(SportsNetwork.com) - The Broncos may have a new coach in Gary Kubiak but the goal remains the same.
At 39, Peyton Manning's window as an elite-level quarterback is closing rapidly and some believe his performance late last season indicated that it's already been slammed shut. Denver football chief John Elway bet it was the coaching staff that was the problem and not the five-time MVP, who will be back with a reduced price tag to take one more run at the Lombardi Trophy.
To get the most out of Manning, keeping him upright and healthy is job No. 1 and that means an addition to the offensive line is the Broncos' most likely target with the 28th overall pick.
It's clear Chris Clark simply isn't the answer at right tackle for Denver and the Broncos would prefer to keep Louis Vasquez inside where he is more comfortable. That opens the door for a player like Ereck Flowers of Miami- Florida, a raw prospect with great size and a nasty attitude.
Others in play could be Florida offensive tackle D.J. Humphries or Pitt's T.J. Clemmings.
If the O-Line isn't an option, however, replacing tight end Julius Thomas, who signed with Jacksonville in free agency, could be in play with Maxx Williams, the University of Minnesota standout, a natural fit.
2014 Record: 12-4
Top Needs: OL, TE, QB
First Three Picks: No. 28, No. 59, No. 92
Number of Selections: 10 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 7, 7, 7)
RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2014 - Bradley Roby (CB, Ohio State); 2013 - Sylvester Williams (DT, North Carolina); 2012 - none; 2011 - Von Miller (LB, Texas A&M); 2010 - Demaryius Thomas (WR, Georgia Tech), Tim Tebow (QB, Florida); 2009 - Knowshon Moreno (RB, Georgia), Robert Ayers (DE, Tennessee); 2008 - Ryan Clady (T, Boise State); 2007 - Jarvis Moss (DE, Florida); 2006 - Jay Cutler (QB, Vanderbilt); 2005 - none