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Published on 02/01/2011 at Tue Feb 01 09:09.
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There is no questioning the importance of this possible season for Denver. In order for the Broncos to regain prominence they will need to do several things right, and it all starts with the draft. Unfortunately fortunate for Denver they have a plethora of options for their game plan come April.

Should the Broncos select at second overall or trade down?

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Second overall prospects

  • Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU – Peterson is a physical freak of nature at 6’1 and 223 pounds and he has the college career to back it up. The Broncos have met with him already.
  • Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn – After being a nobody for the past few years Fairley has emerged as a top 5 pick due to a dominating senior season. Fairley played at the highest level in the games that counted the most, the Alabama game and the Co-National Championship.
  • DaQuan Bowers, DE, Clemson – Bowers has been inconsistent, but when he’s playing right this 6’4 280 pound defensive end has been an absolute monster. Bowers notched 16 sacks in his senior season.
  • Von Miller, DE/OLB, Texas A&M – Von Miller may be undersized, but that hasn’t stopped him for dominating at every level over the past two seasons and at the Senior Bowl as well. Miller is considered to be a 3-4 outside linebacker, but his upside may temp 4-3 teams to consider him as well.

Late first round / second round prospects

  • Cameron Jordan, DE/DT, Cal- For now Cam Jordan is a mid-to-late first round prospect, as the combine approaches his stock my rise. Jordan may not be the fastest, but he’s definitely one of the smartest and strongest.
  • Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue – Ryan Kerrigan’s draft stock is consistently on the rise due to his athletic ability and great showing at the Senior Bowl. Denver might be able to find away to grab him regardless of moving down.
  • Drake Nevis, DT, LSU - Drake Nevis is one of the top 4-3 DTs in this draft. Since the NFL is currently inundated with 3-4 teams Nevis should be available later in the first round or early in the second.
  • Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA – Rahim Moore had an exceptional sophomore season notching 10 picks, but slumped a bit his junior year. Rahim Moore is considered to be one of the best safeties of the draft, so Denver might look to upgrade a weak spot on their defense here.

What do you think Bronco fans? Would you rather play it safe and take a guy who will most likely be a pro bowler or two less likely stars that will still contribute at good level? Air it out in the comments!

  • crazykid

    2004:
    Chris Gamble, CB
    Keary Colbert, WR
    Travelle Wharton, Tackle
    Drew Carter, WR
    Sean Tufts, LB
    Michael Gaines, TE

    2005:
    Thomas Davis, LB
    Eric Shelton, RB
    Evan Mathis, Guard
    Atiyyah Ellison, DT
    Stefan LeFors, QB
    Adam Seward, LB
    Geoff Hangartner, Center
    Ben Emanuel, CB
    Jovan Haye, DE
    Joe Berger, Tackle

    2006:
    DeAngelo Williams, RB
    Richard Marshall, CB
    James Anderson, LB
    Rashad Butler, Tackle
    Nate Salley, Safety
    Jeff King, TE
    Will Montgomery, Guard
    Stanley McClover, DE

  • crazykid

    2007:
    Jon Beason, LB
    Dwayne Jarrett, WR
    Ryan Kalil, Center
    Charles Johnson, DE
    Ryne Robinson, WR
    Dante Rosario, TE
    Tim Shaw, LB
    C.J. Wilson, CB

    2008:
    Jonathan Stewart, RB
    Jeff Otah, Tackle
    Charles Godfrey, CB
    Dan Connor, LB
    Gary Barnidge, TE
    Nick Hayden, DT
    Hilee Taylor, DE
    Geoff Schwartz, Tackle
    Mackenzy Bernadeau, Guard

    2009:
    Everette Brown, DE
    Sherrod Martin, Safety
    Corvey Irvin, DT
    Mike Goodson, RB
    Tony Fiammetta, FB
    Duke Robinson, Tackle
    Captain Munnerlyn, CB

    2010:
    Jimmy Clausen, QB
    Brandon LaFell, WR
    Armanti Edwards, QB/WR
    Eric Norwood, LB
    Greg Hardy, DE
    David Gettis, WR
    Tony Pike, QB
    R.J. Stanford, CB
    Robert McClain, CB

  • areferee

    Just wanted to make sure you hadn't enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu.

  • crazykid

    Out of 9 drafts and 74 players, Fox chose 4 eventual Pro Bowlers.

    In case your wondering, the Broncos had 5 Pro Bowlers during that time.

    Fox selected 33 defensive players, and 41 offensive.

    Fox selected linemen (offense and defense) with 35% of his picks. 14% were used on D-linemen.

