After wishing for and then finally receiving a new GM, head coach, an experienced defensive coordinator, and some free agent signings, things could not have been looking better for the Broncos in 2009.
Already anchored by some of the best young talent in football in Ryan Clady, Ryan Harris, Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal, Tony Scheffler, and Jay Cutler, the Broncos just needed to address the RB position and defensive side of the football in the 2009 Draft and offseason.
And with the free agent signings of Correll Buckhalter, J.J. Arrington, Brian Dawkins, Andra Davis, Andre' Goodman, and Renaldo Hill, the Broncos did just that and asserted themselves as one of the most aggressive teams this offseason.
With these moves, the Broncos basically assured themselves on paper to contend for a playoff spot and the AFC West title, and most importantly, re-energized their loyal fanbase for the 2009 season.
Since that time, the once proud Broncos franchise has gone into disarray with the Cutler and Josh McDaniels feud that eventually led to Cutler being traded.
Even after this ugly separation, the Broncos were still in a better position than most thought, as they acquired two first round selections and a third rounder as well. This left the Broncos with 11 draft picks this year, which included the No. 12 and No. 18 selections, to address their glaring needs.
The Broncos could draft a RB and a DE with their two first round selections and then possibly package both of their first round picks next year to move up to select either Sam Bradford or Colt McCoy.
Instead, the Broncos gambled and may pay for it for many years to come, as they selected Knowshon Moreno with the 12th pick and Robert Ayers with the 18th pick.
Selecting Moreno was a very good selection, as he is a complete back and a back that the Broncos can depend on for the next 10 years. The problem, however, is that the Broncos' primary need was DE, and with Brian Orakpo somehow on the board, the Broncos clearly made a mistake.
The right move would have been to select Orakpo and then hope that Moreno fell to No. 18. Otherwise the Broncos could have traded up due to their abundance of picks or selected LeSean McCoy or Chris Wells.
If this was not bad enough, the Broncos then traded their first round pick next year to Seattle to move up and select CB Alphonso Smith. Smith is a playmaker that will be a very good NFL CB, but was it really worth burning one of your bargaining chips next year when the QB crop is going to be deep?
Yes, the Broncos still retain the Bears' first round pick, which should be a top 15 pick, but if the Broncos had any hopes of landing Bradford or McCoy, they will be disappointed, as both will be gone within the first five picks of the draft.
Kyle Orton, who the Broncos also received in the Cutler trade, will be a lot better than critics think. Orton will have a better offensive line, better weapons to throw the ball to, motivation of a one-year contract, and the experience of playing in bad weather.
But what happens after this year? Will a QB be available where the Broncos pick? Will they sign Orton to a multi-year deal? Will the Broncos luck out and have the Bears finish as one of the worst teams in the league?
For the Broncos' sake and for us fans, all we can do is hope as we watch McDaniels attempt to clean up the many messes that he created.
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