The Broncos are looking to get bigger at the cornerback position, per Mike Klis of the Denver Post.
Know this: The Broncos will draft a cornerback, running back and defensive lineman in the first three rounds. Maybe in that order.
And when the Broncos scour the tape of draft-eligible cornerbacks, they will pay close attention to players 6-feet or taller.
Cornerback was a position of great strength for the Broncos last season, with Champ Bailey and Tony Carter manning the outsides, and Chris Harris emerging as one of the top nickel corners in the NFL.
I hadn’t quite written off the Broncos as a candidate for a cornerback in the first round, or even the second round, but it was pretty close to that. The Broncos signed Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and are bringing back 35-year old Champ Bailey in addition to the aforementioned Carter and Harris.
The Broncos also have fourth round pick Omar Bolden waiting in the wings, a guy who had been considered a second round prospect prior to a season-ending injury in his senior season.
This we know–the Broncos have expressed varying amounts of interest in NC State’s David Amerson, Mississippi State’s Johnthan Banks and Darius Slay, as well as San Diego State’s Leon McFadden, UConn’s Dwayne Gratz, and Washington’s Desmond Trufant, among others. Another big corner that will likely be off the board well before the Broncos pick is Florida State’s Xavier Rhodes, who displayed incredible athletic ability at the Scouting Combine.
Denver’s front office and coaching staff know exactly what it’s like to deal with big, fast receivers. The Broncos have two of the best young receivers in the league in Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, both of whom have solid or exceptional deep speed. That’s why the team brought in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on a one-year contract. It would be nice if the Broncos could work out Champ Bailey’s contract next offseason to accommodate an extension for DRC, but that remains to be seen.
The time to build for the future is now. Denver is in a position this offseason where they don’t have many pressing needs remaining for the 2013 season, allowing them the luxury of picking players who will be backups or role players early in their career. We saw them do it last year when they took Brock Osweiler in the second round in hopes that he could one day take over for Peyton Manning’s spot.
In addition to Klis’ report that the Broncos are intrigued by big cornerback prospects, I can add that they are very interested in the group of strong safeties from this draft class. The Broncos have had varying interests in Georgia’s Shawn Williams, Arizona State’s Keelan Williams, and USC’s T.J. McDonald as well as Fresno State’s Philip Thomas.
One thing is for certain, the addition of Omar Bolden was merely a small indication of what the Broncos have in store for their secondary overhaul. They will undoubtedly be adding more size, speed, and toughness to the back end of the defense again this year.