Denver Broncos: Biggest Weakness, Strength Heading Into The 2010 Season
Today, the subject is the Denver Broncos.
Biggest Strength: Ryan Clady, left tackle
Ryan Clady may just be the best left tackle in the league. Clady is, without a doubt, the Broncos' best player now that Brandon Marshall is gone. Although, one could try to make a case for Elvis Dumervil.
For a left tackle, Clady is a treat to watch. Clady's arms are freakishly long, which allows him to consistently steer the defensive end/linebacker any way he wants.
Perhaps his best attribute is his quickness off the snap. I have not seen one defender blow by him on the initial snap.
Bronco fans will be watching extremely closely to how effective Clady will be coming back from a partially torn patellar tendon. Even if he is out longer than expected, this won't mean disaster for the Broncos.
The Broncos may be inclined to bring in a veteran like Flozell Adams to help at the left tackle spot. If not, they'll probably stay in house with Tyler Polumbus or rookie Zane Beadles. Neither are nearly the player Clady is.
Other Strengths: RB, RT, ILB, ROLB, S
Biggest Weakness: Wide Receiver
I'm really indifferent about the strengths and weaknesses of this team overall.
For one thing there really aren't many strengths or weaknesses. That's why they have finished 8-8 the past two seasons.
And the fact that they choke in the second half of the season.
Wide Receiver is now a weakness with Brandon Marshall's departure. The position was attempted to be upgraded for the future, but now it looks like a big weakness for this season.
You can't ask a rookie to be your No. 1 guy.
That is why Jabar Gaffney has got to step up. While Gaffney is a serviceable number three guy, he has not been in a situation in which he is the number one target.
Another veteran presence in the locker room is Brandon Stokely. The 34-year-old wide receiver is getting up there in age. Except for the magical Week 1 play in 2009, his season consisted of catching 19 passes.
Demaryius Thomas was one of the Broncos' first round picks. His athleticism is off the charts, but don't be surprised if Thomas is a slightly better version of Darrius Heyward-Bey's rookie year.
Thomas has conceded they only ran two routes in Georgia Tech's option offense. His catching ability is also questionable, at best. I think it's wise to expect around 30 to 40 catches at best, especially with McDaniels' tendency to change his receivers.
The other rookie wide receiver is a guy that I think will be better than Thomas this season. Eric Decker is the most polished wide receiver coming into the draft. If Decker can return from the foot injury that ended his senior season, it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect at least 40 catches from him.
Eddie Royal is probably best coming out of the slot. After his monster (and rare) rookie season in 2008, he was a colossal disappoint a year ago. It was obvious he fit Shanahan's system far better than McDaniels.
If he can give around 50 catches, it will have to be considered a good year for him.
Other Weaknesses: LG, C, LOLB, CB (depth)
This is the tenth of a 32-part series where I examine the biggest strengths and weaknesses of every NFL team. Please put your disagreements in the comment section cordially. To view previous editions, click the following links:
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