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Nalen: Broncos Went With A Running Back Too Early

DENVER (CBS4) - The Broncos picked a good running back in this weekend's NFL Draft, but former Broncos veteran Tom Nalen says the team could have gotten a runner of relatively equal value in a lower round than the second.

Nalen, the former offensive lineman and CBS4 Sports contributor, said the Broncos selection of Montee Ball with the 58th overall pick in the draft was a surprise.

"For me, I'm not a big running back guy," Nalen said. "At least using a high pick on one ... I'm not crazy about that."

Nalen said he certainly has nothing against Ball, who he thinks is a better choice than Eddie Lacy would have been. Lacy was also available at that point in the second round and got snatched up by the Green Bay Packers three picks later.

"Eddie Lacy, to me, had some medical issues. The fact that he tapped out of his own workout at Alabama raised some questions to me -- heart-wise. There wasn't a lot of experience there," Nalen said.

Ball, a college star at Wisconsin, was the third running back selected in the draft. He was a 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist and 2012 Doak Walker Award winner, but some have questioned how well he'll do in a non-college system. Nalen indicated that's not really a concern.

"With Ball you can say that dude can tote the rock," Nalen said.

Montee Ball
Montee Ball talks with CBS4 (credit: CBS)

The last time the Broncos had a running back from their roster from Wisconsin was in 2006 with Ron Dayne. Dayne, a Heisman winner, played on the Broncos in 2005 season but was cut after training camp in 2006.


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