The Way We Hear It — NFL draft Intent of Broncos-Niners trade revealed By Nolan Nawrocki April 20, 2006 The Denver-San Francisco trade created a lot of intrigue around the league Wednesday. The way we hear it, this is not the last move the Broncos will make in the first round, or at least attempt to make. Denver swapped its second first-round pick (No. 22) with San Francisco in exchange for the Niners’ second-rounder (37) and third-rounder (68). Denver initiated the trade. With more and more teams realizing the depth of this draft is not great, San Francisco saw the opportunity to gain a second "Day One starter" through the draft, which they may not have been able to get at No. 37, as too valuable to pass. PFW has not been able to confirm any further future conditional trades, but we have strong suspicions, from piecing together a lot of information, to believe the Broncos will make a hard push to move up on Draft Day, once they see how far Maryland TE Vernon Davis slides, especially if he is still available at No. 6, which San Francisco now holds. AFC West foes are fearful the Raiders will be able to nab one of their most coveted targets — Davis — at the No. 7 slot, which would give Oakland the most feared receiving corps (Randy Moss, Joey Porter, Ronald Curry) in the league. Mike Shanahan and Al Davis maintain an intense rivalry stemming from their split after Shanahan’s 1½-year stay as head coach of the Raiders in 1988-89, and Shanahan still claims Davis owes him $250,000. With the loss of Jeb Putzier in the offseason, the age of Rod Smith (turning 36 in May) and the absence of playmaking weapons, there is no way the Broncos can hide their intentions. To get over the hump and clear the AFC championship game, they need more offensive firepower. The way we hear it, they have actively been shopping WR Ashley Lelie and have made attempts to acquire a disgruntled Javon Walker, with whom the Packers are not interested in parting ways, according to our sources. Shanahan’s history would favor acquiring a veteran, and it’s still likely they will acquire at least one in the coming months, but stacking the offense is clearly Shanahan’s objective entering the draft. Our sources say Denver has fallen “in love” with Davis, viewing him as the best receiver in the draft and a more explosive version of Shannon Sharpe. The Broncos' TE position has not been an area of strength since Sharpe departed, and the Broncos are said to be interested in drafting a tight end no later than the second round. Shanahan likely does not have to worry about Davis reaching Oakland, as the Green Bay Packers and 49ers, picking fifth and sixth, respectively, have both identified Ohio State LB A.J. Hawk and Davis as their desired targets. The Packers will dictate which one is available for San Francisco, and our sources say Hawk has more momentum in Green Bay, which could play into the Broncos’ hands. A look at the standard trade value chart that most teams use reveals that the San Francisco-Denver swap broke out evenly, with Denver’s 22nd overall pick being worth the same (780 points) as the combined value of the Niners’ 37th (530) and 68th (250) picks. The move positioned the Broncos, who typically know what they want to do well in advance of the draft and move aggressively to acquire the players they desire, to accomplish one of two goals: (1) They could stand pat and take Florida WR Chad Jackson at No. 15, a running back (Wisconsin's Brian Calhoun comes from the same zone-dominant ground game as current Broncos RB Ron Dayne) at No. 37 and, team sources say, Notre Dame TE Anthony Fasano or Colorado TE Joe Klopfenstein late in the second round (61st). Or, (2) they could package their 15th overall pick (1,050 points) with their acquired second-rounder (37th overall, 530 points) and their sixth-round pick at No. 161 (27 points) and have enough ammunition (1,607) to make another trade with the 49ers for the sixth selection, valued at 1,600 points. Lelie could even be part of the equation instead of, say, the Broncos’ 37th pick. The Broncos may have to give up more because the Niners are no longer looking to move down. At the end of the day, it could be difficult to make a trade work. The way we hear it, the Broncos would like to come out of this draft with two blue-chip players on offense who can readily contribute. Davis, in the eyes of the Broncos, would make the most immediate contribution. With more depth being available in the draft at running back than at receiver, they would be more inclined to draft a wide receiver in the second round if they can land Davis at No. 6. Scouts felt sorry for Arizona State WR Derek Hagan at his pro-day workout when “he was slapping the ball like a racket with two skillets for hands” and he has “bust” written all over him. Despite that showing, his stock is rising in the eyes of some evaluators, for what reason we are not smart enough to figure out, other than to believe it’s the Tom Condon-hype machine working overdrive. Nevertheless, Denver really likes Hagan and sees him as the next Rod Smith and could take him off draft boards at the No. 61 pick. The Broncos have been doing additional background work on Chad Jackson, Santonio Holmes, Sinorice Moss, DeAngelo Williams and Laurence Maroney in the last week. Shanahan has never taken a runner higher than he took Tatum Bell (41st overall) in 2004 and is not likely to break from that trend. If the Broncos cannot move up for Davis, Jackson best fits the mold of the prototypical West Coast receiver the Broncos covet, with great size, speed and run-after-the-catch ability, and would likely be their top choice. The Niners are targeting the best defensive player available at No. 22, with multiple team sources saying a cornerback or an outside linebacker will be selected at that spot. If they miss out on Hawk with their first pick, don't be surprised if they target his teammate Bobby Carpenter the second time around. Carpenter can play inside or outside in a 3-4 front. A cornerback such as Jimmy Williams or Johnathan Joseph, if either slides that far, would be a stronger candidate considering the Niners' holes in the secondary. Draft picks currently held by both trade parties San Francisco now has 10 draft picks in 2006: two first-round draft picks, a third-round pick from a trade with Washington, an extra sixth-round pick from a trade with Tampa Bay and two additional seventh-round selections resulting from a trade with Jacksonville and the awarding of a compensatory pick. The 49ers open the 2006 draft with the sixth and 22nd overall selections in the first round, plus picks in the third (84), fourth (100), fifth (140), sixth (175, 192) and seventh (213, 236, 254) rounds. Denver now owns nine selections in the 2006 NFL draft, including seven picks in the first four rounds. The club will select once in the first round (15th overall), twice in the second round (37th and 61st overall), once in the third round (68th), three times in the fourth round (119th, 126th and 130th), once in the fifth round (161st) and once in the sixth round (198th).