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Last April, the Denver Broncos visited with (or worked out) 32 draft prospects. This year, the team is expected to visit with a similar number of players.

Below is a look at how the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft went down and which players Denver brought in for visits.

1st Overall:  QB Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers.

Worked out/visited Denver:  Yes.

Notes:  Newton worked out for the Broncos last April and was the first player off the board. Other quarterbacks that visited the team were Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder, Colin Kaepernick and Jake Locker.

2nd Overall:  LB Von Miller, Denver Broncos.

Worked out/visited Denver:  Yes.

Notes:  Miller visited with the team and was definitely the best player available when they were on the clock in the first round. Other linebackers that visited with the Broncos were Casey Matthews, Dontay Moch, Akeem Ayers, Lawrence Wilson, Mason Foster and Ryan Coulson

3rd Overall:  DT Marcell Dareus, Buffalo Bills.

Worked out/visited Denver:  Yes.

Notes:  Dareus visited the Broncos and defensive tackle was considered Denver’s biggest position of need going into the draft. Other defensive tackles that visited the Broncos included Kenrick Ellis, Marvin Austin, Nick Fairley and Phil Taylor.

4th Overall:  WR A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals.

Worked out/visited Denver:  No.

NotesEdmond Gates was the lone receiver brought in for a visit last April, and the team spoke with Jarred Fayson and Jock Sanders at the combine. Gates was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the fourth round while Fayson and Sanders went undrafted and signed with the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers respectively. The Dolphins drafted Gates two selections before Denver drafted safety Quinton Carter in the fourth round (Carter did workout for the team in April).

5th Overall:  CB Patrick Peterson, Arizona Cardinals.

Worked out/visited Denver:  Yes.

Notes:  The Broncos did bring in Peterson for a visit, who went off the board early. The team worked out two other cornerbacks (DeMarcus Van Dyke and Brandon Harris) and would go on to sign Chris Harris as an undrafted free agent following the conclusion of the draft. Brandon Harris was drafted by the Houston Texans in the second round of the draft fifteen selections after Denver selected safety Rahim Moore; Van Dyke was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the third round of the draft, fourteen picks after the Broncos drafted linebacker Nate Irving. The Broncos did not workout Moore or Irving before the draft.

6th Overall:  WR Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons.

Worked out/visited Denver:  No.

Notes:  As was noted above, Denver did not show much interest in wide receivers before the draft and came away from Radio City Music Hall without having drafted any receivers.

7th Overall:  DE Aldon Smith, San Francisco 49ers.

Worked out/visited Denver:  Yes.

Notes:  The Broncos did workout Smith and fellow defensive end Marc Schiechl and brought in Allen Bailey and Da’Quan Bowers for workouts. Bowers was drafted in the second round of the draft by the Buccaneers five selections after Denver drafted offensive guard Orlando Franklin 46th overall (the team did not visit with Franklin before the draft). Bailey was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs nineteen picks after the Broncos drafted Irving in the second round. Schiechl went undrafted and signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

8th Overall:  QB Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans.

Worked out/visited Denver:  Yes.

Notes:  The Broncos did visit with Locker and a handful of other quarterbacks before the draft, as was mentioned above.

9th Overall:  OT Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys.

Worked out/visited Denver:  No.

Notes:  The Broncos brought in offensive tackle Ben Ijalana for a visit and met with offensive linemen Lee Ziemba and Danny Watkins at the combine but did not workout Smith. Ijalana was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts two selections after the Broncos took guard Orlando Franklin in the second round. Watkins was drafted in the first round (23rd overall) by the Philadelphia Eagles and Ziemba was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the seventh round (244th overall). The Broncos used their first and seventh round selections on Miller (visited), tight end Virgil Green (did not visit) and defensive lineman Jeremy Beal (who also did not visit the team).

10th Overall:  QB Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars.

Worked out/visited Denver:  Yes.

Notes:  Just ten picks into the draft, three of the five QB’s Denver had shown interest in were now off the board.

11th Overall:  DE J.J. Watt, Houston Texans.

Worked out/visited Denver:  No.

Notes:  As was mentioned above, the Broncos showed interest in three defensive ends prior to the draft and Watt was not among them.

12th Overall:  QB Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings.

Worked out/visited Denver:  Yes.

Notes:  Only one quarterback Denver had worked out or brought in for a visit now remained (Colin Kaepernick) and he ended up being drafted by the 49ers in the second round (36th overall), nine selections before Denver selected Rahim Moore 45th overall. Since Newton had been drafted, the Broncos had drafted Miller and watched as the four other QB’s they had worked out/visited went off the board before Denver made another selection (the team actually traded down with the 49ers, who drafted Kaepernick with Denver’s original 36th overall selection).

13th Overall:  DT Nick Fairley, Detroit Lions.

Worked out/visited Denver:  Yes.

Notes:  As mentioned above, the Broncos worked out Fairley and four other defensive tackles but went on to not draft a single defensive tackle in the draft.

14th Overall:  DE Robert Quinn, St. Louis Rams.

Worked out/visited Denver:  No.

Notes:  The Broncos — though often linked to Quinn prior to the draft — did not workout or bring in Quinn for a visit last April.

