2011 NFL Draft: How the Denver Broncos Can Dominate Round 2 of the Draft

Rob GregoryCorrespondent IIApril 26, 2011

DENVER - JANUARY 03:  (L-R) Kenny Peterson #90, Ronald Fields #91, Ryan McBean #98 and Elvis Dumervil #92 of the Denver Broncos defense prepare for action against the Kansas City Chiefs during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on January 3, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Chiefs defeated the Broncos 44-24.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

What the Broncos plan to do with the second overall pick will continue to stir up debate until Thursday night, when the team finally makes their selection—or trade announcement.

But it’s safe to say that the Broncos will be coming out of that round with an exceptional athlete who can provide an immediate impact on that terrible, terrible defense. It could be Von Miller, Marcell Dareus, Patrick Peterson and let’s not rule out Nick Fairley. The Broncos can get their man with the second pick, and possibly even the fifth or seventh should the team find a trading partner.

It’s all just details.

The name remains uncertain, but fans should be certain that the Broncos will come out of Round 1 with an exciting new player.

It’s the 2nd round that has me wondering.

The Broncos have a lot of needs. Thankfully, they picked the perfect draft to add talent to a pretty lackluster roster; with first-round talent at positions like running back, tight end and cornerback getting pushed back into the second round thanks to a glut of talent at two highly-desired positions (quarterback and defensive line), the Broncos can become the biggest winners in the second round. In fact, don’t be surprised if they find a way to completely dominate second round action.

Here’s why.


Ammunition: The Broncos have the means to really focus on the 2nd round

The Broncos will have at least two draft choices in the second round (36th and 46th overall picks), and should they trade down from the second overall pick, then they will likely add at least one more pick to their second round selections. Having three picks in the round could mean finding first-round talent at a discounted price. It’s all about value, and finding guys who can compete for starting positions. That can easily happen this time around.

On the offensive side of the ball the Broncos could have their choice of talented offensive weapons like Mikel LeShoure (RB, Illinois), Taiwan Smith (RB) and Kyle Rudolph (TE, Notre Dame).

On defense, players like Rahim Moore (S, UCLA), Jaiquawn Jarrett (S, Temple), Ras-I Dowling (CB, Virginia), Marvin Austin (DT, North Carolina), Kendrick Ellis (DT, Hampton), Martez Wilson (LB, Illinois) and Allen Bailey (DE/DT, Miami) could all be intriguing options for the Broncos.

It’s also possible that names that are almost a lock for the first round (what if the Dolphins pass on Mark Ingram?) will still fall to the second round.

Regardless, the pool of talent available when the Broncos come up at 36 and 46 should be impressive. That much is a lock. And it wouldn’t be too surprising if the Broncos even decided to trade back into the second round using future picks or the ones they have for the third and sixth rounds in this year’s draft. Trading up is not something Broncos fans want to hear right now (cough, cough Alphonso Smith) considering all the holes that need to be filled, but if the draft plays out as expected, it could be too hard to pass on some of the names that will fall to the 2nd round.

Remember, these guys could have easily gone in the first round in any other draft year.

So, can the Broncos find two or three starters from this group?


A lot of teams will be moving around and spending high picks on quarterbacks. The Broncos have their quarterback.

When the dust settles, a record number of quarterbacks may be taken in the first two rounds of this year’s draft. The Broncos will not be a part of this rat race because despite all the hype, John Elway is not serious about drafting a quarterback with one of their top picks. (Not in my opinion, at least.) Because the Broncos have their quarterback, Tim Tebow, they can focus their attention on elite prospects at other positions.

It’s possible that they can land a top running back (maybe Mikel LeShoure, who has been compared to Steven Jackson, or possibly Taiwan Jones, who can provide the kind of speed and burst that the Broncos haven’t seen in a while), a top tight end (Kyle Rudolph is the complete package) and even a top linebacker to pair with D.J. Williams (Martez Wilson has a lot of upside, quickness and can flat out play).

The Broncos should have their choice of top safeties, and Ras-I Dowling looks like a great candidate to be the guy who succeeds Champ Bailey at cornerback.

The Broncos can still add players in later rounds that could provide depth. And should the lockout stay lifted, the team would also be able to add a whole slew of players that go undrafted.

In other words, the first round doesn’t deserve all of our attention.

In the second round the Broncos should make out like bandits.

It’s a big mountain to climb for the Denver Broncos (thanks Josh McDaniels!), but finding a few immediate impact players in one of the most-talent heavy rounds of the draft?

Yeah, that’s not a bad start.