    14% of Fox's picks were used on Cornerbacks.

    17% of the picks were from Pac-10 schools, 14% from the SEC, 14% from the ACC, and 10% from the Big 10.

  • Stav

    Are you saying or assuming that Fox had the weight to pull the trigger on all these? I'd think it would be a mix. Keep the number two unless you can move down and still stay in the top 10, but to be honest, how many times do you have a shot to pick a guy like Petersen? 6-1, 222 lbs, sub 4.4? That is one scary m-effer coming at you. I think we stay at two and grab Petersen if he's there.

    I like the Miller option, Tebow's best friend is going to be a hands TE, but I did read a while back that if Kyle Rudolph is available with their second 2nd rounder (weird phrase) that they might grab him. Tough call, I say let him pass and grab a starting ILB or NT.

  • Carl

    I say trade down you can get a second and maybe a third or fourth.
    we need defense. There have been alot of players that help thier team out that have come out of the 2nd and 3rd rounds plus they are cheaper. WE need more players. If we was a player or to away from the playoffs then go for the stud. we are not thier yet. We will get younger to build around.
    I think this is what has been the problem the last 5 years.
    We seem to try to upgrade the offense and never the defense.
    If we did offense players go threw free agent

  • Rcsodak

    Lots of rb's I see, as well.

  • Rcsodak

    The problem, is whether or not there's another team that would WANT to trade up with Denver. Kinda silly to just assume, especially when you have to do some searching to even find where the #2 was traded. It's not like there's a franchise player early on that someone would mortgage multiple picks for.
    With that said, most football people will tell you that defensively, you win with a stout triangle. Middle DLinemen and middle linebacker. Right now, denver doesn't have that.

  • kerry

    um there is something alot of you are forgetting here. our running game was TERRIBLE because of a lousy RB and a lousy offensive line. everyone is talking about defense this and defense that, while yes we need defense, John Fox LOVES his run game and more of his top picks have been O-line and RB's. Jordan Gross, Deangelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart have all had big impacts. so for the sake of NOT ignoring the offense, ill post some offensive players who could and should be had. Guys like our own Colorado Buffalo OT Nate Solder who is a top 15-20 consideration. 6'8, 315 pounds and we need a RT with Harris being injury Prone. also lets not forget Mark Ingram, the Heisman trophy winner. better speed and power then Moreno and Fox isnt scared to have 2 first round RB's on the roster.

    are these guys worthy of top 5 consideration? hell no. but a trade down could be considered here for a number of reasons. ill list those reasons here:

    Teams like the Redskins, Cardinals and Vikings need a QB. right now Blaine Gabbert is the top QB prospect this year (dont know why though being he is out of the Gimmick Missouri offense) so one of those teams may fall in love enough to move for him.

    some team is gonna roll the dice and want Cam Newton. my bet is the 49ers so perhaps they move for him. highly unlikely but someone will want him and perhaps we trade down and someone like the 49ers get him. personally i think Shanny is dumb enough to move up for him so keep an eye on that come draft day.

    i like Patrick Peterson too. rare talent in a combination of size and speed. i wouldnt cry one bit of he was selected BUT we have had an elite HOF CB for 7 years and it hasnt made our defense great. so while i like Peterson, id prefer a trade down. Failey is a one year wonder as is DeQuan Bowers. (although dont be surprised if we select Bowers because Fox will look at him from an athletic standpoint and see Julius Peppers)

    here is my scenario:

    trade down to number 7-12 and get another second with our trade down if possible. select Marcel Dareus at 12 (if available) he is a beast and can play 4-3 DT or DE. preferably DT.

    now with this scenario it gives us three 2nd round picks plus Orton could be dealt also. so we take our pick of the Dolphins and Orton and trade it to move to the top of the second round (perhaps Carolinas first pick in the second round because they need a QB) and we select DT Phil Taylor out of Baylor. now alot of guys say Taylor is suited to play NT on the 3-4 but lasy i checked a huge DT named Haynesworth dominated the 4-3 so Taylor could also. everybody i watched the senior bowl and Taylor pushed O-linemen around like bitches. im telling you this guy could be a great fit for us.

    then our second pick in the second round could be used for CB Jimmy Smith out of Colorado or OT Joseph Barksdale out of LSU.

    then our next pick in the 2nd round (as per my scenario) could be used for RB Mikel Leshoure. this guy is a monster. 6-0, 230 pounds with great speed. i believe he would IMMEDIATELY take Knowshons spot. (like that would be hard)

    well thats my scenario. of course its unlikely but id love to see it.

