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Denver Broncos: 2017 NFL Combine Players To Watch

Denver Broncos prospect, Christian McCaffrey Michael Li via Flickr

NFL

Denver Broncos Need Some Help

The 2016-17 season was a very disappointing one for Denver Broncos fans.  After winning the Super Bowl in dominating fashion just a year before, the Broncos failed to make the playoffs.  With that being said, the Broncos have many needs to fill (see- http://www.thasportsjunkies101.com/denver-broncos-team-needs/ ).

The failure of the 2016-17 season for the Broncos was due mainly to a very poor offensive output.  This was due mainly to inexperience at QB, but they also had other issues.  Look for the Broncos to upgrade the offensive line and add some depth at skill positions to help whoever their future QB may be.

On the defensive side, the Broncos still have some tremendous players, led by edge rusher, Von Miller.  However, they could still add some pieces.  Look for them to upgrade on the defensive interior and maybe add some depth in the secondary as well.

With that being said, here are five players that the Broncos should pay close attention to at the 2017 NFL Combine:

Garrett Bolles- OT, Utah

The Broncos could use some help on the offensive line, especially at the right tackle position.  Garrett Bolles is a name that has been climbing up a lot of draft boards.  Bolles, a 6’5″, 300 pound tackle, started out at Snow College, a juco in Utah.  After earning national junior college All-American honors as a sophomore, Bolles chose to move on to play for the Utes.  Bolles played left tackle at Utah, where he earned first-team All-Pac 12 honors this past season.  If they want Bolles, the Broncos will most likely have to draft him with their first round selection.

John Toth- Center, Kentucky

As I just mentioned when discussing Bolles, the Broncos need some help on the offensive line.  Toth could be a tremendous addition to this unit for Denver.  Toth, a 6’5″, 308 pound center, helped lead a Kentucky team that reached their first bowl game since 2011.  As a four-year starter at Kentucky, Toth received SEC All-Freshman honors in 2013 and first-team All-Conference honors this past season.  Toth was also selected to play in the Senior Bowl.  Although he played center in college, I believe that Toth could slide over and play guard if needed.  Toth will be a steal for the Broncos to look for in a mid-late round in the 2017 draft.

Charles Walker- DT, Oklahoma

On the defensive side of the ball, the Broncos are pretty solid on the edge, led by Von Miller.  However, they could use some beef on the interior.  Charles Walker, a 6’2″, 297 pound defensive tackle, could fit the bill perfectly.  Walker decided to stop playing for the Sooners midway through the 2016 season due to his third concussion.  However, he still had some nice production while playing at Oklahoma.  In 2015, Walker earned second-team All-Big 12 honors after accumulating 10 tackles for loss and 6 sacks.  Walker has slipped on some draft boards due to injury history, but he would be a great prospect for the Broncos to look at in the second-fourth rounds.

Gerald Everett- TE, South Alabama

It is no question that the Denver Broncos are exploring all options at QB during the offseason.  Whoever they decide to make their starting QB will need reliable weapons to throw to.  Gerald Everett is a name that has been gaining a lot of attention.  Everett, a 6’3″, 227 pound athletic tight end, would be a great fit in the Broncos’ passing attack.  Everett played in one season at UAB, but was forced to transfer to South Alabama after UAB terminated their program.  He was very productive at South Alabama, earning first-team All-Sun Belt honors in 2015 and 2016.  In his final season at South Alabama, Everett finished with 49 receptions for 717 yards and 4 touchdowns.  Everett is a player whose stock could rise or drop dramatically following the NFL combine, so he could be a player to look at anywhere between the second and seventh rounds.

Christian McCaffrey- RB, Stanford

The running game for the Denver Broncos had a lot of ups and downs in the 2016 season.  Both CJ Anderson and Devontae Booker should promise but also struggled tremendously at times.  With that being said, it wouldn’t help to add someone to the mix.  McCaffrey, a 6’0″, 197 pound running back, would be a prospect for the Broncos to consider.  Although he was hit with injury midway through the 2016 season, McCaffrey still finished with 1,639 rushing yards, earning him first-team All-Pac 12 and second-team All-American honors. McCaffrey was a Heisman Trophy finalist in his sophomore season, in which he set the NCAA record for all-purpose yards (3,864).  Although I doubt the Broncos will select McCaffrey in the first round since they have more important needs to fill, he could very possibly be a steal for them in the second round.

*All stats acquired via NFL.com

Combine Information

The NFL Combine is scheduled to occur from March 3rd until March 6th.  Running backs, offensive linemen, and projected special teams players will be up on the first day.  Quarterbacks, receivers, and tight ends will be on display on day 2, with defensive linemen, linebackers, and defensive backs rounding out the last two days.  The event will be displayed in it’s entirety on the NFL Network.