I know, there will be bemoaning from many why we took a LB and OT in the 3rd and 2nd, respectively. But I think Elway and Fox have shown great vision and patience and have done the righ things with these picks. Lets look at the results from Days 1 and 2 and see if you are as happy as me.
Before the draft started, I said there were some key philosphical changes that needed to be addressed in how we looked at the draft if we were going to change our success. They were simply to stay away from the boom/bust prospect, not to fall in love with a player, trust the tape, draft solid prospects that have a chance to be solid starters for years, build depth, and trust the scouts. I think Elway and Fox have followed that to a tee this year.
Lets start with Von Miller, I would of loved if Denver could of traded out of that pick and gotten some good value, like more picks and maybe Patrick Peterson. But we weren't going to be able to trade back and get fair value, so we selected probably the one player that will have the biggest impact on our defense this year. Also, the DT position this year is extremely deep, and the drop off from Dareaus to say a Austin is not as significant as a drop off between Miller and the next OLB. So this was a solid choice (IMO) and should pay long term dividends as Von "the Don" Miller (I trademark the nickname here and now) is a player you should be able to build around.
Next they select Rahim Moore FS, I will admit I am not enamored with Moore as others are, but I will admit he is probably the best rated FS prospect in this years draft, he is a solid prospect, young, and has very good ball skills, something we need. We were also able to trade back and get more picks and still land this kid who some had projected as a 1st rounder. It was a solid pick IMO, and great value.
Orlando Franklin, at first I was a little surprised, but then after looking a little closer and hearing Mark Schlearth, this pick made great sense. What our O-line has lacked in spades since Nalen retired is attitude, you can say some of our issues were due to health, scheme, or youth, but I think our major missing piece has been attitude. By all accounts, Franklin plays mean and nasty and wants to be physical, but he also has excellent feet and physical talent. This is the type of guy(s) we need on the o-line, especially if we want to become a better running team, a team that can convert 3rd and short by running the ball, a team that can convert on the goal line by running the ball. Those situations demand you have guys that want it more, that want to punish the D-line, Franklin brings that, hopefully the attitude rubs off on the other guys. Again, I think this was a solid pick.
Nate Irving, was a player who almost died in a car wreck 2 years ago and was still able to come back and be an all conference player at LB. He was projected as a 1st round talent before the car wreck and the fact he was able to come back and play as well as he did last year, shows the type of person he is. I think he is still recovering from that wreck and will be even better next season. He's another high character guy you can plug in the middle and have three terrific athletes that can make plays all over the field.
Many will bemoan we passed on Austin and Paea, and don't get me wrong, I think if we had selected either, we probably would of been happy, but I am trusting that Fox and Elway and comapny have seen much more film than me or anyone else here and are trusting what their scouts are telling them, and picking the better player for this team. I don't see any of these picks as being ego driven to show the league we are smarter than anyone else, I see these as pciks of guys that are solid propsects, that fit a need, and can contribute early. They are sticking to their plan.
Please note also, that at some time there will also be free agency, and there are plenty of DT's available that can start here for a couple of years until we get our own guys. This rebuilding process isn't a one year deal, it will take multiple drafts, smart FA signings, and good coaching. We aren't going to fill every hole with this draft, and to reach for a need is silly and foolish and what helped get us here in the first place. I really like what we have done, and look forward to tomorrow as I think we will continue to add value.