It's natural at this time of year to dig into the details of how the draft worked out, how our 49th best man compares to the league average, or to debate what the Alphonso Smith and/or Tim Tebow cases mean for the future of the Denver Broncos. Although I learned a lot about football from my Mom, whose favorite player of all time is Eddie Mac, I haven't yet learned enough to address these topics. But I did learn enough to notice something that no one seems to be talking about, five inconspicuous reasons the Broncos have a bright future:
1. Ryan Clady
2. Zane Beadles
3. J. D. Walton
4. Chris Kuper
5. Ryan Harris
I suppose no one talks about them much because, due to injury, they practically haven't even lined up next to each other. But, unless I am greatly mistaken, this is a talented, young offensive line, a playoff-caliber line. They have a real shot at playing together for the next eight or ten years and starting together in a number of playoff games.
I can't name an offensive lineman for another team (and only one defensive lineman: Albert Haynesworth), so I certainly couldn't claim to be especially objective or knowledgeable in this field. But I would guess that our line would probably rank in the top 10 in the league right now. More to my main point is that, based on youth and potential, any general manager in the league would be willing to trade his offensive line starters, right now, straight up, for our guys. If I am wrong, I am sure one of you gentlemen can point that out.
So I see a team that, down the road, will be able to pass and run, due mostly to stonewall protection and run blocking with an attitude. Of course some mistakes have been made in putting this team together, and more will be made in the future. But we have the building blocks of a potentially great young line. This is not something that Coach McDaniels can take complete credit for; neither can Coach Shanahan. But the big picture is that we have a lot of reasons to be optimistic, in particular five big reasons.
That doesn't mean we will beat Jacksonville--being ready for Sunday is a different post. What about you--do you think the Broncos have a bright future? Why or why not?