What a season!
I will keep from doing a mock draft since I haven't a clue about college prospects but I thought I'd share my 2 cents about the upcoming off season.
Elway see we are on a three year plan. For anyone not in a coma this last few months, we seem to be well on schedule. We have a young team with the necessary character to become a team that wants to win. We have smatterings of talent with much upside. We also have good reason to believe we have some budding superstars.
Looking back to last year when Elway took over the reins he made a telling statement about what a championship team needs:
From the Denver Post:
"We were talking about this . . . if you're dominant on one side of the ball and good on the other side, you can win it," Elway said.
A fair assessment from a man who lead the 97/98 Denver Broncos. Dominant on one side and good on the other.
So the first thing to work out is which side of the ball are we going to be dominant on?
Indications from other Elway quotes do indicate defense:
"I think that you have to have a special guy to outscore everybody, and if you look at where we were with Kyle, we didn't have the Tom Bradys or the Peyton Mannings or the Drew Breeses, those are the guys that outscore everybody, and there's three or four of those guys in the league and they're very difficult to find," Elway said.
This does make sense. Our current offense is a type of offense to support a strong defense. We are, in our current form, never going to be mistaken for the 2000 Rams or the 2007 Patriots. Our offense is setting up to be a grind it out, run first, time eating, field position winning, low turnover affair.
So, we have 2 years to make a dominant defense and a good offense.
Well the patriots exposed what we desperately need to fix to reach this lofty goal. We need a front 7 that can:
1. Consistently rush the passer.
2. Cover great TE's.
3. Stop the run.
Now #1 is well under way but as seen a week ago, we are not there yet. I believe a healthy Von Miller will make a difference in what we experienced last week but I think we need some push up the middle. So in the goal of making a dominant defense, we will need a DT that can create some push up the middle on passing downs.
#2, not so much. We need some quality linebackers that can cover TEs. In looking at out current lineup, Joe Mays, the doomsday clock is at 1 til' midnight.
#3 we are not too bad. Keeping our current DTs, especially Bunkley will maintain our decent displays in this area.
I hear talk of CB and safety being a raging need but I feel a quickly collapsing pocket eases the concerns we have there enough to put it on the back burner.
So, in summary, if we can get a quality ILB and a quality pass rushing DT, our defense will move up to the next level. Remember we have 2 years to complete the "plan" so if one free agent and picks #1 and #2 were devoted to these two positions, I would feel we are moving correctly.
Now having a dominant defense while not being able to pick up a first down is not much use to anyone. Not trying to slander the offense here but against the best defenses, we need to be able to move the ball with some amount of efficiency or we will tire out the defense. We do also need to score points to win.
So we know Tebow can run, we know that Tebow can throw deep. Tebow does need to be given some support to make the medium range throws. The strategy Tebow will face is "make him put long drives together" ... can Tebow pick up 3rd and 7 with any efficiency?
So, what do we need to add to pick up third and 7?
I believe we should get 2 of these 3 types of players:
1. A fast, Darren Sproles like third down back.
2. A Wes Welker like third receiver.
3. A big tall receiving TE.
We would hope Tebow will increase his skill set in the coming off-season to master beating zone defenses while staying in the pocket and going through his progressions. EFX will not have the luxury of knowing if he has achieved this when they are picking up offseason acquisitions so I think supplying Tebow with these types of targets will most help his current skillset.
All three of the above will enable Tebow to have plays where the play calls for a single read and a timed pass utilizing these types of players.
So my take for upgrades in the offseason are:
1. A pass rushing DT (Crick in the 2nd or 3rd?)
2. A MLB capable of covering big, fast TEs. (Any good free agents out there)
3. Darren Sproles like RB. Share the load with Willis .. (Lamar Miller with our #1?)
4. Wes Welker like WR (I think Eddie Royal is moving on).
Strong Run Game OL Guard, DB, QB depth, Power RB.
Chime in with thoughts ... Thx for reading