2012 NFL Draft: Denver Broncos Day Two Recap and Analysis

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 17: Ronnie Hillman #13 of the San Diego State Aztecs is pushed out of bounds by Justin Anderson #34 of the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns during the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bow at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 17, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)




The second day of the draft is already in the books, and the Broncos are once again going after quarterbacks. I personally hope this is the last time for about 10-15 years we are talking about the Broncos and the quarterback position unless it has to do with winning football games.

The Broncos set out today with a plan, they executed it, and they were not done dealing.

1. Second Round, 36th overall: Derek Wolfe, DT, Cincinnati

Measurables

6’5, 295 pounds, 10.75″ hands, 33.25 arm length

5.01 forty yard dash, 33 bench press reps, 33.5 inch vertical jump, 108″ broad jump, 7.26 3 cone drill, 4.44 20 yard shuttle

Tackles
G Solo Assisted Total Total/G
13 37 33 70 5.38
Tackles For Loss
G TFL TFL Yards TFL/G
13 21.5 96 1.65
Sacks
G Sacks Sack Yards Sacks/G
13 9.5 66 0.73

I'm sure many of you were not thrilled by this pick given the national hype of Jerel Worthy, Devon Still, and some other guys that were still available, but I was ecstatic when we picked Wolfe. He was a guy who Mel Kiper Jr. actually mocked to us in the first round a couple of weeks ago, so he's been a legit option for our first pick for at least that long (assuming Kiper got that intel from a source in the know that Wolfe was high on our board).

Here's why I'm a big fan of this pick: Wolfe was statistically more productive for a longer period of time than any other player at his position in this draft. As you can see, last year alone he had 21.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks, which are great numbers for a defensive tackle.

He's a big, strong guy who has solid athletic ability but won't blow anyone away like Dontari Poe did. However, I think the Broncos got a hard worker who gives 100 percent effort on every play, and he certainly has the capability to collapse the pocket and do what the Broncos have needed for years. I was so relieved when the Broncos picked Wolfe because we have finally used a premium selection on a defensive tackle, and one that I have high hopes for.

2. Second Round, 57th overall: Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State

Measurables
6’7 242 pounds. 33 7/8 inch arm length, 9 7/8 inch hands

Career Statistics
Year GP COMP ATT YDS COMP % TD INT
2009 6 24 55 249 43.6% 2 2
2010 6 22 49 797 56.9% 5 0
2011 13 326 516 4,036 63.2% 26 13
Totals 25 372 620 5,082 60.0% 33 15

Do you smell that? Somebody's got B.O....

Okay, I know that was horrible, but let's brighten the mood here because I know a ton of Broncos fans are going to hate this pick given the fact that we could have had this guy or that guy and we just signed Peyton Manning...

I get it, I understand your frustration. However, I had mentally prepared myself for this pick to be made, and I like it a lot. I originally didn't like it, but having time to dissect it I think the Broncos made a good choice. This pick is now out of the way for the next few years, at least, unless Manning gets hurt and Osweiler busts out after two years.

To be honest, B.O. is going into a perfect situation for himself. He is going to get to learn behind Peyton Manning for a minimum (hopefully) of three years and a maximum of five years (hopefully) so we'll say that in four years, Osweiler is the starting QB of the Denver Broncos.

I think that there are few QBs who are more talented in this draft than Osweiler, including Ryan Tannehill. Osweiler only started one full season for the Sun Devils, but he showed me a lot of tools that I really like, though he was inconsistent as would any young QB be. The ASU coaching staff was going through changes, so instead of changing offenses in college and potentially losing ground, Osweiler opted to leave and learn a new offense in the NFL.

The Broncos have been enamored with him from the start, sending a major contingent to work Osweiler out in Arizona, and the payoff was getting their guy, whom I would argue was their top target in this entire group of players, at a reasonable pick late in the 2nd round.

Here's the skinny on Osweiler:

He is obviously a big, athletic kid who has a really strong arm and a slightly awkward delivery, but I don't see that as a major factor going forward. Changing a throwing motion actually killed Tim Tebow's accuracy, and it ain't broken with Osweiler so don't fix it, just tweak it and make it better.

Osweiler is a former basketball player (shocker) who is really good on the move, and John Elway constantly preaches about winning games from the pocket but having solid mobility. This guy provides both. He can stand tall in the pocket, but he's also athletic enough to run when he needs to.

I also love Osweiler's toughness and leadership, and the kind of swagger he possesses. It's going to be hard watching this kid sit for a few years, but I think it will wind up being worth it in the end. He is a much better prospect than Blaine Gabbert or Christian Ponder, in my humble opinion.



3. Third Round, 67th overall: Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State

Measurables

5’9″ 200 pounds

4.45 second 40 yard dash, 30″ arms, 8 1/2″ hands

17 bench press reps, 37″ vertical jump

Career Statistics
Year GP ATT YDS AVG TD REC YDS TD
2010 13 262 1,532 5.8 17 9 68 1
2011 13 311 1,711 5.5 19 24 270 1
Totals 26 573 3,243 5.7 36 33 338 2


This is a pick I'm pretty excited about, and I think it's a prequel to another pick. I was pretty confused given the fact that Chris Polk and Lamar Miller were still on the board, but here we are heading into day three and both guys are still on the board. Last year, the Broncos doubled up on safeties and tight ends, and this year it makes sense for them to do the same with running backs, as Willis McGahee is aging and Knowshon Moreno has proven incapable of staying healthy.

So what does Hillman bring to the table? Well, despite not playing against great competition at SDSU, he was virtually unstoppable and averaged nearly six yards per carry for his career. He is a dynamic playmaker and like Mike Mayock said on the NFL Network telecast of the draft, he is a "change of pace" type guy who provides the Broncos with a home run threat that they lacked before this.

Hillman has very good speed, and runs hard on every play. My biggest worry with him is the fact that he has really small hands. That could be cause for concern in terms of holding on to the football. I'm a big fan of the way this kid runs, making guys miss in the open field with his incredible quickness.

I think this was a really solid pick, but like I said, I think it's a prequel to a pick the Broncos will make on Saturday, when I think they may look to add one of Chris Polk or Lamar Miller, two guys who have been closely connected to the team this offseason.


Overall

I would give the Broncos a "B" grade for their draft so far, with the potential to be an A+ if Osweiler turns out to be a good player. I really like Derek Wolfe and the work ethic he brings. He will be a team leader. Osweiler is a talented but raw prospect, and Hillman gives the Broncos something they have not had at the tailback position for quite some time--pure speed and quickness.

These picks didn't line up directly with the value I had on my board, but I like the selections overall.





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