Bryant part of draft intrigue in Denver

The trade of Brandon Marshall from the Broncos to the Dolphins has dominated the NFL landscape Wednesday. Ignoring other aspects of this trade, for now, it feels prudent to take a look at how the deal impacts the draft strategy of the Broncos.

We discussed just yesterday — well before the trade, but fully expecting it to happen — that Dez Bryant is meeting with the Broncos this week, a visit that could  have a big impact on where he lands. It just might be his biggest pre-draft interview so far.

In the post-trade landscape, Bryant has to be an option the Broncos are considering — but there are clearly other needs at linebacker and along the offensive line. What direction do the Broncos go?

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock supports the idea of Bryant at No. 11.

“The bottom line, to me, is you have to turn around and replace [Marshall],” Mayock said. “In my mind I’ve kind of mentally ticketed Bryant at No. 11 to Denver. … From a talent perspective, he’s the only guy in this draft — along wth Demaryius Thomas, potentially — that has the kind of size, speed and playmaking ability of the guy they just dealt to Miami.”

NFL Network analyst and former GM Charley Casserly, however, says he would address the need at linebacker with Rolando McClain. With four picks in the top 80 overall (11, 43, 45 and 80), he argues a quality receiver can be found in the second round, while the quality at linebacker drops off. Another option for the Broncos, given their two second-round picks, would be to trade up for a receiver they really like. 

Names I’m hearing from Mayock and analyst Bucky Brooks as options at receiver for the Broncos in the second round include Arrelious BennDamian Williams, Eric Decker, Brandon LaFell and Carlton Mitchell.

There’s a lot of trade intrigue emanating from Denver.

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