- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Let's take a look at some possible targets of the Denver Broncos, who have the No. 28 pick in the April 25-27 draft:
Tank Carradine, defensive end, Florida State
Why is he a top prospect? He has tremendous pass-rush burst and great college film.
How would he help? He would help make up for the loss of Elvis Dumervil.
What are the risks? Carradine is coming off a major knee injury.
How he could be the choice? If Carradine had been healthy last year, he probably would have been a top-15 pick. But there is a strong chance he will be available. Denver could pull the trigger or perhaps even trade down a few spots to take him.
D.J. Hayden, Houston, cornerback
Why is he a top prospect? He is a big, strong competitor.
How would he help? The Broncos are looking to get younger at the position.
What are the risks? He is not an elite talent, and he may never become an elite player.
How he could be the choice? He should be available at No. 28 and perhaps even in a trade down. It could be a matter of choice compared to another cornerback.
Margus Hunt, defensive end, SMU
Why is he a top prospect? He is huge, and he has natural pass-rushing skills.
How would he help? He would add to the pass-rush mix.
What are the risks? He is raw, and he is 26. That is a tough combination for a top pick.
How he could be the choice? If Denver thinks all the pluses outweigh the risks, he could be the choice. He would be a possible target in a trade down.
Johnathan Jenkins, defensive tackle, Georgia
Why is he a top prospect? He is huge at 359 pounds, and he is athletic.
How would he help? Denver is solid at defensive tackle, but adding a young talent like Jenkins would be tempting.
What are the risks? He takes plays off, and he is far from a finished product.
How he could be the choice? If Denver thinks Jenkins is too good to pass up, his selection at No. 28 could easily be justified.
Eddie Lacy, running back, Alabama
Why is he a top prospect? He is the best running back available, and many scouts think he can be a top primary back.
How would he help? Denver wants to get younger at running back, and Lacy would be a terrific addition for an already strong offense.
What are the risks? Some scouts think he may just be average and may be benefiting from a weak overall class.
How he could be the choice? If he is available, I think Lacy has a strong possibility of being Denver's choice.
Xavier Rhodes, cornerback, Florida State
Why is he a top prospect? He is huge for a corner at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds and knows how to play the position.
How would he help? Who couldn't use a young, big corner?
What are the risks? Some scouts think he is just average at everything and will not be an impact player.
How he could be the choice? Some teams will be in love with Rhodes' size. Some teams would think he'd be worth taking at No. 28.
Jamar Taylor, cornerback, Boise State
Why is he a top prospect? He has impressed scouts with his solid, steady play. He seems NFL-ready.
How would he help? Again, with Champ Bailey nearing the end of his career, this is a position where Denver could use some youth.
What are the risks? He has had injury concerns, and he may have not have a high ceiling.
How he could be the choice? The word is, Denver likes Taylor more than some other cornerbacks.
Manti Te'o, linebacker, Notre Dame
Why is he a top prospect? He has great film. He was highly productive, and there were few flaws in his college playing career.
How would he help? Denver needs a strong inside linebacker, and he'd be another talent to a solid defense.
What are the risks? There's concern about the hoax he was involved in, and his combine performance was weak coming off a poor performance in the title game against Alabama.
How he could be the choice? If Te'o falls to No. 28, I'm sure Denver will be tempted to take him. Production like his is rare.
Desmond Trufant, cornerback, Washington
Why is he a top prospect? There are few flaws with this player, who has the ability to get better.
How would he help? See above.
What are the risks? He is not overly big or physical.
How he could be the choice? The cornerback position at the bottom of the first round will be a matter of taste. If Trufant is there, Denver could be forced into making a tough decision.
Bjoern Werner, defensive end, Florida State
Why is he a top prospect? He has everything a team would want in a pass-rusher.
How would he help? A Werner-Von Miller pairing could quickly make folks forget about Dumervil's ugly departure.
What are the risks? Some scouts think the NFL may be too big for Werner, and his skill set may not be exceptional at the next level.
How he could be the choice? Earlier in the draft process, Werner was considered a potential top-five pick. If he falls all the way down to No. 28, Denver would have a difficult time bypassing him.
5dEric D. Williams
5dEric D. Williams
5dEric D. Williams