High risk, reward with pass rushers Senior Bowl talent strong at prominent position By Bill Williamson Denver Post Staff Writer Mobile, Ala. - Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said he believes the most difficult player to find on his side of the ball is a pass rusher. Kiffin and the rest of the Bucs' coaching staff are getting an up-close look at the talent at the Senior Bowl as they prepare to coach the South team in Saturday's game. And he's keeping his eyes open. "You never know with these guys," Kiffin said. "It's one of the toughest positions to scout because of the gamble involved with pass rushers. The extra time is great and by the looks of it, there are going to be some players in this draft that will help teams." That's encouraging news for the Broncos. The team's scouting contingent obviously kept a close eye on the defensive linemen this week. A pass rusher is Denver's greatest need. The team will monitor that position leading up to the April 23-24 draft. The Broncos will pick 25th in the first round. Advertisement Denver has a glaring need at the position. It is uncertain how effective defensive end Trevor Pryce can be in his first season back after missing nearly all of the 2004 season because of back surgery. Defensive end Reggie Hayward, who led the team with 10 1/2 sacks, will be a free agent. The Broncos hope to re-sign him, but he is one of the better pass rushers available. Many league observers think about five or six pass rushers will be taken in the first round this year, between ends and tackles. Among the available crop are Dan Cody of Oklahoma, Erasmus James of Wisconsin, Marcus Spears of LSU and Mike Patterson and Shaun Cody of Southern California. Georgia's David Pollack and Demarcus Ware of Troy also are intriguing prospects. If the Broncos set their sights on a defensive lineman in the first round, they may be able to get Patterson, Shaun Cody or Ware. "It's one of the better groups out there," Tennessee Titans general manager Floyd Reese said. "There seems to be quality there, and that will help because everyone needs pass rushers." Many scouts said evaluating pass rushers is difficult, and highly drafted pass rushers who fail in the NFL often do so because of size. Teams often select undersized players, hoping they will bulk up and keep their quickness and pass-rushing effectiveness. "Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't," Minnesota Vikings scout John Fitzpatrick said. "Those guys are scary. They may look good in college and on film. Then they come to the big boys and they can't get it done, and then you're stuck."