Good morning, Starshine! MHR says, "Hello!"
Yesterday, I was updating the "Team Needs" component of my draft simulator to account for the Broncos' offseason-to-date free agency moves.The process was enlightening (at least to me). It helped me realize that EFX has done a really solid job so far this offseason.
I'd give them a mid-term grade of B+.
Coming into this free-agency period, I hoped EFX would upgrade Rahim Moore and Andre Goodman. In my mind, these were the top two priorities - 1Aa and 1Ab. I just didn't see any prospects in this draft class who I thought would be available when we picked and who'd be immediate improvements over Goodman or Moore.
After upgrading Moore and Goodman, my second-highest priority this free-agency period was to resign Broderick Bunkley. I was frustrated when he signed with the Saints, but then Rodney speculated on EFX's possible motivation for letting Bunkley get away and then Topher added even more insight about his asking price. Again, I couldn't help but believe that EFX's decisions made sense.
Of course, I can't ignore the Peyton Manning signing and trading away of Tim Tebow; but I'm not going to discuss it because that topic has been beaten to death. But regardless of which side you fall on that argument, you have to admit that EFX's decision to pursue Peyton Manning is defensible.
Other moves of note include our re-signing of Wesley Woodyard, a move that I applaud. We also resigned Joe Mays, a move that confuses me, but doesn't really irritate me. And I'd characterize the Andre Caldwell signing as "Okay, whatever." And, in light of the Peyton Manning signing, I really like our upgrades at the tight end position.
So what's left?
Well, in updating my draft simulator, I realized that this team is much improved. And I'm not sure what we have left to address.
That's the motivation for this post. I wanted to take the pulse of MHR to see what grade you'd give EFX at the mid-term. Also, I wanted to get a sense of what MHR believes are the Broncos' most significant remaining needs, which I hope you'll not only describe, but that you'll also prioritize, in the comments.
As for me, I think it's paramount we resign Marcus Thomas and then supplement that signing by selecting a defensive tackle in the draft. I also believe that we need to reconfigure our running back stable to better capitalize on Manning's talents. As I've said elsewhere, I believe this means bringing in backs who are better suited to the passing game.
I also wouldn't mind if we took a long look at the center position in the draft. I don't know much about this year's draft class of centers. I know that Wisconsin's Peter Konz is widely-viewed as the best prospect. And then there's Ben Jones from Georgia. I also really like Michigan's David Molk, who I think isn't getting the love he deserves. I don't feel qualified to evaluate whether J.D. Walton is the answer, but many of you and many of the web's independent-talent evaluators claim Walton's a liability. I'll trust you on that. Given what we know about Manning's tendency to run his offense at the line of scrimmage, it seems to me that we need a player with a high-football IQ making those protection adjustments.
I'm curious as to what their plans are for Andre Goodman. Put simply, the guy's ripping the Broncos off. I hope we can trade him to some team that's desperate for a cornerback (and there are lots of cornerback-needy teams). I wouldn't want much in return. Maybe a fifth and a tray of peanut-butter brownies (I love those things).
Finally, one thing that became clear to me as I re-evaluated each team's needs is the Cleveland Browns just keep getting worse. If I were a Browns' fan I'd be livid and I'd consider rioting. So here's my prediction: Barring them selecting the greatest draft class the league has ever seen, the Browns will have the first pick in the draft next year.
In my view, they owe it to their fans to obtain Pittsburgh's Mike Wallace. Not only do they have two first-round draft picks, but so far in this free agency period, they haven't spent much of their available cap space. Mike Wallace wouldn't turn them into a Super Bowl contender or even a legitimate threat to make the playoffs, but he'd at least give the Browns' fans some reason for optimism.
So, it's poll time. What say you?