From War-room representative frontier: The #2 overall pick will come with more pressure than any Broncos pick before. We haven't had a pick this high since, ever. I have, at one point or another, wanted to pick any one of the quintet of Fairley, Peterson, Bowers, Miller and lately Dareus (chronologically in that order).
Even before resigning Champ Bailey, we have wanted to draft Patrick Peterson since the offseason began, as we believe in taking BPA in this draft. Even now, however, we’re not totally sold on any of the prospects at this moment and were going to see how they performed at the combine before passing judgment.
As of right now, here’s how a few other mock sites are mocking the Broncos:
Draftsite.com – Da’Quan Bowers (Fairley taken #1)
- DraftTek.com – Patrick Peterson (Bowers taken #1)
- CBS Sports (Rang) – Nick Fairley (Peterson taken #1)
- CBS Sports (Rueter) – Da’Quan Bowers (Cam Newton taken #1)
- Walter’s Football – Da’Quan Bowers (Fairley taken #1)
- ESPN (McShay) – Nick Fairley (Bowers taken #1)
We didn’t include Mel Kiper in this list, because we straight up don’t respect him.
Needless to say, there is no sure pick this year. If only Ndamukong Suh had waited another year!
Here are the positional breakdowns for the Broncos draft needs defensively:
Defensive Tackle – If the Broncos are going to choose a tackle with this selection, we think he would have to be a 3-technique DT in the weight range of 300 to 310 lbs. Coach Fox loves to use HUGE 1-technique DT’s like Maake Kemoeatu and Kris Jenkins, both weighing in over 350 lbs. Needless to say Fairley and Dareus are projected 3-tech tackles so they both fit this need. The Broncos do not need a 1-technique as they have plenty of big bodies left over from the 3-4 transition. As a matter of fact, the only guy on the active roster between 300-310 is Ryan McBean and we know he’s not the answer. This position needs a starter.
Defensive End – Da’Quan Bowers has been discussed since the day the offseason started, and he would make a great choice for a team transitioning to a 4-3. With that said, we (like many here at MHR) want to see what Ayers can do at DE when given the chance. Also, we’re not totally convinced that Bowers is the best DE in this draft. He has the prototypical body, but when we hear "stiff hips" we see big red flags. Alfred Williams, says Bowers could be the next Reggie White, IF he fixes his hip rotation…that’s a big if. As for the depth, the Broncos have Hunter, Viekune, and even Haggan to provide pass rush and depth.
Linebacker – The Broncos are going to get Smaller and Faster with this group, and I for one say it’s about time! Von Miller headlines this year’s group and fits very well with the body type that Fox uses. If you didn’t know, Fox has only played ONE LB OVER 250 lbs in 9 years of coaching. This seriously takes a guy like Martez Wilson out of the equation. Miller is as fast as they come. Watching his highlight film, we feel like our computer processor is running slow because he makes every other player on the field look as if they are standing still. He and DJ playing OLB would give this team a very solid core.
Defensive Backs – There is only one Top 10 safety in this years draft class. He also happens to be the top rated CB as well. Patrick Peterson is a dynamic player and a future shut-down corner in this league. He would give this team flexibility at cornerback, free safety and kick returner. But the real reason we don’t know if we can draft him here is because it’s not April yet. By April, the Broncos franchise will have a better idea as to the Perrish Cox situation. By April, the Broncos will or will not have picked up veterans OJ Otagwe or Bob Sanders in free agency. There is a lot that can still happen at this position between now and then, but we hold firm to the belief that Champ Bailey can’t cover all of the secondary.
With all this taken in to account we would like to make our selection…
With the #2 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select – Patrick Peterson, Defensive Back – Louisiana State University
This selection came down to Marcell Dareus, Patrick Peterson and Von Miller. Anyone of them would be a good selection here and provide an immediate starter for their team. The Broncos felt that the chance to combine a special talent like Peterson’s with a Hall of Famer in Champ Bailey was too good to pass up. This pick coincides with the history of John Fox who took 4 DB’s in the first two rounds during his time in Carolina compared to 1 LB and zero DT’s. Fox values high picks at skill positions and has proven production from developing late round defensive linemen.
Fairley and Dareus would have made sense in their own right, but the Broncos feel their will be first round talent available at their positions when they select at #36. Peterson can start Day 1 alongside Bailey, and allows the Broncos to concentrate on their run-blocking. The pass rush will be provided by the defensive ends and with Dennis Allen’s blitzing linebackers. In a poll among the other 5 members of the Broncos war room the results were: 4 for Peterson, 1 for Fairley and 1 for Dareus.
Why I did not take a Defensive Lineman? I have felt since the beginning of the offseason, that the Broncos will have the chance to draft 1st round talent in the 2nd round at both DT and DE. Stephen Paea was on his way to a top-10 pick before injuring his knee but he has rebounded nicely and was walking fine a the combine. Muhammed Wilkerson might be taken in the 1st round, but coming from a small school, I don’t see it. Phil Taylor, this year’s best NT prospect, but also a 3-technique prossibility might be there, but I wouldn’t count on it. Drake Nevis, Marvin Austin, Jurrell Casey and others with be there when we are on the clock again and any of them can fill the gap.
It’s still up in the air as to whether we’ll use Fox’s bend-don’t-break type defense where the linemen do the pass rushing or Allen’s aggressive blitzing, but we are leaning towards Allen’s style given our 3-4 to 4-3 transition.
