Denver has set out to develop, rather than draft, All-Pros. Louis Vasquez did most of his developing in San Diego, but excelled as the Broncos' All-Pro right guard.
It’s a delicate balance. You need to have stars and players in development. You need enough of them ready to play today. That includes both starters and rotational players.
When you talk about a developmental offensive lineman, Ali Marpet might be the best 2015 draft OG you’ve never heard of. Or, by now, maybe you have.
With the zone blocking scheme installation coming in OTAs, Denver continues on their drive to improve the offensive line. Today, let's discuss former Oregon Ducks left tackle Jake Fisher.
He’s not related to Eric Fisher, the left tackle taken #1 overall in 2013 by Kansas City. Like Eric, though, he was a tight end before converting to tackle. The questions for Denver are whether he can develop the power that he’ll need for right tackle and the balance that he’ll need for the left side.
Usually, you want a power player at right tackle. Fisher uses technique rather than raw power. He does it so well, that I think he could come in and play right tackle as a rookie. If he adds enough power, he could also take over at left tackle when Ryan Clady’s contract runs out.
Last week, I discussed a few offensive prospects who'd stood out to me during the college all star games, for better or worse. Today, let's do the same for the year's defensive prospects:
Nick Marshall, CB, Auburn - Marshall has a fun story. He showed up at the Senior Bowl, to which he had been invited as a quarterback, went to the first positional meeting, and then went to the powers that be. He told them that he wanted to switch to cornerback, and they agreed to it. He’s 6-1, 207, and he showed a lot of skill at the position.
He seems to prefer press man. That makes him even more attractive as a pro. A long player who isn’t uncomfortable mixing it up and going for the high point should attract plenty of attention. He’s also able to play safety.
Over the last couple of weeks, I spent time watching practice and game film from the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, East-West Shrine Game, and Senior Bowl. Some players stood out, for reasons good and bad. I haven’t gone back and watched their regular season film yet. I didn’t see more than the usual number of college games last year. Southeastern North Dakota vs. Cuttlefish Tech just doesn’t grab me for some reason.
The all-star games themselves were the icing on the season’s cake. Most scouts have moved on. They’re back home. They’ve cued up the software, prepping for combine. They’re watching film of the players they thought highly of in practice.
|Kenny Anunike||DE||Duke||Source, CBS, DS||5 surgeries in college (4 knee, 1 ankle)|
|Shaquil Barrett||LB||CSU||Source, NFL, CBS||20.5 TFL, 12 Sacks, MWC DPOY in '13|
|Kapri Bibbs||RB||CSU||Source, NFL||31 touchdowns tied to lead nation|
|Isaiah Burse||WR||Fresno State||Source, NFL, CBS, DS||Second-team All-MWC punt returner|
|Steven Clark||P||Auburn||Source, NFL, DS||A punter!!!|
|Brennan Clay||RB||Oklahoma||Source, NFL|
|Mister Cobble||DT||Kentucky||Source, DS|
|Bennie Fowler||WR||MSU||Source, NFL, DS|
|Greg Hardin||WR||North Dakota||Source, DS||Mentioned by Gil Brandt|
|Greg Latta||DE||Purdue||Source, DS|
|Bryn Renner||QB||UNC||Source, NFL, CBS||November shoulder surgery|
|Aslam Sterling||T||Kansas||Source, DS|
|Jordan Sullen||S||Tulane||Source, DS|
|Juwan Thompson||RB||Duke||Source, DS|
|Louis Young||CB||Georgia Tech||Source, CBS, DS|
If Corey Nelson hadn't partially torn his pectoral muscle early last year, he would have gone higher in today's draft.
If the NCAA hadn't denied him a fifth year of eligibility, he would have gone higher next year. If he was a little larger and a little taller--well, you get the drift.
But none of that happened. The super-athletic linebacker is now the property of the Denver Broncos.
With the seventh-round pick they acquired from San Francisco in the trade up for Cody Latimer, the Broncos drafted Oklahoma linebacker Corey Nelson.
The 6-0, 231-pounder played in 45 games (27 starts) before a partially torn pectoral muscle cut short his senior season last October.
At this stage in the draft, you're looking to find depth anywhere you can get it.
The Broncos' selelction of Matt Paradis isn't going to blow you away. He wasn't even the best center in a below average conference (Mountain West).
His size is suspect to be on the interior of the line; he's not particularly quick or fast; his reach is also not great.
With the 31st pick in the sixth-round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Broncos chose Boise State center Matt Paradis.
Denver hosted the 6-3, 306-pounder in early April.
His 4.46-second 20-yard shuttle time was fifth best among linemen at the combine.
I'm trying not to view this pick in light of the fact that the Broncos wanted C.J. Mosley and were willing to trade up to get him.
So given the context of the pick, getting an above average inside linebacker from the best conference in America ain't too shabby.
Apparently, the Broncos would have taken him with pick #131, but wanted to trade down and get some value with the hopes Barrow would still be there.