Denver Re-Signs Champ Bailey: How Bailey Affects The Broncos Draft

Kevin Goff@@BrgBrigadeKevinContributor IFebruary 23, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 05:  Champ Bailey #24 of the Denver Broncos during warm-ups prior to the start of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on December 5, 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Yes, it finally got done. 

After the Broncos mysteriously pulled a contract offer from Champ Bailey earlier in the season, the two John's, Elway and Fox, finally got a deal done with the best cornerback the Broncos franchise has ever had.  Bailey will be a Denver Bronco for the next, and possibly final, four years of his career.

So, with that business out of the way, the Broncos can focus on the next part of their off-season preparation, the NFL Draft. 

With the number two overall pick in the draft, the Broncos have a lot of options.  They will, undoubtedly, have a shot at a few franchise-changing players that they could insert into the line-up from day one and make a difference. 

So who is that person?

One school says that the Broncos should draft LSU's Patrick Peterson, the top cornerback in the current draft.  People seem to be abandoning this option now that Bailey is back, but there is still some merit in looking at this guy. 

Why not draft Peterson and have him play opposite Bailey for a couple of years?  Several people have mentioned that there is a possibility that Bailey may be moved to a free safety position as he gets a bit older.  Whether or not this happens, the potential of losing him at the corner is definitely concern enough to consider where the next shutdown corner is going to come from.

So drafting Patrick Peterson would makes sense, definitely.  

The second school of thought is the route I believe the Broncos will take.  Either Nick Fairley from Auburn or Da'Quan Bowers from Clemsonboth stud defensive linemen at the top of the draft.

This option makes sense since the Bronco pass rush was virtually non-existent last year.  Only 23 sacks, which ranked them dead last in the NFL, is not something that can continue regardless of how talented the secondary might be. 

Fairley, if available, provides a type of defensive tackle that is difficult to handle.  He is fast and powerful, a combination that can be frightening in a lineman.  With both of these attributes, Fairley could be helpfulnot just in the pass rush, but also in improving a run defense that's last in the NFL. 

Da'Quan Bowers is a pass rushing defensive end who, when put on the opposite side of Elvis Dumervil, basically asks the offensive line to pick their poison.  Which incredibly talented and scary defensive end would you prefer to leave one-on-one? 

Just ask the Colts about what type of success that creates.

There is a third school of thought, which suggests the Broncos should trade out of the second overall pick, and avoid the big contract.  Who knows what people might offer?  This is possible, but seems to be the least probable of all the options.

In the end, I feel it's best for the Broncos to address their defensive line.  If you can address a pass rush and help fix a terrible run defense, then that seems like a better solution than grooming a new cornerback.  

Although there is definitely merit to both sides, in the end, the best bet revolves around Da'Quan Bowers being the second overall pick for the Denver Broncos in the 2011 NFL Draft.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.