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With nine picks, Broncos have options in weekend's draft

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The more the Denver Broncos covet a certain player, the less contact they'll have with him.

They don't want anyone to sniff out their true intentions.

But with the 12th pick in the NFL draft on Saturday, Denver isn't resorting to deception. The Broncos are freely talking to players they're interested in.

Or is that just a smoke screen? Broncos coach Mike Shanahan played coy Friday.

"Normally, that's been our philosophy," Shanahan said. "You don't want to give away your hand. But when you have that pick, at least you've got somewhat of an idea who might be there. So, therefore, you do talk to more players than if you're (picking) in the 20s."

Shanahan revealed little about which direction the team would take in the draft. Denver has several needs heading into the draft this weekend, and nine picks in which to work.

"We have a game plan going in and we try to execute that game plan," said Shanahan, who also has a second-round pick (42nd overall) on the first day. "There will be no difference in that game plan this year than we've had in the past.

"It's a little bit more fun picking 12th than it is 30th. I don't want it to happen very often, though."

If recent history is any indication, the Broncos could make a draft day move. Two years ago, the team traded up to No. 11 to select Jay Cutler, who had no idea that Denver was even remotely interested. Last year, the team moved up to No. 17 to take Jarvis Moss.

"It all depends on what guys are there at what time," Shanahan said. "Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Jay Cutler was a guy we thought, if he fell to a certain position, we'd take a shot at."

It's been a tumultuous offseason for the Broncos after they missed the playoffs for a second straight year. The team fired general manager Ted Sundquist, released Ian Gold and Javon Walker and had their emerging young receiver, Brandon Marshall, gash his right forearm while horsing around.

Shanahan said Marshall's arm is making progress. The wideout was injured when he fell into a television set, cutting an artery, a vein, a nerve, two tendons and three muscles in his right arm.

"Hopefully, there's no setback," Shanahan said.

With Walker now a member of the Oakland Raiders and Marshall's arm mending, the Broncos went out and bolstered their receiving corps, bringing in Keary Colbert, Samie Parker and Darrell Jackson.

"That's why you try to get depth," Shanahan said.

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