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Mason's Mailbag: Saquon Barkley's rise about more than what he is on the field

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.*

What do you think of RB Saquon Barkley and would the Broncos select him if available at No. 5 or move up to get him?

-- Jason Battin

If he's not the best prospect in the draft -- and for the record, Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson is my No. 1 overall player in this year's draft -- then, as the late Bum Phillips said, "it don't take long to call the roll." I doubt he lasts beyond the second pick of the draft. Not only does he have the outstanding work he put on film, but his measurables and character are outstanding.

A story from former Jaguars RB Fred Taylor illuminates Barkley's character. Last week, Taylor joined Steve Atwater and me on Orange and Blue 760 when he had a break. Taylor was one of the former players brought in to help guide Combine participants and give them advice.

He told us how Barkley was the first to raise his hand when it time for questions, and that Barkley raised his concern about his ability to make a good impression on teams when the evening interview schedule was so tight that it would prevent him from being three minutes early for an interview, as he would have preferred, and could prevent him from being on time altogether.

This sort of attention to detail impressed Taylor, who said that Barkley showed all signs of being a "pro's pro."

I am wondering if all those who participate in the Combine are drafted?

-- Randy

By the numbers, it is impossible. There were 336 players at the Combine and there are 256 draft slots. Furthermore, there are always drafted players who do not receive Combine invitations. Do not be surprised to see Combine snubs like Northern Iowa WR Daurice Fountain, Central Michigan edge rusher Joe Ostman, South Florida CB Deatrick Nichols, Texas DT Poona Ford, Colorado RB Phillip Lindsay, Alabama center Bradley Bozeman and Hawaii safety Travyon Henderson receive calls from teams during the draft.

**

Hello, I don't know if you have if you have previously said anything before on this topic but what are the chances of Chad Kelly becoming the starting QB? It just seems that he has been forgotten. Do you know much about his progress?**

-- Sean

We've talked about Chad Kelly quite a bit on Orange and Blue 760, fielding plenty of questions and calls that bring up his prospects. But let's just pump the brakes for a moment here and be realistic. He missed all of training camp and offseason work. His in-season practice work was brief before he was shelved for the season. His progress is impossible to gauge at this point because he has yet to put in any substantial practice work by which it can be measured.

Obviously, the Broncos are going to fortify the quarterback position in the coming weeks. Kelly will be given a chance to get repetitions in practice, and if he develops into a potential starter, it will be a nice bonus and could present the type of problem most teams want to have: too many viable starting quarterbacks. But you can't go in with that as the primary option; it's wise to cultivate other possibilities.

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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