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Shane Ray (Missouri) poses with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected as the No. 23 overall pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Photo by Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
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Clough: ‘Might be a long year’ for Broncos if team starts out slow

Shane Ray (Missouri) poses with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected as the No. 23 overall pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Photo by Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos regular season is a distant four and a half months away still, but this week can drastically alter whether this season will be one fun to watch for the orange and blue clad or just tolerable.

In a normal year in which a club goes through a transition with its staff, jumping out to a quick start is important, said Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan’s Sandy Clough on Monday.

“They need that fast start. They can’t afford to ease guys into it. If they go 3-2 in terms of wins out of first five, 3-2 or worse, it might be a long year,” Clough said.

In a year in which the offensive staff has been overhauled and a defensive-minded head coach installed, along with what appears to be a bear of a schedule, it’s paramount.

“The new coaching staff certainly wants a quick start. With this schedule, they’ll need one,” Clough said. “And I think it reinforces the idea that we’ve been promulgating over the last several months, the need for this draft to provide an immediate impact for the Broncos.

Denver, as of Monday afternoon, has 10 draft picks to use over the three-day draft Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, including four compensatory picks and a sixth-rounder via the Tennessee Titans.

And according to Clough, the Broncos need to find players who can provide “immediate impact,” not only in the first round but also on day two and three as well.

“They will need, however they use their first four picks, — the picks now that are located at No. 20 and No. 51 and No. 82 and No. 101 — they’ll have to get something out of those picks,” Clough said.

“Starting caliber performances out of the people they select, whether they make all four picks or move up, let’s say in the second round a few spots, out of those first four picks they’ll need to find at least two or three guys who can step in and, yes, play well right away.”

Make sure to tune in all weekend for 104.3 The Fan’s draft coverage, which kicks off with “The Drive” at 5 p.m. on Thursday.

Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @johnnyhart7.