NFL Draft 2011: Four Questions for the Denver Broncos One Day Before Draft Day

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NFL Draft 2011: Four Questions for the Denver Broncos One Day Before Draft Day
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What will the Broncos do with the No. 2 pick in the draft?

Well, Denver might just have to keep that pick after all. And that may not be such a bad thing, especially if a new wage scale is put in place for rookie salaries.

Still, the biggest trade rumor going into tomorrow’s draft is whether or not the Washington Redskins are interested in trading up to get Blaine Gabbert. If the Panthers do select Cam Newton, that could prompt Washington to make a move, and it would be a costly one, though it’s not even clear that the Broncos would be willing to take the trade.

According to the value charts that most GMs use to determine relative value of each pick in the draft, the Broncos' No. 2 pick is worth 2600 points. The Redskins don’t have a lot to work with: They have the 10th, 41st, and then a drop off until the fifth round, where they have the 144th overall pick.

The 10th is worth 1300, the 41st is valued at 490, and the 144th? Well that would be a microscopic 34 points. Keep the change.

My math can’t be trusted, but that should leave the Redskins about 776 points shy of being able to afford that shiny new toy. That’s roughly the equivalent of the 23rd overall pick, or two picks in the second round, or some other odd combination of picks.

Since it’s not likely that the Redskins will be able to throw in a current player (despite the lockout being lifted), and mowing lawns seems out of the question, the Redskins will have to also add future picks. That may not please the Broncos, who need to add players this year; after all, the Broncos already have to deal with not being able to add free agents due to the lockout.

Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Wait the lockout has been lifted, err, what exactly is going on again?

The point is that the Broncos may not want to risk falling out of the 5–7 range, where they can be assured of at least one top-tier player, a Patrick Peterson or Nick Fairley. It’s possible that Fairley may be available at 10, but Peterson, Miller and Dareus will all be gone by then. Barring some kind of miracle.

Then again, that would mean three very high picks in the second round for the Broncos, and it’s likely that a lot of talented cornerbacks, safeties, running backs and tight ends will be available at the top and middle portions of the second round. There should also be a number of defensive tackles and ends that the Broncos might consider with those picks. Josh McDaniels would probably take the trade, but what about the Elway-Fox-Xanders combo? Probably not.

So with the second pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Broncos select…

Von Miller. I hope.

 

Will the Denver Broncos have two Baileys and two DJ Williams by the end of the draft?

Maybe. John Fox has stressed that he wants versatility and speed on the Broncos' new defense. Allen Bailey, the defensive end out of Miami, is extremely versatile (he can play both defensive end and defensive tackle), and has a lot of speed for his size. Bailey could develop into a menacing force for the Broncos, so he is a name to consider.

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Allen Bailey and Champ Bailey? That could work.

The Broncos might also want to look at DJ Williams, the tight end out of Arkansas, because he has such great hands, character and potential. It’s predicted that Williams will fall in the draft because of the talent at his postion (Kyle Rudolph, Lance Kendricks, Luke Stocker, and Rob Housler should all get drafted before Williams), and also because of his small size.

The concern is that while Williams may be the best pass-cathing threat at his position, he is too small and can’t be counted as an effective blocker. Rudolph and Kendricks may be the more complete player, and if the Broncos can have either fall to them in the second round that that would not be a bad thing at all.

But the Broncos might also consider sticking with defense in the second round, and taking Williams in a later round. He may be small, but he plays with a lot of heart, and he has drawn comparisons to Redskins tight end Chris Cooley. Even if he were to fit the H-back mold more than true tight end, having a weapon like that on the Broncos offense would be a good problem to have.

 

Will the Denver Broncos draft Oregon linebacker Casey Matthews?

It’s possible, but unlikely to happen.

Casey may not be as gifted as his older brother, but he seems to play with the same kind of energy and grit. He is also a very solid tackler, and the kind of player that the fans here in Denver could really get behind. He is extremely active and productive, and would at least be a good special teams and/or back-up player for a linebacking squad that has a lot of questions outside of DJ Williams.

But because of the Broncos needs, and because teams might be more willing to gamble on Matthews because of his name and prodigy, Matthews might not slip into the latter rounds where the Broncos would be most interested in selecting him.

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Will the Broncos draft a quarterback?

There might be a 16 percent chance of that happening. There will be a glut of top quarterbacks that go in the first two or three rounds, and I don’t anticipate the Broncos using such a valuable pick on a quarterback. Not that high.

Tim Tebow deserves at least one season to prove himself as a starting quarterback, and the Broncos have nothing to lose by seeing what he is capable of. In fact, there is no incentive to move on from Tebow so early in his career, so I don’t believe that hype.

Still, the Broncos may be interested in trading Kyle Orton, and I’m not buying Brady Quinn as a reliable backup. So, if Ricky Stanzi should fall to the Broncos in a later round, that might be a really nice option.

Actually, Stanzi might be the most NFL-ready quarterback of the bunch, though he is projected to go after names like Dalton and Ponder. In fact, he may keep falling. Once Stanzi is selected it will be slim pickings from there, so the Broncos might be better served to look at adding a veteran back-up QB once free agency starts (if it ever does).

That’s quite a bit of speculation, and thankfully, starting tomorrow we can start debating the picks instead of the options.

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