ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- As is often the case with cornerbacks taken after the second round, special teams represents the first area in which No. 99 overall pick Isaac Yiadom can make an on-field impact.
"He’s really long and can run, and really does a nice job on the deep balls. He’s physical and we think he’ll be a really good special-teams player," President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway said.
Yiadom's size and length -- a 6-foot-1 inch frame with a 75 3/4-inch wingspan -- allowed him to win more than his share of one-on-one matchups during Senior Bowl week, when he played for the North team coached by Denver's staff.
“Isaac was a guy that got better every day," Head Coach Vance Joseph said. "He certainly fits our profile at corner. We want long corners with long speed because we’re a press [coverage] team."
During CB Isaac Yiadom's path leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft, where he was picked by the Broncos with the 99th-overall selection, he played for Broncos coaches at the Senior Bowl.
Yiadom's 40-yard dash time of 4.52 seconds at the Combine placed him 20th among the 36 cornerbacks who ran there. But his length helps compensate for that. Only two cornerbacks drafted so far this year -- Isaiah Oliver (Atlanta, Round 2, pick No. 58) and Carlton Davis (Tampa Bay, Round 2, pick No. 63) -- boast a longer wingspan than Yiadom.
Those attributes will help him on special teams immediately, giving him a chance to be one of the team's gunners in the wake of the departures of Bennie Fowler III and Cody Latimer.
"[Yiadom] is a smart guy and he’s going to be great on special teams for us as a tough tackler," Joseph said. "He definitely fits our bill at cornerback."
On defense, Yiadom finds himself in an intriguing spot, dropped into a competition for the No. 4 cornerback role with second-year players Brendan Langley and Marcus Rios. Langley, like Yiadom, was the Broncos' final pick of the draft's second day.
But after playing extensively against the Raiders in relief of the suspended Aqib Talib, Langley was deactivated for three consecutive games last December, while Rios played in each of the final five games.
The potential of each as a cornerback to become one of the Broncos' top three players in that position group will be the primary factor in determining the long-term plans for Yiadom, Langley and Rios. Special-teams proficiency could be the factor that decides which one of them gets on the field most often this year.