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McDaniels: Broncos likely to stand pat in Round 1

Arnie Stapleton
AP sports writer
Denver, CO Colorado

DENVER, Colorado ” The private workout that general manager Brian Xanders and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy had with USC quarterback Mark Sanchez in Los Angeles will likely be the last time the strong-armed passer practices for the Denver Broncos.

Coach Josh McDaniels suggested as much Friday when he said he doubts the Broncos would move into the top 10 in the NFL draft and he unequivocally dismissed the notion of trading both of his first-round picks to make a move for any top-tier player.

The Broncos own the 12th and 18th selections Saturday and they might have to move ahead of Seattle at No. 4 to have a shot at Sanchez.



“I think we’re in a great spot,” McDaniels said. “I think we have an opportunity to get two players right away that can impact our team.”

But the Broncos would certainly be tempted to move up if Sanchez starts to slip down the board ” so long as it doesn’t involve both of their first-round picks.

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“We won’t do that,” McDaniels said. “We won’t trade 12 and 18 to move up.”

After trading Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler to Chicago earlier this month, the Broncos were intrigued enough by Sanchez to fly out for a private workout and interview with him in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

McDaniels had to skip the meeting because of a migraine headache, his second since taking over as Broncos coach three months ago.



“I think it’s more about hydration and the altitude,” McDaniels said. “I had them when I was younger, but nothing wrong neurological, they checked me out and I’m fine.”

Although the Broncos liked what they saw in Sanchez, “I don’t think we would do a lot of moving up from where we’re at at 12,” McDaniels said. “Maybe. There’s a possibility. But I think we feel pretty comfortable with where we’re at.”

The Broncos have 10 picks this weekend, and McDaniels wouldn’t mind trading down in any round to stockpile more selections as he retools a team that hasn’t reached the playoffs since 2005.

And, as Cutler learned this spring, McDaniels will pick up the phone and listen to any trade proposal.

“We’re not going to turn our head from any opportunity to go back, go up,” McDaniels said.

The beginning of the end of Cutler’s time in Denver came Feb. 28, when McDaniels talked about trading Cutler for Matt Cassel. Although the deal never materialized, it led to a six-week feud that ended with Cutler going to Chicago for Kyle Orton and a bevy of draft picks.

McDaniels said that while the Broncos really like Sanchez, they also feel good about Orton and free agent Chris Simms.

“He’s a good quarterback. We have two good quarterbacks,” McDaniels said. “And I think that’s ultimately what we’re going to finalize today, before tomorrow morning, and we’ll make sure that we feel one way or the other about it.

“But I know this: we feel comfortable with the guys we have. They performed well at the minicamp. Nobody in this building is afraid to move forward and play the season with them.”

Xanders and McDaniels, who signed an NFL-high 16 unrestricted free agents, have the ammo to move up if they want to: they own five picks in the first 84 selections.

Of course, the Broncos, like many teams, are leery of the multimillion-dollar guarantees for top-10 picks, and this is a franchise that began laying off front-office staff long before the economic downturn picked up steam.

Whether or not it’s a premier passer, the Broncos want to come out of the weekend with a third quarterback to compete with Orton and Simms.

They also need plenty of help on defense, where they’re switching to a 3-4 scheme instead of the four-man front favored by former coach Mike Shanahan.

The Broncos aren’t anticipating having to draft a wide receiver. They haven’t heard from the commissioner’s office regarding possible punishment for Pro Bowler Brandon Marshall over his latest run-in with the law, an arrest for fighting with his fiance in March, leading them to believe he won’t be facing a lengthy suspension.


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