Posted Thu Apr 28th by Ian Henson
Chances are that by the time you read this you will have already read this. Meaning, there isn’t much that can be said at this point that hasn’t been said in terms of the 2011 NFL Draft. In an off-season that has been especially slow, two national networks dedicating daily chunks and hour-long programming to the draft and heck even we can’t shut up about it. The one thing fans of this blog and other Denver Broncos blogs around the internet can be proud of is that this season the Broncos bloggers ran circles around the local coverage. So thank you for your loyalty and let’s dive head first into what’s ahead of us for the next three days.
It is not often that the first pick of the draft is not known this close to the draft. It has been at least since the Houston Texans drafted Mario Williams over Reggie Bush in 2006. Sure everyone and their mother has the Carolina Panthers picking Cam Newton with the first overall pick in their mock drafts, that was until Carolina’s former head coach John Fox chimed in. Then the NFL Network’s Mike Mayock chimed in, then ProFootballTalk chimed in and now all of a sudden the Panthers may very well go back to picking the guy who people had them a month and a half ago… Nick Fairley Marcell Dareus. Where is Adam Schefter in this whole mess? Who does he have? We may have to wait until just before the draft to find out.
Early Wednesday evening rumors began spreading like a new release of Angry Birds, that the Broncos were in fact most interested in Von Miller, not Dareus as had again been suspected by nearly everyone in print and talk. The arm chairs took to Twitter and demanded, ‘Nay,’ ‘Smoke screen,’ and ‘No way!’ Beginning to speculate and check out what the Arizona Cardinals had to offer to move up and what the Houston Texans may be able to do to get into position to trade up.
I’ll tell you one thing; the only thing we know for sure is that we know nothing. After spending four hours with 1,500 fans from all over the United States last night I can fall to my knees overwhelmed with the knowledge that no one knows anything. Last night you could literally turn from one person to the next and get fifteen different answers. It was Mayock this or Todd McShay that (oddly enough not a single soul mentioned Mel Kiper, Jr.), regurgitating what they’d read on their favorite blog, read in their favorite paper, heard their favorite analyst say, or saw with their own eyes during all those Saturdays watching college football.
Back to what we do know, Denver has the number two overall draft pick and Fox has stated that the team likes four players at that pick. Through a pure process of assumption we will say Dareus, Miller, Patrick Peterson and I’ll leave a wild card. I can’t say Nick Fairley, because I can’t for the life of me see why someone would want to give that young man $40-million guaranteed. So who is this mysterious fourth? Is it a quarterback? A defensive end? A running back? The Broncos have just recently realized that they’re in pretty desperate need for a wide receiver, is it a wide receiver? See… No one knows.
Here’s more of what we do know. Any team would be lucky to get Dareus, Miller or Peterson in the draft, but will Denver draft best player available or draft for need? No one knows. Are the Broncos interested in trading back, have they been completely honest with their interests and they would actually consider drafting a quarterback in the first round? Say it with me friends…
Here’s what I do know and a little back story on me. In my day-to-day life I do a lot of hiring and unfortunately a little firing. I hate firing, so what do I do? Over the last eight or nine years I became extremely skillful in hiring exactly who I was looking for, heck I even know within the first thirty seconds most of the time now. I have made mistakes and hired the wrong guy or gal in the past, but I learned from every mistake and haven’t made one in the hiring sector in years. Thus, no firing.
That is precisely why I eliminated Fairley from the conversation it has little to do with his obvious overwhelming talent and more to do with his interviews. I am not talking about what he’s said in print or what those in the know said of him and his interviews, I am talking about his live on-camera interviews. He’s just not someone I would hire. Not that he’s untrustworthy, he’s just not someone that I’d put my neck on the line for, that’s all. I am sure he’s a great guy and will have a wonderful career.
Now, Peterson, Dareus and Miller — Peterson especially, those are guys I would slam the table for. Men of immense talent, brains (no wonderlic jokes, please) and loyalty. While I hope that the Broncos come away with Peterson, I would not be disappointed in any of the three. I do feel that fans will be able to see what exactly they are getting with this new regime by the end of the day tomorrow though. Without free agency, trade or a draft, it’s impossible to measure progress. At the end of the day on Saturday night the Broncos staff will have done more good for Denver than has been done in arguably the last three to five years. I am sure the men calling the shots are very aware of that.
Last shot Broncos Country, who do you have at number two? State your claim now or forever hold your peace. Be sure to follow the live blog here at BroncoTalk tonight, tomorrow and Saturday for all the up to the moment analysis. I will also be live tweeting the draft from Radio City Music Hall tomorrow, so follow me at @theorangepage and I’ll probably even follow you back.