Addressing problems are what you are supposed to do as an NFL coach. That's exactly what McD has done.
Let's look at it:
Problem in 2009: Our WR corps was weak and discombobulated with the ups and downs of the star WR and our #2 got hurt playing the wrong position (not the slot)...and crappy depth.
Solution in 2010 draft: draft Demayrius Thomas and Eric Decker. You have a home-run type threat with the play-making abilities similar (Thomas will get 65-70% of Marshall stats is my guess in 2010) to those that helped us last year from Marshall (Thomas) and got a big possession receiver who will be a fantastic target and alleviate the focus on one WR (Decker). Both WRs will play in 2010 along with Royal (in the slot) and Gaffney (until they get their feet wet - Game 4-5).
Problem in 2009: Our O-line was man-handled by strong and aggressive defenses (Pitt/Balt). Interior line was weak. We barely made any hole for our RBs to run through. Orton was upright enough but he probably threw away 3-4 balls a game based on the pressure he got (that's 48-64 wasted pass attempts over the course of the season which equates to over 25% of the incompletions Orton threw - 205 incompletions in 2009). This, in turn, wore out our defense by continually putting pressure on them.
Solution in 2010 draft: Draft OT/OG Beadles and C Walton. With Harris hurt, Beadles provides insurance if Harris doesnt come back strong. Walton instantly starts at C and anchors the line. Olsen had a year to grasp the system and will be given the chance to compete for LG with Beadles. A line of Clady/Beadles or Olsen/Walton/Kuper/Harris incredibly improves the opportunity to run the ball and protect against physical teams with the added size and talent.
Problem in 2009: 3rd and short or goal line situations. In 3rd down situations, Denver converted at a low 36%. A lot of the "gimmes" (3rd and short) were either stopped behind the line of scrimmage or because there wasnt enough time for Orton to make a play. Placing a ridiculous amount of pressure on the defense.
Solution in 2010 draft: Tebow, O-line and WRs drafted. Everyone complains that Tebow, for a 1st rd pick, has to contribute in the 1st yr. Why is it so hard to see that Tebow along with the revamped O-line and WRs drafted will be playing in the 3rd and short and goal line situations at a minimum? It would make Denver nearly unstoppable. It's not just a Ronnie Brown back there or a scat back, it's a 240 lbs player (FYI - Ronnie Brown is 230 lbs Tebow is 240 lbs who is used to getting hit). You have a QB, whether playing the Wild Horses or not, who can run like a RB (think Gerhart, who is 235 lbs BTW) or throw a solid ball - it doesnt have to be perfect yet. The line will open up holes and the WRs will provide hands and athleticism we missed. How many times do you wonder why there isnt a QB sneak anymore? No reason not to now. Imagine the Wild Horses formation w/ Tebow and then changing to him under center and doing a sneak before the defense can react. 100% 3rd and short conversion.
Problem in 2009: Some "name players" expressed discontent over the new system/coach. Marshall and Scheffler both created distractions. No matter what we hear, it is probably only a fraction of what was happening inside the Broncos lockerroom.
Solution in 2010: Bye Marshal. Bye Scheffler. Hello solid young men who appreciate their opportunities and understand leadership isn't given to you in stats or money, its earned by gaining respect of your teammates...Tebow, Thomas, Beadles, Decker and Walton all seem to have exhibited those qualities in college.
Problem in 2009: Orton is an RFA.
Solution in 2010 draft: Tebow. He has a year to learn the system and learn from McD. He may have an additional year if Quinn steps up. No doubt, Tebow will be given every chance to be the long term answer. McD believes in himself and will spend whatever time it takes to make Tebow an NFL starying QB.
Problem in 2009: Offense
Solution in 2010 draft: Thomas, Tebow, Beadles, Walton, Decker
So now what?
Well, McD has shown the propensity to target positions and add not only starters but also depth. Last year it was defensive backfield, this year is WR and O-line. Both were addressed but I see that their picks have all been from those who have taken visits.
"So who is left" list:
4. Carlton Mitchell, USF 6'3" 214
Projected Round: Second/Third
5. Jacoby Ford, Clemson 5'9" 186
Projected Round: Third
8. Mardy Gilyard, Cincinnati 6'0" 187
Projected Round: Third/Fourth
2. Matt Tennant, Boston College 6'5" 300
Projected Round: Second/Third
4. Joe Hawley, UNLV 6'3" 297
Projected Round: Sixth/Seventh
3. Al Woods, LSU 6'4" 305
Projected Round: Fifth
2. Alterraun Verner, UCLA 5'11" 189
Projected Round: Fourth/Fifth
3. A.J. Jefferson, Fresno State 6'0" 193
Projected Round: Fifth/Sixth
4. C.J. Lovett, Fort Hays State, 5'11" 195
Projected Round: Undrafted
Realistically, no one knows what McD will do. However, looking that all the things they have done have been designed to improve the offense, it appears the remaining 2 picks (if not more are gained from trades) will go to defense and/or a kick returner.
My guess is the "board" of players Denver will choose is:
1) Jacoby Ford - WR/KR
2) Al Woods - DE
3) Alterraun Verner - CB
4) AJ Jefferson - CB/KR
5) Joe Hawley - C/G
Anyone else will not be from their visit list, but it could very well occur. A bruising RB is still a possibility but there could be options in UDFA. There will be plenty of interesting signings immediately following the draft.
So have we improved ourselves for 2010? an emphatic, undeniable YES!!!!!!!!!!!! (IMO). And Jamie Dukes and Tom Waddell, you sirs are idiots.