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A video board displays the text "THE PICK IS IN" for the Denver Broncos during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Schlereth: Signing Jackson, James gives Broncos options in draft

A video board displays the text "THE PICK IS IN" for the Denver Broncos during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

As the fury of free agent signings poured in Monday with the start of the NFL’s legal tampering period, “Schlereth and Evans” co-host Mark Schlereth said he was inundated with social media posts from Denver Broncos fans wondering what the team was doing and why they weren’t going after all these big-name players.

On Wednesday, Schlereth cautioned Broncos Country to “slow down” on the criticism of the team’s moves — Denver eventually made acquired right tackle Ja’Wuan James and defensive back Kareem Jackson — saying that free agency is where you overpay for marginal talent and not rebuild a roster.

“All I’m saying is pump the brakes. You’re not going to build a significantly better roster through free agency,” Schlereth said. “As a matter of fact, what you’re going to do is fill a couple of holes and you’re going to overpay for that marginal talent.”

Schlereth added that he believes the Broncos actually did upgrade its roster with James, “a better player at the right tackle position,” and Jackson, “a better cornerback.”

“I actually like what the Broncos have done, and I think they’re a better football team right now than they were before free agency started,” Schlereth said.

But perhaps more importantly, Schlereth said acquiring two starters at positions of need frees up the Broncos when it comes to next month’s NFL Draft.

“There’s a lot of work still left to be done. There are some free agents who will be signed going down the pike here. But this is really about rebuilding your roster through the draft,” Schlereth said. “And you’ve got options now at No. 10.

“You’ve got options in the second round. You’ve got options in the third round because you’ve addressed some of your needs. You still have many more, but you’ve addressed some of your needs.”

The comments follow those of “Stokley and Zach” co-host Brandon Stokley, who said on Tuesday that signing James and Jackson lets the Broncos draft the best player available at No. 10 overall.

“It frees you up in the draft now, frees you up more to take that best player available and not be pigeon-holed on certain positions,” Stokley said.

Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @JohnnyHart7.

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