Hi all. First post, longtime Broncos fan. My hope for the draft was established about 2 months ago, and I haven’t really wavered all that much. I’m going more by position and the assumption that the below draft board is reasonable and the Broncos braintrust will draft the correct player regardless of rank. The players inserted are probably available at the spots we have and none are really a reach, based on rankings.(BPA strategy is valid up to a point, but say the BPAs are WRs? Can you imagine if we drafted 2 WR's in our top 4 picks?)
(I’ve been using the CBS draft board as a standard sample. Kindly note I don’t assume they are correct, or that the players listed are set in stone. But I definitely want these positions drafted.)
1) (2nd overall) Best DL in draft (Dareus)
2) (36) Another DL! (Taylor/Wilkerson/Austin/Paea)
3) (46) Best linebacker (Martez Wilson lists at 42)
4) (67) Safety/LB/DLine/Oline (Rahim Moore, Quinton Carter, Tyler Sash all fall in 60-70 range as safeties)
6) (189)Oline depth
7) (247) BPA/RB/DL/CB/Safety
Rationale: Our Dline has been terrible for a very long time. Every down, the 4 Dline are against [5 oline + (0-2 rbs + 1 qb + 0-3 TE)] = you lose often if your dline sucks. Now, just think if we had some people that can beat their man and make a play. Thus, we identify the best dlineman in the draft and get him in a class of many good dlinemen.
Hopefully, given the plethora of good dline, many teams decide to use their #2 picks to get one, knowing value will be there, and people reach on offense, leaving (which I think is likely) a #1 rated dlineman still kicking around. Hopefully a DT, but it doesn’t matter. Hopefully this is a ranked 18 kind of guy that falls in our lap, but there are plenty of Dlines in the 30-40 pick range that would be perfectly acceptable. Note that there are an unbelievable 14 Dline carrying a first round grade as per the link, with more in the second round. That’ a lot of DL, and it’s hoped that not every second team will draft dl in the first round.
Now you shop for a linebacker. Again, hopefully teams have now switched to grabbing the value dline and there’s a run on them, and the best MLB falls to us. (Martez Wilson #42) At this point, you can also go value if someone else has fallen, but not any offense at all. Our front seven blows, and this will make it much better.
What about corners? Bah. Champ and Goodman, and you have Squid, Cox, Vaughn. Pick up an old guy (nate jones, anyone) halfway through if you have to. You’ve now placed your eggs, your dudes are actually really, really good. (2 ‘great’ dline, hopefully a great LB who’s the best ILB in the draft, young safety that can nickel, also best in draft) and you got Terrell Davis! Or not. But at least a serviceable back on the 2nd day, and oline depth. You have millions of TE’s as FA’s, just don’t pay them 6 mil for blocking. And kindly note that Squid looked decent and he was picked #225 overall. So don’t bs me that we need to burn high round picks on another 16 corners.
Your dbackfield is old? Champ is a champ, Dawk is sadly slowing down but we drafted hopefully a new him, Bruton and McBath are young, Goodman is good, and you had 3 hotstuff young corners and dealt one last year for nothing so SUFFER, it’s front 7’s turn. Get it?
On trading down: No. I would rather have 4-5 solid guys that are Broncos from day 1, patch a bit with FA (te, oline depth, rb) than have bunches of picks of which some will pan out, but others won’t be useful. I understand that you can miss, which is why I like having high picks that allow me a smaller margin of error. I agree that we need talent; talent is at the top. 20 draft picks wouldn’t fix us; lets get the best dudes from this draft, fix front 8, (safety counts! Who doesn’t want another Atwater?) and see if we can figure out stuff on offense. If you can deal down and still draft YOUR guy, that's ok. But between another pick or getting THE guy you want, take the guy. We need studs, not warm bodies.
FA’s: good/great TE. Oline depth/RT starter if we don’t keep Harris. RB. Anything on D that makes sense.
DLine: Dumerville, Ayers, Darius, (Austin Paea, etc) Bring back Bannan and you have Vickerson, Bannan, and Thomas as depth.
Overall: Young, set for future, hopefully goes from worst to good/great. Becomes great in 1-2 years.
LB: DJ Williams, Mays, Haggan, Draft Pick Wilson, Woodyard, (this is a weakness that requires upgrades; it is hoped Mays and the draft pick develop but will require FA/more drafts within 1-2 years. But only 3 are on the field.)
CB’s: set for now; Champ, Goodman is an excellent tandem. Squid and Cox hopefully are reasonable/good. Yes, another player is warranted, but not this year.
Safety: Dawk, Hill are adequate. (No offense to Dawk, but age is catching up) Thus, draft ‘best’ safety, FA a decent backup if necessary.
Dline gains HUGE improvement, could be great very soon
LB: much better than last year with 4-3 and adding a high round pick
DB’s: old, but have 2 young backup CBs, young safety for the future, plus Bruton/McBath as depth
Oline: Suffering. Don’t understand why Harris is no longer liked. Will require improvements, but they are extremely young. Hopefully the young players are good players. A good FA acquisition will help this unit. Another rookie won’t.
Receivers: Deep enough, even with 2 men down.
TE: Require a FA; Bo Scaife, Quinn, Grads is acceptable
RB: Require FA; low draft pick for power running
QB: Orton/TT gives you a backup with plenty of upside and a starter with question marks. Use this year to solve for A) Is Kyle with a decent D a winner and B) Is TT a long term answer
ST: Probably not great, but frankly we have a good kicker, a decent punter, but the lack of overall talent will probably mean this area is not strong. Still, you want a bad punt return, or you want a lousy offense and worst D? I’ll take crappy punt return yardage and coverage, thanks.
Bottom line: This draft hopefully fixes front 8 on D, and gives a core of good, young D that can play together for years. Granted offense is hurting some, but with the current QB and Head Coach situation, we don’t know what we need or where we’re going. There are simply too many question marks. (are the new WR’s good? Will our young oline gel and play well? Which QB? Do we need another? TE?) Fix the D, find out where we’re going on O. With an improved D, maybe just maybe we claw to respectability. And if not, we have drafted a bunch of long term starters we can build around. None of the picks are really reaching, all high round picks have a great chance of starting/contributing early, and we covered for other glaring problems with late picks and FA’s. I think it builds us for 2011 and for the future. Thoughts?
PS For any that made it this far... nice site and forums. Good to see discussion without a lot of nonsense on this site.