A Look Back at Denver Broncos' 2009 Draft: What Could Have Been
I'm not trying to pile on to the heap of criticism that the Broncos front office has received over the past year regarding the 2009 draft. But I do want to look back at what they got vs. what was available in the needs.
Need: Running back
Pick: Knowshon Moreno with the 12th overall pick
Alternative: Shonn Greene
Does any running back, aside from Adrian Peterson, warrant that high of a pick? This pick was almost as bad as the previous year's pick of Darren McFadden by the Raiders as the No. 3 overall. Look at both of their careers at this point. Not earth shattering.
Need: Outside Linebacker
Pick: Robert Ayers with the 18th overall pick
Alternatives: Brian Cushing (true OLB), Clay Matthews (true OLB), Rey Maualuga (true OLB), Brian Orapko (DE), Paul Kruger (DE)
The obvious: Why not just take a guy who's played OLB before and reduce the risk of a first-round bust (see Ayers as an example). And if you're going to try to convert a DE to an OLB, please take a player who had production in college (see Orapko) or try this maneuver in the second round with a Paul Kruger instead of taking the risk in the first round with Ayers.
Wouldn't it have been nice to have a Cushing, Maualuga, or Orapko instead of Ayers?
Need: Nose tackle
Pick: None taken
Alternative: BJ Raji (9th overall)
The obvious: Would management (and everyone else) have sacrificed either Moreno or Ayers, or both, for a shot at Raji? I think so.
The much debated obvious about the rest of the picks:
Alphonso Smith: Expensive, ineffective
Richard Quinn: Expensive, more penalties against him than plays made
Seth Olsen: Too early to tell
Kenny McKinley: Too early to tell
Tom Brandstater: Too early to tell
Blake Schleuter: Too early to tell
On the positive side, Darcel McBath looks like he will be a quality player and David Bruton has been good on special teams.
Ouch. That's a lot of picks for just two effective players. And this was supposed to be the draft that Denver reloaded.
If Marshall is traded, Denver will most likely have two first-round picks again. Will the front office have learned their lessons from last year's draft?
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