NFL Draft 2012: Denver Broncos Top Five Draft Needs
The Broncos have had quite a roller coaster this season—a horrid start with QB Kyle Orton, a revival by Tim Tebow, a collapse by Tebow, a playoff thrilling victory...but then they got whopped by the New England Patriots
However, next year, the AFC West will be a lot more competitive. The Chiefs will be healed from their devastating injuries, the Raiders have QB Carson Palmer for the entire season and the Chargers have the potential to win big in the playoffs.
For the Broncos to stay a contender, they need to upgrade several key positions. The draft has always been a fantastic way to do so, and without further ado, here are your Denver Broncos' 2012 draft needs:
Note: The "First Round Prospect" for each position listed means the best possible selection for that position who has a realistic chance of being available at the 25th overall pick.
No. Five: Tight End
The Broncos' Current Situation: Even with four tight ends, the Broncos did not see enough production from that position. TE Daniel Fells, a 2011 free agent acquisition, only had 256 yards this regular season. The Broncos' other three tight ends: Dante Rosario, Virgil Green and Julius Thomas totaled 146 yards receiving.
First Round Prospect: Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson
What Allen Brings To The Table: Allen is a superb blocker, especially on outside run plays. He is also a reliable target in the vertical game, whether it be deep routes or slip screens. This tight end is also very useful in goal-to-go situations. He can seal the edge, lead block or catch for Tebow.
No. Four: Wide Receiver
The Broncos' Current Situation: Even though WR Demaryius Thomas's spectacular performance against the Steelers put on a show for the NFL, he is not the number one wideout on the Broncos' offense—Eric Decker is.
Decker had 612 yards receiving this season, which is decent, but the Broncos could use some more production and consistency from that position. If they are on board with Tebow, they need to get a huge wideout with strong hands.
First Round Prospect: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
What Jeffry Brings To The Table: Jeffry, a 6-4 wideout known for his hands, is a prospect that would boost Tebow's game immensely. Tebow doesn't always throw on target, and Jeffry would haul in many of those out of control bullets.
In a bowl game, Jeffry snagged a halftime hail mary that stole the lead. His hand-eye coordination is very rarely found.
No. Three: Running Back
The Broncos' Current Situation: Broncos RB Willis McGahee had a phenomenal season in 2011, as he rushed for 1,199 yards and four touchdowns. On the down side, this bruiser is 30 years old and shouldn't have too many more seasons as productive as 2011.
RB Knowshon Moreno, a 2009 top 15 pick, has not lived up to his high expectations and tore his ACL earlier this year. The Broncos could use any type of running back to pair up with McGahee and lighten his load.
First Round Prospect: Chris Polk, RB, Washington
What Polk Brings To The Table: Polk is a very unique running back—he is lightning fast but normally runs inside the tackles. His ankle-breaking cutback can shred a defense in half, but Polk has leg strength that pushes piles and drags defenders across the turf.
Much like McGahee, Polk is a multi-dimensional back that can give the Broncos an extra boost.
No. Two: Cornerback
The Broncos' Current Situation: The Broncos' defense is largely led by future Hall of Fame CB Champ Bailey, but this legend is already 33 years old.
Despite the fact that Bailey re-signed earlier this year, there is a good chance that he will convert to safety in the next three years. CB Andre Goodman, who also starts on Denver's defense, is also 33.
First Round Prospect: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
What Gilmore Brings To The Table: Gilmore is a shutdown corner with great vision. He has marvelous pursuit of the ball carrier. Gilmore would also get the experience of working and learning under Bailey and S Brian Dawkins, so he would be able to develop and gel into the Broncos' defense. Gilmore would be the future of the defense, if they select him.
No. One: Defensive Tackle
The Broncos' Current Situation: The Broncos have Marcus Thomas and Brodrick Bunkley in the middle of their defensive line, but they desperately need an upgrade.
Thomas and Bunkley had pretty good seasons in 2011, but if the Broncos want to be successful deep in January, they need a run stopper.
First Round Prospect: Devon Still, DT/DE, Penn State
What Still Brings To The Table: Still is 6-5, 310 pounds, and is an absolute wrecking ball. If you look at some of his highlights, you will undoubtedly see how much he can change a game.
The Broncos would benefit enormously from Still. He would be the difference between a win and a loss every single week.
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