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Mason's Mailbag: Brendan Langley showing growth

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How is Brendan Langley looking in OTAs?

-- Daniel King

So far, so good. He has looked solid in OTAs, showing his athleticism. Most importantly, he appears to have learned what it takes off the field to stick and find success, according to safety Will Parks.

"You can tell that he had a great offseason. I was with him out in Dallas with Chris Harris [Jr.] and [Bradley] Roby -- we're actually going to be out there again this summer [before training camp] -- but you can tell that Brendan Langley got tremendously focused," Parks said. "He got in his playbook more this offseason, and it's showing out here on the field."

What justified the Broncos getting the first pick out of the 5-11 teams in the first round? I know that there is snake-style in later rounds (among teams with the same record) but why were we so privileged to land Bradley Chubb?

-- Donovan Morgan

Strength of schedule. The Broncos' opponents last year had the lowest combined winning percentage of any slate of foes for the 5-11 teams. Thus, the Broncos picked first among that group.

The final piece of the puzzle to Denver picking fifth was the Bucs' Week 17 upset of New Orleans, which dropped the Bucs to 5-11 and pushed the Broncos into the top 5 picks. That game also made it possible for the Broncos to coach in the Senior Bowl, as the Bucs would have likely received the call if they had finished 4-12.

What do you think of Matt LaCosse making it as tight end this year with the Broncos?

-- Mike

With Jake Butt and Troy Fumagalli aboard and developing, Austin Traylor building off of a solid second half of the 2017 campaign and Jeff Heuerman creating good timing with Case Keenum -- as he explained after last Tuesday's OTA -- LaCosse will need to deliver some outstanding work in training camp to crack the 53-man roster. The Broncos' tight-end group is relatively unproven, but the youth in the room has upside. LaCosse will simply have to show that his potential is better than that of the others in the group.

Why don't the Denver Broncos sign a young proven veteran like Johnathan Hankins?

-- Bhuvan Yerramsetty

Because defensive line isn't a big need right now, given the Broncos' strength up front against the run last year and the return of the players involved in that effort -- Derek Wolfe, Domata Peko Sr., Shelby Harris, Adam Gotsis and Zach Kerr in particular.

Hankins' strength is as a run defender, which would make him a two-down player in the Broncos' defense. With the players on hand -- including Bradley Chubb, who can rotate into a hand-in-the-dirt defensive end in addition to his work at inside linebacker -- there would probably not be many snaps left for Hankins, and certainly not a total worthy of the type of contract he could have been expected to command, perhaps $8 million for one season. Furthermore, with the Broncos expected to use sub packages for a majority of their downs, Hankins' opportunities would be limited, especially with the players on hand.

The analysis, opinion and speculation in this story represents that of the author, gathered through research and reporting, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Denver Broncos organization.

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