I hate this lockout with every ounce of my being. I hate the players for decertifying and take this course of long, legal action. I hate the owners for waiting so long to get serious with negotiations. I hate both sides and I'm almost at the point where I don't care who wins. I just want football back. However, I don't think football is in the near future for us. It is becoming increasingly likely that the court is going to ignore the request for a stay until the hearing on June 6th. In the mean time, both sides will be meeting back with Doty to talk about damages from when he laid the hammer on the owners for their illegal deal with the tv companies. Shortly after that, both sides are supposed to head back to mediation, but nobody expects anything to come from that. In all likelihood, nothing is going to happen until every last legal avenue is explored. The two sides are too concerned about leverage and not getting back to the table and getting this thing done.
In other words, screw both of the sides. I want to talk Bronco Football.
After taking some time to digest everything the Broncos did in the draft, I have some thoughts I wanted to share.
- Did everyone forget about Joe Mays? Ever since the Broncos drafted Nate Irving, it seems like everyone has automatically penciled him in as the starter. I know that Irving is more athletic, but I'm not so sure. If my memory serves correctly, Mays was a pretty darn good player for us last year. He was very effective against the run and while his pass coverage could certainly use improvement, he wasn't any worse then DJ Williams in that department. Mays is a hard worker. He was one of the guys who attended Dawkins' workout the other day. I am not saying Mays will be the starter, but it certainly wouldn't surprise me if he was. The dude is a monster. Need I remind you of the destruction he is capable of:
Broncos Joe Mays AGAIN smashes Chiefs Tony Moeaki 12-5
T moeaki gets blowed up by bronco sucker
Virgil Green has a lot more experience then Thomas does. Green played 3 full seasons for Nevada. He was the main target for 2nd round pick Colin Kaepernick. Green is arguably just as athletic as Thomas is. He posted a better 40 yard dash, vertical jump, and 3 cone time. I keep hearing that Green is "undersized", but he was weighed in at 6 ft 3, 249 pounds at the Combine. Thomas weighed in at 6 ft 5, 245 pounds. So does 2 inches in height make his ceiling significantly less then Thomas'? Now, I'm not dogging Julius Thomas. I like him a lot and I like his potential, but I feel like Green is being vastly underrated. The only thing that concerns me with Green is his medical problems, but if he stays healthy, I think he has enormous upside. I will not be surprised if Virgil ends up being the superstar we think Julius will turn out to be.
-We have 3 WR sleeper candidates.
We have the obvious starters in Gaffney, Lloyd, and the up and comer Eric Decker, but we have quite a few other receivers who could make impacts this year. The first one is Matt Willis. The 2010 pre season beast had an unfortunate season ending injury, but he is still here. He could be very useful if Royal is slow to recover. Another guy to look out for is Britt Davis. Davis had some decent chemistry with Tebow last pre season and he has been working out in with Tim according to his twitter account. He is 6 ft 3, 205 pounds who could really surprise a lot of people this off season. He could really make a Matt Willis type rise if given the opportunity. Keep your eye out on Davis. Lastly, Eron Riley is a guy with incredible athleticism. He stands at 6 ft 3, 210 pounds and reportedly has run a 4.29 40 yard dash. I am anxious to see all of these guys develop in the pre season.
-Tough Safety Battle Ahead.
The Broncos drafted 2 safeties in the 2011 draft. The good news is that the position is set for the next 8 years. The bad news is that we are likely going to cut or trade at least one really good player. The main competition will be between Brian Dawkins, Renaldo Hill, Darcel McBath, David Bruton, Rahim Moore, and Quinton Carter. I highly doubt we are going to cut Moore or Carter since we just drafted them. This means that Dawkins, Hill, McBath, or Bruton are going to have to hit the road. If I had to guess, I would think Hill would get the boot. He plays FS and we have two players ready to take over in McBath and Moore. Dawkins, on the other hand, struggled mightily last year, but I don't know if Bruton or Carter are ready to take that spot. I think we keep Dawk for 1 more year while Hill gets the boot, but I would not be surprised if we cut McBath due to his injury history.
-One More Defensive End Will Probably Be Added In Free Agency.
The starters will undoubtedly be Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers. Behind them will be Jason Hunter, David Veikune, and Jeremy Beal. Hunter should be a solid depth guy, but Veikune and Beal will be big question marks as 4-3 DE. Veikune was drafted to play a 3-4 OLB, but was misused as a 3-4 MLB in Cleveland. He came to Denver last year, but never got a chance to show what he can do. Now he will be asked to be an undersized 4-3 DE. Beal had a lack of athleticism at the Combine running a 5.1 40 yard dash. It remains to be seen if he can play the 4-3 DE position. It would probably be best for Denver to add 1 more DE in case Veikune and Beal aren't suited for the 4-3.
-How much should we spend on an RB?
The current RB's on the roster include Knowshon Moreno, Correll Buckhalter, LenDale White, Lance Ball, Jeremiah Johnson, and Brandon Minor. In my view, Knowshon is the only person who is a lock to make the roster. Behind him it would be White, Ball, Buckhalter, Minor, and Johnson. Should we go after a guy like DeAngelo Williams or Cedric Benson, or should we go after a second tier guy like Ronnie Brown, Mewelde Moore, or Darren Sproles? If DeAngelo Williams is ruled to be a restricted free agent, we are going to have to wait a year before we go after him. If we can't get him, McGeorge convinced me that Sproles would be an excellent choice. Knowshon is not a bruiser or a speedster. He is an all purpose back. LenDale will be a bruiser and Sproles will be our dynamic RB. He doesn't fit the mold of a Fox RB, but his impact in the pass game and return game will be undeniable.
-We Should All Want Ryan Harris Back.
Orlando Franklin was drafted in the 2nd round with the hopes that he will revitalize our run game. However, he is still very raw in his pass protection. It would be best for everyone (especially Tebow) if Franklin was given a year to refine his tools before being tasked with protecting the blind side of Tebow. Harris would be a perfect player to plug in for one year. If Harris is ruled a free agent, it would still be in our best interest to pursue a free agent RT just in case Franklin struggles (which McGeorge believes is a virtual certainty since he is a University of Miami fan). A couple of possibilities are Matt Light, Sean Locklear, and Chestor Pitts.
-We need to pick up 2 Defensive Tackles in Free Agency
The best situation for Denver would be for the courts to rule the the restricted free agent tags stick. That way, we would have Kevin Vickerson and Marcus Thomas on the roster. We can try to resign Justin Bannan and Jamal Williams which will give us a decent 4 man rotation. We could try and pick up a Cofield, Mebane, or Pat Williams instead of Williams and that would give us a really nice DL. If the court rules the restricted free agent tags do not count then we only have Vickerson as the only starting DT on our roster. We will have to overpay to get Cofield, MeBane, or Pat Williams. We absolutely have to get one of them if the RFA tags don't hold up. I also think it would be imperative to resign Marcus Thomas who is a natural 4-3 DT. My favorite DL is Thomas, Cofield, Vickerson, and Bannan.
Agree? Disagree? Let's discuss anything as long as it's not about the damn lockout.