I know there's all this draft talk going on but I'd like to take a look at some possible Free Agents that the Broncos might pursue before the draft. I think that there's a consensus among Broncos fans that our main needs are CB, DT, RB, and MLB. Obviously our O-Line can always use some help and depth but I don't feel that this position is one of our most pressing needs. That being said here are some players that I wanted to bring to your attention and get some thoughts.
Brent Grimes: I see him as one of the more underrated CB's in the league and I doubt Atlanta lets him go. Will be 29 next season but age doesn't seem to be a huge problem with DB's. Has 41 tackles, 1 FF, 1 INT and 14 PD in 12 games this season.
Carlos Rodgers: Probably the most underrated CB this season turns 31 next season. Even though he may not be a long term fix he is someone that would fill the #2 CB spot next to Champ. Through 15 games this season he has 39 tackles, 6 INT, and 15 PD on what I consider the best defense in the NFL this season. I doubt the 49ers let him go but if they do he could be an interesting prospect.
Cortland Finnegan: Although he's a douche, this guy can play. Going into next season he will be 28 years old. Possibly the best run defending CB in the 2012 Free Agent class, he has 74 tackles, 1 INT, and 11 PD in 15 games this season. Tennessee has been reluctant to give him an extension so I wouldn't be surprised if he decides to leave. He'll require a high price tag and personally I'd prefer the Broncos don't pursue him but I wouldn't be disappointed if they did.
Brandon Carr: I feel like there's no way the Chiefs let him get away because of his age and his production, but I would love to steal him from our division rivals. Has 43 tackles, 3 INT, and 13 PD this year and although he didn't have the breakout season that was expected he's still a great #2 corner at only 26 years old at the beginning of next season.
Tracy Porter: No thanks. Too inconsistent and has had problems finishing a whole season.
Terrell Thomas: Interesting player that had a season ending injury. Great in run support and could come at a discounted price due to his inability to play this season. I say if anyone we take a chance on him considering he's going to be 27 years old next season and had two excellent years before.
Amobi Okoye: An okay option for 2012 and has always underachieved after being picked in the first round by the Houston Texans a couple years back. Is only going to be 25 years old next season and is having a good season in Chicago's 4-3 defense. Has 25 tackles 4 sacks, and 1 FF in 15 games this season. Part of this could be due to all the attention that Julius Peppers creates, but I think he would be even better with Von and Dumervil.
Broderick Bunkley: Please resign him. In my opinion he has been productive this year and is just as good if not better than most of the 2012 free agent options.
Marcus Thomas: Like Bunkley, I also think he is a good situational player that we should try to keep.
Other than that I don't see many attractive targets
Curtis Lofton: Complete stud in the middle of the Atlanta defense. I doubt they will let him walk but at 26 years old at the beginning of next season, 133 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT, and 1 FF he would be an amazing pickup and would make the Broncos have one of the top tier linebacking corps in the league.
Stephen Tulloch: Having a great year for the Lions I also doubt that they will let him walk. At 27 years old he would also be an attractive target after having 104 tackles, 3 sacks, and 2 INT through 15 games this season.
Dan Connor: Possibly one of the more interesting and realistic 2012 MLB FA's, Connor played for Fox in Carolina. Although he was behind great MLB's in Carolina, he has had more opportunities to play this season. He has compiled 70 tackles an 1 FF in 10 starts this season.
Ray Rice: No way Baltimore lets him go.
Matt Forte: Could be had at a discount price after his knee injury but I think someone might overpay him. I also don't think he will return to the Bears; therefore, I think he could be an interesting pickup. He's an extremely diverse back and almost impossible to tackle in the open field. He will be 27 years old at the beginning of next season so he does have a couple years before he hits the infamous 30.
Ryan Grant: Had a great year in Green Bay but his injury history concerns me and I'd prefer we stay away.
Peyton Hillis: Great back when he's healthy but that wasn't the case this year. I figure someone will overpay for him and I'd prefer it if we stayed away although he is finishing the year strong.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis: No thank you.
Cedric Benson: No thank you.
Marshawn Lynch: Possibly the most interesting free agent to me, he will be only 26 going into next season. Personally, I don't see Seattle letting him get away but if they do I would be interested. I'm not sure how much his stats are padded by his rigorous workload but considering he averaged 4.2 YPC and he played in a somewhat one dimensional offense proves to me that he can get it done. Guy is a TD machine and runs great between the tackles.
Overall the RB and CB positions are a lot deeper in FA compared to the DT and MLB positions. Ideally I would like to get a DT or CB in the 1st round of the draft and address RB and MLB either through Free Agency or later in the draft. I'd also like to see what we have in Nate Irving before drafting a MLB in the first two rounds of the draft. Hope you enjoyed reading this and if there are any players that you would also suggest feel free to inform me!