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Saturday, April 30, 2011
Putting a bow on Day 2

By Bill Williamson

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos will likely not get an impact player at their biggest area of need.

The Broncos have made four picks in the first three rounds of the draft and they have yet to take a defensive tackle. Denver bypassed Marcell Dareus at No. 2 and Marvin Austin and Stephen Paea in the second round. Several other defensive tackles went in the first three rounds.

Denver coach John Fox acknowledged that Denver still needs to find help at the position. He indicated it would be a target area once free agency starts. With the two best running games in the NFL in the AFC West -- Kansas City was No. 1 and Oakland was No. 2 in 2010 -- this is an area the Broncos have to address at some point.

Denver didn’t get a chance to take Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph in the second round, so keep an eye out for Portland State’s Julius Thomas. He is a former college basketball player.

Denver took Miami right tackle Orlando Franklin at No. 46. That's the last pick the Broncos got in the Brandon Marshall trade with Miami. Miami also sent Denver a second-round pick last year that Denver used in the trade to take Tim Tebow at No. 25. Franklin is expected to start as a rookie.

I’m surprised that San Diego GM A.J. Smith, a noted draft trader, used all five of his picks in the first three rounds. I thought he’d make at least one deal.

Being taken in the second round didn’t even “cross the mind” of new San Diego linebacker Jonas Mouton.

Some of the better prospects available heading into the fourth round include Oklahoma State running back Kendall Hunter, Texas linebacker Sam Acho, Fresno State linebacker Chris Carter and North Carolina linebacker Quan Sturdivant.