I’m writing this post because alter the signing of Bannan I think that Broncos FA moves are over until alter the draft.
By the way, my grade on Denver FA moves is a B+ (I’m not willing to give A to any team before the season is over and a true evaluation of previous off-season could be done, Denver 2011 offseason FA acquisition deserve a B- that is a really good grade to me).
So which position is weak on Denver roster?
Denver has found all starters for their new schemes and style of play. Off course injuries are part of The Game and for this reason I can see some position where Denver need still to find answers, through the Draft or June cuts and FA (that by the way is still going on).
In my opinion The Broncos need depth at a number of positions, most interesting at:
1. Strong OLB
2. Offensive Line
3. Defensive End
4. Defensive Tackle
1. IMO Denver has to find a player that could back up Von Miller and could provide some similar style of play that Von provides. This is a really hard task for two reasons. 1 - Players with some of Von Miller abilities are rare. 2 – If there is some player that could have these kind of abilities, he’s starting for another team. Denver does not have in its roster a real reliable player with the physical and technique skills to play SOLB. If I would be a GM, I will try to address this need through the draft, because no veteran player would accept to come to play in Denver backing up Von Miller. Drafting somebody on the middle – later rounds (DEs that could convert in SOLB?) could be the easiest solution.
2. Offensive Line depth is really a need. Denver has to find better talent and put it in the roster. If Ryan Harris is capable to regain his best shape, he could be a great player again for Denver and I certainly do hope that he could remain healthy for a long time. He could be the starter at RT again or at least provide great depth at RT. I would love that especially because Orlando Franklin could be tried at G position too. Anyhow Denver should look for depth at C. Probably drafting some guy that can play G/C could help; only this is not the best year, on paper, for drafting Centers. I think that this is the most critical depth addition that Denver has to be able to accomplish, is some years from now that the Broncos need to find good alternatives to their starters.
3. Denver has only four defensive ends on the roster. There is still some guy out there in FA (one that I really would like to see on Denver Orange and Blue is Wallace Gilberry) The draft, in my opinion has really good DE prospects this year in the 2nd and 3rd rounds (DT/DE Jared Crick is one of my favourite). Anyhow Denver rotation in 2011 required only three DEs on the 45 guys that play on Sundays. I can see Denver drafting somebody if they think that this guy is better than Hunter, not just to add personnel for training camp, depth for depth it would be added through FA after the draft. I would add also that Jeremy Jarmon is back with the team and could be tried both at DT and DE in training camp, so some sort of depth is already there on the roster, but a 3rd good DE could be found in the Draft and Denver will pull the trigger if the opportunity will be there, pass rusher are always a need.
4. Defensive tackle insnot the major need anymore IMO because I paid great attention into how the Broncos covered their needs in FA. The only DT they really coveted was Paul Soliai that ended up re-signing with Miami. They went for a guy that they think it would be perfect for their system and passed up to a great number of others DTs and give up on Bunkley because of the money he was asking for, too much compared to the number of snaps he played last season and would have been playing in the future. They were steady and really looked like following a plan. They will add a player through the draft only if the player will be there when they think he’s the best player to add to the team depending on the scheme need, but they won’t reach because us, the fans, we’re wishing for a big DT taken in the 1st (I still love more Travian Robertson in the 5th; he probably is my favourite sleeper in the 2012 Draft). I think that the Broncos will look deep for an under tackle that could rush the QB and create pressure on consistent basis.
5. Finally Cornerback depth also is a need. Mainly because in 2-3 years Champ Bailey will be thinking about retirement and I can’t see a number one cover corner in the making on the roster by now. I’m not saying that Denver should draft this developmental player in 2012 draft, but if not this year it would be a next year.
A mention has to be done for the running back position. I don’t think that is a need, because Denver has already enough bodies on the roster. But, after the FA moves, I truly believe Denver will draft the best player available and running back could really be selected with one of the first three Denver picks.
Special team returner also could be upgraded; punt returner especially, since Cassius Vaughn could do a acceptable job as kick returner. I don’t list it in my need because with Manning Denver is hoping to score 30 points per game, if this would be the case, the team won’t have to rely on Special Team as it happened in 2011.