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2018 Offers Denver Opportunity To Alter The Course Of The Franchise
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The Denver Broncos are a team close to being in full rebuild mode. The only reason I say ‘close’ is because the Broncos have multiple key personnel pieces on defense, and even a couple on the other side of the ball.
But Denver is missing the most important component to building a Championship-caliber team; the quarterback. GM John Elway is under no illusion that the Broncos dearth of talent at the QB position is holding the team back from evolving.
Fortunately, one of the collateral benefits of going 5-11 in 2017 is the opportunity for the entire Broncos staff to coach the Reese’s Senior Bowl. The Senior Bowl is a showcase of sorts, where eligible seniors looking to ply their wares at the next level get invited to compete and work under established NFL coaching staffs for a week.
“We jumped at the opportunity for the Broncos to work the Senior Bowl,” John Elway said. “On both the coaching and personnel sides, the experience gives us a chance to meet these prospects and get to know them on and off the field.”
A couple decades ago, the Senior Bowl wasn’t as important to an NFL prospect’s resume. Now, if you’re a senior, and unless you’ve distinguished yourself to be a clear first-rounder, passing on an invite to the Senior Bowl gets you negative attention and triggers the type of questions you don’t want heading into Draft season.
When a guy declines an invite, it tends to make teams/scouts and media believe that player is either afraid to compete, or he’s hiding something. Either way, it hurts Draft stock — unless your collegiate body of work has already made you a no-brainer first-round pick.
I’ve covered the Senior Bowl in person and it’s a phenomenal experience. Scouts, GMs and even coaches from all 32 teams descend on Mobile, AL, and for a working week, it’s nothing but football heaven.
For the Broncos, who currently hold the fifth overall pick in the 2018 Draft, coaching the Senior Bowl offers the team the rare opportunity at an inside look at a select group of senior prospects. Denver will coach the North team.
With Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield accepting his Senior Bowl invite and landing on the North team, the Broncos coaching staff will get three intense days of practice with him. Bill Musgrave can teach Mayfield an overview of the Broncos offensive system, and see how he assimilates and learns it, and how quickly he can execute it.
The Senior Bowl will also give Vance Joseph and his staff an up close look and better understanding of these prospects’ personalities and what makes them tick. Some of the best players in the country will be in Mobile.
“The Senior Bowl provides our staff an up-close look at some of the top prospects in this year’s Draft,” Head Coach Vance Joseph said. “Having coached the Senior Bowl in the past, it’s a tremendous evaluation tool spending all week with these players in a variety of group and individual settings.
“From the meeting rooms to the practice field, the Senior Bowl experience lets us see how these prospects work and prepare in a competitive environment.”
For a storied team like the Denver Broncos, a top-five pick doesn’t come around too often. The pressure to ensure that they don’t squander it is immense.
The last time Denver earned a top-five pick, John Elway selected Von Miller, who went on to change the course of the franchise. Super Bowl 50 would not have been possible without Miller.
The stakes are high, and the Broncos will need every last scrap of information in order to make the right choice come Draft Day. Coaching the Senior Bowl is a phenomenal tool in helping them get a more complete picture of some of the best prospects entering the Draft.
Mile High Huddle will be in Mobile, covering each and every practice. Carl Dumler will be passing on all the buzz on what the Broncos are doing and which prospects are standing out.
Make sure you’re a MHH VIP subscriber so that you don’t miss anything that comes out of Mobile the week of January 23.
The Senior Bowl game itself (North vs. South) will be played on Saturday, January 27.
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