NFL Draft 2012: 3 Positions To Fill For Denver Broncos To Take Next Step

Eric BallFeatured ColumnistJanuary 16, 2012

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 18: Defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley #77 of the Denver Broncos collides with teammates D.J. Williams #55, Quinton Carter #28, and Joe Mays #51 as they attempt to make a tackle against the New England Patriots in the third quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 18, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The New England Patriots won, 41-23 (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos' rebuilding project is way ahead of schedule and now the 2012 NFL Draft becomes crucial to keep marching forward.

From 1-4 and heading nowhere to beating the Steelers in the playoffs to a 45-10 humiliating loss to the New England Patriots, it’s clear what the Broncos need.

And it’s not a new quarterback.

Here are the three biggest needs for the Broncos to fill in April’s draft:


1.Defensive Tackle

The Broncos had ferocious pass-rushers in Von Miller and Elvis Dummervil on the edge to create turnovers, but the teeth of the Broncos defense was incredibly weak. DT Marcus Thomas didn’t register a single sack and only had one pass deflection. He isn’t very athletic and rarely made a note-worthy play.

Ditto for Brodrick Bunkley.

If the Broncos can land Jerel Worthy (Michigan State) or Dontari Poe (Memphis) in the first round, they have to pull the trigger.

2. Tight End

The Broncos had almost zero big plays from this position in 2011. Tebow didn’t even target a tight end until halfway through the fourth quarter in the Pats blowout.

Daniel Fells and Dante Rosario combined for a mere 384 yards and three TDs.

With Tim Tebow’s struggles with accuracy throwing the deep ball, the Broncos must have a pass-catching tight end in 2012 to open up the offense.

Landing a prospect like Coby Fleener (Stanford), Tyler Eifert (Notre Dame) or Orson Charles (Georgia) in the second or third round would make Tebow’s life a whole lot easier.

3. Cornerback

At the age of 33, Champ Bailey isn’t getting any younger. André Goodman is the same age and isn’t nearly as productive.

Getting fresh blood to give the vets more help is incredibly important.

If they plan on drafting one in the third or fourth round, guys like Stephon Gilmore (South Carolina), Jayron Hosley (Virginia Tech) and Casey Hayward (Vanderbilt) should be at the top of their wish list.

Hosley would be ideal, considering he is potentially an explosive kick returner as well.


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