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  • Thu., Oct. 23, 2014 3:00 PM - 6:30 PM MDT Orange Night Ride

    The year's Orange Ride is scheduled for Oct. 23, 2014 with a start time of 4:30 p.m. from the Denver City and County Building. We have put together a list of activities leading up to that night's Broncos game against San Diego. We hope to see you there!
    3-4 p.m. Pregame fan rally in front of Denver City and County Building
    4:30 p.m. Ride departs Denver City and County Building to Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    5:00 p.m. Ride arrives at Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    5-6 p.m. Orange Ride pregame tailgate party at Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    6:00 p.m. Orange Ride departs stadium to Tavern Downtown to watch the Broncos game
    6:25 p.m. Watch the Broncos game while enjoying Tavern Downtown’s food and drink specials
    And don't forget that the Broncos and Denver B-cycle have teamed up to offer a new bike valet service for home games for the 2014 season, giving fans a place to park their bike in a secure place staffed by B-cycle volunteers!
  • Thu., Oct. 23, 2014 6:25 PM MDT Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers The Denver Broncos take on AFC West opponent the San Diego Chargers on Thursady Night Football on NFL Network.
  • Sat., Oct. 25, 2014 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM MDT Broncos Bunch Trick-or-Treat

    Broncos Bunch Trick-or-Treat

    Sign up at http://broncosbunch.com

  • Sun., Nov. 02, 2014 2:25 PM MST Denver Broncos at New England Patriots The Denver Broncos travel to Gillette Stadium to take on the New England Patriots in a rematch of the 2013 AFC Championship. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Sun., Nov. 09, 2014 2:05 PM MST Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders The Denver Broncos face their AFC West foe Oakland Raiders on the road. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Sun., Nov. 16, 2014 11:00 AM MST Denver Broncos at St. Louis Rams The Denver Broncos face the St. Louis Rams on the road at 11 a.m. MST. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Sun., Nov. 23, 2014 2:25 PM MST Denver Broncos vs. Miami Dolphins The Denver Broncos take on the AFC East Miami Dolphins. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Tue., Nov. 25, 2014 6:00 AM - 4:00 PM MST Thanksgiving Turkey Distribution Denver Rescue Mission Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Distribution
  • Sun., Nov. 30, 2014 6:30 PM MST Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs The Denver Broncos travel to Arrowhead Stadium to face AFC West foe the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football on NBC.
  • Sun., Dec. 07, 2014 2:05 PM MST Play 60/Fuel Up to Play 60 Tribute Game Play 60/Fuel Up to Play 60 tribute game. Teams will be recognized before the team's game against the Buffalo Bills.

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Broncos Draft Prospects: Tight End

Posted Apr 2, 2014

Independent analyst Andrew Mason takes a look at the ideal draft range for tight ends in 2014 and the Broncos' history drafting that position.

IDEAL DRAFT RANGE: Third day, specifically rounds 6 to 7.

The value isn't there at the position in the early rounds, unless you have an unexpected descent from a top-flight prospect like North Carolina's Eric Ebron or Washington's Austin Seferian-Jenkins. 

But the Broncos don't need a ready-made tight end, anyway, and the position is of a relatively low priority given the talent on hand. Another developmental tight end in the later rounds would not be a surprise, but the Broncos may also opt to see how Gerell Robinson develops in his conversion from wide receiver, and that may be the Broncos' developmental focus, instead of a rookie out of the draft.

RECENT BRONCOS HISTORY: Give credit to the Broncos for patience with the last two tight ends they selected -- Julius Thomas and Virgil Green. Both were selected in the 2011 draft, and their development came at a deliberate pace, during which the Broncos got by with veterans including Daniel Fells and Dante Rosario (both in 2011) and Joel Dreessen and Jacob Tamme (2012-onward).

Thomas, as a fourth-rounder, could become one of the biggest draft steals in Broncos history. Certainly he has played well above his status, something that could not be said for 2009 second-rounder Richard Quinn and 2006 second-rounder Tony Scheffler, the last tight ends drafted by the Broncos before Thomas and Green. Scheffler was solid and productive, but never broke out, and Quinn's blocking-first skill set was ill-suited to his draft status; you can usually find effective blockers in the later rounds. 

Sixth-rounders Jeb Putzier (2002) and Desmond Clark (1999) were good, productive players who outplayed their draft status.  The only other tight end drafted by the Broncos in the last 20 drafts was Kansas State's Justin Swift in the seventh round of the 1999 draft, making just seven draftees in two decades. 

BRONCOS OUTLOOK: Four expiring contracts in the next 12 months loom for the tight ends that return from last year's 53-man roster, so there could be some shuffling as the Broncos plan for long-term depth at the position. But assuming they can keep Thomas and Green around, the long-term task would be only to develop depth -- and even that might not be necessary if converted wide receiver Robinson blossoms this summer in his first full-contact work at the position.

A relatively stable roster at most spots means that the Broncos have few pressing needs. If the "best player available" in a mid-to-late-round slot is a tight end, they could add one for depth.

But in an ideal scenario, Thomas is both the present and the future; having displayed elite receiving talent, he gives the Broncos the kind of threat that is at the level of generally acknowledged top-tier tight ends like New Orleans' Jimmy Graham, Dallas' Jason Witten, San Diego's Antonio Gates and New England's Rob Gronkowski. These types of weapons are difficult to find, and with Thomas, the Broncos are blessed to possess one for the first time since Shannon Sharpe's heyday.

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