Never in the Champ Bailey era have the Broncos drafted a cornerback in the first round.
Then again, Bailey has never played the cornerback position at 35 years old, as he will in 2013.
"I'm blessed, trust me," Bailey said. "Every player in that locker room wishes they could stand up here and say they're 35 years old."
There is something sinister about that number, though. Thirty-five. Before, Bailey's name was rarely mentioned without the Pro Bowl description. Or it would be nine-time or 10-time "Pro Bowler Champ Bailey."
He is coming off his 12th Pro Bowl season, but this year the Bailey narrative will hook up his age. Rarely does an NFL cornerback celebrate his 35th birthday while still active.
It's the responsibility of Broncos management, headed by John Elway and John Fox, not to let their team get old. For the first time, the Broncos might enter this draft with the idea of finding Bailey's heir apparent.
And they might find his future replacement with their No. 28 pick in the first round.
"That's fine," Bailey said. "I don't really look at that any kind of way. I see what players they draft — how can they help us? Plain and simple."
Then again, the Broncos' other starting cornerback, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, is playing on a one-year contract. Age with Bailey, the contract with Rodgers-Cromartie and a plan of returning former undrafted free agent Chris Harris to the nickel spot has made cornerback one of the positions the Broncos hope to address within the first three rounds of the draft.