Five players that should be on Broncos’ radar at Reese’s Senior Bowl

The draft begins in Mobile, Alabama.

This week, some of the top players college football will get together to compete in the Reese’s Senior Bowl. Players, ranging from seniors to any underclassman granted eligibility for the 2024 NFL draft, will practice in front of league scouts, coaches and key decision-makers throughout the week before competing in the game on Saturday.

It’s expected that Denver will look closely at quarterbacks and Heisman Trophy finalists Michael Penix Jr. (Washington) and Bo Nix (Oregon). But here are five other prospects the Broncos should keep an eye on.

Michael Pratt, QB, Tulane

Tulane quarterback Michael Pratt (7) passes during the second half of the American Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game against SMU, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023 in New Orleans. SMU won 26-14. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Pratt, who started 35 games in four years at Tulane, was named the 2023 American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year after he threw for 2,406 yards, 22 touchdowns and five interceptions with a career-best completion percentage of 65.4%.

One of Pratt’s best traits is making the big plays. He threw nine touchdown passes for 20-plus yards, according to Pro Football Focus. He made plays outside the pocket, recording 478 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on 129 carries in 2022. It will be interesting to see if that aspect of Pratt’s game can translate to the next level.

Byron Murphy II, DL, Texas

Texas defensive lineman Byron Murphy II (90) runs into the end zone for a touchdown against Washington during the first half of the Sugar Bowl CFP NCAA semifinal college football game, Monday, Jan. 1, 2024, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

The Broncos need more help up front. Murphy, one of the best defensive linemen in the draft, could be the answer. Murphy, a first-team All-Big 12 selection in 2023, started in 14 games, totaling 29 tackles (8 ½ for loss). He had the second-most sacks on the Longhorns with five while posting a pass rush win rate of 19.6%. Denver struggled to generate consistent quarterback pressure for its defensive linemen. Murphy, a potential first-round selection, could help with that problem.

Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

UCLA defensive lineman Laiatu Latu, left, pressures Arizona State quarterback Trenton Bourguet during the second half of an NCAA college football game Nov. 11, 2023, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun, File)

Latu was a dominant pass rusher for the Bruins over the last two seasons, totaling 23.5 sacks. As a senior, he was tied for fourth in the nation in sacks with 13—the most by a UCLA player since Anthony Barr recorded 13 ½ in 2012. Latu also racked up 49 tackles (21 ½ for loss) and a pair of interceptions, as he was named the PAC-12 Defensive Player of the Year. The Broncos have lacked a dominant pass rusher since they traded away Bradley Chubb in 2022. Latu has the tools to give the Broncos’ pass rush an extra boost.

Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell (27) during an NCAA football game on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, in Muncie, Ind. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

Mitchell is athletic and has solid ball skills. He recorded 37 passes defended and six interceptions, with two returned for a touchdown. In 2023, Mitchell didn’t allow a touchdown while holding opposing quarterbacks to a 51.1 passer rating in 437 coverage snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. Many mock drafts have the Broncos taking Alabama’s Terrion Arnold. Mitchell is a potential first-round selection and someone worth monitoring at the Senior Bowl.

Jordan Morgan, LT, Arizona

Arizona offensive lineman Jordan Morgan (77) in the first half during an NCAA college football game against Arizona State, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

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The Broncos haven’t drafted an offensive tackle since Dalton Risner in 2019. Morgan, who was named first-team All-Pac 12 by the Associated Press, was one of the top offensive tackles in the nation. He allowed two sacks in 787 offensive snaps (477 pass block snaps) and posted a 98.3 efficiency rating.

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