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Denver Broncos Draft Update
2002 Draft Sleepers

Jason McAddley WR Alabama

4.41 40 yard dash

For most of his Tide career he has been overshadowed by teammate Freddie Millons, but may actually be a better prospect than Millons.

He is a down-the-field type receiver that will continue to improve the more he plays, right now he is more athlete than football player, but seems willing to learn.

His stats aren't impressive with only 20 catches for 269 yards and 2 TD's as a senior. It is important to remember that he played in a run first offense at Bama and when they did throw his QB's were not exactly top of the line guys.

As I said he is a tremendous athlete who has shown an ability to make tough catches and catches in traffic. As he plays more and more he will continue to get better. As he plays more he will start to understand how to better use all that athletic ability on the football field.

Don't expect him to make an immediate impact on an NFL roster, but he can use his speed on special teams, and could develop into a nice 3rd receiver at some point in the future. His immediate future may include a year on a practice squad and a season in NFL Europe.

Greg White DE Minnesota

4.86 40 yard dash

I'm not really sure why White is considered a "sleeper" in this draft. He is not spectacular in any one area, but he is way above average in all areas.

In his senior year he was sixth on the team in tackles, but showed a flair for big plays as he lead the team in tackles for losses and sacks.

His junior year when he played opposite Karon Riley he had even better numbers because teams couldn't double team him as much. The fact that he held up and put up big numbers even though he was the marked man on the Gophers defense as a senior suggests that he is the real deal.

He plays hard all the time and I think he will get better the more he plays at DE. He moved between LB and DE in college. He isn't a finished project yet as far as his body goes, I beleive he will continue to add bulk and strength and become a dominate player in the NFL.

Joseph Jefferson CB Western Kentucky

4.52 40 yard dash

Jefferson burst on the national scene on Christmas Day in the Blue Gray Game. He was easily the best man-to-man cover corner in the game. He has excellent size and speed. Is a ball hawking corner who looks to make interceptions instead of just knocking the ball down.

Jefferson is also an accomplished punt returner including a school record 95 yarder against Illinois State earlier this year.

Jefferson has everything scouts look for in a CB both physically and mentally. He never lets the prior play affect his effort on the next play.

Could be another William Peterson, a small school CB who makes a big impact right away on an NFL team.

Jefferson should be taken late on day one or early on day two of the draft.

Ricky Williams RB Texas Tech

4.6 40 yard dash

At one time had a very bright future, but suffered a terrbile knee injury that cost him the entire 1999 season. He seems to be completely healthy now although not as fast as he once was.

In 2000 Williams was very tentative coming off the injury, but in 2001 gained confidence as the season went along. Had a very good bowl game both running and receiving.

He is not really that fast anymore and his size and the past injury will scare teams off from taking Ricky early on in the draft.

Williams future in the NFL is probably as a backup who plays 10-15 plays a game including some third down situations.

Williams was productive as a senior with 726 yards rushing including a 5.1 yard average and 14 TD's. He was also the teams leading receiver with an amazing 92 catches out of the backfield for 617 yards and 4 more TD's.

The questions about his durability will drive his stock down, but the fact that he is talented and was still a productive back in 2001 should get Williams drafted in the 6th or 7th round.

Kendall Newson - WR - Middle Tennessee State

4.45 40 yard dash

Newson has been ultra productive for the Blue Raiders. Before he even took the field as a senior he was the school's all-time leader in receptions, yards and 100 yard receiving games. In addition he owns the single season record for receptions and yards.

Newson had a solid senior campaign leading the team in receptions with 65, yards with 795 and TD catches with 7.

Kendall will get a chance to elevate his draft status by playing in the Hula Bowl.

Newson has a good combination of speed and size and runs very good routes. He has played against less than great competition in college and may struggle getting off the line when matched up with a CB who is as big, strong and fast as he is.

Newson has great upside and should be drafted at some point later in the draft. Any receiver as productive as he has been is worthy of being drafted.

Ben Leber - LB - Kansas State

4.58 40 yard dash

Leber needs to work on his technique shedding blocks to truly be a good NFL LB, but he has something no coach can teach and that is SPEED!

Leber can fly for a LB. If the his defensive line keeps blockers away from him he has the ability and instinct to make a lot of plays. He is very stiff right now and not able to get off of blocks, but in open space he is fast and powerful.

