Free agency is upon us for the 2013 season and the Denver Broncos are beginning to show their hand. The Broncos reportedly made a contract offer to CB Dunta Robinson prior to him signing with the Kansas City Chiefs today. In addition, reliable source Troy Miller is reporting the Broncos have contacted the agents of Falcon’s CB Brent Grimes & Charger’s CB Antoine Cason. John Elway has already stated the Broncos have no intention of moving Champ Bailey to safety so the Broncos are looking for another starter to replace the young and inconsistent Tony Carter. All i can say is, thank goodness the 4 million dollar Tracy Porter experiment is over.
By filling the void at cornerback in free agency the Broncos may pass on Florida State’s CB Xavier Rhodes or Mississippi State’s CB Johnathan Banks in the first round and focus their attention on Alabama’s Eddie Lacy. Lacy is expected to be available when the Broncos select late in the first round and considered by most the best running back in the draft . Lacy is a downfield runner who finished his college career with huge games against Auburn, Georgia and Notre Dame in the BSC National Championship Game. His career 6.5 yards per carry is impressive and the perfect back for a John Fox offense.
If the Broncos go with Lacy in the first round, they will have plenty of quality defensive tackles to select from in the second round including Lacy’s teammate Jessie Williams. Other defensive tackles the Broncos could snag in either the first or second round (if they pass on Lacy) is Sheldon Richardson of Missouri, Kawann Short of Purdue, Jonathan Hankins of West Virginia, or the 360 pound Jonathan Jenkins from Georgia. Expect the Broncos to resign current defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson before Tuesday. Former CU Buff Justin Bannan is likely done as a Denver Bronco.
In the third round the Broncos would do themselves a huge favor by moving up and snagging Texas A&M slot receiver Ryan Swope. Swope had a fantastic combine with an amazing 4.34 40 yard dash and would be the perfect person to learn from Brandon Stokley for one season and become the future slot receiver for the Broncos. He finished his college career with over 3,000 yards and 24 touchdowns.
Can you image a Broncos offense with Peyton Manning, wide outs Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas, Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen platooning at tight end, Eddie Lacy and Willis McGahee sharing the rock, and Ryan Swoop as slot receiver? Rahim Moore could give up the deep ball every time with that offensive team coming back unto the field.
The majority of the other Broncos gaps can be addressed by free agents including a starting right guard to compete with Chris Kuper (I can’t handle another season with Manny Ramirez) and a stand out safety like 49ers’ Dashon Goldson or the Texan’s Glover Quin. The best two safeties in the draft will likely be gone by the time the Broncos pick in round one. Texas standout Kenny Vaccarro and Florida’s Matt Elam would remind Broncos fans of Dennis Smith and Steve Atwater with their physical play but are long shots based on recent positive comments about our current Broncos safeties from Executive John Elway. Maybe having two safeties that combined for 1 interception, no bone rattling hits, and can’t stay deep don’t bother Elway as much as me. Note to John, please sign Goldson immediately!
Now for the tough question, will Elvis leave the building? I say why not. Sure i love Elvis Dumervil but he’s not nearly as productive as he used to be when the Broncos ran a 3-4 defense. Elvis has done nothing in the playoffs the last two years and even though he is willing to re-work his contract i believe the Broncos are saying pay cut only which i strongly agree with. Not sure why the Broncos are not more interested in Tampa Bay’s Michael Bennett. He is the perfect 4-3 defensive end and does an outstanding job against the run. He is a restricted free agent but with the Broncos playing deep in the playoffs, giving up a first round pick at position 28 is more like giving up a second round pick. Very doubtful any DE selected in the late first round will have the impact of Michael Bennett.
A few other solid running backs worth considering this draft are Stanford’s Stepfan Taylor and Michigan State’s Le’veon Bell. The Broncos could go after free agents Stephen Jackson or Ahmad Bradshaw but they already have an older running back in Willis McGahee. How much did our older running back help us in the playoff’s last year.? Zippo! Ronnie Hillman will grow in his second season but don’t look for the Broncos to count on him to hit the hole and gain first downs. Former Bulldog and first round pick Knowshon Moreno has only averaged 600 yards a season and outside of his leap over Ed Reed and some reasonable pass protecting, he has been a significant disappointment when you look at his entire body of work. Look for the Broncos to dump "No-Show" Moreno and Dyme Life poster child D.J Williams. That should free up some CASH!
I would be very surprised if the Broncos don’t make a huge effort to sign Dan Koppen as JD Walton continues to heal from his ankle injury. Both are quality starers and worked well with Peyton Manning. And lastly, because the Broncos play nickel so much of the time, I don’t expect to see the Broncos draft an inside linebacker early in the draft. Even if Norte Dame star Mante Tao’ slips down as expected.
Shadd, writer Bronco Planet