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Elway 'Excited About Where We Sit'

Posted Apr 26, 2012

On Thursday, the Broncos traded out of the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, picking up an extra selection. Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway said it has set the team up for success in the following rounds.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- After one day of the 2012 NFL Draft, there aren't any new Broncos yet. But the club did add an extra pick while staying true to its draft board.

"We really belive this is a deep draft -- it’s not real thick at the top, but it’s pretty deep through the middle rounds," Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway said. "We thought by adding another good pick it gives us more options going into tomorrow. Plus we’ll still be able to get the same people that we had targeted that made it to us at (pick No.) 25 at (pick No.) 36. We’re excited about the day. Obviously it’s a little bit of a downer when you don’t have a new player. But, we’re excited about where we sit and the next two days are going to be exciting.”

The Broncos entered Thursday with the 25th overall selection, which the club traded to the New England Patriots in exchange for the 31st overall pick and the 31st selection in the fourth round -- No. 126 overall.

But when that pick arrived, the Broncos elected to make another trade, this time to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Denver traded No. 31 and No. 126, which it had received from the Patriots, in exchange for the 36th overall selection -- the fourth pick in the second round -- and the 101st overall selection -- the sixth pick in the fourth round.

"We really feel like we're going to get the same quality player at 36 that we can at 25," Elway said. "And to be able to pick up a good pick, which we ended up picking up at the top of the fourth round -- it's a good pick for us. That's why we decided to go back."

Elway acknowledged the team had a handful of defensive tackles high on its board, but they began to fall "fast and furious," and a few players the team had targeted didn't quite make it to No. 25. So the club elected to move back.

But Elway said the team's board looks the same at pick 36 that it did at pick 25 -- Denver will be able to pick up the same quality of player early in the second round, and it picked up an early fourth-rounder in the process.

"We worked so hard on that board, we're going to stay true to the board and the way we grade everybody," Elway said. "We did stay true with what we did today and the fact that by moving back the way we did, the guys that we liked and targeted, we believe have a chance to be there. There's a big enough group of guys there that we like who we think will be there at 36."

The Broncos now have eight selections in the draft, including two second-rounders and three fourth-rounders.

That means Denver currently has three selections on day two of the draft, a time Elway believes the Broncos will be able use to find the same type of impact players that were available late in the first round.

"Anytime you're picking in the second round -- we have two tomorrow in the second and one in the third -- we still feel like those impact guys are there," Elway said. "As we talked about last year, we're not going to fix this thing overnight, we're not going to fix it with one draft. But to be able to get those impact guys plus be able to get a lot of quality young football players is what we need to do to build this base."

In addition, those three fourth-round picks are what Elway described as "good currency" if the Broncos elect to make any more trades in the remaining six rounds of the draft.

As far as Elway is concerned, the Broncos are in a good position entering tomorrow's rounds, which begin at 5 p.m. MDT.

"I understand the fans being a little bit disappointed because they want to get excited and see who's the next Denver Bronco," Elway said. "I think everybody naturally wants to do that, but that will be over as soon as we get started tomorrow and get that first pick. Where we sit, I think tomorrow will be exciting."