Josh McDaniels followed a turbulent first year by ensuring that he didn’t slip away from the spotlight.
After trading all around the first round, he settled on a pair of prospects that could very well define his tenure.
Demaryius Thomas is a great physical talent who has comparable size and speed to the departed Brandon Marshall, but his questionable hands and suspect route running could make him dangerously comparable to Braylon Edwards.
Tim Tebow’s first-round selection was a stunner in light of more polished names like Jimmy Clausen and Colt McCoy still being on the board. He is a great upside guy who will give his all while learning and developing, but a high-upside project is probably not the ideal first-round pick.
Picks 45 and 80 shored up the offensive line with the reach of Zane Beadles offset by the solid value of J.D. Walton.
Erick Decker makes a nice insurance policy as a wideout with less upside than Thomas, but more polish.
Perrish Cox may not be a glaring need with Champ Bailey and Andre Goodman currently in the lineup, but he will be a solid return man in the near future, while being groomed to eventually succeed one of the other.
The tail end of the draft is just as interesting as the top, with the team taking both a second center and corner, while final pick Jammie Kirlew looks more like a solid UFA than late draft pick.
Final Verdict: The mid to late stages of the draft are a blue-collar mixed bag that is neither a standout or particularly horrible. McDaniels’ first two picks are the kind that will make or break a career however.
Because both are higher on upside than instant ability, this can only really be judged in about three years.
For the short-term however they could signal a backslide in 2010, while aging defense tries to hold up long enough for the very youthful offense to catch up.