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Getting defensive: Bowers, Miller, Fairley to visit Broncos

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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The Denver Broncos this week are set to host three of the top defensive prospects in this month's draft -- Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller and Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley.

The visits were announced Monday by John Elway, the Broncos' executive vice president of football operations, on his Twitter account.

"These visits are an opportunity for us to get to know the prospects better personally and also gauge their football knowledge," Elway tweeted.

Elway  stated that 13 of the team's 30 allotted draft prospects would visit the team's facility this week in Englewood, Colo., but he did not elaborate if that group would include a quarterback.

Elway on Friday told KKFN-FM that the team, which owns the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, is looking closely at quarterbacks, despite the presence of Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow and Brady Quinn, all of whom have started in the NFL.

"Obviously if there's a guy there that's a franchise guy there, we definitely have to look at it because we're not sure we have a franchise guy on our team right now," Elway said. "So, obviously we've got to visit that, look at it, and do our due diligence on it, and then we'll make our decision from there."

Bowers was considered a top-five NFL draft pick after last season, when he led the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision with 15.5 sacks and won the Bronko Nagurski and Ted Hendricks awards as the nation's top defensive player and defensive end. But he partially tore his right meniscus during Clemson's 14-13 victory over N.C. State on Nov. 6., and knee surgery in January bred whispers about Bowers' physical condition, something he tried to address last Friday at his pro day.

"I think I had a decent day," said Bowers after his workout, but a source close to Bowers told NFL.com's Steve Wyche that the lineman was "disappointed" with his 40-yard dash times, which ranged from 4.8 seconds to the high 4.9s. Bowers ran 40s in the 4.7-second range while training for the pro day.

Miller, a potential top-five pick and a plaintiff in an antitrust lawsuit against the league, said last Thursday he will attend the NFL draft in New York.

The 6-foot-3, 248-pound Miller is the only non-NFL player listed as one of 10 named plaintiffs in the Brady et al v. the National Football League et al lawsuit. The suit takes aim at the draft as an unfair labor practice and lists this year's draft class as a protected class in the suit, which is why Miller agreed to be included as a plaintiff.

Fairley, at 6-foot-4, 291 pounds, is considered by NFL.com's Gil Brant as one of the two best defensive tackles in the draft, along with Alabama’s Marcell Dareus.

Fairley remains under some scrutiny as a one-year wonder after exploding onto the scene in 2010. He finished with 11.5 sacks, 24 tackles for a loss and 60 tackles last season, often against double teams from his three-technique spot.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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