2011 NFL Draft: Denver Broncos Have To Get Defensive With Picks
The Denver Broncos are going to be drafting second overall in April when the 2011 NFL Draft rolls around after having finished the 2010 season with a 4-12 record, their worst record in franchise history.
If only the Broncos were picking No. 2 during the 2010 NFL Draft, then they would have taken Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year for the Detroit Lions.
But it’s 2011, not 2010.
The Denver Broncos are in a rare position to draft a very talented player at whichever position they feel is their biggest need and the greatest value to the franchise.
Not only will the Broncos be able to draft an impact player with the No. 2 pick overall, but also pick two players in the top half of the 2nd round of the NFL Draft as well. The Broncos have their 2nd Round pick, which appears to be No. 36, and also the No. 47 selection via the Miami Dolphins as result of the Brandon Marshall trade.
With three draft picks out of the first 48 selections, the Denver Broncos are in great position to start rebuilding that aging defense through the draft. The average age of the Broncos defensive starters in their season finale against the San Diego Chargers was 30.18 years old.
The Broncos need an influx of young talent on the defensive line and especially in the secondary. With so many glaring holes, the Broncos can go in several directions come April 28-30.
I have taken the liberty of projecting the three possible draft picks for the Broncos. Here are the three college football players that I would like to see the Denver Broncos draft
No. 2 — Da’Quan Bowers: DE Clemson
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Weight: 275 lbs
40-Yard Dash Time: 4.64
Projected Round: Top 5 pick
Scouting Report: Bowers led the nation with 15.5 sacks in 2010...A very athletic pass rusher with great size and bulk…A prototypical defensive end at the NFL level…Hampered by some injuries during his career.
Overview: Bowers is a freak athlete and would fit in excellent in Denver as the playmaking rush end. Bowers would be able to free up Elvis Dumervil off the edge and immediately contribute from Day One with the Broncos.
Other Possibilities: Auburn DT/DE Nick Fairley, LSU CB Patrick Peterson, Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara
No. 36 — Jimmy Smith: CB Colorado
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Weight: 205 lbs
40-Yard Dash Time: 4.49
Projected Round: Late 1st-Early 2nd
Scouting Report: Smith has a great combination of size and speed...a great wrap-up tackler…Has pretty good instincts and awareness, very physical…Has the potential to be a very good man-to-man shutdown cornerback in the NFL, huge upside.
Overview: The Broncos need some help in the aging secondary. Smith would be able to come in and play opposite Champ Bailey if he returns to Denver. Smith could eventually take over Bailey’s spot while Champ moves to safety like he intends to. If the former Colorado Buffalo is available early in 2nd Round, the Broncos could have a steal on their hands.
Other Possibilities: North Carolina DT Marvin Austin, Miami (FL) CB Brandon Harris
No. 47 — Jared Crick: DT Nebraska
Eric Francis/Getty Images
Weight: 285 lbs
40-Yard Dash Time: 4.85
Projected Round: 2nd Round
Scouting Report: Crick is an explosive player that is a good tackler...Makes plays in the backfield…Gets off blocks well…Versatile player, can play either defensive end or defensive tackle.
Overview: The Broncos could upgrade at every position along the defensive line. Crick would be able to play either defensive tackle or defensive end in both the 4-3 and 3-4 scheme, so his value at this point would be immense. If the Broncos can land Bowers with the No. 2 and Crick at No. 47, they would solidify their defensive line for years to come.
Other Possibilities: Alabama DT Marcell Dareus, Florida SS Ahmad Black