With the NFL draft just days away, there are thousands of “mock drafts” out there for public consumption. What the Denver Broncos do with their 10 picks this weekend will shape the course of the franchise for years to come, that much is known.
What isn’t known is what the new front office in Denver will do with those 10 picks. Early speculation had the Broncos trading up to pursue Mark Sanchez, the QB from USC. Other possibilities had Denver trading up to pick B.J. Raji, the DT from Boston College, or Brian Orakpo, the DE from Texas.
What no one is thinking of are the trade options Denver possesses on its roster. While it seems unlikely the Broncos would add to their 2009 draft haul through trades, the roster needs an overhaul, especially on the defensive side.
With the Broncos switching to a three-four defensive gameplan, there are several square pegs on the roster that will not fit into the round holes Denver is planning on defense: Elvis Dumervil, Tim Crowder, and Jarvis Moss. They were all drafted by Mike Shanahan with the intention of playing in a four-three scheme. All three of them are potential trade bait, if it is determined they don’t fit in the new defensive game plan.
The possibility exists that Denver could target veteran a veteran defensive tackle in a trade also, especially if some of the desired first round targets are scooped up before the Broncos make their first selection. Shawn Rogers’ name has been linked with the Broncos in the past, notably when the rumored Jay Cutler-to-Cleveland scenario seemed like it was going to happen. Could the Broncos send the Browns a third round pick for Rogers over the weekend?
Two more names that could surface in trade talks this weekend are Brandon Marshall and Tony Scheffler. With word that Braylon Edwards may not be traded, and Anquan Boldin likely too expensive for many teams, the Broncos could dangle Marshall for an incentive-based trade. Would it be worth it to a Super Bowl-calibre team such as the New York Giants, to surrender a third round pick in 2010 this weekend for Marshall, with the idea that the pick could turn into something more, should Marshall put up big numbers?
Scheffler is another trade possibility for two reasons. One, because the draft-eligible tight ends are weak. Two, Scheffler’s agent is Bus Cook, the man who got between Jay Cutler and the Denver Broncos. If hard feelings exist between Cook and the Broncos, Scheffler could be moved quickly over the weekend, especially if Tony Gonzalez doesn’t get traded by the Kansas City Chiefs.
My gut feeling is that the Broncos will trade for Rogers or another veteran run-stuffer whose name has yet to surface, likely surrendering a third round pick to make that happen. One of the Broncos’ holdovers I mentioned will also be dealt. If Denver nabs a WR on the first day, expect a Marshall deal to follow.
I also believe the Broncos have their sights set on one of three defensive players (Orakpo, Tyson Jackson from LSU, Rey Maualuga from USC) and they will use whatever ammunition they have to move up and make it happen, if they need to.
I know the Broncos will pick a QB, but not likely on the first day. Rhett Bomar’s name has been mentioned quite a bit as a late round pick, and he makes a lot of sense. Keep an eye on Stephen McGee from Texas A&M, as well.
Denver lacks a running back who can be counted on for 300 or more touches, so expect the Broncos to target someone who can complement their current stable of veterans and holdovers. Javon Ringer from Michigan State could be a real possibility.