The Broncos picked and took it to the house at No. 2 when they selected Von Miller yesterday evening in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Denver's unique position, picking at No. 2, their highest pick in franchise history, made it somewhat simple for the Broncos braintrust.
John Elway, John Fox and Brian Xanders had three or four top-level talent players, ones that could come in and impact the Broncos busted defense right away.
Denver took Von Miller, a 6'3" 245 pound linebacker out of Texas A&M that can get to the quarterback and drop back into coverage on passing plays.
Miller's fast, at 4.49 in the 40 he'll be one of the fastest linebackers in the NFL, and he knows how to use that speed to put pressure on the opposing team's QB. Miller racked up 10.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for a loss, with three forced fumbles in his senior season. In his junior year, Miller was even more explosive as he sacked 17 quarterbacks and forced four fumbles.
And while that pick was perfect for Denver, they needed to get younger and much more athletic at linebacker without a doubt, today is even more important than yesterday's pick at No. 2.
The Broncos draft at No. 36, 46 and 67 as the draft starts today, and they may even find opportunities to move back a few picks at times to gain additional later-round picks.
But as the second round begins, there are numerous players left on the board that could contribute to the Denver defense soon and for years to come.
The best player available is Da'Quan Bowers, at once thought of as good enough to go at No. 2 to Denver, he's fallen all the way out of the first round. Bowers is a 6'4" 276 pound defensive end that can flat-out get to the quarterback. He gathered 15.5 QB sacks in his senior season with the Clemson Tigers. Still, his knee is a big question mark, especially after his pro day work out, and is why he's fallen so far. If he's available, the Broncos need to take him, even with the injury questions.
The next best player that could come in and help the Broncos right away is Stephen Paea, a stout 6'1" 311 pound defensive tackle that could clog up the middle and help Denver's dismal run defense that was 32nd in the league in 2010. Paea can do more that just take up space though, he's got a great motor and got to the quarterback six times in 2010 as a senior at Oregon State. Paea set the record on the bench press at the NFL Combine (49) and scouts say he has an "unparalleled toughness and tireless work ethic." Sounds like just the kind of player Denver needs up front.
Another great player at No. 36 would be Marvin Austin. Austin is a 6'2" 309 pound DT from North Carolina. Austin is strong like Paea, he hit the bench 38 times for second, and he is athletic for his size. But with Austin, there are off-the-field issues, which led to him being suspended for all of 2010. His character could be a question mark, the Broncos may want to avoid him for those reasons even though the guy is an absolute beast.
After No. 36, the Broncos select again only 10 picks later, at 46 and they have to land another big pick.
If they use No. 36 on a DT, they should go DE. If they go DE first, they should go DT second. The Broncos must bolster their terrible front-seven, and getting some big boys with big-time athleticism and talent early in the second round is just what Denver needs.
Guys like Bowers and Paea have already dropped 20-25 picks from where they were originally evaluated to go before the draft started, these guys have a massive amount of talent and could come in and impact the Broncos defense in 2011 (if there really is football) and they could possibly be cornerstones with Miller for the next 5-10 years.
And don't forget, the Broncos select early in the third round today too, at No. 67, another pick that will need to be defensive, a versatile player that can come in right away and compete for a job immediately.
The onus again falls on Elway, Fox and Xanders (among many others that are in the war room today) and they must make three more great picks today and prove they know what's best for the future of the Broncos.
Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist actively seeking a career in journalism. Along with being the CSU Rams Examiner, Kurtzman is a Denver Nuggets and NBA Featured Columnist for bleacherreport.com, the Colorado/Utah Regional Correspondent for stadiumjourney.com, a weekly contributor to milehighhoops.com and a contributor to milehighreport.com writing on the Denver Broncos.
Rich also heads up PR for K-Biz and Beezy, a Colorado-based rap group.
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