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Fixing The Broncos: The Lines

 

I can’t really speak too much to the current state of the Broncos as there is too much negative emotion involved.   So I focus on the future.  Looking at how the current rebuilding project is going I have to say that there is a serious cart before horse issue at hand.  Brian Xanders is the GM and as I have mentioned before I don’t think he or the Broncos brass knows the first thing about how to build a winning football team.  I believe the philosophy to this point is to draft the flashiest player in the first round, and then fill holes by taking guys higher then than their draft value.  Xanders is the common denominator, but whether it is McDaniels or Elway good talent evaluation and draft philosophy don’t seem to change much.  From what I have seen Right Tackle is now the number one draft need.  Next would be Defensive Tackle.

 First Round Flash

2009 – RB K Moreno, OLB/DE Ayers

2010 – WR Thomas, QB Tebow

2011—OLB

 From a philosophy standpoint I feel the Broncos will never get better until they start to build their lines with some premium talent.  I am specifically speaking to 9 positions on offense and defense (5 O-line, 4 D-line).  Denver has one premium talent on O in left tackle Ryan Clady and 1 on D in Elvis Dumervil.  Even Dumervil comes with an asterix because he is a premium talent at the pass rush, but average against the run.  So he is more of a specialist then a three down DE.

Scale

5= Elite (Top 5 at position)

4=Pro Bowler   (Top 15 at position)

3= Starting Caliber (Top 25 at position)

2= Below Average  (Good Backup)

1= Fringe NFL Talent (Shouldn’t be starting or on most NFL Teams)

 

Denver O-Line Talent - Grade

RT – Franklin =2

RG – Kuper = 2

C – Walton = 2

LG-Beadles  = 1.5

LT – Clady = 4.5

 

Denver D-Line Talent - Grade

RDE – Dumervil = 4.5

RDT – Thomas = 1.5

LDT – Bunkley = 2

LDE – Ayers = 1.5

 

When evaluating the talent you have to look across the league and see what they have versus what the Broncos have.   If Denver has the 33rd best Center in the league they don’t have a starting caliber Center.  Franklin I think is a keeper, but has no business playing Tackle.  Why?  Because he can’t block a speed rusher to save his life, or Tebow’s life for that matter.   As patient Bronco fans we have been waiting and wondering when the bottom has been hit and when we will see improvement.  Honestly I see a long deep valley of bad seasons until the philosophy changes.  Success is built on having talent on the lines.  Sometimes you get lucky and get a pro bowl talent in the seventh round.   That’s not reality.  You want to see a turn around you need to see Denver taking Guards Defensive Tackles, and  Big Bad Defensive ends in the first  three rounds.  Think I’m crazy?  Look at the Lions and 49ers.

 

The Lions

The Lions thought they could build a team on WR’s and QB’s.  They truly didn’t get better until they drafted and signed from free agency top end DT’s.    The Lions defensive line is why they are a top team instead of a bottom feeder and are able win games on a consistent basis.  Their O-line isn’t that great, but it is effective enough for their Skill Players to do well.

Detroit D-Line

RDE – C Avril

DT – N. Suh

DT – C. Williams

LDE – KV. Bosch

 

Cliff Avril – 2008 Draft – 3rd Round – 92nd overall

Ndamukong Suh – 2010 Draft – 1st Round – 2nd overall

Corey Williams – 2010 – Acquired via trade.

Kyle Vanden Bosch -- 2010 – Acquired via trade.

 

The Lions Defensive line was essentially established in 2010.  With a year under their belt together and a better coach they have been dominant. 

 

The Offensive line is older, but was invested in heavily with first and second round picks.

RT – G. Cherilus

RG—S. Peterman

C – D Raiola

LG – R. Sims

LT -- J. Backus

 

Gosder  Cherilus – Drafted – 2008 – 1st RD – 17th overall

Stephen Peterman --  Acquired via Free Agency 2006

Dominic Raiola – Drafted – 2001 – 2nd RD – 50th overall

Rob Sims – Acquired via trade – 2010 for a 5th round pick

Jeff Backus – Drafted – 2001 – 1st RD – 18th overall

 

 

The Bottom line on Detroit is that they have invested heavily in the Draft and Free Agency in their lines.  In 2010 they upgraded 3 of the 4 defensive line positions and 1 of the offensive line positions.  Now they are an elite team.   Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson are the highlight reel guys, but the Lions would not have many wins if they didn’t have their lines.

 

A quick look at the 49ers

49ers  - O- Line 

RT – Anthony Davis – Drafted –2010 -  1st RD – 11th overall

RG—Chilo. Rachal – Drafted – 2008 -2nd RD – 29th overall

C – Jonathan  Goodwin – 2011-- Acquired via Free Agency

LG – Mike Iuapati - - 2010 - Drafted – 1st RD – 17th overall

LT – Joe Staley – 2007 - Drafted – 1st RD – 28th Overall

 

 

49ers D-Line

RDE – Ray McDonald – 2007 – Drafted – 3rd Round

NT – Isaac  Sopoaga – 2004 – Drafted – 4th Round

LDE – Justin Smith – 2008 – Acquired via Free Agency

 

 

The 49ers are a hardnosed team the grinds out yards on offense and plays solid defense.    They’re offensive line was upgraded with two first round picks in 2010 and free agency in 2011.

 

This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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