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?