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2014 NFL Draft Needs: Denver Broncos

Clay Link

Clay Link

Hailing from Arcanum, Ohio, Clay is a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He began writing for RotoWire in the fall of 2011, and now contributes to breaking news and NFL Draft content, in addition to his duties as assistant baseball editor.

Areas of Need

1. Cornerback

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is hitting the open market and Champ Bailey is clearly in the twilight of his career. Assuming Peyton Manning returns for another year, the Broncos will be just fine on offense, and must instead focus on improving a defense that largely disappointed in 2013. Denver ranked 27th in the league against the pass, allowing 4,070 yards through the air on the season.

2. (4-3) Inside Linebacker

Middle linebacker Wesley Woodyard is set to become a free agent following the conclusion of his sixth season with Denver, and could potentially leave a gaping hole in the middle of the defense. While Danny Trevathan is now the heavy lifter of the linebacking corps, we're talking about a loss of more than 80 tackles should Woodyard leave, not to mention his strong veteran leadership.

3. Wide Receiver

Sure, Peyton Manning can make do with what he's got, but why not add another weapon? Eric Decker is likely to command a bigger payday that Denver might not be able to afford, and Andre Caldwell is a run-of-the-mill talent. Wes Welker is going to be 33 years old and is coming off a season in which he suffered two concussions. The Broncos won't reach for a receiver, but they already have most of their chips in the center of the table and might as well go all in for 2014.

Potential Targets

1. Cornerback

First round
-Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State (6-0, 200) -Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State (5-11, 200)
-Bradley Roby*, Ohio State (5-11, 190)
-Pierre Desir, Lindenwood (6-1, 195)

Second and third rounds
-Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech (6-0, 195)
-Bashaud Breeland*, Clemson (6-0, 185)
-Marcus Roberson*, Florida (6-0, 195)
-Terrance Mitchell*, Oregon (6-0, 190)
-Jason Verrett, TCU (5-10, 180)
-Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska (6-3, 215)
-Keith McGill, Utah (6-3, 215)
-Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State (5-8, 190)
-Victor Hampton*, South Carolina (5-10, 200)
-E.J. Gaines, Missouri (5-10, 195)

Fourth round and later
-Louchiez Purifoy*, Florida (6-0, 190)
-Ross Cockrell, Duke (6-0, 185)
-Walt Aikens, Liberty (6-1, 205)
-Antone Exum, Virginia Tech (6-0, 220) -Nevin Lawson, Utah State (5-10, 184)
-Deion Belue, Alabama (5-11, 183)
-Ricardo Allen, Purdue (5-9, 187)

2. (4-3) Inside Linebacker

First round
-Kyle Van Noy, BYU (6-3, 245)

Second and third rounds
-Chris Borland, Wisconsin (6-0, 245)
-Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut (6-3, 236)
-Shayne Skov, Stanford (6-2, 245)
-Christian Jones, Florida State (6-4, 234)

Fourth round and later
-DeDe Lattimore, South Florida (6-0, 237)
-Lamin Barrow, LSU (6-1, 229)
-Preston Brown, Louisville (6-1, 262)
-Jeremiah George, Iowa State (5-11, 231)

3. Wide Receiver

First round
-Jarvis Landry*, LSU (6-0, 195)
-Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt (6-3, 205)
-Davante Adams*, WR, Fresno State (6-2, 220)
Second and third rounds
-Brandon Coleman*, Rutgers (6-5, 220)
-Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin (6-1, 190)
-Bruce Ellington*, South Carolina (5-9, 195)
-Martavis Bryant*, Clemson (6-4, 200)
-Josh Huff, Oregon (5-11, 200)
-TJ Jones, Notre Dame (6-0, 195)
-De'Anthony Thomas*, Oregon (5-9, 170)

Fourth round and later
-Mike Davis, Texas (6-2, 195)
-Ryan Grant, Tulane (6-0, 190)
-Robert Herron, Wyoming (5-9, 190)
-Allen Hurns, Miami (FL) (6-2, 195)
-L'Damian Washington, Missouri (6-4, 205)