Posted Thu Mar 24th by Jon Heath
Some have speculated that the Denver Broncos are working out several of the top quarterback draft prospects to give the impression of interest in order to entice a team that truly wants one of the top-rated quarterbacks to make a trade for their number two pick.
That was a nice theory, until Mike Klis threw it out the window.
On Tuesday, Klis wrote in an article for the Denver Post that Denver’s interest in this 2011 quarterback class is sincere.
Then today, he shared this:
Never mind the economic factor of the No. 2 overall pick. Sheer roster needs scream that the Broncos must trade back from the No. 2 pick in hopes of adding at least one more pick in the second round.
But to trade back on draft day, April 28, the Broncos need a near-miraculous resolution to the current labor agreement. As it stands now, the No. 2 pick would likely get $44 million in contract guarantees (10 percent more than the $40 million Detroit handed Ndamukong Suh last year).
A new CBA promises a contract cap system on first-round picks that reduce that guarantee figure substantially. Without a new CBA by April 28 – and face it, there won’t be – the Broncos will be the second team drafting.
Translated: the Broncos can’t trade down from 2nd overall come April, and the team knows it. “If it stays like it’s been there’s no way anybody’s trading,” said Broncos Head Coach John Fox. So if they can’t trade down, who are they going to take 2nd overall?
At the moment, it appears that Alabama defensive tackle Marcel Dareus is the front runner (in most mock drafts anyway), but there are several other players who are close behind. There’s also LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson, Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller, Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley, Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers and a slew of quarterbacks.
Yes, I said it, quarterbacks. Shoot me.
The general consensuses is, because they have such staggering needs on the defensive side of the ball, they couldn’t possible go offensive with the second overall pick, especially with a defensive minded coach in John Fox. While that is true, you also have to factor in Vice President of Player Personnel John Elway.
The Broncos and Elway are going through a re-building process, from scratch. They’re going to wipe the slate clean and start over, getting some players that they think are part of the solution, and parting ways with those that aren’t (in their minds). They want to upgrade every position if possible (quarterback position included), so they’re exploring every position in the draft.
This is not a knock against quarterback Tim Tebow, they’ve neither given up on him nor given him the reins, they don’t know yet if he is their guy. That is understandable considering they (Fox and Elway) did not draft him or see him play live last season. With the second overall pick, they are going to pick the best player available, regardless of position.
That second pick may or may not be a quarterback, but most likely it will be a defensive player. Denver will have several other picks however (compensatory draft picks will be announced today and until they are announced we won’t know for sure how many picks the Broncos will have). They do have a second round pick, and have shown interest in a few quarterbacks that should be available in the second round.
The Broncos have met with (or will meet with) and/or worked out five quarterback prospects (Newton, Gabbert, Locker, Ponder, and Kaepernick) and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy went to see a sixth (Ryan Mallett) at Arkansas’ Pro Day. That’s a whole lot of quarterback interest, brushing it off would be irrational.
Second overall I don’t foresee Denver going with a quarterback (although I wouldn’t put it past them). In later rounds however, don’t be surprised if the Broncos select another quarterback for Tebow to compete with.