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Friday, April 27, 2012
Elway explains slide down draft board

By Bill Williamson

After reading the transcript from John Elway’s press briefing Thursday night, it is clear to see why the Broncos traded down twice and eventually out of the first round.

They didn’t think anybody was worthy of a first-round pick where they were picking and they wanted to add picks. Denver now has the No. 36 pick in the second round and added No. 101, in the fourth round. Denver has two picks in the second round, one in the third round and three in the fourth round. I would be surprised if the Broncos don’t try to add another third-round pick and get four picks on Friday.

I think Denver decided to trade down once defensive tackles Dontari Poe, Fletcher Cox and Michael Brockers were off the board by the 14th pick. Denver originally had the No. 25 pick, then traded to No. 31 before going to No. 36.

“Everyone else saw the talent that we saw too,” said Elway, Denver’s top decision-maker. “When those guys started going like that, they went in a hurry. We thought we were going to have to get a little bit lucky for them to fall to us anyways. They’re good football players and when they didn’t get to us that gave us the opportunity to start moving back a little bit.”

Elway made it clear that the Broncos would rather stockpile picks than make a reach, thus the trades with the Patriots and the Buccaneers.

“When we looked at where we were, obviously we had some guys targeted that didn’t quite make it to us in 25, so we had some opportunities to move back with New England to pick up a fourth. We liked that, thought that was great,” Elway said. "Then, when we had a chance to move back from 31 to 36 with Tampa again, our board looked the same. We thought we’d be able to get the same people at 36 that we could at 31 -- or have the same pool of players there at 36 as we did at 31. By doing that we moved up 25 spots to the top of the fourth, which we really believe this is a deep draft. It’s not real thick at the top, but it’s pretty deep through the middle rounds. We thought by adding another good pick it gives us more options going into tomorrow. Plus, we’ll still be able to get the same people that we had targeted that made it to us at 25 at 36. We’re excited about the day. Obviously it’s a little bit of a downer when you don’t have a new player. But, we’re excited about where we sit and the next two days are going to be exciting.”

Among the players Denver could target at No. 36 with their top pick Friday are Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy, Connecticut defensive tackle Kendall Reyes, Georgia Tech receiver Stephen Hill, LSU receiver Rueben Randle, North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins, Cincinnati defensive tackle Derek Wolfe and Nebraska linebacker Lavonte David. I think we could see Denver try to get a quarterback Friday as well.