He has been a starter at both inside and outside linebacker for Kansas State over the last three seasons and has been very productive at both positions. If he is able to improve his technique he will be a special player in the NFL. If nothing else his speed and big hit ability should land him on somebody's special teams units.

After being named second team All Big 12 last season Leber garnered first team All Big 12 honors this year.

Because of the fact that Leber is still a work in progress he has slipped down on most draft boards and will probably no be selected on day one of the draft. He should, however, go fairly early on round 4 or 5 on day two. Time will tell if his speed and raw athletic talent can be sculpted into a productive NFL player.

Matt Hill - OT - Boise State

5.0 40 yard dash

Hill has only played two seasons on the offensive side of the ball. He was a pretty good defensive lineman but is a very good offensive lineman with a chance to be a great offensive lineman.

Matt is already a very accomplished run blocker improved a lot in pass protection as the season went on. He is extremly coachable and has a fantastic work ethic. He is already a powerful blocker and will do nothing but get better as he gains experience on the offensive side of the ball.

Hill, who will participate in the Senior Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game, was first team All WAC in this his senior season. He was a big part of a high powered offense that ranked 14th in the nation in total yards and 18th in scoring.

In his first season on offense in 2000 Hill made an immediate impact as we was named second team All Big West.

In time Hill could be one of the top 5 OT's on this draft. He won't be drafted that high mostly because he is so inexperienced on offense and played at a mid-Major against suspect competition.

Some lucky team will be able to pick up Hill in the 3rd round and put him in their lineup for the next 10 years and forget about it.

Mike Hart - TE - Duke

4.85 40 yard dash

Hart is a WR trapped in a TE's body. He is probably the best pure pass catcher of any of the TE's in the draft. He catches balls with his hands and makes circus catches every game. He lined up quite a bit as a slot receiver for Duke this year and was ultra productive.

Right now he is a terrible blocker, but once he gets into an NFL weight room and gets some NFL coaching he can develop into just a bad blocker. He is never going to make a living blocking, but he can be very productive in a system that doesn't require their TE's to be great blockers.

Hart was named first team all ACC, Duke MVP and Honorable Mention All American following a senior season in which he caught 30 passes for 476 and 4 TD's.

Hart lacks the speed and big play ability of a Shannon Sharpe, but as far as a reliable, posession type receivers at the TE positon he is the best in the draft. The fact that he is so one dimensional is going to keep him from being drafted on day one of the draft, but he will be selected on day 2 and if used correctly can be a very productive player.

Terry Charles - WR - Portland St.

4.65 40 yard dash

Charles 40 time doesn't tell the story of his speed. Once he gets going he picks up speed and routinely runs past defensive backs. He has excellent size and a long reach. In college he was the definition of a big play receiver.

Charles has been selected to play in the Rotary Gridiron Classic in January. That game pits players from the state of Florida against players from the rest of the country. This game will provide the first national stage for Charles to get himself on the NFL map.

Charles was first team all Big Sky this year on the heels of 1096 yards and 12 TD's on 71 catches. Charles finshed his Portland St. career as the holder of seven school receiving records.

The rap on Terry is that he is percieved to be reluctant to go over the middle and make tough catches. In my opinion he got that rap from playing with a bad knee most of his junior season. It was all he could do to take the field for most of that campaign, and as a result shyed away from going over the middle. In reality he is a big, tough receiver that will go over the middle when necessary, but is much more comfortable running sideline patterns.

Charles is also a pretty good blocker, but could improve in that area. He also needs to work on his technique as he tends to let the ball get in too close to his body instead of catching it with his hands. All of these are things coaches can fix, the positives that Charles brings are things you can't coach and that makes Terry a candidate for a 4th or 5th round selection.

Nick Rolovich - QB - Hawaii

No 40 time available

Rolovich is a late bloomer who still has his best football ahead of him. He has good size and an excellent arm and can make all the throws. It is to his benefit that he played for a former NFL coach in an NFL style offense and excelled.

The problem is that he only did it for 14 games and only 12 of those as a starter. This season he torched everyone he played including top 10 teams BYU and Fresno St. Against Fresno St. Rolovich threw for 347 yards and 3 TD's including the game winner with 14 seconds left. Against BYU Nick had a huge game throwing for 543 yards and 8 TD's.

