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A brief look at Denver's Day 3 picks and what they bring to the Broncos

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos were busy on Day 3 of the 2020 NFL Draft, as they made all five of their scheduled selections.

Though they began the day by again addressing their offense, John Elway and Co. added key pieces to both sides of the football.

Here's a brief look at how each of Denver's Day 3 picks may make an impact:

Tight end Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri

Round 3, Pick 118

Okwuegbunam, Drew Lock's college teammate, brings 4.49-second 40-yard dash speed to the field for the Broncos.

"With Albert O., we really felt — the first phone call we made today, Vic and I made — was to Drew to find out about Albert and see what he thought about him, because he had a much better junior year when Drew was there than he had last year," Elway said Saturday. "We wanted to find out and get the inside [scoop] on him. Drew really liked him and gave him really high praise and thought he was a guy that could come in here and help us and talked about how he could really, really run, but he had a poor year last year. We were really kind of going off his junior year. Then when Drew gave him the seal of approval, we were glad; he was our target in the fourth round and he was still there, and we got him. Plus, to put him on the other side from [TE] Noah [Fant], he's a 4.49 guy that can really run at 258 pounds … and [he is] a big target, good in the red zone. He's another weapon with great speed that we could add."

Okwuegbunam caught 72 passes and 17 touchdowns from Lock in their two seasons together at Missouri.

"The confidence that we had in each other — off the field we're brothers," Okwuegbunam said. "We get along great, and I think that really just translated onto the field. Being with him in Missouri, I just felt like a lot of the times in tough situations, I was the guy that he always felt comfortable with just knowing that he always had an open throw in me, regardless of the situation. If we needed a big play, his eyes are coming to me. Just the amount of confidence he had in me, just coming out of routes I feel like we're always on the same page. I feel like all across the board just that chemistry is there."

For more on Okwuegbunam, click here.

Linebacker Justin Strnad, Wake Forest

Round 5, Pick 178

Strnad suffered a biceps injury that ended his final season at Wake Forest, but the former high school safety has the potential to carve out a role in Denver's defense.

"We liked Justin," Head Coach Vic Fangio said. "We'll just throw him in the mix there with all the other inside 'backers. We treat our inside 'backers for the most part as interchangeable guys. It's not one side or the other, or this position or that. They're both off-the-ball linebackers. They both have to know how to do each job. He'll just get thrown in the mix there and we'll see how he develops and competes with the other guys."

Strnad was a team captain and an honorable mention All-ACC player during his final season for the Demon Deacons. He tallied 244 tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks, three forced fumbles, 10 passes defensed and four interceptions in 46 career games.

"I do my think my best football is ahead of me," Strnad said. "I think as far as special teams goes, I played all special teams my first two years of college. I think I'm going to be able to come in right away and help with any special teams [role] they need me to."

Strnad said he was cleared from his injury around the NFL Combine, which was in late February.

For more on Strnad, click here.

Guard Netane Muti, Fresno State

Round 6, Pick 181

Muti, a native Tongan, received a third-round grade from the Broncos and would've come off the board on Day 2 if not for his injuries.

Unfortunately, the 6-foot-3, 315-pound offensive lineman has played in just five games over the last two seasons because of Achilles and Lisfranc injuries, respectively. He also suffered an Achilles injury in 2016.

The Broncos, though, seem comfortable with the risk they took in the sixth round.

"He was a very good football player, number one," Elway said. "There were a lot of people who had third-round grades on [him], as well as we did, and so we knew that [he was] sitting there, staring at us at the top of the sixth round. We talked to [Director of Sports Medicine] Steve ['Greek'] Antonopulos and talked about his history. We had talked about it before, but we reviewed it again today and he's had two of the Achilles and then he had the Lisfranc. 'Greek' seemed to think that the Achilles usually are stronger after you have surgery, so he was not concerned about that. And the Lisfranc — he was doing well in his recovery there. We just felt that where we were sitting and the grade that we had on him, we felt that we were going to be taking a little bit of a risk with the medical, but really felt at the top of the sixth round, we were getting tremendous value and it was worth the risk to be able to go ahead and take a chance on him."

Muti, who earned honorable mention All-Mountain West honors during his lone season as a starter, happened upon football by chance in high school. He was in the marching band — playing the snare drum — when he decide to try out for the JV football team.

He took to it well, as he started all 14 games at guard for Fresno State in 2017.

"I think I'm the best guard in this class," Muti said. "I feel like they really got a steal. I'm just excited. I'm ready to give Broncos [fans] my all and go out there, learn from the older guys in the O-line room and just be a part of the family and just win games. I'm just excited."

For more on Muti, click here.

Wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland, Florida

Round 7, Pick 252

The Broncos took their third receiver of the class by adding Cleveland, who saw limited action at Florida.

Cleveland appeared in 46 career games for the Gators during his four-year career and caught 79 passes for 1,271 yards and eight touchdowns.

He seems ready to play special teams, as well.

"Whatever the coaches want me to do, [wherever] they have me at, I'm just going to come in and work hard and try to do my best to go out there and make plays and continue just to fight and continue to get better," Cleveland said.

For more on Cleveland, click here.

Outside linebacker Derrek Tuszka, North Dakota State

Round 7, Pick 254

The Broncos spoke to the FCS All-American about joining their roster as an undrafted free agent, but Tuszka said Denver made the call to draft him with the penultimate pick on Saturday.

"Towards the end of the draft here this afternoon, I was getting a bunch of calls," Tuszka said. "They reached out to my agent and were kind of talking about free agency, but with number of free-agent offers that I was having, they found it was in their best interest to take me right toward the end there."

The 2019 Missouri Valley Football Conference's Defensive Player of the Year will compete for a reserve spot behind Bradley Chubb and Von Miller. Last year, undrafted rusher Malik Reed made the Broncos' team.

Tuszka tallied 48 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks, one forced fumble and five passes defensed during his final season.

For more on Tuszka, click here.

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