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On Day 2 of the NFL draft Chris Jones Jersey , Denver Broncos general manager John Elway began fixing the mess on offense, selecting two big bangers in SMU wide receiver Courtland Sutton in the second round and Oregon running back Royce Freeman in the third.
"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).
Also in the third round, the Broncos selected Isaac Yiadom, a lean, long-armed cornerback from Boston College who impressed the Broncos at the Senior Bowl and is expected to be a special teams stud in Denver.
Mix Demaryius Thomas' size and strength with Emmanuel Sanders' pedigree and athleticism and you've got Sutton, whom the Broncos project as a future featured receiver.
"He's big and he can really run," Elway said. "He can make the very difficult catch and make great catches. We also think he's very raw and has lots of upside."
Thomas and Sanders "are going to be great role models for him," Elway added.
Sanders tweeted a video of the two of them working out together last month in Dallas, saying the he and Sutton "joked about how lethal we'd be together."
Now, the laugh is on Denver's opponents.
With the first of two third-round picks, the Broncos added Oregon's all-time leading rusher in Freeman, a big back who ran for a Pac-12-record 60 career touchdowns but carried 947 times in four seasons in Eugene Tremaine Edmunds Jersey , putting plenty of miles on his football odometer.
"What it shows to us is durable," Elway said. "He played a lot, so obviously he can take that. And it's probably nearer at the end of his career, but who knows how much that will shorten it? But it wasn't a concern when we took him."
The Broncos needed a top-tier running back after releasing C.J. Anderson in a cost-cutting move, and in Sutton they added the big playmaker their anemic offense has sorely lacked of late.
Sutton gives quarterback Case Keenum another big, physical red-zone target who will initially be the third receiver but "has No. 1" receiver traits, according to coach Vance Joseph.
"John said it, in the future he could be our No. 1 guy," Joseph said.
Freeman could be the starting running back right away.
Elway called him a "big banger that we haven't had for a while."
Freeman is big like Anderson but faster.
"With Freeman, he is a big back with speed, so when you're down in the red zone running the football, he's definitely a nice option," Joseph said. "When you're in third-and-1, fourth-and-1, he's a great option."
Like Sanders, Sutton went to SMU, and over the years he sought his advice.
"It wasn't an everyday thing but we would talk a few times about how I get to that level and how I continue to climb to be the best that I can be Ryan Kelly Jersey , even with that big fight against me coming from a smaller school," Sutton said.
The versatile Sutton prides himself on garnering attention no matter where he lines up, but he's admittedly still a work in progress and eager for mentoring by Thomas and Sanders.
"I am very new to the position. I am learning as I go," Sutton said.
Recruited out of high school as a safety, Sutton was moved to wide receiver by former Mustangs head coach June Jones.
"I loved playing safety, but I feel like in my heart I was a true receiver," Sutton said. "They played me at safety but Coach Jones saw that I had the ball skills and they needed some grit on that other side of the ball."
After a medical redshirt in 2014, Sutton caught 194 passes for 3,193 yards and 31 touchdowns in three seasons at SMU.
The Broncos turned to offense on Day 2 after Bradley Chubb , the top-ranked defensive player in the draft, fell to them at No. 5 on Thursday night.
Elway insisted he was also surprised to see Sutton there at No. 40 on Friday.
"We feel very fortunate," Elway said. "We had a first-round grade on him."
Chubb, a defensive end at North Carolina State, will play outside linebacker in Denver, where the Broncos believe his dogged determination and relentless motor will help their defense return to dominance.
"That is really what we're excited about because I think it's contagious," Elway said Friday.
"That motor came from always wanting to make plays," Chubb said. "I always wanted to be around the ball. It was just something I was raised with. If I am going to do something Marcus Peters Jersey , I am going to do it at 100 percent. That is my mindset every time I step on the field. I feel like I bring that to the pass-rush game."
TAMPA, Fla. — The up-and-down, roller-coaster ride of the Eastern Conference finals comes to its final crescendo on Wednesday.
The Tampa Bay Lightning will host the Washington Capitals at Amalie Arena in Game 7 with the winner advancing to face the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final, which starts on Monday.
A Lightning victory sees the Cup Final start in Tampa while a Washington win means Vegas will host the first game.
But the way in which the series between Tampa Bay and the Capitals has played out to date, determining the outcome of Game 7 might prove to be a futile effort.
“Lots of people say we’re going to lose to Columbus,” Washington captain Alex Ovechkin said. “Lots of people say we’re going to lose to Pittsburgh. Lots of people said we’re going to lose to Tampa. Tomorrow is the biggest probably game in my life.”
It’s been that sort of a playoff season for the Capitals, who fell behind 0-2 to Columbus in the opening round, finally defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round and jumped on top of Tampa Bay 2-0 to start the conference finals. But the Lightning won the next three games before Washington won Game 6 on home ice to force the decisive game.
“I don’t think anybody thought we’re going to be fighting against (the) Tampa Bay Lightning for the Stanley Cup final in Game 7,” Ovechkin said. “I don’t think you guys (reporters) felt like you were going to be here. Probably thought you’re going to be on vacation somewhere.”
Whichever team does fall short on Wednesday will be starting their vacation one stop short of playing for the ultimate prize.
For Tampa Bay, this is familiar territory.
For the third time in the past four years, the Lightning will play Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, and the script has pretty much played out the same way.
In 2015, Tampa Bay had a 3-2 series lead against the New York Rangers but fell in Game 6. In 2016, the Lightning were up 3-2 in the series to Pittsburgh but failed to close out the series in six games.
Against the Rangers, the Lightning won Game 7. Against the Penguins, Tampa Bay lost the decisive game.
But both of those Game 7s took place on the road. This time around, home-ice advantage belongs to the Lightning as they seek a third trip to the Stanley Cup Final in franchise history.
“I do like the fact that there will be 19 Cory Littleton Jersey ,000 people helping us, willing us to victory,” Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said. “I want our guys to enjoy the game. It’s a phenomenal experience. This will be my third one in four years. You just have to remember, don’t let the game become really much bigger than it is. Go out, execute, leave everything out there, see what happens.”
That’s where some experience can come in to play.
For many of the Lightning players, they have been in this situation before as the core of Tampa Bay has been pretty much intact for the past four years. Many have been through the experience, this deep in to the playoffs, together.
“I think Game 7 is something that everybody looks forward to, at least I do. I take pleasure in playing a Game 7. I think it’s one of the most exciting moments in sports,” said Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman, who has a 7-1 career record playing in Game 7. “I think you just have to embrace it, really just have fun with it. I think what it’s all about. Usually if you have an open mindset, follow the game plan you set up, you are going to enjoy it. You will most of the time also have a good result.”
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