On the season Rolovich amassed 3361 yards and 34 TD's compared with only 9 interceptions and all in only 10 games.

Make no mistake, Rolovich is not ready to be a starter in the NFL at this point. If, however, a team takes a chance on him as their 3rd QB for 4 or 5 years and sends him to NFL Europe for a year or two, he could develop into a good NFL QB. Remember, Brad Johnson played less at Florida St. than Rolovich did at Hawaii.

In addition to his physical capabilities, Rolovich is a tough, hard nosed leader. He played most of that BYU game with bad shoulder. He stands tall in the pocket and makes accurate throws in the face of the pass rush. For a guy that didn't play much Division I football he has tremendous poise and confidence.

Rolovich is well worth a 6th or 7th round pick for a team looking to groom a long term replacement or develop a QB to trade in the future.

Vince Huntsberger - S - Montana

No 40 time available

Huntberger is a three year starter for the Grizzlies at Strong Safety. He won't impress scouts with his size or speed, but if they watch him play long enough it will become apparent to them that somehow he makes every play.

Vince has an uncanny nose for the ball, and if the is sometimes a step slow in closing on a receiver, he makes up for with his big hits.

As a Junior he lead the Griz in tackles with 106 and unassisted tackles with 77. He is a force to be reckoned with against the run and a master of timing his blitzes. In 2000 in a game against Division I Idaho Vince made an incredible 20 tackles, 16 of which were unassisted.

Vince was all Big Sky last season and second team All American. He is also very intelligent. For the third year in a row he has been named first team Academic All American as he carries a 3.87 GPA as as Pre-Med major.

Huntsberger is a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award as Division IAA's defensive player of the year. In addition he won the Golden Helmet Award last season, given to the Montana player who is the hardest hitter. As a sophomore Vince was named Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year.

There will be a lot of teams kicking themselves for passing on the guy. He won't grade out that well on anything at the combine (except for the Wonderlic test), but he is a tremendous player and is technically as fine a tackler as there is in the draft. His speed is good enough considering he is almost never out of position and anticipates as well as anyone.

Huntsberger should be drafted on day 2, but it not someone will be pleasantly surprised when he shows up at their camp as a free agent.

TC Taylor - WR - Jackson St.

4.5 40 yard dash

Taylor is a wide receiver at Jackson St., but with his size and relatively slow 40 time, teams may project him as a TE or an H-back type player. He is working with a speed coach in hopes of shaving some time off his 40 before the combine. If he accomplishes that, he may still play WR in the NFL.

TC will be playing in the Blue-Gray game on Christmas Day and a good showing could elevate his draft status.

Taylor is a former quarterback who has an excellent head for the game and runs excellent precise routes.

He is a bit of a project right now, but could develop into a very good NFL pass catcher either at the WR or TE position. If he does move to TE he will need to work on his blocking skills, and probably add some bulk. If he tries to play WR he will have to drop some weight. All of this uncertainty about what position he will play may mean he won't be drafted, but he will end up in camp with someone as a free agent if not.

If TC has a good showing in the Blue-Gray game and at the combine teams may take a chance on his potential on day 2 of the draft.

Kevin Curtis - S - Texas Tech

4.57 40 yard dash

Curtis is a very big and very physical strong safety. He basically acts as an extra linebacker. He is almost always crowding the line of scrimmage. He is very aggressive and likes to hit people. He spends a lot of time in the other teams backfield and plays the run like a middle linebacker.

Curtis is in the mold of former Broncos Dennis Smith and Steve Atwater. The knock on Curtis is that he is a little weak in coverage. He loves to play the run so much that he is very suseptable to play action passes and can sometimes be beaten deep because of it.

Like Smith and Atwater however, Curtis can make up for his lack of cover skills with is bone jarring hits after the catch is made. Receivers may catch a ball or two when Curtis is in coverage, but next time they will be looking around to make sure he isn't bearing down on them again, which can be just as effective for a safety as actually being able to cover someone.

He would be a definate upgrade at the safety position for the Broncos over what they have right now. Really, there isn't much that separates Curtis from the so-called "Blue Chip" safeties in this draft and he will probably still be around in the 3rd or 4th round leaving those early round selections for other positions of Bronco need such as WR, DE, DT and OL.