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Mason's Mailbag: Don't jump to too many conclusions from OTAs

You can tweet questions to me with the hashtag #AskMase or use the submission form to your right (if you're viewing on a standard browser) or at the bottom of the page if you're on the mobile site.

With DeMarcus Walker moving back to the D-Line, can we expect his number to change?

-- Dustin Lee

Not necessarily. There is no reason for his number to change from No. 57; defensive linemen are allowed to wear jersey numbers in the 50s. He had No. 57 in the 2017 offseason before he was moved to outside linebacker, anyway.

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This is such a fun time of the year. After spending so much time thinking about personnel moves during free agency and the draft, it's exciting to get a glimpse into how things are playing out on an actual football field. From being right there at OTAs, what about the team looks or feels different that's getting you excited for the season?**

-- Ben Mahrer

The offense is moving at a crisper pace, the special teams looks to be more on point and the quarterbacks are making quicker decisions, but in general I would advise you not to look too much into the form during OTAs. While the work is on an "actual football field," as you note, the players are not in full pads, and contact is limited, per regulations stipulated in the 2011 collective-bargaining agreement.

I've seen teams that had a shaky series of OTAs that flourished in the season that followed. I've seen teams that looked sharp in the spring, then flailed in the fall. Thus, I can't really say I'm "excited" about anything other than the chance to watch a football practice for the first time since the Senior Bowl.

I am intrigued by the potential of rookies such as Bradley Chubb, Courtland Sutton, Royce Freeman, DaeSean Hamilton and Phillip Lindsay. But in those cases and all others, I want to see what they do as more nuances of the scheme are tossed at them and then, in training camp, how they fare in full pads and at full speed.

My radio partner, Ring of Famer Steve Atwater, is a native of Missouri and was inducted into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame this week. Being a Missourian, he occasionally holds off on ebullient praise, reminding us, "You have to show me," and I'm with him. So I will offer muted praise now, and save the bigger stuff for later.

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Can you please tell me why we picked 40, 71 and so on instead of 37 and 69 and so on in this year's draft?**

-- Bruce Hinman

Because draft slots among teams that finish the previous season with the same record are rotated in the manner of a snake-style fantasy-football draft, so the team with the first choice of those tied clubs has the final pick of that group in the next round.

The Broncos had the first pick of the four 5-11 teams in this year's draft -- No. 5 overall -- which meant they had the last pick (No. 40) among that group in Round 2, then the third pick (No. 71) among those in Round 3, the second pick (No. 106) in Round 4, and then finally the first pick of those four clubs in Round 5, when the cycle began again (the Broncos traded this selection to Washington, who eventually dealt it to San Francisco).

Why don't the Vroncos hire Pro Bowl players to come back and be position coaches -- for example, Champ Bailey at DB coach? Tom Nalen as interior line coach?

-- Marc Aguirre

Because many players do not want to move into coaching in retirement. The extensive hours and often-crushing demands of coaching -- particularly at the NFL level -- are not for everyone.

Furthermore, playing talent doesn't necessarily translate to coaching. Some of the best coaches in the game never played beyond high school or a small-college level. While it is splendid to see DeMarcus Ware back around the Broncos' pass rushers offering tutelage, not every former Pro Bowl player wants to do that.

Mase, daily follower, that dad joke (from last week's Mailbag) made me question every decision you have ever made.

-- Josh

That's fine, just as long as you do not question my decision to close this piece with your comment.

SEND A QUESTION TO THE NEXT MAILBAG!

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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