Sportmeister's NFL Draft Previews: Denver Broncos

The SportmeistersAnalyst IApril 25, 2009

DENVER - NOVEMBER 23:  Wide receiver Brandon Marshall #15 of the Denver Broncos makes a reception against the Oakland Raiders during week 12 NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on November 23, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. The Raiders defeated the Broncos 31-10.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

By Ryan of The Sportmeisters

The Broncos have been the soap opera of the off-season.

From firing long-time coach Mike Shanahan to the Jay Cutler tirade, Denver has kept the NFL interesting. Now that the draft is here, it’s time for first-year coach Josh McDaniels to really step up. They were able to grab another first-rounder in the draft, and while many expect them to grab a quarterback of the future, the Broncos need defensive help in the worst way. With Kyle Orton the incumbent starter, Denver might be better off fixing the defensive priorities first, and giving Orton a shot, or looking for a QB in 2010.

Denver Broncos Draft Picks:

Round 1, Pick 12 (12)

Round 1, Pick 18 (18)

Round 2, Pick 16 (48)

Round 3, Pick 15 (79)

Round 3, Pick 20 (84)

Round 4, Pick 14 (114)

Round 5, Pick 13 (149)

Round 6, Pick 12 (185)

Round 7, Pick 16 (225)

Round 7, Pick 26 (235)

Team Need 1: Defensive End

With two number one picks, many expect Denver to use the first one to fill the quarterback need if it’s still there.

Denver is switching to the 3-4, and needs to load up on defensive bodies first and foremost. None of the options the Broncos currently have can command double teams and give linebackers the opportunities to make the plays. That is why Denver needs to focus on a DE with one of their first picks. The best options are going to be Tyson Jackson, Robert Ayers, and Everette Brown, who will switch to LB most likely and play a flex role. At 12 and 18, one of those players should be available, giving Denver the chance to grab a quarterback that they so desperately want, but not ignore the pressing need here.

Team Need 2: Linebacker

Theoretically, if I was running the Broncos, I would use both my first round picks on a DE and an LB, but it’s highly unlikely that will occur.

Instead, Denver is probably going to wait until the second round to snatch a linebacker. With the 3-4 defense, they are going to need someone who can rush the pass from the outside opposite Elvis Dumervil, or they could look at a punishing tackler inside. Considering the great dropoff in talent with ILBs, if Denver cannot look to grab James Laurinaitis, they should wait until the later rounds to grab a project. This should force Denver to look at an OLB, and grab someone like Paul Kruger or Clint Sintim. With a load of picks, Denver should grab a lot of potential contributors to the 3-4.

Team Need 3: Running Back

As The Fantasy Guru Derek states, Mike Shanahan hates your fantasy football team.

Well, Shanahan is gone, but he leaves a gamut of running backs that are not a franchise player. Of Correll Buckhalter, J.J. Arrington, Ryan Torain and Selving Young, it’s a who’s who of nobodies. Denver has a lot of picks, and could look to the later rounds at a Glen Coffee, Rashard Jennings, James Davis, among others. They shouldn’t waste a first-rounder, but should definitely fill this need to help Orton out.

Denver had a crazy off-season, but is ready to put it behind them and focus on the future. They are stacked with picks, so this is an imperative draft to make Josh McDaniels first season a positive one.


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