After taking a few moments to gather myself after a draft filled with hope and promise I have come to a few conclusions. To start off I think there is a lot of good that came from the draft. Nobody really knows how good these guys are until three years from now and all could be good players. Denver addressed positions of need throughout. They did take a Defensive Tackle with their first pick which was their biggest need. They also took a RB and a CB. I think those were the consensus top three holes on most peoples draft need boards for the Broncos, DT, RB, and CB.
The Osweiler pick has me a little puzzled in the fact that we have Peyton Manning. Why are we drafting for when he is gone? Isn’t the point of signing Manaing to try and win a Super Bowl this year or the next? I think the kid may turn into something, but I really feel that this was all Elway desperately wanting to draft his guy of the future since he got here. At least that itch is scratched, and the next couple of drafts Denver can build the rest of their team with high draft picks instead of taking a QB in the top two rounds every other year. QB pick is a luxury pick if you have a starter. We have a starter and other needs.
However, the overall strategy and method of managing the draft I think was amateur at best and falls squarely on the shoulders of Brian Xanders. This movie has been played over and over for the last four drafts since he came into the GM position with McDaniels. What I am getting at is the constant reaching for players in the draft and mismanaging trades and value.
Taking a player well before anyone else should have taken him is a big mistake and can cost the franchise opportunities and set them back. It is the one thing I really can't accept from a performance standpoint in the draft. Xanders just appears like when the second round comes he has no idea what to do and panics. It s ridiculously unprofessional and shows a lack of preparation on Xanders staff.
Example 1: The 2009 draft. Richard Quinn – Second Round - Everyone wants to blame McDaniels, but I have my doubts that he actually ran the draft. He had the players he would have liked to have gotten on his short board, but I believe Xanders was responsible for leading when we took certain players in certain rounds. Denver reached for multiple players they could have had later, but the most notable was TE Richard Quinn. McDaniels may have wanted him as a blocking TE, but who told him that they needed to trade up in the second to pick him. Quinn was ranked by many as a fourth round prospect and the first TE to come off the board after the Quinn pick happened after Denver’s third rounder anyway.
Example 2: The 2010 Draft – Tebow and Beadles -- First and Second Round- Xanders pulls the "Let’s draft a guy well before anyone else would have" again with Tim Tebow in the first round. You can argue that Denver was going to miss out, but I really think that Tim shouldn’t have been a first rounder, and Denver didn’t have to give up nearly as much to get him in the beginning of the second round. I really like Tebow and think he is a great player, but I am specifically talking about Xanders drafting guys way ahead of where he needs to. The biggest reach though was Zane Beadles. Denver had no reason to take Beadles with the 46th overall pick. I don’t think any other team had Beadles rated as a second round prospect.
Example 3: The 2011 Draft – Orlando Franklin - Second Round– First off he was drafted at the wrong position. Franklin is a guard and not a tackle. Go back and watch the New England games. Franklin can’t pass block on the edge to save his life. Even so he was taken in the middle of the Second where nobody had him ranked. Denver could have easily taken Franklin in the third overall pick in the third round where they ended up settling for LB Nate Irving. Denver had a major need at DT in this draft and Stephen Pea, and Marvin Austin were still on the board with great value.
This year Denver clearly reached for Wolfe with the fourth pick in the second round. It really appears as if Xanders has no idea what round a player should be available in and what other teams have a player valued at. He continually reaches for players in the second that are ranked as third and fourth rounders. What this does is create missed opportunities to get other players that are of need. Denver could have still had Wolfe in the third round and picked up another DT prospect like Worthy or Still. This is what just drives me insane watching how Denver handles the draft. My opinion is that Xanders is the main culprit behind this mismanaging, and needs to find something else to when the draft comes around. The theme has ran true since he got here. This really falls on Elway’s shoulders to assess how his GM manages the draft and where players should be taken and what round.
Beginning of rant -
I feel like I'm taking crazy pills! When a guy has a fourth round grade by everyone you don't take him the second period. You might as well take a punter in the first because you really like him. You should either trade down, or wait until the third round to take the guy you like after taking another player rated higher. Then you have two players instead of one that you are paying to much for. The reason no teams take punters and kickers in the first round is because they all know that nobody is taking that guy in the first or really the second for that matter!
End of rant