Denver Broncos Draft Strategy: Marcell Dareus or Patrick Peterson at No. 2?

Pete WilliamsCorrespondent IApril 5, 2011

Denver Broncos Draft Strategy: Marcell Dareus or Patrick Peterson at No. 2?

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    ENGLEWOOD, CO - JANUARY 14:  Denver Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway (L), owner Pat Bowlen and new head coach John Fox share a laugh before Fox addressed the media at Dove Valley on January 14, 2011 in Englewood, Colorado. Fox was
    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    There seems to be pretty much consensus among draft guru's that Marcell Dareus will be the Denver Broncos pick at No. 2 in the draft.

    With the re-signing of Champ Bailey, it has been perceived that the Broncos have the shut down corner they need for 2011.

    I have been looking at different mocks and I thought that maybe the Broncos could get more overall value by drafting Peterson at No. 2 to give the Broncos a stellar secondary. Then they can plug the hole on the defensive line with one of the great value 4-3 DT picks in the second and third rounds.

    On the following slides, I have made mock scenarios of the two options.

Mock Scenario No. 1: Marcell Dareus at No. 2

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    TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 02:  Marcell Dareus #57 of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Florida Gators at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 2, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    With the selection of Marcell Dareus as one of the 4-3 defensive tackles in the Broncos new 4-3 scheme, the Broncos address a huge need with one of the top five rated players in the draft.

    It's hard to argue against the pick, as Dareus can do it all. He can create the pass rush and stop the run.

    There the picks in the second and third rounds could look like this:

    Pick 36: Akeem Ayers OLB / Martez Wilson ILB

    Pick 46: Christian Ballard DE / Adrian Clayborn DE

    Pick 67: Ras-I Dowling / Ryan Williams RB / D. J. Williams TE

    The premise here is that the secondary is evaluated as strong enough with the re-signing of Champ Bailey.

    Ayers and Wilson could both be gone in the first round—but one of them could realistically drop to the Broncos. They are both versatile and would fit the 4-3 scheme nicely.

    Even with Dumervil and Ayers, the Broncos need to beef up the defensive end position, and both Ballard and Clayborn are natural 4-3 DEs and both could play all along the line.

    With the pick in the third round of this scenario, the Broncos could go in different directions. Dowling would add great depth to the corners, but the Broncos also need a can-do-it-all RB like Ryan Williams or a pass catching TE like C. J. Williams.

Mock Scenario No. 2: Patrick Peterson at No. 2

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 1: Defensive back Patrick Peterson of LSU works out during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    With the selection of Patrick Peterson at No. 2, the Denver Broncos land arguably the best player in the draft. With Peterson on board and Champ Bailey as the leader of the secondary, the Broncos will have if not the best—then one of the top five corner duos in the NFL.

    There the picks in the second and third rounds could look like this:

    Pick 36: Marvin Austin DT / Stephen Paea DT

    Pick 46:  Christian Ballard DE / Adrian Clayborn DE

    Pick 67: Drake Nevis DT / Jarvis Jenkins DT

    The premise here is that the LB core is solid and that it's the D-line that needs the bulk of the new talent.

    Marvin Austin is on the rise on many boards and could very well end up in the first round, but Paea would be a great pickup as a run stopper in the middle.

    As in mock scenario No. 1, I think that either Ballard or Clayborn should be the target with pick No. 46 and would give the Broncos lots of options with the lineup.

    With the pick in the third round, I think the Broncos, in this scenario, should add more beef to the DT position. Nevis and Jenkins could be available in the third round—although Nevis might be off the board.

In Conclusion

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    DENVER - OCTOBER 24:  Cornerback Champ Bailey #24 of the Denver Broncos runs onto the field before taking on the Oakland Raiders at INVESCO Field at Mile High on October 24, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    I don't think the pick between Patrick Peterson and Marcell Dareus is a pick between who fills the bigger need.

    I recognize that Dareus is a great fit as the DT in the Broncos 4-3 and will be a cornerstone for years, but I also think that Peterson, on top of the extension of Champ Bailey, gives the Broncos a stellar secondary and ensures a smooth change as Baileys expiration date draws closer.

    I think that the Denver Broncos should opt for the draft strategy in mock scenario No. 2 because it will give the Broncos a great secondary and a defensive front they can build on for years to come.

    I think the linebackers are a solid group that will benefit from the change to the 4-3, and with a linebackers draft with little depth, I think the Broncos should pass on a linebacker in the first three rounds. Once the CBA is in place solid, a 4-3 ILB like Rocky McIntosh or Barret Rudd could be available.