The 2010 NFL offseason will officially be underway on March 5th, so get out and create your player wish lists Broncos fans. With free agency likely to be relatively boring this year, expect the NFL to be a bit like the NBA in that there will be some serious wheeling and dealing going on.
The Broncos have already been connected to a few trades, but they have shot down the rumors quickly. I am intrigued to see how McDaniels and Xanders handle this offseason, which could be one of the more active in Broncos history. Denver has plenty of its own free agents to worry about, and you can see a very detailed post here by our own elvisalex who laid out our financial situation very effectively.
We all have our own views of who the Broncos will be looking to add this offseason, and what positions are going to be of the greatest importance. I think there is a near consensus that Denver's biggest areas of need lie in the trenches, but we have yet to see every player on the team given a the shot he deserves (i.e. Chris Baker, Seth Olsen).
Still, it's impossible to believe that every Denver youngster is going to pan out, so you must have a backup plan. The way I see it, Denver's top needs heading into the offseason are as follows:
2. DL (run stuffing specialists, preferably)
3. #2 WR
4. QB of Future (some could argue that it is Brandstater, but let's not beat that horse any more than we have)
6. Pass rush help
9. P (may already be on roster)
So there you have it. A top ten order of needs heading into the offseason, and you will likely see every single one of them addressed. Josh McDaniels turned over roughly 60 percent of Denver's roster last season, so the reloading process is likely not finished.
Despite the fact that this year should be relatively quiet in free agency, I think you could see the Broncos make a significant splash with some players due to their needs at certain positions like guard or running back. Who might the Broncos go after in free agency? More after the jump...
1. Brandon Marshall, WR
2. Elvis Dumervil, OLB
3. Kyle Orton, QB
4. Chris Kuper, G
5. Matt Prater, K
6. Ryan McBean, DL
7. Tony Carter, CB
1. Chris Simms, QB
2. LaMont Jordan, RB
UFA Open Market
1. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Chargers
2. Eugene Amano, OG, Titans
3. Jarvis Green, DL, Patriots
2010 NFL Mock Draft
1. St. Louis Rams: Ndamukong Suh, DL, Nebraska
2. Detroit Lions: Russell Okung, OL, Oklahoma State
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy, DL, Oklahoma
4. Washington Redskins: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
5. Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
7. Cleveland Browns: Joe Haden, CB, Florida
8. Oakland Raiders: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
9. Buffalo Bills: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
**Trade Alert** Broncos trade first round pick (10th overall) to Arizona Cardinals for first round pick (26th overall), second round pick (58th overall), and fifth round pick
10. Arizona Cardinals: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
11. Jacksonville Jaguars: Earl Thomas, DB, Texas
12. Miami Dolphins: Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
13. San Francisco 49ers: Mike Iupati, G, Idaho
14. Seattle Seahawks: Taylor Mays, S, USC
15. New York Giants: Dan Williams, DL, Tennessee
16. San Francisco 49ers: Brandon Graham, DE/OLB, Michigan
17. Tennessee Titans: Carlos Dunlap, DL, Florida
18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Bryan Bulaga, OL, Iowa
19. Atlanta Falcons: Everson Griffen, DE, USC
20. Houston Texans: Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
21. Cincinnati Bengals: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
22. New England Patriots: Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas
23. Green Bay Packers: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
24. Philadelphia Eagles: Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
25. Baltimore Ravens: Brandon LaFell, WR, LSU
26. Denver Broncos: Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
At this point, we've all heard a ton about Pouncey. I think a lot of fans would be disappointed if the Broncos didn't come away from the draft without getting Pouncey, and honestly there are really not many other great alternatives, even in free agency.
Pouncey is the unquestioned top center prospect available in this draft, and he fits an immediate need for the Broncos. If Denver can add Eugene Amano and Pouncey to the interior line mix, they will be able to get back to running the ball effectively. Pouncey would start from day one, and if he stays healthy, he will likely start for the next 10-15 years.
27. Dallas Cowboys: Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
28. San Diego Chargers: Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno State
29. New York Jets: Jared Odrick, DL, Penn State
30. Minnesota Vikings: Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State
31. Indianapolis Colts: Brian Price, DL, UCLA
32. New Orleans Saints: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
33. St. Louis Rams: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
34. Detroit Lions: Jahvid Best, RB, California
35. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Charles Brown, OT, USC
36. Kansas City Chiefs: Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois
37. Washington Redskins: Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech
38. Cleveland Browns: Ricky Sapp, OLB, Clemson
39. Oakland Raiders: Jared Veldheer, OT, Hillsdale
40. Seattle Seahawks: Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
41. Buffalo Bills: Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
42. New England Patriots: Rob Gronkowski, TE, Arizona
43. Miami Dolphins: Aaron Hernandez, TE, Florida
44. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Damian Williams, WR, USC
45. Denver Broncos: Brandon Spikes, ILB, Florida
I think if Spikes is available here, this pick is an absolute no-brainer. He has ideal size and athleticism for the position, and he is a natural born leader of the defense. Spikes will eventually take over on our defense for fellow Gator Andra Davis, and his run stopping abilities will be a most welcome addition to this team.
