Broncos coach Josh McDaniels and G.M. Brian Xanders did a great job with their first free agent class, picking up Brian Dawkins, Andre Goodman, Renaldo Hill, Jabar Gaffney, and Correll Buckhalter. They all made big impacts.
McDaniels’ first rookie class wasn’t so lucky. The Denver Post notes in an excellent article Friday that the Broncos received very little production from their rookies considering they had five picks in the first two rounds and ten picks overall.
Knowshon Moreno was the only starter among them; Frank Schwab’s favorite player was up-and-down. Fellow first-rounder Robert Ayers was slow to develop. Second-round picks safety Darcel McBath, cornerback Alphonso Smith, and tight end
Richard Quinn did even less.
McDaniels reached into the 2000 Belichick playbook by signing a high volume of low-cost veterans and watched a number of them stick. The Broncos also spent big in free agency this year.
It’s too early to call the ’09 Broncos draft class a bust. They have time to develop, but McDaniels needs to get a lot more from them this season. He also needs to show he can draft like his mentor does.
Better yet, he should draft like his mentor used to.