Let’s Play GM
Now that the smoke has finally settled from what has become affectionately known as "McJaygate" there seems to be a peace in the Mile High area as Head Coach Josh McDaniels prepares for his first NFL Draft or could it just be the calm before the storm? When the deed went down a few weeks ago, there were many skeptics and critics that did not agree with the decision to trade away your former first round pick for a journey man quarterback.
Now that we've had time to digest, what has changed? One thing seems to be certain, McDaniels appears content to remain steady with his two quarterbacks (Orton and Simms).
If this is the case and Mr. Peter King (SI.com) is correct with his assessment that McDaniels really likes Orton, then as the Bronco's GM what do you do with your two picks?
As part of the Cutler deal, the Bronco's inherited the Bears 2009 first round pick at number 18. If you are the team's GM what do you do with your two first round draft picks? This is a dilemma that the team's new GM Brian Xanders is facing.
If Orton is now the right guy in Denver, then the answers for Xanders and McDaniels seem logical. Following one of the worst seasons this franchise has ever seen with their defense finishing near the bottom in 2008, this should be the focus on Saturday.
This year's pool of prospects is filled with a great many talents and the Bronco's should have plenty of opportunity to snag a couple at 12 and 18 in the first round of the draft on Saturday. At number 12, the team could easily target one of this year's talented class of linebackers and out of Southern California, there are three (Brian Cushing, Ray Maualuga, & Clay Matthews) to choose from alone.
Switching to the more traditional 3-4 defensive scheme the Broncos are in need of strong inside linebacker play as well as a big man in the middle to play nose tackle. Some experts think that Boston College's B.J. Raji (DT) could fall to number 12 and this is where the Broncos should look, but it is not likley that he'll slide that far. Another name that will be on the team's radar, but it is unlikely he'll last past the top 10 is Texas'Brian Orakpo (DE).
Again there is plenty of talent to consider, but the way the draft is likely to shape up, the Broncos will likely have their pick of litter (past Aaron Curry) at the linebacker position. All signs would point towards the Broncos taking inside linebacker Ray Maualuga. His addition inside could allow LB D.J. Williams to move back to a more natural outside linebacker position.
At number 18, the team would then be able to look for a defensive playmaker in the secondary or up front. Defensive end Tyson Jackson (LSU) and defensive tackle Jerry Peria (Ole Miss) could be potential targets for this spot if the team is looking for their needed help up front or they could give a look at corner back Vontae Davis (Illinois). Davis is considered one of the best athletes and defensive backs in the nation entering this year's draft.
If I am the GM of the Broncos my choices may not be quite clear yet, but with two first round picks I know I have very good choices. The speculation of making a deal to draft up would not be a consideration. While the future could look promising with a young arm, why tie up so much cash on a promise, when I can build for now.
Based on what I know about Orton and what I believe in McDaniels as an orchestrator and offensive mind, my needs to be addressed in this year's draft will be the defense. I am confident that the arms I have in camp will be adequate for my team to compete.
So where do I go and what do I look for; an inside playmaker, an immovable force up front, and a stud defensive back will be high on my charts for 2009.
By David G. Ortega