When the Denver Broncos signed Peyton Manning to a five-year, $96 million contract, they likely completed the biggest free agency pick-up in the history of the NFL. If it's not Manning's career 65 percent completion percentage, 54,000 passing yards, 399 touchdowns, or his 11 playoff appearances that will take the Broncos to another Super Bowl, it will certainly be his incredibly high football IQ and leadership abilities that will ultimately prevail.
However, during the Colts' 11 playoff appearances with Manning running the show, they only advanced past their first playoff game four times, made it to the Super Bowl twice and won it all just once (2007).
Five years later, Manning finds himself in a different jersey, under a different coach and in the later part of his career. What will it take to get back to that February night under the lights at Dolphin Stadium you might ask? After taking a long look at the Broncos roster, it seems apparent that it will take more than just the will of Manning getting back to the player he once was. It will also take wisdom on the part of John Elway and company to surround him with a core of athletes, both young and old, who can get the job done.
Let's take a look at five areas of immediate need the Denver Broncos must address through the 2012 NFL Draft to give Manning the best chance to lead the Denver Broncos to the Superdome in February.