After a very turbulent off-season that saw the Broncos send their franchise QB Jay Cutler (and a fifth rounder) to the Bears (For Kyle Orton, Round One Pick 18, next years first, and a Round Three pick (84th Overall) it's time to look at what that means for the Broncos 2009 Draft.
Coach McDaniels comes from a team that believes in building through the draft so expect the Broncos to continuously target the BAP (Best Available Player) on their board regardless of position.
WIth a desperate need for an impact linebacker the Broncos don't fail to produce. Having another pick at No. 18 makes this choice even easier.
A force in the middle with an excellent first step, great tackling skills, and a knack for getting to the ball, Maualaga would immediately be an upgrade to a Broncos defense that needs one.
Bringing in Maualaga would also allow D.J Williams to slide back to his original ROLB position on 4-3 and inside on 3-4 in Nolan's Hybrid defense.
Once again, being from the Patriots, McDaniel's is aware of how high the Patriots are on this kid. Reports state that New England would have chose him last year over Mayo if he had declared for the draft.
Laurinaitis hurt his stock by staying in school for his senior season. A projected top 10 pick last year, he has fallen due to the heavy DE and T talent at the top of this years draft.
Like the Maualaga pick, the Broncos simply need better Linebackers. Outside of Williams the Broncos linebackers are nothing to write home about and Ian Gold has seen better days.
Capable of playing inside or outside, James would bring a mean streak to the LB corps. A punishing tackler who reacts well and is good in coverage, Laurinaitis is exactly what the Broncos need to improve their 30th ranked defense.
Along with Maualaga, Laurinaitis would give the Broncos a solid one-two Punch at LB for years to come and be a huge upgrade in every way. Though the picks aren't sexy, neither is a horrible defense.
Wes Welker was an amazing jack-of all trades for the Patriots. With the Broncos already having that type of player in WR Eddie Royal, McDaniels goes out and gets a true possession receiver.
Robiskie is the son of Terry Robiskie (WR Coach Atlanta Falcons) and possibly the most coached WR to ever enter the draft.
At 6'3 200 pounds, Robiskie would slide in nicely beside Marshall and with Royal give the Broncos a solid young trio of talented receivers.
Excels at route running and playing the middle of the field, physical at the line and good at creating separation though he lacks top end speed.
A true 3-4 nose tackle, Brace is exactly what the doctor ordered for the Broncos DT woes.
A strong, physical tackle, Brace lacks the shine of some of this years DT's after sitting behind Top 10 hopeful B.J Raji his entire career.
At 6'3", 325 pounds, Brace can demand double teams regularly and free the end's and lb's to make plays. Not a pass rushing DT but does show flashes of penetration ability, amazing upside.
Even with the signing of Brian Dawkins the Broncos need to add some talent and depth at S (And look to the future with Dawkins being a short-term fix).
Cook (5'10" 203 pounds) disappointed some with his 4.64 40 at the combine but plays faster in pads. Clocked as fast as 4.46 since beginning college, Cook is an all-motor, non-stop, extremely physical safety.
Capable of play either safety position, Cook is an extremely good tackler who fly's around the field. A true leader on and off the field, he is the type of player the Broncos want representing their team.
A "Tweener" DE/OLB, Brown would compete for playin time at DE for the Broncos with Crowder, Dumervil, and Moss.
A non-stop motor player, Brown is the type of situational pass-rusher that the Patriots made such good usage out of during McDaniel's tenure with the team.
At 6'3"-246 Pounds. Brown is too small to play DE every play without a large DT to protect his weakness on run plays. He fits the mold of what Nolan thought he was getting in San Fran with former first rounder, Manny Lawson.
Gardner is a strong, big, strong (did i mention strong) OT. Formerly thought to be as high as a second round selection a torn labrum sidelined for the end of last season and most of this offseason.
Gardner (6'6" 305 pounds) shows great foot movement, strong hands, and great agility picking up outside blitzes. More of a run-blocker his skill translate well to RT in the NFL.
He would give the Broncos a late round talent to groom to start at RT in the future.
Players on Arizona's team will tell that Shipley is an MVP in every sense of the word. A true team player, he excels at hard-work. Excels at both pass and run blocking and has a nice snap release.
Voted the nation's top center in 2008, Shipley (6'1" 304 pounds) is the type of player who could easily end up a starter by his second year in the league.
With only Chris Simms and Kyle Orton currently on the roster, expect the Broncos to draft a QB, however, I don't expect it to be before the sixth-seventh round. They seem happy to go into this season with either Orton or Simms as the QB.
Harrell is a good player. Though having Michael Crabtree helped make him look better, Harrell is a strong armed QB with nice touch on his floaters and good field vision.
A hard worker, Harrell would be a nice addition who could eventually be groomed a la Matt Cassel.
Daniels is a tall physical corner. At 6'0" 200 pounds with 4.5 speed, he'd be a nice backup who could produce in nickel/quarter packages.
Has some injury concerns but has tremendous upside. The leader of Georgia Tech's secondary for the past few years, Daniels would be a nice addition with a future in the nickelback position most likely.