When Demarcus Lawrence decided to leave Butler Community College in 2011, he had plenty of options. Powerhouse programs like Clemson, Oklahoma, and South Carolina all offered him a scholarship, but the outstanding defensive end chose Chris Petersen and Boise State.
Two seasons later- with Petersen gone and his draft stock soaring- Lawrence chose to swap the blue turf for the greener pastures of the NFL.
This winter, a scouting firm told Demarcus he'd be a first-to-third round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, although it's beginning to look like second-to-third is more likely.
ESPN analyst Todd McShay left Demarcus out of his latest first round mock draft, and Mel Kiper did the same last week. McShay previously projected Lawrence would come off the board midway through the second round. Kiper has Lawrence going 41st overall to the Buffalo Bills.
According to NFL.com, Lawrence is a consensus top-50 pick. The site has three other Broncos ranked as potential draftees. All-Mountain West tackle Charles Leno could be snatched up in the fifth or sixth round, and center Matt Paradis may be drafted in the seventh. If not, Paradis is expected to be a priority free agent, as is wide receiver Aaron Burks.
The 2014 NFL Draft runs from Thursday, May 8 to Saturday, May 10.