I had started putting this together not long after our draft. It had started out as just a quick look at guys that they could turn in to, both good and bad. But then, I decided to get smart about it. I started to only compare them to guys the same size, drafted about the same spot and with similar college scouting reports. And as anyone with half a brain could see, that would take me FOREVER. I still have a wife, kids and a job. So, back to my original plan. Here we go, the glass is half full/empty projections of our rookie class. Abbreviations as follows, Best case scenario =BCS, worst case scenario = WCS. Thanks McGeorge for the idea.
Derek Wolfe. I really like this guy. Kiper liked him too, but I wont hold that against Derek. He looks to be a guy who just loves the game of football, loves the hard work and loves seeing the fruits of his labor. I think we hit a home run with this guy.
BCS: Justin Smith. Same kind of relentless, lunch pail kind of non stop worker. And Wolfe has a frame that can add more weight. Something about a ticked off 330 lb man who really wants to hurt you should give opposing QB's nightmares in a year or two.
WCS: I dont see him failing due to attitude or lack of work ethic. I think nothing short of injuries can keep him from having a solid career. I dont know if he will ever develop into a dominant kind of guy as he is not supremely athletic. But there are alot of guys who ended up out of the league even being supreme athletes (Vernon Gholston anyone?) and plenty of hard working guys who ended up with pretty long distinguished careers.
Brock Osweiler: Still not sure what to make of him. Physical tools he has in spades. And he seems to have the right mindset and makeup. But there are alot of guys who have those same attributes and never make it in the NFL.
BCS: Ben Roethlinsberger. I dont really see Oz being a QB who is going to stand in the pocket and surgically pick people apart. He is a big guy, but one who moves really well. The guy had a scholarship offer from Gonzaga to play basketball, so he is not an immobile tree in there. Guys that have movement skills like to use them, and he fits the bill in my opinon.
WCS: It would be really easy to say Dan McGwire, the last 6-7+ QB to be in the NFL, but that guy made sequoia trees look mobile. I would go more with Jim Druckenmiller, who struggled with accuracy issues. As I stated with Derek Wolfe, I dont think his attitude or work ethic will be his downfall, injury or just simply not being able to execute.
Ronnie Hillman: If Shanny had picked this guy, I would be 100% sold. Fox has picked a few RB's, some good, some bad. Time will tell. I like the fact that he dominated a lower level of competition. I dont like the fact that the only tape we have on him, is against a lower level of competition. But, So far Fox and Elway have been pretty solid in the draft department so they get my vote.
BCS: Thurman Thomas. Granted, Thomas was drafted higher (2nd round) and slid that far due to injury concerns, but this guy just seems to be for me the best match. Their size/speed is similar however Hillman has a long way to go to be as dangerous catching the ball out of the backfield as Thomas was.
WCS: Steve Slaton. This guy was a smaller COP back that was supposed to be electric out of the backfield both as a runner and a receiver. He had a really good rookie year...and then promptly fell off the map. I hope that this does not end up being the case with Ronnie.
Omar Bolden: I really like this pick. Granted, there is an injury risk, but that is mitigated by the 4th round pick. Why not take a flyer on a guy with a 4th? Doom and Marshall, were both 4ths. I like this guys attitude, his work ethic and his commitment to team. Even though he was hurt he went to every single team function his last year at Arizona State. Lots of guys would have packed it in. I dont think it was a coincidence that he was the first rook to sign his deal.
BCS: I would love to say Champ here, but that is a real stretch. He seems to be a fairly physical CB, so maybe a Devin McCourty. He is pretty strong and if his injuries are fully healed, he has pretty good speed too.
WCS: As I stated with Derek Wolfe and Oz, this guy is an hard worker and a team first, high character guy. I am really liking Fox and Elway targeting these guys. After the Marshall/Cutler fiasco's, I am glad to have some solid citizens on the squad. (DJ, get your act together). Again, its hard to project a bad on this guy, injuries could be his undoing.
Phillip Blake: Solid, strong and totally boring pick. However, alot of Super Bowl winning teams seem to have these guys sprinkled all throughout their roster.
BCS: Jamaal Jackson comes to mind. Big and physical.
WCS: Any of the 4-7th round linemen we picked up under McDaniels. Guy might have been an offensive genius, but on the personnel side he was a Mr. Bean.
Malik Jackson: Really, the only pick I am not sure about from this class. Guy doesnt really have the physical skills as a DE, but does not have the prototypical size of a DT. If this had been a Shanny pick, I would have already written the guy off. But since this is Fox and JDR calling the shots, I am totally ok with it.
BCS: Okay, this is stretching it, but Justin Tuck. Justin is equally adept at DE or DT. If this happens Bronco fans will be ecstatic. That is the thing with tweeners. Usually, they are told that they cant do either. Too slow to be DE, too small to be DT. Maybe Malik is just the right mix to buck the trend. Again, guy is a hard worker and was a team leader.
WCS: Jammie Kirlew? No real fault of his own, just not skilled enough to make it in the NFL. No shame in that. Considering there are only approx 1,700 NFL players on NFL rosters come week 1 its pretty elite company.
Danny Trevathan: I cant put my finger on it, but I am as excited about this guy's potential as I am anyone in our draft class. Sure, he played at Kentucky. But he played in the SEC and with the level of talent on offense in there, he might as well have been playing against NFL offenses right now. And he did it at Kentucky, not exactly surrounded by future 1st round picks.
BCS: Derrick Brooks. Nevermind that they are approx the same size. Danny is always around the ball and looks pretty good already in coverage. Call me crazy, but I would not be surprised to see him starting at WLB sometime this year, if not next year. Irving is getting some time there as well, but I believe the guy can pull it off.
WCS: Danny Trevathan. Guy is a 6th round pick. Those guys come and go all the time. Even if he doesnt work out, we only invested a 6th round pick.
Thanks for reading guys, hope this stirs up the comparison juices, it was alot harder to do than I expected. Overall, its a great time to be a Bronco fan. Go Broncos!