Broncos looking to add a receiver
DENVER ” As their flirtation with Terrell Owens attests, the Denver Broncos would love to add a premier wide receiver to pair with mainstay Rod Smith.
When Owens chose to resurrect his career in Dallas instead of Denver, the Broncos shifted their sights to this weekend’s NFL draft, where their wheeling and dealing has landed them the 15th pick, about where the run on receivers is expected to begin.
Among the top wideouts coming out of college are Ohio State’s Santonio Holmes and Florida’s Chad Jackson, either of whom could make coach Mike Shanahan very happy.
He wouldn’t have minded having Owens on board, either.
“We were one of the few teams to have him in, so we obviously felt very good about him,” Shanahan said.
The Broncos, who stockpiled draft picks through a series of trades, also are expected to focus on running back and tight end on the first day, when they own four of the top 68 selections, the most of any team.
They have seven selections in the first four rounds and nine overall.
The Broncos might also do a draft-day trade for a veteran wide receiver such as Green Bay’s Javon Walker, who is coming off a serious knee injury as he enters the final year of his contract vowing never again to play for the Packers.
Green Bay refused to redo his deal last year and Walker tore up a knee in the season opener.
The Broncos have their own unhappy wideout in Ashley Lelie, who wasn’t pleased with the Broncos’ interest in Owens and has declined to attend the club’s offseason conditioning program, forgoing a $100,000 contract incentive to work out instead in Tempe, Ariz.
The Broncos could package a pick or two along with Lelie, who is entering the final year of the five-year deal he signed as the 19th overall pick in the 2002 draft.
A year after catching 54 passes for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns, Lelie’s numbers dipped last season to 42 receptions for 770 yards and one touchdown, but his deep threat ability keeps defenses honest.
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