Kyler Murray-to-Arizona still looks to be in the cards (no pun intended), but the Nos. 2-4 quarterback landing spots — and the order in which they will be drafted — remain murky. While Dwayne Haskins‘ reported slide has led to some predicting Drew Lock would benefit, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes the Missouri product has a “very real chance” of being the fourth quarterback selected and/or falling out of the first round. Connected to Lock prior to their Joe Flacco trade, the Broncos would be intrigued by the prospect of nabbing Lock in Round 2, per JLC, who tabs Denver as more likely to address a bigger immediate need in the first round. The Broncos visited with Lock during the process, as did several other teams with some degree of a need at quarterback.
Klis writes that Harris is looking “to send a message he wants his contract reworked.” Harris also skipped the team’s voluntary offseason workouts earlier this month so this isn’t a huge surprise, but this is more significant. Since the team has a new coach in Vic Fangio, they’re allowed to hold this early minicamp and have actual practices, which is much different from the conditioning workouts he had previously missed.
It shows that Harris isn’t missing around, and is an indication he could be prepared to extend his holdout into this summer. Despite the absences, Harris told Klis in an interview that it isn’t going to impact his play. “I’m ready,’’ Harris said. “This is easily going to be my best year this year.” Harris is heading into the final year of his contract, and is set to make $7.9MM in 2019.
The four-time Pro Bowler feels he’s underpaid, and wants a longterm commitment from the team especially since he’s being asked to do more after the departure of Aqib Talib last offseason. Although we heard in early March that there had been “very productive” talks between the two sides, Klis reports that “there have been no negotiations since Harris decided two weeks ago to stay away from the team.” This will be a situation to monitor as the offseason progresses.
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- Drew Lock could be headed to the AFC West soon. He’s been heavily linked to John Elway and the Broncos with the tenth pick, and Lock will meet with Denver today, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). According to Pelissero, Lock will then head to Los Angeles and meet with the Chargers tomorrow. The Chargers sniffed around the top quarterbacks in last year’s class and are doing the same thing with this class, even though Philip Rivers just had his best season in years. If you believe the current reporting, the Chargers would likely have to trade up in the draft if they wanted to get Luck. Denver is slated to roll with Joe Flacco in 2019, but the Broncos are widely expected to draft a young quarterback who can be the future.
Michigan linebacker Devin Bush is meeting with the Giants tonight, and the visit will last until Monday, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. New York, armed with the Nos. 6 and 17 overall picks, will be one of the most interesting clubs to watch in the draft given the uncertainty surrounding its QB position. Despite that uncertainty, Big Blue could very well use both first-round selections on defensive playmakers, and Bush, one of the best LBs in the draft, would be a good fit with the 17th-overall selection.
Now for more draft rumblings from around the league:
- The Eagles have three picks in the first two rounds of the draft, and Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com expects the club to be very aggressive in trying to trade up. That will be especially true if Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver starts to fall, as Shorr-Parks believes Philadelphia will want to move up the draft board to land him. The team either has hosted, or will host, Oliver on an official visit.
- The Raiders recently met with Oliver and Penn State offensive lineman Connor McGovern, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Rapoport adds that the Colts have met with Michigan defensive end Rashan Gary.
- After losing out on Odell Beckham Jr., the 49ers still have a major need at the WR position. Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area believes there is a good chance the club uses its No. 36 overall pick on a wideout, and he names A.J. Brown and Deebo Samuel as legitimate possibilities. San Francisco either has hosted, or will host, both players.
- We learned several weeks ago that Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins would meet with five teams, including the Broncos and Redskins, and Rapoport tweets that those visits will take place this week. Denver and Washington are among the clubs doing their homework on all of this year’s top passers.
- The Bengals are reportedly considering using their No. 11 overall pick on a QB, and while Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com believes it is unlikely Cincinnati goes that route, she concedes it is a definite possibility (Twitter link).
Daniel Jones is generating interest from several NFL teams. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the Duke quarterback recently had “private meetings and workouts” with the Giants, Broncos, Dolphins, and Chargers. Schefter also echoes previous reports that Jones is set to meet with the Redskins next week.
Jones, a three-year starter at Duke, is generally considered to be the fourth-best quarterback in this year’s draft, with mock drafts pegging him on a tier below Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins, and Drew Lock. However, there’s still a good chance that the signal-caller hears his name called during the first round, especially considering the lack of quarterback depth behind him (West Virginia quarterback Will Grier is the only other player at the position who’s generally being mentioned as a first- or second-rounder). Jones completed 60.5% of his passes for 2,674 yards, 22 touchdowns, and nine interceptions in 2018.
The Giants interest in Jones isn’t all that surprising, as we heard in late March that the organization could be eyeing the prospect with the 17th-overall pick. The Dolphins and Redskins are also a pair of QB-needy teams that have a pick in the teens, so their inclusions also make plenty of sense. The Dolphins moved on from Ryan Tannehill earlier this offseason, leaving them with no clear-cut starter. The Redskins acquired Case Keenum to fill in for the injured Alex Smith, although neither player should be seen as a long-term option for the organization.
The Broncos are in a unique position, as they acquired veteran Joe Flacco earlier this offseason. Their new signal-caller is only 34-years-old, although he has shown signs of decline in recent years. The Broncos are also armed with the 10th-overall pick; if the team is focused on acquiring their quarterback of the future, they should have a shot at both Haskins and/or Lock. If Denver is particularly interested in Jones, perhaps they could explore a trade to move back (although this is merely my speculation).
The Chargers may simply be doing their due diligence on the Duke quarterback, or maybe they’re hoping that the rookie will slide down to the 28th pick. Philip Rivers is 37-years-old, but he did have one of the best seasons of his career in 2018. The Chargers also finished with 12 wins before bowing to the Patriots in Divisional Round; if they want to build off last season’s success, it might make more sense to use their first-rounder on a player who could contribute right away.
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- Kansas State offensive tackle Dalton Risner met with the Broncos on Thursday, per Norris (Twitter link). Denver invested a 2017 first-round pick in Garett Bolles and made Ja’Wuan James the NFL’s highest-paid right tackle this offseason, but Risner could slide to guard if selected by the Broncos. Indeed, Lance Zierlein of NFL.com’s best comparison for Risner is Bears interior lineman Cody Whitehair.
Broncos restricted free agent defensive lineman Shelby Harris has signed his second-round tender, the team announced. Harris will now collect $3.095MM for the 2019 campaign before becoming eligible for unrestricted free agency next year.
A seventh-round pick of the Raiders in 2014, Harris bounced around the league, spending time with the Jets and Cowboys before signing a futures deal with the Broncos in 2017. That low-risk move has paid off in a big way for Denver, as Harris has appeared in all 32 possible games over the past two years, seeing action on more than 35% of the Broncos’ defensive snaps in each season. He could see a further increase in playing time this year, as the club is expected to make him its starting nose tackle.
Harris, 27, posted seven sacks, 16 quarterback hits, and 15 tackles for loss from 2017-18, and he graded as the NFL’s No. 8 interior defender last year, per Pro Football Focus.
The Broncos also announced that the following exclusive rights free agents have signed their ERFA tenders:
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