In many pre-draft mocks and offseason team evaluation articles, secondary has been dubbed a "position of need" for the Denver Broncos. In reality, the secondary may not be in a bad situation.
Ever since the blown coverage that led to young safety Rahim Moore being out of position in a playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Denver's secondary has been looked upon as if in a dire situation. That is simply not the case.
The Broncos two starting cornerbacks, Champ Bailey and Chris Harris, were dubbed the top starting tandem in the NFL by ProFootballFocus.com, allowing a combined 929 yards through the air last season. Bailey (34) is getting older, but he still has a few more years left in the tank and is still performing at a high level, as the PFF numbers have shown.
Across from Bailey is Harris, who was a member of the 2011 All-Rookie team after going undrafted. Last season, Harris shot into the spotlight when filling in for the injured Tracy Porter by totaling 61 tackles, 2.5 sacks, breaking up 12 passes and recording three interceptions.
Is the secondary a big position of need for Denver?
Behind Bailey and Harris are youngsters Omar Bolden and Tony Carter. Last season, Carter saw time in Denver's nickel defense and notched two interceptions.
Bolden, entering his second season, is expected to compete "for far more playing time in the defense" this season, according to the Denver Post's Jeff Legwold. Carter performed well when called upon last season and Bolden, who played mostly on special teams, is viewed by Denver's staff as a player that is capable of earning more time on defense moving forward.
That's two bookend corners and two up-and-coming cornerbacks on the roster. While drafting a CB would not hurt the depth of Denver's secondary, it does not have to be a top priority, considering who the Broncos already have on the team.
As for the safety position, Denver's two starters last season, Rahim Moore and Mike Adams, are expected to return in 2013. Behind them, the team has special teams ace David Bruton and Quinton Carter, who missed most of last season while on injured reserve.
Neither Moore nor Adams played poorly last season and neither need to be replaced (but that's not to say they couldn't be upgraded). A dark horse to emerge as a starter this summer is Carter, who will be entering his third season.
Carter started in 10 games as a rookie in 2011 and played a role in Denver's wild-card victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, recording an interception and laying out big hits. Three games into the 2012 season, Carter was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury, causing many fans and pundits to forget about the Oklahoma product.
But Carter will return and could secure a starting gig if he outperforms veteran starter Mike Adams in training camp. That would leave the Broncos with two young, promising safeties in the secondary.
Carter (24) and Moore (23) are both more experienced than any rookie would be and are only a few years older than most prospects entering the draft. While both players could be upgraded (especially in free agency), safety is not a dire position of need for the team.
The "experts" will continue to refer to the secondary as a position of need for Denver leading up to the draft, but the Broncos roster tells a different story.