2011 NFL Draft Results: Denver Broncos Go with Best Value at the End of Draft
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The Denver Broncos didn't get their defensive tackle in this draft, but maybe it was because they were too busy trying to get the best value at the position they were drafting. Maybe the draft philosophy towards the latter part of the draft was: yeah we have a lot of needs, on both sides of the ball, so why not just try and collect guys who have the most upside, instead of players that may or may not provide depth, and may not even be on the team after a season or two.
That would make a lot of sense. The last four picks for the Denver Broncos were Julius Thomas (TE), Mike Mohamed (LB), Virgil Green (TE) and Jeremy Beal (DE). Julius Thomas has a lot of upside as another basketball player turned football player who the Broncos hope can be the next Antonio Gates. Thomas is very raw, but a lot of teams seemed to very intrigued by his unlimited upside. He has great size, athleticism and hands, so Thomas can potentially be a very good weapon for the Denver Broncos.
Mohamed is viewed as mostly a developmental linebacker, probably a middle linebacker, and a guy who will be counted on to play special teams. He was Cal’s leading tackler his junior and senior year, so he is a very productive player. The Broncos seem to love his potential.
The Broncos made Virgil Green the 204th overall pick in the draft. Green is on the small size, and comes in with injury concerns (he had micro-fracture surgery on his knee a few years back), but that was the primary reason that he fell so far. Had it not been for injuries, Green would have been ranked much higher. He is extremely productive, and was somewhat of a star at the combine, despite swelling in his knee. The Broncos love his athleticism and upside as a receiving weapon, and the team hopes he can fully recover from his knee injury and grow into a much better blocker.
Eventually, he could morph into an H-back, much like Chris Cooley did for Washington. Between he and Julius Thomas, the Denver Broncos think they found some explosive new weapons, even if it may take some time and effort to develop them.
The last pick of the draft for the Broncos was Jeremy Beal. This represents tremendous value for the Broncos. Beal is one of the pure pass rushers of the draft, and only fell this far because of his assumed lack of athleticism and speed. Beal has always been discredited because of these so-called deficiencies, and yet he has continued to impress coaches with his ability to make plays and get to the quarterback.
Beal will never be an out-of-this-world athletic freak like Von Miller, but what he lacks in speed and athleticism he makes up for in hustle, relentless play and good instincts. He is always discounted yet always seems to come up big for his team.
The Denver Broncos hope that he can prove his doubters wrong at the next level.
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