Denver Broncos Free Agency: 6 Moves Besides Peyton Manning Denver Should Make
Denver is desperate for some improvement—they made the AFC Divisional Round last year, but showed their ever-so present weaknesses when they got blown out by the dominant New England Patriot team.
The Broncos can improve immensely by acquiring No. 18, however, they need to focus on other areas of need. They need a defensive tackle, a linebacker, two corners, a wide receiver and another quarterback.
The following recommended acquisitions would be perfect for the Denver Broncos.
No. 5: Sign Courtney Roby
Former New Orleans Saints WR/RS/ST Courtney Roby is both a vertical threat and a special teams warrior.
The Saints have consistently had great receivers in large quantity, thus Roby's chances of being one of Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees' primary targets in the aerial attack decreased. At 6'0", he is a decent-sized target.
Roby is also a lightning fast return specialist and gunner. He is a legitimate force to deal with on special teams.
Roby would also fill in for speedy WR/RS Eddie Royal, who shockingly signed with the division riva; San Diego Chargers. Royal will try to mimic what Darren Sproles was for the Chargers. Sproles is now on the Saints, and played with Roby in New Orleans.
The lethal receiver would be a fantastic acquisition for the Denver Broncos.
No. 4: Draft Brandon Weeden in the Second Round
Brandon Weeden is 28 years old, but the Broncos' big three—head coach John Fox, executive VP of football operations and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway, and general manger Brian Xanders—has raved about this quarterback prospect.
Weeden is a better passer than Tim Tebow, as Tebow has an erratic, awkward throwing motion. Yes, Tebow indeed has the right attitude and mindset for improvement, but changing one's throwing mechanics is very difficult and rarely successful in the league.
Since Weeden is 28, he would have to be the starter immediately if the Broncos wanted to get the most out of the quarterback. The Broncos, however, might want to make a reach to select him, because the former Oklahoma State star is a special talent.
No. 3: Aggressively Try to Re-Sign Brodrick Bunkley
Former Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley was phenomenal for Denver last season, but is considering moving on in free agency.
Because the Broncos are waiting on Manning to finally make his decision, players like Bunkley and LB Wesley Woodyard have had to sit and be patient for Denver as well. If the Broncos lose Bunkley, they will be significantly weaker at that position.
Denver gets two key defensive tackles back from injury next season—Kevin Vickerson and Ty Warren. If Bunkley comes back, Denver would be able to establish a wonderful rotation of defensive linemen.
No. 2: Sign Marcus Trufant; Draft Jayron Hosley in the Third Round
The Broncos have one of the oldest secondaries in the NFL, as Champ Bailey and Andre Goodman are both 33.
Signing 31-year-old cornerback Marcus Trufant won't make the team's defensive back corps any more youthful, but it will immediately bolster the group.
Trufant is a great corner and he would play opposite of Bailey, a future Hall of Famer. The Broncos would have an unstoppable, veteran group of cornerbacks.
Under the tutelage of Bailey, Goodman and possibly Trufant, the Broncos should try to groom current nickelback Chris Harris under them, but Denver should also draft and groom Jayron Hosley,
The former Virginia Tech Hokie is a prospect that should end up being a third-rounder. If he's available in Round 3, the Broncos should select him and build their next group of cornerbacks under their current veterans.
No. 1: Draft Donta' Hightower in the First Round
To solidify the Denver Broncos defense, the franchise should spend its first-round pick—25th pick overall—on MLB Donta' Hightower.
Like all great middle linebackers, Hightower is active in the run game, pass coverage and pass rush.
The defensive nucleus makes tackles game in and game out. Hightower can drop back in coverage and cover a running back or tight end, and can even kick outside and blitz like an outside 'backer can.
If available, the Broncos cannot afford to miss out on this talented prospect. Hightower is an all-around linebacker that would make the Denver defense immensely better.
Denver shouldn't miss out on the former Alabama Crimson Tide member.
UPDATE: The Broncos have re-signed inside linebacker Joe Mays, but Hightower nonetheless is a can't-miss type of player.