It's been a very eventful offseason for the Denver Broncos, to say the least.
First, they make national headlines by signing free-agent slot receiver Wes Welker. Broncos fans cheered and welcomed the speedy Welker with open arms, yet their jaws all hit the ground when it was revealed that the Broncos, due to a fax mix-up, released superstar defensive end Elvis Dumervil.
Dumervil, who certainly enjoyed his time in Denver, had agreed to take a pay cut in order to stay with the team, yet the signed contract did not reach the NFL's office in time, and the Broncos could not keep Dumervil and stay below the salary cap.
After a bidding war, Dumervil agreed to terms with the Baltimore Ravens, ending his career in Denver. His loss is heartbreaking for the Broncos, and it means that defensive end now becomes a draft priority along with defensive tackle, cornerback and middle linebacker.
Needless to say, it will be a defense-heavy draft for the Broncos.
Here are four picks that could seem appealing to the Broncos, but in reality, they should avoid.
The Dumervil situation may be having the Broncos front office panicking for a defensive end/pass-rusher, yet the priority should remain with selecting a defensive tackle.
Damontre Moore, due in part to weak performances in the 40-yard dash (4.95 seconds) and bench press (12 reps) at the NFL combine, could fall to the 28th pick the Broncos have.
The Broncos would be wise, however, to avoid Moore. His combine numbers have to raise eyebrows, and with Derek Wolfe, Von Miller, and the hopeful addition of Dwight Freeney, the Broncos aren't going to be in too bad of shape with pass-rushing.
Drafting Moore would be an overcorrection.
Alex Okafor is another defensive end from Texas the Broncos should avoid.
Okafor has great speed and a ton of talent, yet he's a one-dimensional player. His one selling skill is his pass-rushing ability.
Having flashy pass-rushers has become very chic in the league, yet the Broncos don't need another defender on the field who struggles in run defense and dropping back into coverage.
Just as is the case with Moore, the Broncos shouldn't fall into the temptation that could be Okafor.
Manti Te'o, the draft's most popular and polarizing figure, could easily be available by the Broncos' 28th pick.
The uninformed fan will tell you this is because of his girlfriend hoax situation. Yet in reality, the reason that Te'o's stock is falling is because he's pretty slow.
Te'o's 4.82-second 40-yard dash time at the NFL combine really worried some scouts. Notre Dame's ghastly performance in the BCS National Championship Game doesn't help, either.
Te'o is a unique player, though; he brings with him a passionate fanbase that is already established and an exorbitant amount of media attention. This bodes well for TV ratings and jersey/merchandise sales, but it could also serve as a locker room distraction. (see: New York Jets)
I don't think the Broncos would go here, yet if they are ruminating with the thought of scooping up Te'o, well, let's hope they don't.