Getting Past the Trade: How the Denver Broncos Can Improve in the Draft

Brandon HopperContributor IApril 8, 2017

The Broncos’ faithful is split down the middle when it comes to debating whether “The Trade” was in the best interest of the Broncos.


Some fans have their strong opinions, while others don’t know whether to place the blame on the shoulders of Jay Cutler, Josh McDaniels, Pat Bowlen, or even Bus Cook.


Could the relationship possibly have been salvaged? Could a Cutler-McDaniels duo have dominated in the NFL?


No matter your opinion, here’s what you need to realize.


It doesn’t matter!


The trade happened and there are no “do overs,” no “givesies-backsies” in the NFL. The only thing I'm worried about now is how Denver is going to improve in the draft. With picks No. 12 and 18 in the first round, there are plenty of options available.


It’s no secret where they need help. What was once known as the Orange Crush now tastes like Tang.


To improve it, they need to devote the draft to strengthening up that watered-down beverage, especially since they’ll be switching to the 3-4 defense.


I know many people are in love with the thought of getting Mark Sanchez if he slips that low, but we’ve got a quarterback now. If McDaniels, Bowlen and Brian Xanders didn’t think they could win with Kyle Orton, they wouldn’t have made the trade.


Two guys who would be absolute home runs (if you don’t mind me switching sports) would be defensive end Brian Orakpo and defensive tackle B.J. Raji.


Orakpo is an athletic defensive end who I think would be able to play good in a 3-4 defense. Raji is hands down the best defensive tackle in the draft, an inside presence the Broncos desperately need.


Neither is expected to fall to them in the 12th slot. Mel Kiper’s latest board has BO and B.J. going eighth and ninth, while Todd McShay has them going fifth and ninth, respectively.


If either player is still around when the draft nears double digits, the Broncos need to think about moving up a few slots to grab one.


The Broncos would have to leapfrog San Francisco and Buffalo (teams that also need defensive ends) if they want to make Orakpo their guy.


Another player the Broncos could benefit from is defensive end Aaron Maybin for the same reasons as Orakpo. Maybin, though, is expected to be off the board after the 49ers make their selection in the 10th spot.


Getting away from the defensive line, if the Broncos still see Rey Maualuga in the crowd when they’re ready to nab someone at 18, it’d be wise to call him to the podium.


He’s described by as being a knock-out artist who will violently explode through ball carriers when given the opportunity.


Sounds like someone who can bring the toughness back to the Broncos’ defense that it so desperately needs.


It’s a new era in Dove Valley, an era that won’t see Jay Cutler in a Broncos’ uniform and one that desperately needs to add some strength to its Tang.