FanPost

Broncos offseason problems and 2 cents worth of solution



Just an opinion of the biggest weaknesses in order of the current Broncos in terms of personnel. I'll offer my ideas of how to address each problem and I welcome any ideas you all have on how to address each position that we are lacking in.

Problem #1) Wide Receiver:

The Problem... To me this is the Broncos biggest weakness heading into the offseason. Look at the elite QB's in this league and you don't have to look far to find an elite receiver.

Brady had Branch in his prime, now has Gronkowski

P. Manning had Harrison and then Wayne

Rogers has Greg Jennings (not to mention a full stable of pass catchers)

E. Manning got the best of Burress and now has Cruz

Vick with a willing DeSean Jackson = elite. Vick with a grumpy D. Jackson well...

Big Ben got the best of Hines Ward and now has a very underrated Mike Wallace

Brees has redzone nightmare Marques Colston

Perhaps this is a chicken in the egg argument, but if EFX does want Tebow to improve they need to surround the guy with some weapons. Full disclosure: I am a huge fan of Optimus Prime and thought his catch against the Steelers might be the kind of milestone that launches a career into the elite category of receiver. But the guy has an injury history, and so does Decker. Consider this, at one point this season the Broncos were so short handed at the receiver position that Fox lined up Tebow in the slot... BEFORE Brandon Lloyd was traded. I think Willis is a great guy but he hasn't shown that he can separate consistently. Royal has completely regressed from his rookie season, he should at this point be a punt returner and 4th receiver. Decker and Thomas had a hard time catching the ball when Tebow did hit them in the hands. If we want Tebow to continue to develop EFX should pursue a Receiver.

The Solution... The Broncos should use the #25 overall pick on Alshon Jeffrey, the WR out of South Carolina. I'll get to why him momentarily, but first why not a big name free agent. If you look at recent history, big name free agents don't usually pan out in new locations. Anquan Boldin is not the same receiver in Baltimore that he was in Arizona. Deion Branch did a whopping nada in Seattle. Randy Moss had the every other team rule in effect, great in Minnesota but nada in Oakland and suddenly great again in NE (QB play had quite a bit to do with this particular example). There are exceptions of course, Derrick Mason had success in Baltimore. On the other side of the coin, Tebow's reputation does precede him and free agent receivers are looking for a place to catch passes, and sometimes reputation is more prevalent than truth. The current situation will probably mean that a receiver would take less years and less money to go somewhere with a QB that has a better reputation as a passer. So the likes of Vincent Jackson and DeSean Jackson will probably be looking for another team.

Now to why I like Alshon Jeffrey... He's got size, 6'4" 233lbs. He played against the NFL lite, I mean the SEC defenses, and had a huge game against Alfonzo Dennard. Reports are that he has a good work ethic and solid hands. He would probably be a lock as a top 15 pick if it weren't for the poor play of his QB's. As of right now Walterfootball has him going at pick 26 and if he does fall that far The Broncos should not hesitate to pick him.

Problem #2) Middle Linebacker:

The Problem... Simply put, the problem is Joe Mays. I, like most other Bronco fans get revved up when I see this guy thump a running back at the line of scrimmage. Its exciting and makes for great TV. However, that's the only aspect of the game he does well. He consistently gets beat when he drops into a cover 3 zone and God forbid he get manned up against a Tight End. He's just very limited as a player. I'm not advocating that Mays be cut, he can be effective when deployed in running situations, On the other side of the spectrum we have fan favorite Woodyard. Although very effective in zone and man against TE's (Gronkowski and Hernandez excluded) Woodyard is very limited in the run support he can provide and for that matter more of a natural weak side backer anyway, he is ineffective at the line of scrimmage when needing to shed a blocker. I know many have suggested ditching DJ Williams in favor of starting Woodyard, but I am not in that camp. Woodyards limitations are strikingly opposite of the limitations of Joe Mays.

The Solution... Ok, stay with me here. We have Joe Mays and Wesley Woodyard line up at opposite end zones and run as fast as they can at each other until they fuse together creating one super linebacker. Ok, barring a fission reaction I see three viable options.

The first is that we apply a linebacker by committee approach and hope that the development of Nate Irving works out. The Broncos seemingly have a stable of linebackers; Miller, Williams, Mays, Woodyard, Irving, Mohammed, and a careful deployment could be the right answer. Fox has a history of developing linebackers and putting them in the best places to succeed, so I wouldn't hate this approach.

The second option and my preference is to pursue Dan Connor from Carolina. Connor seems like a natural fit, he's played for Fox before, he's young, and he's in a deep FA class of Interior linebackers in an offseason with 2-3 rookie interior backers grading out as first round picks, meaning he could be cheaper than the average primo free agent. Connor is almost certain to bolt from Carolina given that he's stuck behind Jon Beason, a legitimately elite interior linebacker, on the depth chart.

The third option I could see working out is going back to that first round draft choice. It seems likely that Donta Hightower (in my opinion the best MLB of the class due to my SEC bias) or Luke Kuechly will be available to us if we sit tight at pick 25. Either could be a good fit for the Broncos.

My vote as I've said is to use our first round pick on Alshon Jeffrey and pursue Dan Connor. That probably means admitting Irving was a bust, but if our only busts from last draft are Moore (severe underachievement) and Irving (did he ever see the field... I'm serious, I don't recall a snap that he was on the field for, did he cover kicks?) I think we can count ourselves lucky.

Problem #3) Cornerback

The Problem... Champ Bailey is still an elite corner, and he can be for another three years. That being said, when you have an elite corner on one side of the field opposing QB's will throw at the other corners a dispropotionate amount of times. Andre Goodman has handled the added pressure of being Bailey's counterpart commendably over the last few seasons (how about that timely interception in Minnesota). However age has seemingly caught up with him. His veteran presence is welcome on a young team for sure, but he needs to be a reserve. I'm a fan of Chris Harris but Idon't see his ceiling being any higher than a nickel back. The great hope is that Squid comes off his injury and is the quality #2 corner that we hope he is. Still, even Champ won't be around forever and we need to inject more youth into the secondary.

The Solution... Richard Marshall makes the most sense, not sure why the Cardinals didn't sign him to A multiyear deal. Tracy porter is also available as a free agent, and William Middleton could come over from Jacksonville if Jack Del Rio does in fact get the DC position. All of these guys are a step below elite status but are under 30 next season.

I know some people are goind to say that Running Back, Tight End, Offensive Guard, and Defensive Tackle but I think the players we have will either get better (Beadles is improving, Moreno was looking better before the injury) or get healthy (oh look Moreno's name again, and I'd like to see what Ty Warren and Julius Thomas can do).

Go Broncos!

This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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