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Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Broncos were also eyeing other rookie WR sensation

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

During the NFL combine in February, the word around the Denver Broncos was that the team was thinking seriously about trying to address their open No. 2 receiver spot, which was then about to open with the release of Javon Walker, with the No. 12 overall pick.

The Broncos were intially scouting California wide receiver DeSean Jackson. The Broncos loved him as both a returner and as a receiver. They thought he would be a perfect double threat.

However, Denver's interest in using its first-round pick on Jackson waned as concerns about his lack of ideal NFL size and concerns about his character filtered in.

As the draft grew closer, Denver was looking at Jackson in the second round, with the No. 42 pick. However, Denver turned its attention to another receiver/returner.

The Broncos fell in love with Virginia Tech's Eddie Royal.

With many people expecting Denver to take Jackson in the second round, the Broncos stayed at the position but took Royal instead. The Broncos liked Royal's size, his polished play and his poise. He was ultimately deemed as a better choice than Jackson.

Two games into the 2008 season, it seems Denver was focusing on the right two receivers. Both players are early candidates for the NFL offensive rookie of the year award.

Royal, a surprise starter, has been terrific as he had 14 catches in two games, including two catches Sunday that beat San Diego in the final seconds. Jackson, who was taken at No. 49 by Philadelphia, has also been special. He has had two 100-plus yard receiving games for the Eagles.