I wish that I had the same mystical powers that Nostradamus had, or the other-worldly skills of the more clean-cut guy from “Crossing Over.” And while I’m at it, I’d like to have Brett Keisel’s beard (What, he shaved?!).
Had I been gifted a Nostradamus-esque skill-set, I might be able to firmly say that the Denver Broncos have only two real choices with their number two pick in the upcoming NFL draft: Draft Patrick Peterson if the Carolina Panthers pass on him, or trade down at any cost to avoid having to select Nick Fairley or Marcell Dareus. Due to these personal limitations, I can only humbly state my viewpoints, and then try and back them up with “evidence.” How inconvenient!
Patrick Peterson is a safe pick. We cannot say the same thing for Fairley, Dareus and Da’Quan Bowers. Fairley and Bowers each are notable for one great season, and Fairley is “small” for his position. Bowers has been dealing with a knee injury, which some are dismissing, but can the Broncos afford to dismiss any kind of knee injury at this point?
Consider also that the Denver Broncos don’t need to “hit this one out of the park,” despite what the experts say. Going for the home run is exactly what the Broncos did with Josh McDaniels as their head coach and GM.
Taking enormous risks in the draft, swapping out young and promising for aged and proven, and squandering future drafts for immediate wants, the “Josh McDaniels experiment” in other words, may be appropriate behavior for the Los Angeles Lakers or the Boston Celtics, but not for a team that is depleted of talent and youth.
This time around, the Broncos do not need a desperate swing at immediate greatness. Peterson is being called the safest choice of the top picks, while the other guys seems to have red flags. Go with Peterson with the number two pick.
Patrick Peterson is a home run. Who says you can’t have it all? Peterson is a tremendous athlete, perhaps the best athlete in this draft. He has return skills—although he has suggested that he may only be interested in punt-returning, at most—and if there is a future shut-down corner in this draft, it is Peterson. He also has remarkable size for a guy with so much quickness and speed.
Fairley, Dareus and Bowers have a lot of upside. They also have a lot of downside. True, Dareus may be the least risky pick of these three, but defensive front seven guys are always the hardest position to draft, so why risk a number two overall pick on one? Take the 2009 draft, for instance, which had its share of duds, as well as immediate impact players at defensive line and linebacker.
Tyson Jackson went to the Chiefs with the third overall pick. He has done very little, but the Chiefs remain hopeful. Aaron Curry was a can't-miss playmaking linebacker who went to the Seahawks right after Jackson. We can put it nicely and say that Curry hasn’t done squat. (Von Miller, another name we can add to the mix, and potential number two pick, has a lot of the same abilities that “jump off the page.” Can Von Miller be another Curry?)
B.J. Raji went ninth overall to the Packers. Obviously, that has worked out just fine. Aaron Maybin went to the Bills with the 11th overall pick, and Robert Ayers was taken by the Broncos with the 18th overall selection.
Both Maybin and Ayers were expected to be solid players in the NFL, guys that can apply consistent pressure on the quarterback. Yet the Bills and Broncos would not have to think twice if they could do it all over again: They would have instead selected Clay Matthews, the absolute star of the draft, who went 26th overall to the Packers.
The point here is that taking a front-seven defensive player with the number two pick overall is risky business when that player’s name is not Suh. If the Bills take Peterson overall the best thing the Broncos can do is trade down, and try to acquire at least one other pick. The price for the number two pick doesn’t have to be high, not when the price for failing with the pick is so much higher.
Well I’m sure that’s what Nostradamus would say at least.