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Published on 10/17/2011 at Mon Oct 17 23:05.
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Lloyd is happy with how the trade worked out, as should be the Broncos. (AP Photo/Frederick Breedon)

The Denver Broncos announced on Monday that the team has traded receiver Brandon Lloyd to the St. Louis Rams for a conditional pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.  The conditional pick currently stands as a sixth round selection which could become a fifth rounder if Lloyd catches thirty or more passes this season for the Rams.

It is likely that Lloyd will in fact catch at least that many passes in Josh McDaniels‘ offense, so it’s safe to say the Broncos basically traded Lloyd for a fifth round pick.  At first appearance, a mid-round selection may not sound like fair compensation for a Pro Bowl receiver, but after taking a closer look, the trade was a win-win for both sides.

Lloyd was going to be a free agent following this season (and he still will be unless the Rams extend his contract).  In order to keep Lloyd, who will be turning 31, the Broncos would have had to give him a big contract, something that they were not willing to do after Lloyd’s one highly productive season in nine years.

The Broncos got the best value for Lloyd by trading him now rather than letting him walk next offseason.  In reality, a fifth round pick for any receiver not named Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald is most likely not a bad trade for either side.

As Strawdog has pointed out, in 2007, the Oakland Raiders traded future Hall of Fame receiver Randy Moss to the New England Patriots for a fourth round pick, just one round higher than the Broncos will likely receive for Lloyd.  Moss went on to break the NFL’s single season receiving touchdown record, something Lloyd is not expected to do.

Also of note is that while somewhat rare, there are talented prospects to be found in the mid-to-late rounds on draft day.  Fans have a way of undervaluing mid-round draft picks, but coaches have no problem with stockpiling extra selections.

Over the past ten years, the Broncos have drafted thirty-three players in the fifth or later round of the draft.  Of those players, eight went on to become starters and two of them are still with the team.

Cornerback Perrish Cox, running backs Ryan Torain and Peyton Hillis, punter Paul Earnster, offensive lineman Chris Myers and tight end Jeb Putzier were all drafted in mid-to-late rounds of their respective drafts and at one point started for Denver.

Offensive guard Chris Kuper and fullback Spencer Larsen — both starters — were also late round selections, as was the late Kenny McKinley, may he rest in peace.  Kuper and Larsen are prime examples of talented players who were drafted in the low rounds yet still went on to have big roles for their team.

Every draft pick has the possibility of being a great one.  The Broncos just got a sixth selection to strengthen their odds.

  • 5280

    I completely agree. lloyd was great for us, but as a team we need to get younger. It’s all about youth and talent. The best teams in the NFL are buildt on talent that they themselves drafted. and I know bill belichick will have a stock pile of picks that he’ll probably trade off come draft day. in realty, Denver can probably take that 5th round pick an trade down to get a 3rd. It’s not unheard of.  The only problem that i will have is if they actually trade off Eddie Royal.  He’s still young and Tebow can really use all the talent he can get.  If he were to stay, Denver recieving core would include Domarius Thomas, Eric Decker, and Eddie Royal, with Julius Thomas, Brandon Fells, and Virgil Green sharing time at TE. Thats a Good Line up for Tebow to throw to. If you take Royal away does anyone honestly think that Matt Willis or Eron Riley Would be able to pick up the slack? I know Royal hasn’t had a season as good as his rookie year but I still dont think Willis or Riley would be able to take his place. Then the Broncos would have to draft a reciever and I dont think they can afford that with the problems they have on the defencive side of the ball.

  • Elway4Life

    This is a good move because it’s not worth signing Brandon Lloyd to a long term contract based on his only one strong year he had at the age of 30.  I would have rather gotten a 4th rounder but what can you do.  Plus Tebow needs to form a strong bond now with young WRs who will be there with him (hopefully long term).  Ed McCaffrey, or I mean Eric Decker, Eddie Royal and Domarius Thomas (if he ever decides to get healthy) could be a strong young receiving core to help Tim Tebow and the Broncos grow! Ironically Tebow might not be as good this year without Lloyd there and if the Broncos have another really poor season (and since Elway and Fox didn’t believe in Tebow from the start) maybe we could get Andrew Luck (ironic he’s from Stanford like Elway too).  So either way I say it’s a win win situation!

