Denver Broncos 2011 NFL Mock Draft: First Three Rounds Elway Has to Get It Right
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After Josh McPowertrip had his fun destroying the once proud Denver Broncos franchise. The Broncos are relying on the only person who's ever been able to make them champions, John Elway, to make them champions again.
After spending the 2010 NFL Draft trading up and down and around (For Tim Tebow mostly), the Broncos are left in a bad position on draft day. They have a defense that needs talent across the board and only 6 draft picks (Three in the first 46).
Today, we are going to take a look at three players who the Broncos could draft with those selections. It's obvious that if the Broncos want to compete in the AFC West, they need to improve their rushing defense with Kansas City and Oakland ranking #1 and #2 in the NFL at rushing this season.
I slapped a trade onto the end that I think it's very possible, depending on how things play out with the Denver Broncos head coaching search.
So without Further ado, let's get to the stuff you want to read. With the Number Two overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select....
Round One Pick Two: DE/DT Nick Fairley, Auburn
Nick Fairley holding up the BCS National Championship Trophy after Auburn's last second field goal win over Oregon
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DE/DT Nick Fairley, Auburn
2009 Stats: 28 tackles, 1 sack, 3.5 tfl (Tackles for loss), 1 fumble recovery
2010 Stats: 56 Tackles, 10.5 sacks, 21 tfl (Auburn Record), 2 fumble recoveries, 1 interception
Though Nick Fairley has yet to declare for the NFL Draft, if he does he will go in the top three picks. The Carolina Panthers have obvious need at DT and if Ron Rivera switches to his patented 3-4 defense they will be in the market for Fairley's services. If they don't draft him however, I find it hard to believe the Denver Broncos would pass him up at number two.
Some fear Fairley may be a one year wonder, however, it was an amazing year. He physically dominated opponents (Especially Alabama and Oregon) on his way to winning the Lombardi Award as the best Defensive Lineman in college football. The Broncos have a serious need for talent of the defensive line and have yet to pick a coach. No matter if they play the 3-4 or the 4-3 Fairley could play in either defense with his versatility.
At 6'5 293 pounds with reported 4.83 speed, Fairley is a unique blend of size, speed and power that reminds some of Haloti Ngata. Hopefully the Denver Broncos make the right choice: Nick Fairley
Round Two Pick Four: DE/DT Stephen Paea, Oregon State
DE/DT Stephen Paea, Oregon State
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DE/DT Stephen Paea, Oregon State
2008 Season Stats: 41 tackles, 11 TFL, 5 sacks, 1 forced fumble
2009 Season Stats: 43 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 3 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery
2010 Season Stats: 45 tackles, 10 TFL, 6 sacks, 4 forced fumbles
Stephen Paea is another very versatile, quick, powerful lineman. Capable of playing DT in the 4-3, NT in the 3-4, or even DE in the 3-4, Paea's versatility is amazing. If the Denver Broncos choose to draft Paea however, they may need to package together their second round picks and move back into the bottom of the first round.
The Denver Broncos realize that shoring up their horrible run defense is the top priority of the off-season. They have to get talent on the defensive line in order to get the most out of the other players on defense. Fairley and Paea would be starters from day one.
Similar in playing style to Luis Castillo of the San Diego Chargers.
Round Two Pick 14: CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado
Jimmy Smith CB, Colorado
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CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado
2007 Season Stats: 4 tackles, 1 Interception, 1 pass break-up
2008 Season Stats: 39 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 5 pass break-ups
2009 Season Stats: 70 tackles, 3 tfl, 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 10 pass break-ups
2010 Season Stats: 70 tackles, 2 tfl, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 5 pass break-ups.
Whether the Denver Broncos choose to re-sign Champ Bailey or not, the team needs to look forward to the future at the CB position. Luckily, they need to look no further than right up the street at Colorado University.
I'm positive the Denver Broncos scouts have tons of game film on Jimmy Smith and have seen all the same tools I see when I watch him play. Good tackler, not flashy, makes the safe play to break up passes instead of trying to intercept them and getting burnt.
Want a stat that will make you say wow?
Jimmy Smith allowed only 11 completions against him while playing man coverage through his ENTIRE junior and senior years (Only one was for a first down).
At 6'2 and 205 pounds, Jimmy Smith has all the tools you look for in a shutdown corner. He's also extremely intelligent having received his Bachelor's in Sociology in December (Early Graduate).
**TRADE ALERT** Kyle Orton and Jamal Williams Traded to The Minnesota Vikings
Denver Broncos QB, Kyle Orton
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Though some say this won't happen it's highly likely. Kyle Orton had a decent year, good even. Although the Broncos as a team failed, he played at an extremely high level at the beginning of the season despite the absence of a running game.
Orton's stock is the highest it may ever be, at least from the Broncos point of view. Orton is not going to re-sign if he's told he's Tim Tebow's backup.
Orton has the tools that some coaches look for as far as game management and seeing the field. Several NFL teams would find the QB position upgraded if they traded for Orton.
That being said, the most likely team to trade for Orton is the team that hires Josh McDaniels. McDaniels proved that he can get the most out of Orton and if he's hired by the Minnesota Vikings, as most expect, a huge gap at QB after Brett Favre's (Last hopefully) retirement may cause them to consider bringing in Orton. Travaris Jackson most likely won't be brought back and Joe Webb is too raw to start now for a team looking to win a Super Bowl while the window is still open.
Jamal Williams is on the downside of his career and Pat WIlliams has already stated he's most likely played his last season as a Minnesota Viking. Once again, for a team trying to win a Super Bowl while the window is open (slightly) a player like Jamal Williams would still give the Vikings their patented "William's Wall" and allow the Denver Broncos to shed some extra cap space.
Kyle Orton and Jamal Williams Traded to the Minnesota Vikings for Round 2 Pick 11 (43 Overall) and a Conditional 3rd/4th Round Pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
With this pick the Denver Broncos could do a number of things:
1) Trade it to acquire more picks
2) Draft the best available player regardless of position
3) Trade it to another team for a player that could help them win now.
The most likely scenario is to draft the best available player. The Denver Broncos realize that a Super Bowl next year is a long shot and are interested in getting young talent to develop for the future.
The best player who may be available for the Denver Broncos with this pick is...
Round Two Pick 11: RB Mikel Leshoure, Illinois
Highlights of Illinois RB Mikel Leshoure
Though the Denver Broncos used a first round selection on Knowshon Moreno just two years ago, his durability issues have to be a concern for a Broncos team that has Correll Buckhalter and Lance Ball as backups.
Though Buckhalter and Ball each fill their role well, an all around play-maker is needed to back up the oft injured Moreno. Leshoure is easily one of the best, if not the best, RB's declaring for this year's draft and getting him in the second round could be a steal.
Other players the Denver Broncos could consider with this pick are:
1) FS Rahim Moore, UCLA
2) OLB Mason Foster, Washington
3) ILB Nate Irving, N.C. State
4) ILB Martez Wilson, Illinois
Hopefully the Denver Broncos do what it takes to make steps in the AFC West next season. John Elway has lead this team to the Promised Land before, let's see if he can do it again.