The 2010 NFL draft is only two days away, and while owners continue their last-minute evaluations, the rest of us are left to sift through rumors and opinions to make sense of the chaos.
The Denver Broncos have become extremely active in the rumor category. Tim Tebow's name has been linked to the organization, and speculation over drafting wide receiver Dez Bryant in the first round has reached a fever pitch.
Tight end Tony Scheffler was shuffled off in another big Denver trade to top it all off.
So where does that leave the Denver draft board? It is a confusing situation, so let's sort through it round by round.
Round One (Pick 11)
With the 11th overall pick, the Broncos are not going to draft an offensive player. The need to fortify the front seven is of utmost importance, especially at the linebacker position.
The two names that jump out the most are ILB Rolando McClain and DE/OLB Sergio Kindle. Both players can make an immediate impact, with McClain being an excellent defensive anchor and Kindle being a lethal player to complement sack leader Elvis Dumervil.
Final Choice: Needing to secure against the run, the Broncos take McClain, whose overall athleticism and instincts are too tempting to pass on.
Round Two (Picks 43 and 45)
The extra, second round pick from the Brandon Marshall trade is bound to be used on a wide receiver. Marshall was extremely effective in the screen game used often by Josh McDaniels, and someone with experience will be needed to fit the bill. Damian Williams out of Southern Cal has that exact skill set.
However, Notre Dame's Golden Tate has been getting plenty of press. The only concern is his size is not that of a standout No. 1, though his skills could put that issue to rest.
The absence of Tony Scheffler leaves the next most obvious hole, though a talented outside linebacker may be a better fit.
Clemson's Ricky Sapp is an undersized defensive end who would fit the billing, though a sneaky pick would be Thaddeus Gibson out of Ohio State. He is an instinctive, speedy end who could excel in the run defense.
Final Choice: At 43, receiver Williams becomes a Bronco, followed by Sapp at 45.
Round Three (Pick 80)
The choices are now more positional than player, unless a slide by a major talent occurs.
Is now the time to go for a tight end? Only if other tight end talents are flying off the board. Otherwise, it's time to go after an interior lineman.
Assuming he is still available, Jon Asamoah, a three-year starter at Illinois, is the perfect fit. While he could afford to put on another 10 to 20 pounds, his technique could allow him to fit into any one of the interior spots.
Final Choice: The 80th overall selection should belong to Asamoah.
Round Four (Pick 114)
It's definitely time for a bargain tight end.
But who will be left at this point? Potential candidates include ex-basketball player Jimmy Graham from Miami, Ed Dickson from Oregon, and Garrett Graham from Wisconsin.
Jimmy has the greatest potential out of the group, though only having one full year of football under his belt hurts his status. Also, the tight end position belongs more to blockers in the McDaniels scheme, though a standout player could change that pattern a little.
Garrett and Dickson are both better receivers than they are blockers, but if a tight end is not taken at this point, the list really thins out.
Final Choice: Dickson may not have the highest talent ceiling, but he is the right pick at this point.
Round Five (Pick 137)
There are only two picks left for the Broncos at this point, so they must choose wisely, or trade down at some point. This may be that opportunity.
The surprise pick at this point may be at cornerback. Wake Forest's Brandon Ghee should be considered. Though he has some inconsistencies, his height and arm length bode well for him. He could learn a lot from Pro Bowler Champ Bailey in this arena, and although he may not see much time his rookie year, he would be worth the investment.
If not, then it's going to be a big guy on the offensive or defensive line. However, there may not be any defensive tackles left on the board that could fit in the 3-4 scheme with Denver. A DE/LB hybrid player with more size than Sapp could be added.
Brandon Deaderick out of Alabama is the man. He fits the 3-4 defensive end mold excellently.
Final Choice: It's gotta be Deaderick, who will earn a starting position in just a couple of years.
Round Six (Pick 183)
Barring any trades, this is the last pick for the Broncos. The real surprise selection at this point would be speedy return specialist Trindon Holliday out of LSU. He's tough for his diminutive size and would be an instant impact player.
The best part of selecting the trickster track star is that Eddie Royal can come off of return duties and fulfill his potential at receiver that he showcased during his stellar rookie campaign in 2008.
However, there are still concerns on the offensive line, though it's unlikely that at this point a more immediate impact could be made than with the pint-size sprinter. His upside also includes potential uses in trick plays for the offensive package.
Final Choice: Holliday is a reach, for sure, but he's an exciting prospect that brings a lethal edge to the special teams, while providing rest for Royal.
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