Five Trades the Denver Broncos Should Make Pre-Draft
I have been an avid Broncos fan for over 15 years. I've worshiped the likes of Elway, Shanahan, Shannon Sharpe, Ed McCaffery, Terrell Davis, Rod Smith...the list could seriously go on and on (Yes, most of those were players in the '90s; I'm only 25, lol).
However, dealing with Josh McDaniels is getting a bit trying. I loved the beginning of the season last year for the Broncos with our 6-0 start but after that the wheels fell off the bandwagon.
I used to be open to trading Champ Bailey if we could acquire a young proven player and a high pick, but now that's out of the question. Without Bailey, our core of true blue Denver Broncos superstars is gone.
In two seasons, McDaniels has shipped arguably our two most talented players out of town. The two most valuable commodities we had are now two first-round picks and two second-round picks.
Heading into this draft, McDaniels has a lot of Broncos fans he needs to try to win back. Marshall may have been a douche, but he showed up on Sunday when it mattered and balled.
The Broncos now have serious needs for play-makers on both sides of the ball and after last year's draft McDaniels need to hit a home run. Neither Ayers or Smith did much in their rookie season and Richard Quinn looks like a fifth round pick.
Let's look at five trades that could make the Broncos a better team next season. Rookies are nice, but if you can get a proven NFL player for a good price, DO IT.
The Broncos need someone to complement Moreno's shifty running style. After trading Hillis to the Browns, the Broncos lack a serious short-yard compliment in the rushing game.
LenDale White is unhappy in Tennessee. He's not going to re-sign and he wants to contribute more. In Denver he could come in and split carries with Moreno.
McDaniels prefers a RB-by-committee approach and White would surely get more carries if he wasn't behind Superman-on-cleats. With only one year left on his contract, White could come easily at a fourth or maybe fifth-round draft pick.
White is young, doesn't have much mileage, and has proven he can score touchdowns. Trading a fourth or fifth for him would be a smart, sound, and very wise move for the Broncos.
Last year, the talent the Broncos had at linebacker was lacking, to be honest. Ayers didn't do much to upgrade that after being chosen in the first round.
D.J. Williams is our jack-of-all-trades LB that can play inside or outside. After letting go of Andra Davis in the offseason and not doing anything to replace him, the Broncos have shown they plan to keep Williams at ILB for the this season at least.
Adalius Thomas is very unhappy with the Patriots; they are going to cut him and would take almost anything in return most likely. Either way, they aren't willing to pay him $4.8 million next season.
If the Broncos could acquire him for a fourth- or fifth-round choice I think it would be a good move. He'd bring veteran knowledge of the 3-4 defense, and a hard-nosed playing style the Broncos need.
Thomas has lost a step in pass-rushing (which he's obviously not ready to admit), but would be a huge-upgrade in run defense over Mario Haggans.
Although people are questioning his ability to play in the 3-4, I think he would do so nicely. He has excellent coverage skills for a LB and would team nicely with Dumervil, who's more of a pass-rushing/run-stopping DE/LB Hybrid.
The Redskins have been rumored to want to trade McIntosh because they don't believe he fits the 3-4 defense they plan to deploy. If the Broncos could get him for a third- or fourth-round choice, he's a good value at a young age.
Best case would be a third rounder next season, with us keeping our picks in this year's draft and giving up a pick we can easily re-coup next offseason.
This one is a bit of a stretch (OK, a lot of a stretch).
The Ravens have been rumored several times this offseason to be shopping OT Jared Gaither. Gaither, almost 350 pounds, is a run-blocking force who could easily play guard (or nose tackle) as well.
If we could possibly get him for swapping first-round selections, I'd be ecstatic. To move from No. 11 to No. 25 would still give us a chance to draft either OC Maurice Pouncey or WR Golden Tate, who'd be a great replacement for Marshall, who's been shipped to the Dolphins.
That would let us play LT Clady/LG Olsen/RG Harris/RT Gaither, with either Hochstein or Kuper to compete for the OC position in camp.
The Broncos also may want to look at Kevin Mawae, who is a free agent. He's lingered on the shelve and I'm sure has one more season in the tank. A low-risk one-year contract for a player of his experience and character would be low risk/high reward.
Either way the move would only create competition and depth on a Broncos line in desperate need of an upgrade.
The 49ers just traded for speedster/dropster Ted Ginn from the Miami Dolphins. All signs point to him being the starter opposite from Crabtree helping to stretch the field for the 49ers' potent rushing attack.
The 49ers offense has long needed someone who could make safeties move out of the box, and although Ginn can't catch a cold, you have to respect his speed on deep routes.
Morgan, at 6'0" 219 pounds, would give the Broncos a target to help replace Marshall's production in the passing game. Unless the Broncos strike gold, it's going to take more than one player to fill Marshall's shoes.
Morgan is an above-average route runner with limited speed. He fights for catches, releases nicely, and goes up to get the ball in traffic. He'd make an amazing slot receiver in McDaniels' offense.
A third-round draft pick could get the deal done; however, if the 49ers wanted the better end, we could trade the Dolphins' second-rounder for Morgan and the 49ers third-round draft pick and sixth- or seventh-rounder.
No matter what, the Broncos have to upgrade at WR, LB, and O-line in the draft or through trades.
The Broncos did an amazing job of upgrading the D-line through free agency with DT Jamal Williams, DT/DE Justin Bannan (who I believe will play RE), and LE Jarvis Green all being picked up.
Look for the Broncos to look at Dez Bryant or Golden Tate in the draft now. McDaniels has the inside track on Tate thanks to his relationship with Charlie Weis (Tate's coach at Notre Dame) and that could play into any decision the Broncos make.
OT, LB, and WR are all possibilities at No. 11; however, I believe the Broncos would love to move down and pick up more choices. They need more depth across the roster, especially on the O-line.
If they pick at No. 11, Rolando Mcclain, Dez Bryant, and Mike Iupati could all be options. I like OC Maurice Pouncey but I'm not sure he's worth No. 11 overall for a center. I'm sure the Broncos would probably take a reduced price if it meant moving back to 20-25 and still being able to draft Pouncey since he'd fill a huge hole on their O-line.
Bringing in Quinn eliminated the Broncos from a QB in the first three rounds some think, and I agree with that. Orton and Quinn provide the Broncos with two serviceable QBs while we build our roster.
All in all, the Broncos have many options in this deep draft class. Picking up more draft choices is always a plus, but the Broncos need to find two or three players impact players in this draft if they want to compete. Hopefully Ayers and Smith can step up and start or give a solid contribution to the team.
I'm hoping, and I'm sure both Bowlen and McDaniels are too, that someone comes knocking on the door for that No. 11 pick, the light's on and we're home.