Chris Hall of DenverBroncos.com sat down with Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway for the latest episode of Elway Access on Tuesday afternoon.
With two weeks remaining in the regular season, the playoffs aren’t the only focus for the organization, as it has begun to look toward the 2013 NFL Draft in April. Tuesday morning, each of the Broncos scouts returned to Dove Valley to begin discussing where the eligible prospects stack up in advance of Thursday, April 25, when Denver will select its newest draft class.
“We’re in the process,” Elway said. “The scouts are in today. They start the meetings this morning. Who’s No. 1? You’ll have to find out later. It’s too early to give you the old who’s No. 1. The scouts will be here this whole week and the first run at the board will be finished by the end of the week. We’ll have 320 guys up on the board that are draftable at this point in time.”
Between the conclusion of the season and the draft, scouts will attend Pro Days at various schools throughout the country, and also evaluate prospects at the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
“This process is going to change several times,” Elway said. “This is the first shot at it, get it up on the board. It’s kind of exciting to see the names up there, knowing that the draft is not that far away.”
As for the remainder of the 2012 season, Sunday’s win over Baltimore extended the Broncos’ winning streak to nine games. In beating a 9-5 Ravens team on the road, Denver showed the ability to play quality football in a difficult environment.
The win, coupled with a loss by the New England Patriots Sunday night, means that if the Broncos win out, they will start the playoffs with a bye as the AFC’s No. 2 seed. Sunday’s victory also counted as a milestone for Owner Pat Bowlen, who defeated Baltimore for the first time in his 29-year tenure as owner.
“You can’t ask for a better guy to play for,” Elway said of Bowlen. “He’s a guy that wants to win and is very competitive. It’s always nice to see him get his first win in Baltimore and be given the game ball, as Coach Fox did. He’s just a guy that wants Super Bowls, so hopefully we can get him one this year.”
One of the keys to the Broncos victory was the team’s success on the ground, particularly in the fourth quarter. Denver ran the ball 45 times for 163 yards, including handoffs on 17-of-18 offensive snaps in the fourth quarter as the Broncos ate up the clock to keep the Ravens from mounting a comeback.
“It was a very good game for us up front,” Elway said. “The offensive line took control of the game. Any time you have a 10-minute drive, with 13 out of 14 rush plays, it starts up front. Our offensive line was very physical against a very physical defensive line. They really did a tremendous job of creating some holes and moving that line of scrimmage.”
Leading the way in the backfield was running back Knowshon Moreno, who picked up 118 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries for an average of 5.4 yards per carry.
“Knowshon’s been tremendous,” Elway said. “He’s continued to get stronger and he gets better. He’s a competitor and he plays with a toughness. I think you see that every time he plays. He has just continued to get better.”
To listen to the full episode of Elway Access, complete with Elway’s thoughts on cornerback Chris Harris’ 98-yard interception return for a touchdown and that play’s impact on the win over the Ravens, the importance of the team’s final two games and the Broncos’ current playoff seeding, click here.