One of John Elway's first draft decisions was to take offensive right tackle Orlando Franklin 46th overall in 2011. One of the key stated reasons, repeated several times, was that Franklin brought nastiness to his run blocking. It was contagious, and it helped the whole line. His later-developing skills in pass blocking were often missed. It was a testament to how effective his run-mauling was.
That’s one of the factors for whichever team takes on Florida's D.J. Humphries next month. Humphries has shown himself to be one of the toughest tackles in this year’s draft. He measured in at 6'5" and 307 lb. at the combine - those are pretty standard measurements for tackles. Most years, someone will argue whether arm length matters. If you think it does, his is 33 5/8 inches.
The Broncos agreed to a two-year deal worth a reported $5.65M with free agent guard Shelley Smith (6-4, 310) on Friday. Smith turns 28 in May and figures to replace left guard Orlando Franklin, who signed with San Diego earlier in the week.
A native of Phoenix, Smith was drafted out of CSU in the sixth round of the 2010 Draft by Gary Kubiak's Texans. He spent two years in Houston, but never dressed.
The Broncos have agreed to a two-year deal with Darian Stewart, who is expected to replace Rahim Moore as their starting free safety. Financial terms have not yet been reported.
Stewart (5-11, 214) made $1.3M on a one-year contract with Baltimore last season. He started 14 regular season games (782 snaps, plus-3.0) for them and two more in the postseason (117 snaps, plus-4.0), and will turn 27 in August.
Every new coach brings along a few players and coaches that he trusts. He trusts them to do their job, but knows that it goes both ways. Jack Del Rio was the fire under Terrance Knighton, who turned into a leader.
Owen Daniels has spent all nine of his NFL seasons under Gary Kubiak. They were together for eight years in Houston before spending 2014 in Baltimore. They have a relationship of trust. Every new head coach needs a guy to help teach and motivate the other players at his position. Kubiak feels he can count on Daniels to help fill that role for him.
Daniels came out of the University of Wisconsin in 2006. He’s played in the full zone blocking scheme in both college and in the pros. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2006 Draft, 98th overall. Kubiak found in him a dependable, intelligent, and focused player.
The Broncos would like to sign safety Darian Stewart and guard Shelley Smith, according to Mike Klis. Stewart was at Dove Valley on Thursday, while Smith is meeting with Denver on Friday.
Terrance Knighton is off to Washington on a one-year, $4M deal, according to Josina Anderson. It's a far cry from the figures floated by Mike Klis and Troy Renck in recent months, but we're talking about a guy who plays limited snaps and doesn't generate much of a pass rush.
Per Troy Renck, the defensive tackle had also drawn interest from New England, Indy, and San Diego. Seattle and Baltimore may also have been involved. As noted by Lindsay Jones, Knighton will team up with onetime Broncos tackle Chris Baker; the two grew up together in Windsor, CT.
The Broncos signed punter Karl Schmitz on Thursday, it was announced. If you thought signing an undrafted tight end out of the GNAC was an obscure move by the Broncos, wait until you get a load of this guy.
Schmitz is a former member of the Jacksonville University Dolphins, who play in the Pioneer Football League. He played for them in 2008 (!), and made such an impression that they don't even have his name spelled correctly in their archives.
The Broncos have agreed to terms with former Chiefs, Raiders, and Falcons defensive lineman Vance Walker (6-2, 305), it was announced. According to Mike Klis, Walker will sign a two-year deal worth $4M that can reach $5M with incentives.
A street free agent, Walker was released by KC last Friday; he'd been due a $2.7M salary in the second season of the three-year, $10.02M deal he signed a year ago.
Rahim Moore is the latest Broncos starter to depart via free agency, agreeing to a three-year, $12M deal with the Texans. The 2011 second-rounder follows draftmates Orlando Franklin and Julius Thomas out the door; Nate Irving is visiting Arizona.
Former Ravens safety Darian Stewart was/is reportedly visiting on Thursday as a possible replacement for Moore.
DeMarco Murray is visiting Philly with the expectation of signing with them, according to Adam Schefter. Oakland, Dallas, and Jacksonville have reportedly also pursued the 2014 rushing champion.
The Eagles have previously traded LeSean McCoy to Buffalo, had Frank Gore back out of an agreement, and agreed with former Chargers back Ryan Mathews. However, Mathews has not yet signed, and may be headed elsewhere if Murray signs.