Just a couple things to go over regarding the offensive side of the ball. Obviously, our offense is pretty damn good (best in the nfl) and with another year of seasoning under manning we'll only get better. I fully expect the Broncos to address the slot wr and some o-line depth via the draft. Unfortunately, we dont have unlimited picks and given the front office's backing of Willis and Hillman's pick in the third last year, I expect any depth guys to be acquired in FA. Ideally, I'd love to see the Broncos toss a one year deal Bradshaw's way and draft a replacement next year... We'll see what happens but I assume we sign a top-5 RB this next month.
Starters: Elvis Dumervil, Robert Ayers/Jason Hunter. (By the way this is assuming Wolfe will move inside to three technique on the majority of downs). Dumervil is what he is, he wreaks havoc causing forced fumbles and timely sacks. He's also getting older, and he probably has the worst contract on the team. Hunter is a solid LDE with outside lb skills who could drop into coverage on amoeba and 5-2 looks, JDR also loves him. However, he is coming off season ending surgery. Ayers is a solid run-stuffer that can set the edge and provide flashes of pass rush from both the inside and out.
Depth: Malik Jackson, Jeremy Beal. A 6th round draft pick who saw increasing playing time as the season dragged on and snaps became more crucial. Beal is a camp body who if i remember correctly showed some decent signs last training camp and pre-season.
What Should Be Done?: With the expected move inside from Wolfe, the LDE position does look a little suspect. However, the Broncos suffered from a lack of pass rush up the middle. Robert Ayers had a solid final 4-5 games this season and looks a lot better than most Bronco fans think. Ultimately, with the rejuvenation of Hunter in this position group the Broncos have pretty solid depth and competition dwelling on the left side. I wouldn't add a DE in FA, and unless you get incredible value for your pick should not address the position until after the third round.
DT: (Assuming Wolfe moves inside, Big Vick isn't brought back)
Starters: Derek Wolfe, Juatin Bannan. Hopefully, Wolfe moves inside and Bannan's brought back at a cheap, homefield discount. I don't think Vickerson will be re-signed because he doesn't provide the necessary services his contract will call for.
Depth: Mitch Unrein, Sealver Saliga. Unrein provides solid rotational security and Saliga is practice squad guy that can't be counted on to shoulder a large role.
What Should Be Done?: The Broncos should draft a big space-eating nose tackle to swallow double teams and provide a decent bull rush, certainly better than Bannan. I propose we draft John Jenkins out of UGA. Finally, the Broncos have a pair of young, drafted DTs and the position is a non-issue (other than depth) moving forward. Also assume guys will be interchanging snaps and positions based on various factors (i.e. Jackson, Wolfe, Ayers, etc.)
Depth: Danny Trevathan, DJ Williams. DJ's contract is huge, but if he did re-negotiate terms last year, and is willing to do so this year (remember this year he's guaranteed a full slate of games, so he might not be as willing), then bring him back. If DJ is let go, then fill his role with a guy who can damage control the SAM if god-willing Von goes down.
What Should Be Done?: I fully expect the Broncos to add a cheap veteran for competition and depth purposes, I wouldn't count out Brooking either. Also, expect to see more of these snaps taken by a guy like Trevathan who's proved he deserves playing time and can cover better than the usual mike. Don't count out DJ, but I dont expect the Broncos to slide him inside.
Depth: Omar Bolden. Another Elway/Fox draft pick that found snaps late last season and will probably warrant more this next season.
What Should Be Done?: Elway has this weird obsession with stacking db groups, which is understandable given today's NFL. I think this is the year Elway looks to find Champ's replacement, subsequently adding depth and competition. I hope they don't draft a CB first round though, and allow a Bolden to season a little more.
Starters: Rahim Moore, Mike Adams/Quinton Carter. Moore is very solid, even with ''the play'. He needs practice turning his hips and back pedaling in coverage. But his basic skills and his nose for the run game are what makes me hope he evolves into the next Atwater. In my mind, Adams is a liability in coverage, but would provide good depth and a vet presence at a young position. Carter is coming of injury but was ascending in a lockout year and peaked in the final few games of the season.
Depth: David Bruton, Duke Ihenchado. A pracitce squad guy, and a special teams ace.
What Should Be Done?: You've got two young safeties on the rise. If one goes down depth becomes a question given Bruton's lack of experience on true defensive snaps. Another guy should be brought in middle-late rounds or in free agency.
I think the Broncos will try to acquire at least 4 players in the first 3 rounds. Wether that's through trading your players or draft picks doesnt matter. But for now, I'll stick to the board. Also, remember this is what I think the Broncos will choose to do, not necessarily what I agree with.
1-28: John Jenkins (NT)- Georgia. Alternate: Desmond Trufant (CB)- Washington
2-58: Ryan Swope (WR)- Texas A&M. Alternate: Brandon Williams (NT)- Missouri Valley State
3-90: David Amercon (CB)- NC State. Alternate: Margus Hunt (DE)- Southern Methodist
4-122: Ricky Wagner (T/G)- Wisconsin. Alternate: Le'Veon Bell (RB)- Michigan State
5-154: William Gholston (DE)- Michigan State. Alternate: Ace Saunders (WR)- South Carolina
7-218: Rex Burkhead (RB)- Nebraska. Alternate: Omoregie Uzzi (G)- Georgia Tech
RB- Ahmad Bradshaw (Knowshon's gone too, expect another draft pick back up there as compensation)
S- Louis Delmas (assuming he'd run relatively cheap)