So I want to preface this by saying that I dont know a lot about the college prospects other than what I have been reading from this site. You want to get whoever will have the most impact on your team, no matter what position he plays. If picking up a defensive player results in little impact, and picking up a someone like Stephen Hill would really improve our offense. Than that is obviously the better draft pick. Having said that, I believe that Peyton gives the team the luxury of not needing to use the early rounds on offensive players.
Here are some examples of recievers that Manning threw to in the last few years, and where they were drafted. Now some comparisons of these players are obviously affected by age and heatlh. But I think its interesting how there is very little if any drop off when it comes to the production of some of these similar style recievers.
Now Reggie is the better overall reciever in his prime. But Garcon had very nice production and just signed a nice new deal with the Redskins. He s obviously more valued now than Wayne because of age. But there is not a huge difference on the impact these recievers made on the offense.
Anthony Gonzalez was hampered by injuries. But he was a very quick slot guy with good hands. However Austin Collie had a really good chemistry with Manning and was more important to the offense than Gonzalez ever was when he was healthy. So in this comparison, they actually got a better guy in the fourth round because of his studying the playbook relentlessly, and being on the same page as Manning. Another guy you can compare here is undrafted Blair White. He was not near as effective due to a lack of time with the offense. But he put up some numbers and filled in nicely when Collie got injured.
This one is also interesting to me. Dallas Clark had years of work with Peyton and they had great cohesiveness. He obviously had better numbers if you compare them to the numbers Tamme had his one yr he played with PM. But Tamme filled in very well when Clark went down. And you would believe he would have the same production as Clark did when healthy if he spends years with Manning.
So it seems to me that when it comes to the recievers the Colts drafted over the years, they got very similar impact from offensive players in the late rounds as they did in the earlier rounds. Its interesting that in the years 2001 to 2011, the Colts drafted only five wide recievers. There was one in the 5th round of the 07 draft I had never heard of. The others were Wayne, Gonzalez, Garcon, and Collie.
As far as running backs, The Colts drafted Joseph Addai and Donald Brown in the late first round, and they had an impact, but the success of the offense was not extremely dependant on them . Addai s value had to due with his ability to catch and block.
So with all of that being said, I like the offensive players that the Broncos currently have. I would prefer the first part of the draft to be spent on defensive players. If they are sold on an offensive player and what he can add to the offense, it certainly would be a good thing. But if they can find a solid defensive DL or LB or CB, I think that would be more advantagous. And they can add depth to the offense in the later rounds of the draft.