating the wiretapping allegations against Saints GM Mickey Loomis. Cortez Kennedy vouched for Loomis to Peter King, who of course finds the whole thing interesting. PK notes that New Orleans so vocally and vehemently denied the allegations after offering quiet reactions to news of their own Vicodin and bounty scandals.

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