  • Jack___

    What about the compensatory picks we would have gotten if he left? Don’t those factor into our evaluation of the decision?

  • Mike Birtwistle

    Its unlikely but not impossible that the Broncos would’ve got a 4th.  But there are two things that count against the compensatory pick – 1.  You have no idea what you’re getting until close to the draft.  2.  They can’t be traded or packaged in a trade if you need to move to #1 in the draft

  • anthony33

    Randy Moss was traded from the Raiders after one mediocre year and one horrendous year, the worst of his career.  And they got a 4.  So yes, I still think Lloyd is worth that after the 2 best years in his career.

    Bottom line is the Broncos were absolutely right in their logic to trade him even though at first I questioned the move.  The debate on whether or not they got enough for him will go on forever and there is no final answer as we don’t know any of the details like how many teams were actually seeking his services.

    What’s done is done.  Time to move on and see what Tebow is all about.

  • Dante Pakistan

    Three words: Suck for Luck!

  • flbronc

    wouldnt it also be a 2013 pick- meaning not in the next draft, the andrew luck one?

  • flbronc

    like my dad always told me about my baseball cards when i was a kid….  they are only worth what someone will pay when you want to sell it.

    nobody valued him more than a conditional sixth (other than the bronco fans).  unless people think that we passed up a better offer to take the st. louis deal, we got what he is worth on the open market.  take something rather than nothing when he walks in free agency.

  • anthony33

    Bengals just got TWO number 1’s for Carson Palmer from the Raiders.

    Now there is a GM that knows how to cut a deal. 

    Still think a 6 for Lloyd was a good deal anyone?

  • Jon

    Yes. For one, a quarterback and a receiver are totally different positions and secondly, the Bengals/Raiders situation was totally different than the Broncos/Rams one.

  • Anonymous

    Thirdly the raiders are still capable of making dumb moves without the help of Al Davis.

  • Anonymous

    Until he got here, Lloyd was a life-long malcontent, underacheiver and a total head case. 

    He appears to have matured over the last couple of years, but…you never know with those kind of guys. 

  • Anonymous

    Is someone posthumously running Kenny McKinley’s twitter account? 


  • Michael

    I’m not sure how badly we’re going to suck.  Certainly, life doesn’t look too good at Mile High, but will we be bad enough to get Luck?  I doubt it, since I think he’s gone in the first three picks.

  • Anonymous

    Al Davis is posthumously running the raiders.

  • 12508

    Agree that Lloyd had to go. Just didn’t need to go this season. Tebow could use the help. Sixth round pick not worth leaving Tebow without the top wr on the roster. We are 3 point dogs in Miami. Says a lot about this roster. Dogs to the team that sucks for Luck.

  • Jack___

    those are good points, I’m just saying that you have to consider those in the equation. I don’t hate the trade or anything, I just don’t think that trading Lloyd for a 5th round pick this year is substantially better than keeping him and getting a similar pick two years from now. 
    On the other hand, EFX may also like to keep the freedom to go after major Free agents this offseason without risking losing the compensatory pick.

  • Anonymous

    If StL was willing to give us a 5th or 6th round pick, and they have they guy who loves Lloyd, AND are one of the worst teams in the league, that is the most we were going to get.  As we all know, a 31yo receiver with with an up-and-down track record is either a guy you want to add depth to put you over the top, or a guy who can help you QB or WR corps develop.  Lloyd will put up good numbers with McD and Bradford, and get more money from StL, and we get a prospect rather than an obligitory: “It’s been lots of fun here and we should totally get together for a lunch or beer or something.  I mean it.”

    Also remember, a 5th round pick, is not about choosing the 150th best player coming out of college.  It could be about giving a high 1st, 2nd and 5th to a team who has the best QB in football, for a shot at the best QB prospect in the NCAA this year.  Or any number of less pipe-dreamy pick swap scenarios.