Eric Decker falls to Denver

April, 23, 2010
4/23/10
10:55
PM ET
Englewood, Colo. -- Eric Decker considers Brandon Stokley a mentor.

Now, they are teammates.

In one of the more intriguing picks of the latter part of the third round, Denver took Decker, a standout receiver from Minnesota with the No. 87 pick. Decker, a prolific receiver from Minnesota, was expected to be a high pick.

A prolific receiver, Decker was expected to be a high draft pick until he suffered a Lisfranc sprain -- a tear of the ligament that holds the first two toes in place.

Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said Friday night that Decker should be ready to by June.

The pick helps Denver solidify a shaky receiver group after the Broncos traded Brandon Marshall. Both Decker and No. 22 pick Demaryius Thomas, who is coming off a broken foot, should be given a chance to make an immediate impact at the position.

Thomas is a big speedster, while Decker is more of a possession player. He had just three drops in 354 targets.

The Broncos also solidified their offensive line with Zane Beadles at No. 45 and Center J.D. Walton at No. 80. Because Denver has an opening at center, Walton has a chance to start right away. Beadles, who played tackle the past three seasons at Utah, will likely play guard.

McDaniels reiterated Friday night that Kyle Orton will be the starter going into the 2010 season despite having selected Tim Tebow with the 25th pick. Interestingly, McDaniels said the Broncos had visited with Colt McCoy on Sunday before visiting with Tebow on Monday.

The Broncos have taken five offensive players with their first five picks. McDaniels said that was not by design and the team will look at some defensive players Saturday with one of their two remaining picks.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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