ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --After trading their fourth-round selection for a fifth and a sixth, the Broncos continued hitting on potential areas of need in the 2013 NFL Draft.
With the 146th selection, the Broncos picked Western Kentucky defensive end Quanterus Smith.
The 2012 Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year, Smith notched 18.5 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks and three forced fumbles as a senior. Through 10 games, he was leading the nation in sacks before an ACL tear ended his season.
"If you have some edge ability, some pass-rushing ability and you're a little raw but you've got some athletic ability, that's the kind of guy you want to develop right there," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said of the Broncos' pick.
Even with missing the final two games of 2012, Smith still led all FBS players in sacks per game.
He stepped up big time in the Hilltoppers' loss to eventual national-champion Alabama, grabbing three sacks and a forced fumble.
"So you know he steps up to that caliber of play," NFL Network's Charles Davis said on the draft broadcast.
In 2011, Smith started just six games but was still named second-team all-conference with 7.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss. He played in all four seasons with the Hilltoppers, including two starts as a redshirt freshman.
The Broncos have three picks remaining in the draft, including another fifth-rounder.