Many reject the wisdom of selecting a running back in the first round these days, and players like Freeman are a big part of that.
With No. 1 receiver Demaryius Thomas turning 30 last Christmas, No. 2 receiver Emmanuel Sanders playing this season at 31, Jordan Taylor coming off hip surgery, and Carlos Henderson (0) and Isaiah McKenzie (4) combining for 4 catches a year ago, the Broncos desperately needed a young, No. 3 receiver.
Freeman finished his illustrious four-year career as one of just six players in college football history to rank in the top 10 all-time in both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.
"I'm excited about a guy like that".
All four of his picks so far - North Carolina State pass rusher Bradley Chubb, SMU wide receiver Courtland Sutton (who redshirted as a freshman), OR running back Royce Freeman and Boston College cornerback Isaac Yiadom - spent four years in college. "We had a first-round grade on him".
"Well, we got better on the offensive side, no question", Elway said Friday night after adding Sutton (6-foot-4, 218 pounds) and Freeman (6-foot, 238 pounds).
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The next two teams on the board did exactly as expected: The New York Giants anointed Penn State running back Saquon Barkley and the New York Jets, using a selection obtained from the Indianapolis Colts, brought aboard USC quarterback Sam Darnold. He also displays the physicality needed to win against press coverage. But quicker than you can say, "Jesus Christ, the Browns screwed themselves again!", Elway changed course and dialed Chubb's number.
"What it shows to us is durable", Elway said.
"I knew I was going to be able to dominate at the position if I bought into what they were trying to get me to do, " Sutton told the Denver media in a conference call.
"He has No. 1 (receiver) traits", Broncos coach Vance Joseph said. "He is a big receiver with great ball skills".
Last season, he caught 68 passes for 1,085 yards and 12 touchdowns. "If I am going to do something, I am going to do it at 100 percent"'.