Broncos not required to get specific in draft


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Jan 22, 2006
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Broncos not required to get specific in draft
By Bill Williamson
Denver Post NFL, Broncos Beat Reporter

When the Broncos made their way into the three-way trade with the New York Jets and Atlanta Falcons last week - and achieved draft position as good as any team in the NFL - the consensus was they were targeting a player.

Don't count on it, but trust this: The Broncos will spend the next five weeks preparing for anything. The team has all kinds of flexibility in the draft. It can package the Nos. 15 and 22 picks for a higher selection - perhaps moving into the top five or six - then take a player it targets. Maryland tight end Vernon Davis, sure to go among the first seven choices, would look pretty good in Denver. Or the Broncos can trade down one of their first-round picks and stockpile later first-day selections.

Or they simply can stay put and nab two impact players.

With needs at receiver, running back, tight end and defensive end, the Broncos are in position for two instant-impact players.

It's all about flexibility. Don't believe the talk there is one specific player the team is looking at. Sure, Southern California tailback LenDale White, Florida receiver Chad Jackson and Ohio State receiver Santonio Holmes will be tempting, and all are plausible choices, but the team doesn't have its heart set on anybody.

That is particularly true at quarterback. Forget any speculation that the Broncos were targeting a quarterback, perhaps Vanderbilt's Jay Cutler. First of all, Cutler's stock has soared, and he likely will be a top-six pick.

Second, the Broncos believe they will reach the Super Bowl next season. Why would they take the quarterback of the future in the first round? Now, if Cutler somehow slid to No. 15, the Broncos could think about it, since they have another first-round pick.

The result of the trade means the Broncos will have options on April 29. But that's all it means.

Tice finally gets his guy

It will be interesting to see whether offensive tackle Mike Williams, the fourth player selected in the 2002 draft, can revive his career now that he's in Jacksonville. Jaguars assistant coach Mike Tice has been one of Williams' biggest fans.

Williams was a flameout in Buffalo. When the Bills used their high pick on Williams, they thought the mammoth left tackle would solve their offensive line issues for the next decade.

Williams never fully developed with the Bills and was cut this offseason in a salary cap move. The Jaguars quickly signed him. It was not a surprise because Tice, a former head coach in Minnesota, is running Jacksonville's offense.

Tice coveted Williams when he played for the Texas Longhorns and targeted him as his choice at No. 7 in the draft. However, Williams was already gone, and Minnesota selected Miami's Bryant McKinnie.

Tice is regarded as one of the top offensive line tutors in the NFL, so perhaps after a four-year wait, he and Williams can succeed together.
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