Let me set the scene for you here: The combine is finished, the pro days are scouted, and April 28 is well on its' way. That leaves the Denver Broncos with one key player interview, and that is the private workouts.
Private workouts, sometimes called "pre-draft workouts" are one of the most key parts of the scouting process. Every team is allotted a total of 16 private workouts where they run a player through drills, health tests, interviews and usually a dinner that night. It is commonly considered to be one of the most telling signs that a team is interested in a player, if they are invited to a private workout.
That is why I have compiled a list of the known private workouts that will be going down in Dove Valley this next month and a half. The list includes Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M ; DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma ; Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU ; Julius Thomas, TE, Portland State ; Danny Watkins, G, Baylor.
As you can see there are some big names, and some not so big names on the list here. Either way, expect many more to join them. So for the rest of this article, I have gathered some information to share with you on the invited players.
Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M:
There aren't many players in this draft that I am more excited about than Von Miller of Texas A&M. In my mind, I see no player on the board with more raw potential than Miller and he could very well be the next great pass-rushing Outside Linebacker. Seriously, I could go on for hours describing just how good he could be.
I guess if I had to start somewhere, I would have to rave about his ability to pursue the Quarterback. His ability to go after the QB puts names like Clay Matthews on the same level of Vernon Gholston. He's just that intimidating. Part of the reason he is so good in pursuit is his quickness, which rivals the great Derrick Thomas. Simply put, there may be no player I would rather see in orange and blue than Von Miller.
The only problem is, he is not #2 overall value. The Broncos would likely have to trade back to justify drafting him, and I'm not sure whether there will be any trade inquiries with no rookie salary cap. It shouldn't take away though, from just how good he is.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma:
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DeMarco Murray is one of those players whose stock was really hot on the heels of his 2009 campaign, but his draft status cooled considerably in his Senior year. At this point his stock is around a late 3rd, early 4th round pick, but the Broncos would have to reach for him with their third round pick if they really wanted him.
Potential reach or not, Murray is a good player. His combination of size and speed is enough to raise any scouts eyebrow, and he is a very good receiver that caught a lot of passes in college. He would translate very well into a 3rd down-type back in the NFL. The problem is his laundry list of injuries which I can't help but shy away from after dealing with plenty of those at the running back position.
Nonetheless, I like Murray and he could be a great complimentary back for the Broncos... If he can stay healthy.
Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU:
I have an article in the works on Patrick Peterson, so I don't want to give to much away, but let me say this much: Great player, not as great as people are letting on. Prince Amukamara in my opinion is a FAR better value at a lower cost. Does that mean I necessarily dislike Peterson? Not at all. I love what he brings to the table.
My issue with him is a mixture of mechanics and stiff hips, which now that I think about it falls under the category of mechanics. Frankly, I find him to be far better suited at the Safety position in the NFL, and if the Broncos were to draft them, I would hope that is the position they would put him at.
Is Cornerback the Broncos biggest need? Of course not. But for all extensive circumstances, Peterson would be a good pick for the orange and blue.
Julius Thomas, TE, Portland State:
In the interests of full disclosure, I have done very little research on Julius Thomas and don't know much about him. I plan on watching some film of his this week when I get the chance. I have talked to some fellow draftniks though, and I do know one thing: He's an absolute physical monster who excelled at the combine. I can't wait to watch some game-film.
Danny Watkins, G, Baylor:
I like Danny Watkins as a player, but he isn't the right pick for the Broncos at this stage in the rebuilding process. Why, you ask? He's 27. The truth is, if I'm running the show in Denver, I'm not drafting players who may have only five good years left in them when I am the second worst team in the NFL. You just don't do that.
All of his game film is excellent, and he has superb footwork as well as great physical attributes on top of that. Maybe if had a lower draft status he'd be worth the pick, but right now I have him rated as a 3rd to 2nd round pick. Why not take the far superior Marcus Cannon or Rodney Hudson who happen to be of a reasonable age?
Or at least that's what I think. If he impresses the Broncos in their private workout though, don't be surprised if he is on their radar come draft day.
That about wraps it up, but expect more private workouts to be announced as the month goes on. Keep an especially wide eye open for Marcell Dareus's workout, and remember for more Broncos draft updates to follow me on twitter: @broncomadness