From War-room representative Worthington: The Denver Broncos road to the playoffs begins by building a defense that can compete against the rest of the AFC West. While most of the NFL has become a pass-first league, the AFC West has seen a rushing resurgence. In 2010, the Chiefs and Raiders ranked #1 and #2 in rushing offense respectfully. Those numbers may have been inflated by the Broncos' porous run defense, which allowed over 150 rushing yards a game. Fixing the rushing defense and selecting one of the top defensive lineman at #2 is very tempting. I would have selected a player like Marcell Dareus, someone who could crowd the line of scrimmage on running plays, and swim through offensive lineman on passing downs. But this draft has great depth for defensive lineman, and the other members of the war room feel the odds favor the Broncos on receiving a quality lineman in the 2nd round. With the #2 pick overall, the Broncos have the freedom to select the best defensive player available.
When evaluating draft prospects, John Elway said, "I look at it as if I were playing against them. I know what I liked to play against, and I know what I didn't like." Would Elway like to play against a defense with Champ Bailey on one side and Patrick Peterson on the other? At the Combine, Peterson displayed himself as a mature, confident
football player. As a testament to his athleticism, he plans to run the 40-yard-dash in under 4.3 seconds. Future Hall-of-Famer Champ Bailey is one of the few cornerbacks to accomplish this feat, but Peterson plans to do it at weight of 219 pounds or 35 more pounds than what Bailey weighed at his Combine. Peterson's size will allow him to compete with NFL receivers that continue to get bigger every season. Peterson is an elite talent who's skills will only improve as he's mentored by one of the best players ever to play the cornerback position. Two years down the road, Patrick Peterson may be the best player from this draft, and a key piece of an immense Denver defense.
Selecting Patrick Peterson means the Broncos won't need to add cornerback depth with the #186 pick overall. We will probably look to add depth at defensive end, or find a fullback or a tight end.
From War-Room representative broncofan91: I love this pick! Peterson is a rare once every decade player. When are we going to have the opportunity to draft a guy like this again? Also, having I love having Champ but imagine having Champ AND Peterson and may Cox at nickel or Thompson!
From the Commish and staff of MHR
I guess I'll go against the grain a bit. The Broncos are at - or near - the ground floor in their rebuilding effort. There really isn't a spot on the roster that I feel completely comfortable with, or couldn't use an upgrade.
What Peterson can bring the Broncos, right now, is a dynamic athlete with speed unlike they have on the roster right now. If indications are true, Peterson could come in right now and start and he would make an instant impact on special teams in the return game. We have seen first hand what a dominant return man can do for a football team. Even with the return of Champ Bailey, Andre Goodman is getting older, and there are serious questions about Perrish Cox off the field.
This is an incredibly deep draft along the defensive line as well, so what the Broncos need to decide is - just how much better is Fairley or Dareous over the group that will be available in the 2nd Round. With Ayers and Doom returning, you could make an argument that DE is actually deeper that DB right now, and whoever you draft at #2 Overall needs to come in a play RIGHT NOW.
Arguably the best overall athlete in the entire NFL Draft, Peterson certainly brings something they have not had in a long, long time. Aside from getting Tim Tebow last year, Peterson would probably be the most hyped athlete to join the Broncos since I've been a fan of the team.
I love that he can fit as a safety, cornerback, kick returner, or punt returner. He has been nothing but a playmaker every year he's been at LSU, and that figures to continue at the NFL. One Denver sports writer compared his demeanor to that of Champ Bailey at the scouting combine, and many scouts believe he will be the best cornerback prospect the NFL has seen in years. Taking into account the depth of the defensive line prospects in this draft, this is a pick that I am more than okay with. The Broncos need to add talent up front, and they are going to be able to get two first round graded guys in the second round this year, so getting an elite prospect like Peterson makes me very happy.
I agree whole-heartedly that great football teams are dominant up front. I also know that you need some dynamic athletes as well. If Peterson fits that - and the Broncos believe his talents are more rare and irreplaceable than the defensive-line group, then I could see Peterson being the pick and I could live with it.
I don't like the Peterson pick at all. Talk to any coach and he'll tell you that football games are won in the trenches. Pressuring and protecting the quarterback are the keys to success in the NFL and as the Broncos are switching back to the 4-3, linemen are critical to the success. The Broncos haven't drafted this position since Trevor Pryce was drafted and this just adds to the list of failing to address their pass rushing problem.
I love the pick. The Broncos, like John said, need to fill holes all over the defensive side of the ball. Because of that, we need to be drafting the best player available. I consider Peterson to be the most talented defensive player and the player who is most ready to compete at the NFL level. When you have a draft pick this high on the board, you want to get a guy with zero question marks associated with him. Peterson is that guy. Great pick.
The Cox/Goodman situations are the ones that I would have questions about. If the Broncos were to take Peterson, I'd be left wondering if there isn't something going on there that we, as fans, know nothing about.
The only thing the Broncos need at the #2 spot is a "can't miss" players. Out of the players I've seen projected for the top 5, Patrick Peterson is the only one who seems to have a consensus of "This guy is going to be great". To me, that means "can't miss".
Though this pick may not fill our biggest needs, the Broncos will not suffer adversely from drafting Peterson. Great teams have rosters filled with playmakers, so drafting Peterson would be a good step towards becoming a great team.