I26 - Peter King writes a list of random thoughts and a lot of them start with "I think". I don't mean to look like I'm trying to parrot him here. And I'm not trying to compare my juvenile thoughts with his professionalism and writing, either. After a quick proof read I noticed it sounds similar to the way he randomizes his thoughts and wanted to just say that it wasn't my intent. That is all.
Anyway, this post is just some randomness that's been on my mind, most pertaining to the draft, some pertaining to annoying debates. I noticed I used the word stupid a lot. No harm meant, just not much of a filter with me. Let me know your thoughts on any of it..
M - I've spent a little time lately trying to figure out my take on Von Miller - trying to decide if I'm clinging too tightly to an earlier notion. But nope, I'm still pretty high on him. DTs are plentiful in the 2nd round like hotties on a California beach. But starting LBs in this draft are shooting-star rare in comparison. I still fully believe Miller adds the speed component, our much needed pass-rush component and that he'll start as our strongside LB. I'm fully committed, and I actually believe we will draft him.
Wqoi - I think Casey Mathews is the real deal. I sort of subconsciously kept myself from learning about him, and from looking deeply into him, because I had the premature opinion that it was his brother Goldilocks that was pushing him up the boards. That was a mistake, and I'm glad it's since been corrected. I would welcome Mathews as our new MLB. He's small and not truly great at anything, but he's got work ethic, leadership, fire and instincts. His speed is a little off putting, but it's not like we're talking about drafting a first-rounder here.
Pqr - Defensive line prospects are the deepest and most specialest aspect of this entire draft. That, my friends, is the kind of thing you not only base your draft plan on, but also your entire offseason strategy as well. Wanna know who the best player is going to be when we pick at #36? A D-Lineman. Wanna know where the best value is going to be when we pick at #46? Yep, a D-Lineman. So wouldn't you, as GM, go right ahead and plan on drafting DL with each 2nd round pick, then plan everything else around that first idea? That's the most logical outcome. It's the most likely. Mike Mayock says there are 14 DL prospects with first-round grades, then there’s a bunch more in the second-round. They're not all going to be taken "on time". We need to add a handful of defensive linemen, and I can't imagine intentionally ignoring this specific draft's best value that just so happens to be at a position of immense need. I think I'm pretty much expecting to see two DL drafted there in the 2nd round. And I expect management to plan each pre- and post-draft move based around that singular idea. Is that nuts?
Gtl - The Broncos aren’t going to rebuild the whole team in one year. That is perhaps the most annoying statement in the history of annoying statements. I don’t find the accuracy of said statement to be wrong or annoying. Nope, I just find the overall statement to be of the No-Sh*t-Sherlock variety. I used to think people use the line to actually remind people that success takes time and that we have a lot of holes. But then I realized the line is only brought up in cases where someone is defending their offseason strategy.
Say Bronco Fan 007 fires off a mock draft where Kyle Rudolph is taken at #36, for example. Then Bronco Fan Ghost Face Killa says the pick sucks. 007 fires back saying Rudolph is elite and we'd be lucky to have him. Killa then kicks down some knowledge about why it's unlikely for us to pick a receiving TE - and why that pick would be better spent on a player of need that fits our system. 007 responds by saying, "Hey, we’re not going to rebuild the whole team in a single year".
OK, so exactly when did this line became an excuse for stupidity? I'm glad this fictitious Bronco Fan pretendingly knows that Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it doesn't make him sound smart or correct in his argument. Hopefully this make-believe moron slaps himself next time he tries to imply a bad player/pick combo is excused anytime you want it to be... simply by reminding people that more time is needed before we get good. The pick always matters. Every pick always matters. A dumb decision can never be justified by reminding people you're a moron by pretending to remind people that Rome wasn't built in a day.
Every draft pick, every offseason move and every personnel decision should always be made with the best intentions of best improving our team. There are no excuses. There are no mulligans or do-overs. Don't be like James Bond there by trying to justify a stupid pick - saying it doesn’t matter since we’re not going to get good in a single year. It does matter. It always matters.
14.2 - I think the BPA argument is generally only used when people need to defend taking their favorite prospect in a mock draft – a guy that either doesn’t fit our scheme or doesn’t fill a need. Seriously, when’s the last time you heard a person justifying a draft pick of Stephen Paea using the BPA argument? I already gave myself a headache trying to rack my brain there. Strong strategies understand that a team like ours has enough holes and needs that there will always be a player available that fills a need. Strong strategies will never need to stoop to defending their strategy by saying, "even though the player either doesn't fill a need or fit our system - we drafted him because he's BPA".
Nope, strong strategies never find themselves in a defensive debate like that. Only fans that draft their favorite prospect - even when he doesn't fill a need or fit our scheme - find themselves using BPA as a crutch. Show me a draft position and I'll show you a prospect that's a need without being a reach.
93Q - I think if I posted a dozen mocks by now, I’d have greatly increased my chances of being proven right. I mean, figure six picks for 12 mocks and I’d have already chosen 72 prospects. I could throw darts with a blindfold and I’d still have bragging rights on draft day. I’m sure I'd have hit most of our picks and could claim brilliance.
Is that the idea behind all these mocks?
For full transparency, I’ve done two mocks. My first mock back on February 15th, I had us taking Marcell Dareus (DT), Jabaal Sheard (DE), Greg Jones(LB) and Demarcus Love (OT). I added an additional pick and took Quinton Carter. My second mock draft was actually a live draft. I took Von Miller (LB) then moved up to target Phil Taylor at #27. I took Marvin Austin (DT) later in the second round then took James Carpenter (OT) in the third round. That’s two DLs, a LB and an OT in each mock, and I would have added Quinton Carter again if I had that extra 2nd/3rd round that I gave myself in the first mock. Fairly consistent if I do say so myself, especially considering draft days are like dog years.
