It's less than one week to the 2009 NFL Draft, and I'm here to offer my last opinion on the Broncos draft strategy for this year.
Now that Cutler is in Chicago, McDaniels can get on to being the coach of our beloved Broncos with extra first- and third-round selections to boot.
Expect defense early and often with a few "Patriot Picks" of best available thrown in. The Broncos WILL draft a quarterback just not in Round One, keep an eye on Graham Harrell in the later rounds.
WR may also be a need with Marshall possibly facing a suspension—but don't expect a WR on Day One.
Denver's defense is truly in need of some talent and they lack depth. Bringing in a few bodies for LB and DL would help the team a lot.
Now let's look at this year's draft.
Cushing is a versatile LB capable of playing inside or outside. Good on the run with great pop in his tackles Brian can quickly remind people how tenacious he is.
Though not a pass-rushing demon, Cushing is a solid all-around LB with a lot of potential which gives him the edge over Maualaga (who some fear has already peaked in terms of potential).
All in all, Cushing would give the Broncos the flexibility to slide him inside or outside based on the defensive formation, and a solid presence in a LB group desperately in need of depth and talent.
A solid DE, Ayers was the winner of this year's Senior Bowl MVP Award.
At 6'3" and 270 pounds, Ayers clocked a 4.89 40 at the combine. Though he failed to produce his first few seasons at Tennessee, and got into some off-field trouble, Ayers quickly righted those wrongs during his senior season, being named a team captain at Tennessee last season.
Ayers can run in the 4.7 range on a good day and can also line up as an outside linebacker in pass rushing situations making him an even better value. One of the fastest rising prospects in the draft, Ayers is the pass-rushing presence the Broncos defense is lacking.
Though this might be a bit of a reach, the Broncos truly have no choice.
The Broncos BADLY need a DT for their switch to the 3-4 defense. DT Marcus Thomas is expected to get time at end in the new look defense.
A teammate of top-10 selection B.J. Raji, Brace is the next best true 3-4 NT in this draft. With an amazing amount of upside to go along with a 6'3", 330-pound frame, Brace could truly become the prize jewel of the Broncos draft class.
Brace is not only capable of clogging the running lanes, but has the upper body strength allows him to shove around guards and get to the QB as well.
My first-ever proposed trade:
Broncos trade the 20th pick in round three and the 14th pick in round four to Seattle for the fourth pick in round three, and the first pick in round five.
With the Cowboys selecting at number five in the third round, and with S Roy Williams no longer with their team I don't see how Dallas could pass on Johnson.
The Broncos have long needed a safety who could instill fear in opposing defenses. Steve Atwater is long gone and it's time to replace him with someone who can perform well.
Rashad Johnson is an extremely athletic and physical safety. He would slide nicely into the SS spot beside new FS Brian Dawkins and help restore some needed swagger to the Broncos secondary.
Another defensive selection. The Broncos get a player who should successfully be able to transfer his skills to an OLB.
A true pass-rusher, Brown would give the Broncos someone to compete with Moss and Dumervil for playing time.
The Broncos bring in their Matt Cassel. Though having Michael Crabtree to throw the ball too made him look better, Harrell is a talented player with a lot of upside.
Expect McDaniel's to mold Harrell like he did Cassel and bring out the best in him. Even if he doesn't start, Harrell is definitely worth the pick.
A tall, lanky wideout (6'1, 185 Pounds). Wallace is a true deep-threat receiver who could be used as a fourth or fifth option in McDaniels' spread offense.
He needs to work on his route running, but has the potential to make a solid contribution. Wallace would be a good-value pick in the fifth round.
A large guard, Parker reminds me alot of Logan Mankins. With McDaniels no longer favoring the zone-blocking scheme used in previous year's expect to see him bring in a lineman or two.
Another lineman. McDaniels keeps his focus on depth and the trenches.
A project player, Bell also has experience at guard, making him a versatile backup.
A good cover corner, Sargeant would provide some depth at CB, and the ability to possibly play some in the nickel package.
A little known prospect who doesn't even have a photo 0_0.
With rare size for a receiver, Simmons is 6'3" and 230 pounds. He needs to work on route running and not dropping passes, but he would be a true gift at this point in the draft.
Please, Leave Comments, as I would love to hear the opinion of other Broncos fans.
The bottom line is that our defense needs depth and talent. Though I'm not against choosing the "best available player" strategy, I just hope those players fit our defensive needs.