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Evans: Seven thoughts to recap the Denver Broncos 2017 draft

  1. I liked the Denver Broncos draft.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not someone who believes in absurd post-draft grades. I’m not here to tell you this guy will be a star and this guy will be a bust. Who the heck knows?

All I judge a Broncos draft by is what needs they had going into the draft and did they make an effort to fill them.

In this case, a left tackle, a middle of the field tight end, help along the defensive line, a potential third receiver, a punt returner (or three, but more on that in a moment) and a developmental quarterback passes the test for trying to fill needs.

So, in this case, give the Broncos an A.

  1. The more I learn about Garett Bolles, the more I like the pick.

The kid looks a little touched. He looks a little nasty. That’s something the Broncos offensive line has been missing for a long time.

Plus, he’s a left tackle.

The negative reaction to his selection in the first round was laughable. Let me get this straight: Since the Super Bowl ended in February, all of the talk surrounding Denver’s offseason was about how they needed a left tackle. Then, in the first round of the draft, they pick — horrors — a tackle, and a healthy chunk of Broncos Country is ticked off.

Doesn’t make sense.

  1. The DeMarcus Walker selection was solid because …

… it shows the Broncos and general manager John Elway don’t get caught up in denying past mistakes.

They should’ve been more proactive with re-signing Malik Jackson. Instead, they waited, his price tag went up, and they spent all of last season missing his inside rushing presence.

By drafting Walker, they are getting a Jackson-like player who should help fill the huge void he left.

The fact that he isn’t regarded as a big run stuffer doesn’t matter to me. The whole idea of the Broncos being so porous against the run is over-exaggerated.

Give me pass rushers up and down my defensive line, and we’ll be just fine.

  1. Carlos Henderson, Broncos Country turns its lonely, third-receiver-hungry eyes to you.

Was it really just a year ago that former head coach Gary Kubiak bragged about how this was the deepest wide receiving group he’d ever coached?

The hype never materialized during the season. At some point, Denver has to develop a third receiver, preferably in the slot, to complement Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.

Now it’s Henderson’s turn.

  1. I know the Broncos need a boost in the return game, but …

… I thought they went overboard in touting three of their picks for their return abilities.

Let’s not go crazy with the return angle. In half of their games, they won’t even be returning kicks. And how many big plays really come out of the punt return game?

I only care that they have someone reliable to catch the ball.

So the Hendersons, Langleys and McKenzies need to be able to contribute in their chosen positions, not just in the return game.

  1. I love the Chad Kelly pick.

First of all, the Broncos should develop a quarterback every draft. Using him for yourself or flipping to a quarterback-starved team for a higher pick just makes sense in today’s NFL.

Secondly, if Trevor Siemian proved anything, it’s you don’t discount seventh-round picks.

Thirdly, with the uncertainty surrounding Siemian and Paxton Lynch, why not have another quarterback compete?

And fourthly, this kid tore it up at times for Ole Miss in the best conference in college football — the SEC. That’s good enough for me to give him a chance.

All of the off-the-field stuff? Who cares? This is a talent-wins league, not a character-wins league. Sure, I’d like to have both, but give me the talent first.

Kelly’s talent is intriguing. I’ll worry about the other stuff later.

  1. Now that both free agency and the draft are over …

… I still see the Broncos as a 9-7 team that will be in the fight for a wild card spot.

There are still too many unanswered questions on the offensive line and at quarterback.

Add in a brand new coaching staff, a first-year head coach, a very difficult division, and a daunting schedule, and the Broncos will have a dogfight on its hands.

Podcasts

Schlereth and Evans

Spend your morning tapping into the wealth of sport knowledge from three-time Super Bowl champion and former Broncos offensive lineman Mark "Stink" Schlereth and longtime Denver sports radio voice Mike Evans. Schlereth spent 12 seasons in the NFL, earning two trips to the Pro Bowl and winning a Super Bowl with the Redskins and two with the Broncos. He's also a longtime NFL analyst for ESPN and supporting cast member of "Ballers" on HBO. Evans has graced the sports radio airwaves for two decades, 15 years in Denver. He's a proud graduate of Syracuse University.

Cecil Lammey

Inject your morning routine with great football discussion and analysis with Fan Broncos Insider Cecil Lammey. Cecil is one of the nations most respected football analysts, gets you the inside scoop from reports from the Broncos UCHealth Training Center to college football all-star games (East-West Shrine Game, Senior Bowl) to the NFL combine and draft. Hes an authority on NFL prospects from across the country. He is also a senior writer for FootballGuys.com. You can follow Cecil on Twitter @cecillammey.

Sandy Clough

Let Sandy Clough, one of the most recognizable voices in Denver sports radio, guide you through your work day every weekday leading into the afternoon. Sandy's been the authority in sports radio for nearly four decades in Denver. No other show will give you the insight and experience that Sandy provides.

Stokley and Zach

Kick off your afternoon with Stokley and Zach, featuring two-time Super Bowl champion Brandon Stokley and radio veteran Zach Bye. Stokley earned his two NFL titles with the Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts and spent two stints with the Denver Broncos. Bye hails from the Empire State and is the former voice of the University of Albany Great Danes football, basketball and lacrosse programs. Follow them on Twitter: @bstokley14 and @byesline.

The Drive with Big Al and D-Mac

Big Al and DMac help you get through the end of your day with the best afternoon sports radio talk show in Denver. DMac is a 1991 graduate of Syracuse University and has covered Colorado sports for The Fan since 2008. Alfred Williams, a College Football Hall of Famer, won the 1990 Butkus Award and was the captain for that year's consensus National Champion University of Colorado squad. He played nine years in the NFL, winning two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos.

Morning Brew

Each morning at 6:30, get your day started right as Schlereth and Evans serves up The Morning Brew. Mark Schlereth and Mike Evan take you around the world of sports, taking in and breaking down the top stories of the day. So tune in to get your fix before you head out into the world for the day. Brought to you every morning by McDonalds.

Terry Wickstrom Outdoors

Terry Wickstrom, the authority in everything outdoors, talks fishing, hunting, camping and more every Saturday morning.rnWickstrom, host of the popular television show "Angling Adventures" and previously "Mountain States Fishing," is a nationally published outdoor author, an accomplished multi-species angler, and has served on the "pro staff" of many top fishing industry companies.rn

In The Fairway

Jerry Walters and Cousin Ray Best provide up-to-the-minute details about golf in Colorado, rules and all the professional tours. The Boys of Summer interview the biggest names in golf every Saturday mornings throughout the golf season.

About the Author

Mike Evans

Mike Evans co-hosts Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan’s “Schlereth and Evans,” along with Mark Schlereth. Listen weekdays from 6 to 9 a.m. He’s a proud graduate of Syracuse University. Follow Mike: @MikeEvans1043

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