1492 - I think I'd rather have a mid-round picks this year than an equal value of early pick(s). Linebackers Bruce Carter, Mason Foster, Lawrence Wilson Casey Mathews and Greg Jones would all look pretty good in Orange and most can be had in those mid rounds. Just give me one or two (depending on whether I already got Von Miller in the first).
kje - I think Quinton Carter doesn’t have the speed to be a true Free Safety, which is why I think he’ll fall to us at some point, somewhere. We have a need at both safety positions, and Carter can sort of be seen as having one foot in as a free safety and one foot in as a strong safety. That’s all just fine and dandy, too, since I think we’ll use him as a two-deep safety much of the time. It think it’s a perfect system for him. It doesn't really matter what his title ends up being; we need both eventually.
I also like Chris Culliver for us. He’s got the speed componenet that both Dennis Allen and John Fox seem to prefer. I’m not ready to project him at any position just yet. Well, and not that you necessarily care about my pompous projection anyway! He could be a nickel safety/corner combo. Or he could be a free safety. He’s got speed and versatility that we need, and again, he’s a guy that could be had in the mid-rounds. Neither of these safeties are really ready to step in as starter, IMO. I don’t think we can take both due to roster math, but I expect one or the other.
P90y - I think Dennis Allen gets too much credit. It’s easy to see why, though. He had great success in New Orleans and they were recently a Super Bowl winning team. It's natural to see New Orleans' success and hope Allen will bring some of is here. And I’m not saying he won’t, but he’s given too much consideration as to how this defense will be run. Allen is a first time, rookie DC. John Fox has been coahing defenses in this league for decades. Dennis Allen will do what he’s told to do, and not much more. His job will be to coach the talent, but I doubt he’s given much say as to which talent that is.
Coach Allen might be able to nudge a speedy, ball hawking defender up the board a little bit, but he’s not going to have his way on too much else. It’s not a very popular idea, but Dennis Allen will be John Fox’s puppet, IMO. Fox will use Allen as his tool in implementing Foxy's system and schemes, and it will be a Fox brand of defense. A Dennis Allen brand of defense doesn't really exist, because he's never had the job before. I don't think he'll be given the keys. In fact, I don't think he's allowed to open the fridge without first asking permission.
G6. - I think nobody thinks Coach Fox or Mike McCoy covet a receiving TE. I think nobody will give the opinion that Fox always wanted a flashy reciever of a TE, but that he was always told no by his boss in Carolina. And I think nobody is going to pen the idea that Elway will force Fox to take a guy that doesn't fit his scheme. Nobody disagrees that Coach Fox told Brian Xanders what types of players he prefers to fit his schemes - bigger DTs, smaller & quicker linebackers, and blocking TEs. Xanders' job is to then find those guys. Nobody thinks Elway is going to force Fox into taking a receiving TE or a bigger, slower linebacker.
And yet, fans who have always valued receiving TEs, will continue to do so. Many will forget to draw the line between what is likely and what they themselves want. Many will continue searching to find ways of justifying a pick like Kyle Rudolph. Without logic or reasoning - only hunches - I'm convinced these supporters will find their way back to the BPA argument and try to convince us that Rudolph is the best pick even though multiple DL prospects are sitting right there waiting.
I guess I'm going to owe some apologies if we truly do draft Kyle Rudolph. I’m obviously not worried, though. I think we have a better chance of trading Kyle Orton for the real life Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. I don't even dislike Rudolph, but I've gotten to where I Effing hate him. Make sense?
The difference here, is that the past regime actually wanted to keep a secret because they were actually drafting a quarterback. This new regime isn't keeping trying to keep the interest a secret because they're not actually drafting a quarterback. That's the only explanation. The only alternative is that our new Front Office is pretty much incompetent in their management and in their control over their team. If The Johns are really looking at the idea of taking a guy like Gabbert or Locker and everyone now knows it, it means their underlings are disloyal and that their team has more leaks than a police station in Mexico.
I don't believe The Johns are incompetent or stupid. I believe they command the respect of their people. So I believe all this QB hoopla is a product of their intentional making rather than from them being incompetent.
789 - We have holes like swiss cheese. You know it and I know it. The Johns could toke up a Philly Blunt an hour before the draft, spill their beers on the draft board and still trip and accidentally hit a player at a position of need. BPA and Need don't hate each other. They get along just fine. We have enough needs that there won't be a situation where we're faced with either overdrafting a need or drafting a WR. It's just not going to happen.
Even yet, I must've heard the weak BPA argument ten times this past week, and at least half of those times Green Bay was used as the reference. "We need to draft BPA like GB". Again, no we don't. And no they don't.
The Packers didn't get good overnight by drafting BPA. The Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers a while back. Then they switched to a 3-4 defense where Dom Capers flipped the switch and turned it around. They went out and targeted BJ Raji and Clay Mathews with their first two picks in 2009 so that they could make that switch. They hit on each pick. Then in 2010, after Rodgers was sacked a league leading 50 times, they went out and targeted a new Tackle (their 4th tackle in two years) in the first round and finally hit. And the rest was history.
The Packers didn't start blindly drafting whoever the best player was, they targeted their needs and they hit their picks. Nobody drafts BPA. It's a myth. Every team drafts with needs and scheme in mind. And there's no reason to believe we can't have the Packers' success in a couple years. We have more pieces in place, IMO, then they did at the time. We just have to hit our picks - our targeted picks.