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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: Wide Receiver

Posted Mar 26, 2014

Independent Analyst Andrew Mason takes a look at the ideal draft range for wide receivers in 2014 and the Broncos' history drafting that position.

IDEAL DRAFT RANGE:Rounds 2 to 4. 

In the first round, wide receiver is often a boom-or-bust proposition. While recent first rounds have brought such stellar pass-catchers as Denver's Demaryius Thomas and Dallas' Dez Bryant in 2010, Cincinnati's A.J. Green and Atlanta's Julio Jones in 2011 and the emerging Michael Floyd of Arizona in 2012, it hasn't been hard to find the duds, like San Francisco's A.J. Jenkins in 2012, Kansas City's Jon Baldwin in 2011 and Oakland's Darrius Heyward-Bey in 2009.

This year, it's a pretty solid bet that at least four receivers will go at some point in the first round: Clemson's Sammy Watkins, Texas A&M's Mike Evans, LSU's Odell Beckham Jr. and USC's Marqise Lee. Others like Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin and Oregon State's Brandin Cooks could slip into the first round.

But this draft is blessed with an abundance of wide receiver prospects in the next three rounds. A slew of early entries helped this, including Colorado's Paul Richardson, Fresno State's Davante Adams, South Carolina's Bruce Ellington and Mississippi's Donte Moncrief. It would come as no surprise to see more than 20 wide receivers taken in the first two days of the draft.

RECENT BRONCOS HISTORY: The wide receiver the Broncos selected last year, fifth-rounder Tavarres King, didn't stick on the 53-man roster, but did pass through waivers to make it to the practice squad. But after promoting him and trying again to move him back through waivers, the Broncos lost him when Carolina claimed him for its 53-man roster in November. 

King is the only wide receiver selected in the Fox/Elway era, but that's in part due to the 2010 draft, which yielded Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker on the first two days. The Broncos hit on both picks; Thomas has overcome injuries to emerge as one of the league's elite targets, with a size/speed combination few can approach.

Decker provided terrific value for a third-round pick, with a pair of 1,000-yard seasons and 33 touchdowns, but the emergence of Thomas and the constraints of overall roster construction under the salary cap made it unfeasible for the Broncos to keep him and Thomas for the long term -- while also keeping enough room for tight end Julius Thomas, who emerged as a premium target last year.

King was the 19th wide receiver taken by the Broncos since 1998. In six of the last 16 drafts, they've selected at least two wide receivers. None provided more value relative to his draft slot than 2006 fourth-rounder Brandon Marshall (No. 119 overall); for the Broncos, he was a productive, albeit troubled, player.

BRONCOS OUTLOOK: The re-signing of Andre Caldwell and the addition of Emmanuel Sanders to help fill the void created by Decker's departure means that the Broncos don't feel pressure to reach for a receiver. But their long-term plans likely involve bolstering the depth.

The contracts of Welker and Demaryius Thomas expire after this year. Along with Julius Thomas' expiring contract, the Broncos' strategy for this year's free-agent class involved preparing for next year. John Elway, the executive vice president/general manager, noted this at the Scouting Combine when stating that his then-pending free agents would be allowed to test the market.

"So, especially when you look at where we are and what we have coming up -- Julius and (Demaryius), both Thomases are up next year. And Wes (Welker) is, too. All that plays into it," he said.

As with every position, the Broncos are doing due diligence. Among the wide receivers who said they've spoken with a Broncos representative at a January all-star game or the Scouting Combine were Saginaw Valley State's Jeff Janis, Pittsburgh's Devin Street, Fresno State's Isaiah Burse and Coastal Carolina's Matt Hazel. In casting a wide net, it has undoubtedly met with many others.

If the top four receivers on the Broncos' roster remain healthy, they can be patient with whatever rookies they add -- although if a rookie can handle kickoff and/or punt returns, it would ease the pressure to place those duties on a starting-caliber receiver such as Sanders. 

But to squeeze an entire team under the salary cap while working to ensure that the Thomases remain a part of the long-term plans, the Broncos will need to find a productive receiver for the 2015 season and onward who can play under a cap-friendly first contract. This draft could represent an ideal chance to procure such a prospect.

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