  • Hansen

    Kerry – I approve of your scenario from the defensive standpoint. I would love to see Taylor feasting on Centers and Guards at Mile High. Haynesworth is a great example of a behemoth playing in the 4-3, as are the Williams boys in Minnesota. The Vikes have Pat Williams listed at 317, uh huh, sure.

    And RB M. Leshoure would be fantastic, simply fantastic.

  • Baker_d31

    I'd rather see Austin as a later pick, depending on his interviews. Austin and Dareus in the middle would be great. Stop drafting RBs. We need defense. DeAngelo Williams is available in free agency. Trade down and take Dareus and with three second rounders take ILB Martez Wilson, CB Jimmy Smith and DT Marvin Austin.

  • Broncos

    test

  • Broncos

    Assumptions:

    - Broncos let Bailey will be let go (too much contract $$$ for age)
    - #2 pick can guarantee too much money (10 million/year) for CB “potential”
    - Need defensive pass rush – Dumervil will help, but more needed
    - Need to collapse pocket “in” on elite pocket passers – DT (expecting 4-3)
    - Orton can be traded for a 3rd round pick(minimum)
    - Someone in packs #5-10 will trade up to our #2.

    General 2011 Draft/FA Strategy:

    - Instead of hoping for SD CB at #2, sign Nambdi (Raiders) for ~10/year. Lots of money they don't want to spend, but it is spent on a true SD CB in his prime, not 10 million on draft prospect at the #2 spot.

    - Trade the #2 pick down into pick range #5-10. This saves a couple million/year by not have the #2 pick money we used on Nambdi. Hopefully, for the trade into 5-10 range, we pickup a 2nd round pick (minimum 2nd, could be 2nd/3rd). Conservatively, we now have 3 2nd round picks.

    - Trade Orton for 3rd round (possible 2nd), but let's stay conservative. At this point, we have a SD CB to replace Bailey. We have a 1st round pick in #5-10 range. We now also have 3 2nd round picks and a 3rd round pick at the top of the draft.

    - With CB taken care of, we can focus on inside/outside pass rush and run stopping. Assuming top 5 prospects are gone, go after best available with 1st pick. Get Von Miller! If gone, get Darius, etc.

    - Reasoning behind the trade down: Either one of those guys gives us more of what we don't have and need. Von might not be ideal for 4-3, but could play a 4-3 line-backer with heavy blitz responsibilities or potentially play in the 4-3 as a Freeney type prospect. What of Ayers? Ayers was a 4-3 DT at Tennesee and is a great bull-rusher. Watch his film. He is so big at OLB, he isn't as hard to get in front of, but he pushes tackles back near the QB on every play. Put Ayers inside at 4-3 DT, slide VON Miller in at 4-3 DE. Dumervil will be back at the other 4-3 DT spot. Now, we have a bit undersized bookend speed rushers in the 4-3. We have a powerful bull-rusher at DT (more natural). For the 2nd DT spot int he 4-3, we use our current NT at the other spot to give us size. As all teams do, we substitute with backups to keep them fresh.

    - Another thought: Because of Von's size and athletic ability and the fact that Demervil and Ayers are all trained in the 3-4, we now have defensive pieces that don't have to come off the field when offenses game plan to tire us out. Our guys can be moved in and out 4-3 and 3-4 alignments with zone-blitz potential because of our players flexibility. Few teams have a tackle (ayers) that can drop back to cover a tight-end or RB out of the backfield, while bringing a pass-rush from elsewhere on individual plays.

    - 2nd Round: Get the best available 4-3 DT or pass rushing 4-3 end depending on which player we got int the 1st round (miller/darius) to assist in collapsing the pocket (with Ayers). We have veterans that will help there, but we need more youth and we need it for cheaper 2nd round money. We now have Nambdi at CB, Von Miller or Darius, and pick up whatever we didn't get in the 1st round pick in the 1st 2nd round pick. We still have 2 2nd round picks left.

    - 2nd 2nd round pick: Pick the best available tackle or running back.

    - 3rd 2nd round pick: Pick the best available tackle assuming we didn't get one in the 1st 2 2nd round picks. If already picked a tackle, pick best tight-end available.

    - 3rd round (Orton trade): Pick best available running-back or pass catching tight-end (assuming tackle has been taken).

    - 4th round: Assuming tackle/RB have been addressed, pick best available on the defense again (safety, LB, CB, DL).

