I know we're all tired of change here in Denver, but I'm starting to get used to it. Denver has been unsuccessful the past two seasons using the 3-4 defense, and I think our personnel is better fit for the 4-3. The Defensive Line is the biggest problem for our 3-4, and I feel like our front 7 personnel is better fit. With a better front seven, it helps out the secondary drastically. Look at the Ohio State vs. Arkansas game. If a QB is uncomfortable, he will not be nearly as effective. In my opinion, if you can't pressure the QB, he'll make the most elite secondary look like a bunch of rookies. That being said, here's my dream off-season.
Champ Bailey: Franchise him, resign him for a couple years, whatever you do, we need him on our team this coming year. If all else fails and we're having another shitty year, trade him to a contender before the trade deadline. If we do end up making something out of next season and show a bright future, he can and is willing to turn into a safety to prolong his career, and I think he'll make a great one.
Ryan Harris: Great run blocker, solid in pass protection.
Marcus Thomas: Could be a good 4-3 DT, especially on passing downs. Not a starter but could be a good rotational player.
Free Agents: instead of picking up a ton of players and spending a ton of money through free agency, I'd personally rather build in the draft, so I'm going to target players that are young yet show promise. I'm also not going to add a lot of high profile players, because the chance of us landing one of them isn't very high.
S Dawan Landry: Both of these safeties have the benefit on playing on two of the top defenses in the league, and they know what it takes. Signing one of the two is an absolute necessity for us becasue I see Safety as our 3rd largest need behind CB and DL.
DE Ray Edwards: Often overshadowed by the Williams' and Jared Allen, Ray Edwards has put together a solid season for the Vikings. He's only 26 years old and he's listed at 6'5, 268 lbs. Edwards has proven to be good against the run and the pass, totaling 8 sacks this season.
DT Alan Branch: Very underrated DT/NT playing for the Cardinals. Originally a DT in Michigan's defense, moved to NT to fit the Cardinals' system. He's still young and he's a disruptive force. I think he'd be a great pickup this offseason and he shouldn't cost too much.
MLB Stephen Tulloch: At only 26 years old, Tulloch put up impressive numbers and emerged as a leader for the Titans this year. He finished 2010-2011 with 159 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 interception. I think he's definitely a player on the rise and I'd love to add him if possible.
Other possible options: MLB Rocky McIntosh, DT Brandon Mebane, DT Barry Coefield, DE Charles Johnson, SEric Weddle,
Kyle Orton to Arizona for their 3rd round pick. Wisenhunt is on the hot seat and he needs a serviceable QB to win a couple more games for him next year while Skelton is developing. Otherwise, he loses his job.
Eddie Royal to Washington for their 5th & 7th round picks. Washington doesn't have a 3rd or 4th round pick, so I think we settle for a 5th and a 7th.
1. Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU. After moving to a 4-3, I see our biggest glaring need at CB. I don't see Cox as being a starting caliber CB for any time soon, Bailey is coming back for at least another year, and Goodman can't stay healthy and he isn't getting any younger. I don't see our defensive line needing as much help immediately due to us moving back into the 4-3, and I think with all the depth in this draft we can address the DL later. Players like Peterson don't come around very often, and I think he's the best value on the board.
2. Jared Crick, DT, Nebraska. After moving to our 4-3, I think Crick would fit perfectly as one of our up and coming DT's. He's 6'6 285 lbs, and with his large frame I think he could put even a little more weight on. Crick has been just as disruptive this year as he was last year. The biggest question on him coming into this year was wether or not he could keep up his production without Suh. He definitely has, and that's why I pick him at #36.
2. Greg Jones, ILB, Michigan State. After moving to a 4-3 and moving DJ to OLB, it will be interesting to see how Mays fits in. I think Mays can do a decent job for a while, but he's not the long term answer. Greg Jones has been great for the #9 Spartans, and at 6'1" 240 lbs. Jones has great size. Jones had 105 tackles, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions this season, I think he'll be great in the NFL.
3. Mason Foster, OLB, Washington. After watching Foster tear up Nebraska, I instantly grew a man crush for him (no homo). I see him possibly moving up into the late 2nd-early 3rd round, and fortunately the Broncos have a high 3rd round pick. If he can improve his 40 time, I'm positive his status will move up. This season he had 162 tackles and 8 sacks. He's a tackling machine and will cause trouble in the backfield. He'd be a great steal if we could get him here.
5. Lee Smith, TE, Marshall. The Broncos draft a huge, 6'6" 267 lbs. TE that can help near the redzone. Smith has 4.7 speed which won't really stretch the field, but he is a huge frame to throw to. This season he has compiled 79 receptions for 791 yards with 3 TD's, which is impressive for any TE. With his large frame and good hands he's the type of TE that Denver has been needing since Sharpe.
6. Ryan Jones, CB, Northwest Missouri State. While Jones plays in a smaller conference, he has the ideal size and speed for a CB. He's listed at 5'11" 195 lbs. with 4.4 speed. This season he had 55 tackles, 5 interceptions, and 11 pass break ups. If he has good Pro Day and Combine results I see him climbing up the boards and I see him as great value here.
7. Martin Parker, DT, Richmond. While Parker also played at a smaller school, he terrorized opponents backfields. He's 6'2", 288 lbs. and he looks to be very athletic. This year he had 75 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks, and 10 QB hurries. I can see him helping a lot on 3rd downs at DT and possibly even rotate in at DE. He could also be another hidden gem.
7. Chris Conte, FS, California. Conte is an large, athletic safety that could be a hidden gem. He's 6'3", 212 lbs. and runs a 4.54 40. This season he had 72 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 interception.
Hopeful Depth Chart
QB: T. Tebow, B. Quinn
HB: K. Moreno, C. Buckhalter, L. White, L. Ball
WR: B. Lloyd, E. Decker, M. Willis
WR: D. Thomas, J. Gaffney, B. Davis
TE: L. Smith, R. Quinn, Gronkowski
LT: R. Clady, C. Clark
LG: Z. Beadles, E. Olsen
C: J. Walton, J. Byers, C. Frye
RG: C. Kuper, S. Daniels
RT: R. Harris, R. Hochstein
DE: R. Ayers, R. Edwards
DT: J. Bannan, J. Crick, M. Parker
DT: K. Vickerson, Alan Branch. M. Thomas
DE: E. Dumervil, R. McBean
OLB: D. Williams, W. Woodyard
MLB: S. Tulloch, G. Jones
OLB: M. Haggan, M. Foster
CB: C. Bailey, P. Cox, S. Thompson
CB: P. Peterson, A. Goodman, R. Jones
FS: Dawan Landry, R. Hill, C. Conte
SS: Brian Dawkins, D. McBath
Well, there it is. My season observations and possible remedies to possibly fix our team someday. I'm not a frequent poster here, so please don't be too harsh! Have at it!