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Elway, Kubiak “extremely thrilled” with Broncos' first two days of the draft

Sam Cowhick Avatar
April 30, 2016


The Denver Broncos’ second day of the 2016 NFL Draft included a press conference for their first-round pick, quarterback Paxton Lynch, a surprise second-round pick and some needed depth added at the tail end of round three. At the end of the evening, head coach Gary Kubiak and general manager John Elway strolled down to the press room with a surprising boost of positive energy.

“I’m real excited the way the first two days have gone,” Elway said following the third round. “If you would have asked me Wednesday, ‘How would you like it to go?’ We couldn’t have planned it out as well, as far as how we did our mocks and how everything has gone. We were extremely thrilled the way everything has fallen and the guys we got.”

The day started with Lynch’s introduction to the Denver media and Broncos Country. Kubiak and Elway moved up five spots to take the quarterback just ahead of several other suitors. His new head coach certainly believes that the young signal caller has a bright immediate future with the team.

“I don’t know if he really understands how great an opportunity he has and the football team he is coming to and I mean that respectfully,” Kubiak said late Friday night. “He’s a bright-eyed, ‘Hey coach what do I do next?’ type of guy right now, just ready to go to work but boy is he stepping into a tremendous situation with a good football team.”

Lynch praised his new coaches, committed to learning the pro-style offense and basked in the glow of a defending champion franchise. Two new teammates joined the ranks just hours later.

The Broncos second pick of the draft raised many eyebrows, as they selected defensive tackle Adam Gotsis out of Georgia Tech. A three-year starter originally from Australia, Gotsis is still recovering from a serious knee injury,  he was ranked way down on boards with the players still available at 63rd overall but Elway was sold on his potential on this particular team.

“He’s a guy that hasn’t played a lot of football but for the amount he has played it has been very good. We are really excited about him,” Elway said. When asked about the reasoning for taking the not-so-experienced defensive lineman seemingly very early. Elway expanded on the decision.

Elway expanded on the decision.

“When you look at where we pick, at the bottom of each round, you have to anticipate,” he said. “If someone has a third-round grade on him, chances are they aren’t getting to the bottom of the third. So, we wanted to make sure. He is a guy we targeted so we didn’t want to take any chances to let him slide. We had a couple chances to move back but we decided not to.”

Lastly, the Broncos added to an area of need. The starting safety positions are locked in with strong safety T.J. Ward and free safety Darian Stewart but depth’s an issue with David Bruton and Omar Bolden departing in the offseason via free agency. Kubiak saw Justin Simmons, formerly of Boston College, as a unique and needed addition as the team’s 98th overall pick.

“The biggest thing [Simmons] gives us is the ability defensively is to have some flexibility,” Kubiak detailed shortly after the pick. “With T.J. being a box player, Stew being in the middle of the field, this kid can come down either way so you want flexibility with safety in this league.”

At Boston College, Simmons played cornerback and safety and led the Eagles with 76 tackles his senior season, including a career-high 11 total tackles versus Colorado State. Elway echoed Kubiak’s sentiments on the young safety saying, “He’s a big, rangy guy that can play centerfield and we can leave T.J. in the box. He also has played some corner, so he has cover ability which we really liked.”

Heading into day three of the draft, Elway certainly appears comfortable with the direction the 2016 draft is going, despite a possible reach in the second round. As the second of two memorable days came to an end, he defended and commended the front office’s approach to their first three decisions.

“We took the guys that were the highest on our board. We stayed true to our board again and fortunately the guys that we wanted were all in positions of need,” he said adamantly. “We not only got quality football players but they are all quality young men and they are all going to fit in really well.”

The fun continues tomorrow as Gotsis and Simmons will come to Denver and the Broncos are slated to make six picks in the late rounds.


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