46. New York Giants: Chad Jones, S, LSU
47. Carolina Panthers: Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU
48. New England Patriots: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
49. San Francisco 49ers: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
50. Kansas City Chiefs: Vladimir Ducasse, OL, UMass
51. Houston Texans: Reshad Jones, S, Georgia
52. Pittsburgh Steelers: Donovan Warren, CB, Michigan
53. New England Patriots: Jon Asamoah, G, Illinois
54. Cincinnati Bengals: Dexter McCluster, RB/WR, Ole Miss
55. Philadelphia Eagles: Nate Allen, S, South Florida
56. Green Bay Packers: Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama
57. Baltimore Ravens: Dominique Franks, CB, Oklahoma
58. Denver Broncos: Navorro Bowman, LB, Penn State
Size wise, he might remind a lot of folks of Wesley Woodyard, and the fact that we already just drafted Spikes and Robert Ayers a year ago might mean that this pick is superfluous, but I fail to see that at all. When you are a team running a four linebacker set, you need all the depth you can get, and Bowman will provide our LB core with stellar depth, and he can play all four positions.
Through my last few mock drafts, it may come off as though I'm a Penn State fan, but I couldn't hate the team more being a Hawkeye fan. It's just that PSU has a lot of great NFL talent coming out this year, and Bowman is an absolute robbery of a selection this late in the second.
**Trade Alert** Denver Broncos trade TE Tony Scheffler to Cleveland Browns for 3rd round pick (90th overall)
Third Round, 80th overall: Dan LeFevour, QB, Central Michigan
If I could compare LeFevour to a QB already in the NFL, it would be Aaron Rodgers. He is a dual threat quarterback whose ability to run will completely catch you off guard every time. He has a supremely strong arm, and is most accurate on the run. He is said to have a good ability to read defenses, so I think he is a good fit for our system.
A year project, maybe two, but a good selection with our first of two third round picks.
Third Round, 90th overall: Jacoby Ford, WR/RS, Clemson
Versatile receiver prospect who can come in immediately and contribute as our primary kick and punt returner. He could eventually take over as our slot receiver, but for now I think his biggest contributions will come on special teams. He is lightning fast, and claims he can run a sub 4.2 second 40 yard dash.
Fourth Round: Chris Cook, CB, Virginia
Cook really caught the eyes of scouts at the Senior Bowl, and he is certainly a prospect on the rise. I think the Broncos need to add more length to the cornerback position, and I would not be surprised if Cook is a target of theirs on draft day. He could contribute immediately as a special teams player, and eventually develop under Champ and Goodman.
Fifth Round: Marshall Newhouse, OL, TCU
The Broncos are looking to get bigger this offseason, and Newhouse fits that bill. A versatile lineman with great bulk, Newhouse would be a solid addition to the Denver offensive line. He provides depth at both guard and tackle positions.
Sixth Round: Myron Rolle, S, Florida State
I have yet to convince even myself that Rolle will still be available in the sixth round, but the board that I'm going by currently rates him as a sixth round pick, and I can see their reasoning. Rolle has been out of football for a year, but there is no denying his football talent. He will be a project, but I could see him as a starting safety in the NFL, and the Broncos would be happy to add him to the roster.
Seventh Round: Clifton Geathers, DL, South Carolina
Very athletic defensive line prospect who the Broncos could mold into a great player. I think Geathers provides excellent depth this late in the draft, and his frame allows for him to gain at least 15 pounds without losing any quickness. He has the potential to be an absolute beast in the NFL if he works hard for it.
Undrafted Free Agents
1. Travis Ivey, NT, Maryland
Guy who really carries his weight well, and who impressed scouts with his strength and quickness at the East-West Shrine game. Very muscular build for his size, and has great potential as a later round guy or free agent acquisition.
2. Martin Tevaseu, NT, UNLV
High character guy with a really cool story. Started off at a community college and became a phenomenal student at UNLV, making the Dean's list. Massive build, and another guy who carries his weight well. Worth a look in training camp.
3. Reggie Stephens, OL, Iowa State
Versatile offensive lineman that I like. Good size, good punch off the snap, and a lot of collegiate experience.
4. Thomas Welch, OL, Vanderbilt
Give this guy a look in training camp, could be some much needed depth at the tackle position and he will come very cheap.
5. Stafon Johnson, RB, USC
One of the more inspiring stories among draft prospects, Johnson has overcome some very significant obstacles to pursue an NFL career, and his hard work will not go unnoticed. I would not be surprised if he sticks on an NFL roster as he has all the tools to be an NFL back.
6. Kelton Tindal, WR, Newberry
6'2" 197 4.28
Kid has great size and blazing speed. Not much out there on him as of now, but he is expected to run in the low 4.2's at his pro day, and looking at his You Tube video, he makes whoever Newberry is playing look like they are running with cement in their shoes.
7. Crezdon Butler, CB, Clemson
6'0" 185 4.47
Speed, athleticism, and length. That's what we need to be looking for at the cornerback position this offseason. I think Butler will get a good look in camp, much like DJ Johnson last year.