The end of the '08 season brought an end to the Mike Shanahan era in Denver.
Historically, Shanahan always had success in drafting offensive players, but when given the chance, he would never pass on a position of need on the defensive side of the ball.
After Shanahan was fired, Broncos' owner Pat Bowlen made a risky move and hired Josh McDaniels. His main objective was to keep the offense the same and rebuild the defense. After a very successful free agency period, McDaniels made a mistake that has gotten him hated by many Broncos' fans.
He traded franchise quarterback Jay Cutler.
This past weekend, Josh McDaniels got his first chance to redeem himself. It was simple: If the Broncos had a good draft, he is forgiven; if the Broncos have a bad draft, the fans will want him fired. So, how did it go? Here is a recap of Denver's 10 picks.
Round/Pick - Player, Position, School
1st/12th - Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
1st/18th - Robert Ayers, DE/OLB, Tennessee
2nd/5th - Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest
2nd/16th - Darcel McBath, S, Texas Tech
2nd/32nd - Richard Quinn, TE, UNC
4th/14th - David Bruton, S, Notre Dame
4th/32nd - Seth Olsen, OT, Iowa
5th/5th - Kenny McKinley, WR, South Carolina
6th/1st - Tom Brandstater, QB, Fresno St.
7th/16th - Blake Schlueter, C, TCU
Like stated earlier, McDaniels was hired to rebuild the defense. Yes, he did address the need of defensive end. He also needed a pass catching running back.
But was it necessary to spend six of their 10 picks on offense? The Broncos had the number two ranked offense in the league last year! To go with that, they had the 29th ranked defense!
No one can see what McDaniels is doing... and that is exactly why he will be a successful coach in the NFL.
Josh McDaniels is a product of Bill Belichick. Belichick never did the ordinary thing. No one could ever guess what was coming next. On the other hand, anybody could predict what Mike Shanahan's next call would be. The weird, the out-of-the-ordinary, and the downright crazy calls are exactly the change the Broncos need.
This should be a fun year for Broncos fans. Don't be surprised by anything. And most importantly, keep faith.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!