15th Overall:  OL Mike Pouncey, Miami Dolphins.

Worked out/visited Denver:  No.

Notes:  The Broncos did not appear to show any interest in Pouncey leading up to draft day.

16th Overall:  DE Ryan Kerrigan, Washington Redskins.

Worked out/visited Denver:  No.

Notes:  The Broncos did not workout or bring Kerrigan in for a visit last April.

17th Overall:  OL Nate Solder, New England Patriots.

Worked out/visited Denver:  No.

Notes:  Like the prior four prospects, Solder seemingly was not targeted by Denver.

18th Overall:  DT Corey Liuget, San Deigo Chargers.

Worked out/visited Denver:  No.

Notes:  Same story as above

19th Overall:  CB Prince Amukamara, New York Giants.

Worked out/visited Denver:  No.

Notes:  The Broncos brought in three cornerbacks for visits/workouts before the draft, Amukamara was not among them.

20th Overall:  DE Adrian Clayborn, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Worked out/visited Denver:  No.

Notes:  The Broncos did not workout Clayborn prior to the draft.

21st Overall:  DT Phil Taylor, New York Giants.

Worked out/visited Denver:  Yes.

Notes:  As noted above, the Broncos looked at several defensive tackles, Taylor among them.

22nd Overall:  OT Anthony Castonzo, Indianapolis Colts.

Worked out/visited Denver:  No.

Notes:  The Broncos worked with three offensive linemen before the draft, Castonzo excluded.

 23rd Overall:  OL Danny Watkins, Philadelphia Eagles.

Worked out/visited Denver:  Yes.

Notes:  The Broncos did meet with Watkins at the combine.  See the analysis of Dallas’ ninth overall selection.

 24th Overall:  DE Jordan Cameron, New Orleans Saints.

Worked out/visited Denver:  No.

Notes:  The Broncos looked at four defensive ends before the draft, Cameron was not among them.

 25th Overall:  OL James Carpenter, Seattle Seahawks.

Worked out/visited Denver:  No.

Notes:  The Broncos did not express interest in Carpenter prior to the draft.

 26th Overall:  WR Jonathan Baldwin, Kansas City Chiefs.

Worked out/visited Denver:  No.

Notes:  The Broncos showed little interest in the wide receiver position last April, don’t expect a repeat of that this time around.

 27th Overall:  CB Jimmy Smith, Baltimore Ravens.

Worked out/visited Denver:  No.

Notes:  The Broncos worked out/visited with three cornerbacks before the draft, Smith was not one of them.

28th Overall:  RB Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints.

Worked out/visited Denver:  No.

Notes:  The Broncos showed interest in eight running backs last April (DeMarco Murray, Mikel Leshoure, Taiwan Jones, Kendall Hunter and Daniel Thomas among them), but the team did not workout Ingram or bring him in for a visit.

29th Overall:  OL Gabe Carimi, Chicago Bears.

Worked out/visited Denver:  No.

Notes:  The Broncos did not workout/visit with Carimi before the draft last April.

30th Overall:  DT Muhammad Wilkerson, New York Jets.

Worked out/visited Denver:  No.

Notes:  Wilkerson was not one of the five defensive tackles Denver looked at last year.

31st Overall: DT Cameron Heyward, Pittsburgh Steelers.

Worked out/visited Denver:  No.

Notes:  The Broncos did not workout/visit with Heyward last April.

32nd Overall:  OL Derek Sherrod, Green Bay Packers.

Worked out/visited Denver:  No.

1st Round Draft Notes:  After the first round, eleven of the thirty-two players Denver had pre-draft workouts/visits with had gone off the board.  Twenty-one of the players Denver had shown interest in remained entering the second round.  The Broncos ended up drafting three players they had worked out/visits with, Miller (2nd), Carter (108th) and tight end Julius Thomas (129th).

Interestingly, four of the five quarterbacks Denver had shown interest in did not make it into the second round. Had Locker, Ponder or Gabbert fallen into the second round, the Broncos may have drafted a quarterback in 2011.

With the 2012 NFL Draft drawing closer, keeping an eye on the players Denver bring in for visits and scratching them out when selected on draft day may help narrow down who the Broncos will go after when on the clock later this month.

Is it April 26th yet? The draft is drawing closer and we’re getting excited! H/T to IAOFM for the list of players that visited Denver last year.

  • Anonymous

    Cool post Jon, I was just trying to remember who the Broncos brought in last year before the draft

  • http://twitter.com/TimLynch1978 Tim Lynch

    Hmm.  Another post covering all of the players who visited the Broncos about 3-4 days before the draft seems to be a good idea.  :)

  • http://Facebook.com/BroncosZone Jon

    Oy! This took me two days…

    I’ll keep covering the players that visit this year and create a post with a list of all of them, but I’m not sure if I’m going to do anymore about the 2011 visits.

  • rcsodak

    So, they visited with PTaylor or they didnt???

  • http://Facebook.com/BroncosZone Jon

    My bad!

  • Anonymous

    Very good stuff Jon. I’d really like to see the same lay-out for whats gone on this year and all that have visited so far, that’d be great. I know its out there but some times I rarely even get on here!