DENVER (CBS4) – The NFL Draft is this week, and Broncos third-year offensive guard Zane Beadles says he wouldn’t be surprised if Denver drafts an offensive lineman.
The offensive line for the Broncos did a great job protecting quarterback Peyton Manning through the team’s stellar 2012 regular season, but the group also suffered from some wear and tear.
Beadles is the only returning Broncos offensive lineman who saw a lot of action last season and isn’t rehabbing from one surgery or another this offseason. That includes J.D. Walton, Ryan Clady, Orlando Franklin and Chris Kuper, who missed more than half of the 2012 season due to forearm and ankle injuries.
Beadles told CBS4′s Vic Lombardi on Xfinity Monday Live that he has talked with Chris Kuper during the offseason, and he says the veteran guard is working hard to get back to 100 percent.
“It’s been a tough time for Kupe. He never had any injuries before (the injury at the end of the 2011 season). It’s just been a string of bad luck for him. I feel really bad for him. I know he’s ready to get out there and be healthy for a while and get back to it,” Beadles said.
The draft can be a time of great excitement for players coming out of college, and for Beadles the 2010 NFL Draft was no different. He said feels for the players projected to be picked in the middle rounds, because it’s never certain when they’ll get picked, if at all.
“I didn’t know for sure. I was hearing everything from second round to fifth round,” said Beadles, a graduate of the University of Utah. “I was at my girlfriend at the time’s family’s house and had a bunch of people over. Family, friends and everything and I got that call in the second round. I was literally shaking on the phone when I got that call.”
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Whether or not they draft an offensive lineman, the Broncos have already addressed the team’s depth at the position to some degree with their free agency signing of Louis Vasquez, a former San Diego Charger.
“I think he’s going to be a great addition for us,” Beadles said. “He’s a big guy, a physical guy. He seems to be a smart guy in the meetings we’ve been having. So I’m excited to see what he brings to the team.”
Beadles, together with former Broncos long-snapper Lonie Paxton, is hosting a NFL Draft party on Thursday night. The party will take place at Celebrity Lanes in Centennial and it benefits two different foundations — the Active Force Foundation and Cakes for Cancer, which helps Brent’s Place.
“Brent’s Place is a safe, clean housing environment for kids undergoing cancer treatment,” Beadles said. “We both have a passion for what we do.”
Watch more of the video with Zane Beadles in the Xfinity Monday Live section.