Decker, McDaniels & Patriots' interest

January, 28, 2014
Jan 28
2:55
PM ET
During Super Bowl media day on Tuesday, Denver Broncos receiver Eric Decker was asked about the role former Denver head coach and current New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels played in his career.

Decker
"He did draft me, and I’m very thankful that he gave me the opportunity to be playing in the NFL, especially with such a great organization like Denver," said Decker, who was a third-round draft choice out of Minnesota in 2010. "I’ve got a lot of respect for him as a coach. He’s a brilliant mind, offensively. I’m sure, like any coach, he’s excited and he’s happy for the guys that he drafted."

That McDaniels targeted Decker didn't come as a surprise to his former colleagues in New England, as Decker was also a player on the Patriots' radar as their third-round pick approached.

But Decker went off the board at No. 87, a few spots before where the Patriots were picking. At No. 90, the Patriots selected receiver Taylor Price.

Decker was one of McDaniels' best draft picks, having slipped to the late third round because a foot injury cut short his final season at Minnesota and affected his pre-draft workouts. The big target (6-foot-3, 214 pounds) has proven to be a durable NFL player, not missing a game over the past three seasons.

These types of scenarios unfold in every draft, and it's a timely one to revisit with the Broncos playing in the Super Bowl and with Decker scheduled to become a free agent in the offseason.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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