    - 5th, 6th, 7th: More depth at any position (QB that has fallen too far, OL, RB, LB, Safety, CB)

    Yes, the assumptions are many, but not impossible. A lot hinges on Fox's ability to lure Nambdi with promises that we will strengthen the DL (pass-rush) so he isn't left out on a corner for 5-7 seconds every play. Then we have to gauge teams in 5-10 with a dire need for a top 5 pick to trade with us. If we get both of these going, everything else will fall into place as far as the strategy goes.

  • Broncos

    test

  • Broncos

    Assumptions:

    - Broncos let Bailey will be let go (too much contract $$$ for age)
    - #2 pick can guarantee too much money (10 million/year) for CB “potential”
    - Need defensive pass rush – Dumervil will help, but more needed
    - Need to collapse pocket “in” on elite pocket passers – DT (expecting 4-3)
    - Orton can be traded for a 3rd round pick(minimum)
    - Someone in packs #5-10 will trade up to our #2.

    General 2011 Draft/FA Strategy:

    - Instead of hoping for SD CB at #2, sign Nambdi (Raiders) for ~10/year. Lots of money they don't want to spend, but it is spent on a true SD CB in his prime, not 10 million on draft prospect at the #2 spot.

    - Trade the #2 pick down into pick range #5-10. This saves a couple million/year by not have the #2 pick money we used on Nambdi. Hopefully, for the trade into 5-10 range, we pickup a 2nd round pick (minimum 2nd, could be 2nd/3rd). Conservatively, we now have 3 2nd round picks.

    - Trade Orton for 3rd round (possible 2nd), but let's stay conservative. At this point, we have a SD CB to replace Bailey. We have a 1st round pick in #5-10 range. We now also have 3 2nd round picks and a 3rd round pick at the top of the draft.

    - With CB taken care of, we can focus on inside/outside pass rush and run stopping. Assuming top 5 prospects are gone, go after best available with 1st pick. Get Von Miller! If gone, get Darius, etc.

    - Reasoning behind the trade down: Either one of those guys gives us more of what we don't have and need. Von might not be ideal for 4-3, but could play a 4-3 line-backer with heavy blitz responsibilities or potentially play in the 4-3 as a Freeney type prospect. What of Ayers? Ayers was a 4-3 DT at Tennesee and is a great bull-rusher. Watch his film. He is so big at OLB, he isn't as hard to get in front of, but he pushes tackles back near the QB on every play. Put Ayers inside at 4-3 DT, slide VON Miller in at 4-3 DE. Dumervil will be back at the other 4-3 DT spot. Now, we have a bit undersized bookend speed rushers in the 4-3. We have a powerful bull-rusher at DT (more natural). For the 2nd DT spot int he 4-3, we use our current NT at the other spot to give us size. As all teams do, we substitute with backups to keep them fresh.

    - Another thought: Because of Von's size and athletic ability and the fact that Demervil and Ayers are all trained in the 3-4, we now have defensive pieces that don't have to come off the field when offenses game plan to tire us out. Our guys can be moved in and out 4-3 and 3-4 alignments with zone-blitz potential because of our players flexibility. Few teams have a tackle (ayers) that can drop back to cover a tight-end or RB out of the backfield, while bringing a pass-rush from elsewhere on individual plays.

    - 2nd Round: Get the best available 4-3 DT or pass rushing 4-3 end depending on which player we got int the 1st round (miller/darius) to assist in collapsing the pocket (with Ayers). We have veterans that will help there, but we need more youth and we need it for cheaper 2nd round money. We now have Nambdi at CB, Von Miller or Darius, and pick up whatever we didn't get in the 1st round pick in the 1st 2nd round pick. We still have 2 2nd round picks left.

    - 2nd 2nd round pick: Pick the best available tackle or running back.

    - 3rd 2nd round pick: Pick the best available tackle assuming we didn't get one in the 1st 2 2nd round picks. If already picked a tackle, pick best tight-end available.

    - 3rd round (Orton trade): Pick best available running-back or pass catching tight-end (assuming tackle has been taken).

    - 4th round: Assuming tackle/RB have been addressed, pick best available on the defense again (safety, LB, CB, DL).

    - 5th, 6th, 7th: More depth at any position (QB that has fallen too far, OL, RB, LB, Safety, CB)

    Yes, the assumptions are many, but not impossible. A lot hinges on Fox's ability to lure Nambdi with promises that we will strengthen the DL (pass-rush) so he isn't left out on a corner for 5-7 seconds every play. Then we have to gauge teams in 5-10 with a dire need for a top 5 pick to trade with us. If we get both of these going, everything else will fall into place as far as the strategy goes.