Team needs: Denver Broncos

Reuters

The Broncos won a playoff game with a run-first quarterback, but that wasn’t the identity John Elway and John Fox wanted for their football team. Cutting ties with last year’s offensive formula, the Broncos believe their future is now following the acquisition of Peyton Manning. They head to next week’s draft trying to upgrade around him.

Defensive tackle: Denver is shorthanded on the interior defensive line after losing a bidding war with the Saints for Brodrick Bunkley. Left behind are injury-plagued 31-year-old Ty Warren, 33-year-old Justin Bannan, and journeyman Kevin Vickerson, who’s only still on the roster because he took a pay cut. The Broncos seem to be a lock to invest an early-round draft pick on a defensive tackle. Penn State’s Devon Still would be a logical fit at No. 25 overall.

Running back: The Broncos’ rushing attempts will go way down in the “Manning offense,” but the backfield still requires an upgrade. Willis McGahee is entering his age-31 campaign and doesn’t contribute in passing situations. Knowshon Moreno likely isn’t a part of Denver’s long-term plans, and Lance Ball, Jeremiah Johnson, and Mario Fannin are all replacement-level talents. Like Still, Boise State’s Doug Martin should be in the mix at the 25th pick.

Quarterback: Manning is 36 years old with a three-times surgically repaired neck. Currently, Caleb Hanie is his backup. The Broncos can’t feel comfortable about the depth chart behind their aging, injury-risk starter, and it’s likely they’ll use an early- to middle-round draft pick on a quarterback to bring along slowly. They’ve shown interest in Arizona State’s Brock Osweiler and Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson.

Cornerback: Champ Bailey turns 34 in a couple of months, and No. 2 corner Tracy Porter only has a one-year deal. Likely nickel back Chris Harris flashed potential as an undrafted rookie last season, but there is very little long-term stability at this position.

44 responses to “Team needs: Denver Broncos

  1. Denver’s center is below average and both guards are suspect, Beadles is competent but not much better and Kuper is coming off an ugly ankle injury. Hence a need in the middle of the line. absent that their running backs better be good blockers because defenses are going to come after Manning.

  2. People might boo when Denver doesn’t go D-lineman at 25. But this years DT crop is deep so I think the Broncos are gonna shock some people going, “best available” at #25.

    The current Denver D is built to play with a lead. No need to worry about stopping the run (which they were awful at last year) when your up 14+ instead of down 3 with 2:00 to go.

    1st round = RB Doug Martin/ RB Lamar Miller
    2nd round = DT Brandon Thompson

  3. SO what’s the latest with Brian Dawkings? I haven’t heard if he’ll be back this year or not.

    Either way they have to find someone in the draft to replace him. I like Raheem Moore but he might not be the answer and safety’s are important in the NFL now-a-days.

  4. As a Broncos fan, everybody forgets how awkward it was for defenders to play against Tebow and how much he made up for an atrocious O-line. Beadles is subpar, Walton is a complete fail, Kupers coming of an injury, and Franklin can’t pass block.

  5. @4thquartermagic

    People might boo when Denver doesn’t go D-lineman at 25. But this years DT crop is deep so I think the Broncos are gonna shock some people going, “best available” at #25.
    —————————————————-

    That’s what I’ve been thinking but nobody really seems to think so…

  6. denverdave3 says:
    Apr 21, 2012 7:48 PM

    Denver’s center is below average and both guards are suspect

    __________________________________

    I agree that the O-line was questionable last year but majority of that criticism came after they switched to a more Tebow friendly offense.

    Not saying Tebow was entirely the reason they showed inconstancy, but his style of play made them vulnerable to giving up more sacks.

  7. I’m surprised they didn’t list OL as a team need. I guess when you cover every team you’re a master of none. The broncos offensive line was masked along with the QB in the spread option offense. An upgrade is needed. You don’t bring in a 96million dollar older QB coming off neck surgery and put him behind that Swiss cheese line. Clady hasn’t been dominant since the injury and the rest of the line is suspect. I expect the broncos to take Ponz and let him compete for a starting job at C or G.

  8. @crpease says:
    Apr 21, 2012 7:55 PM

    SO what’s the latest with Brian Dawkings? I haven’t heard if he’ll be back this year or not.

    Either way they have to find someone in the draft to replace him. I like Raheem Moore but he might not be the answer and safety’s are important in the NFL now-a-days.

    _______________________________

    The vibe around town is that B-Dawk will retire. The mind is willing but the body is unable.

    Raheem Moore was a star in training camp and displayed some of his thumping ability. But after a preseason game against Buffalo where he was fined $25,000 for a hit on Donald Jones, he lost ALL of his confidence.

    Here’s hoping he finds his mojo in the offseason

  9. Denver should trade a 4th round pick to the Eagles for Asante Samuel . I know he’s 31 but he is still elite , which means he’s not falling off for at least a few years.

  10. conradantiestablishment says:
    Apr 21, 2012 7:59 PM
    enter Denver hate because you are all jealous
    ============================

    Jealous of what? Peyton is not as good as his dim-witted slow younger brother that drools all over the field, you have no receivers, and an o-line that has so many holes in it that it whistles when the wind blows. Without B-Dawk, your ‘D’ is suspect. Your VP is a Mr. Ed look-a-like. So I don’t know what anybody should be jealous for.

  11. What about O-Line? I’d say protecting their $100mil acquisition is a pretty important need, and they still haven’t signed any starting-caliber linemen through free agency.

  12. clw1906 says: Apr 21, 2012 7:39 PM

    Tebow that is all

    ————————————————————-

    You’re an idiot. That is all………………………

  13. broncfanor says:
    Apr 21, 2012 9:05 PM
    clw1906 says: Apr 21, 2012 7:39 PM

    Tebow that is all

    ————————————————————-

    You’re an idiot. That is all………………………
    Whatever u say there assclown now that’s all bitch!

  14. .

    I actually thought Denver would sign Patriots backup QB Brian Hoyer. But being a restricted FA, he would have cost a second round pick.

    .

  15. Denver has both Sydquan Thompson and Cassius Vaughn coming back from season long injuries last year, both looked like they could develop into something in 2010, so while corner could be a pick if one they really like falls to them (Kirkpatrick at 25) I don’t think it’s a pressing need.

    Not sure what ordr they’ll be in but I think Denver will pick 2 DT, 1 RB, 2 OL, 1 LB and 1 QB or WR.

  16. buddybowl69 says:
    Apr 21, 2012 8:51 PM

    Jealous of what? Peyton is not as good as his dim-witted slow younger brother that drools all over the field, you have no receivers, and an o-line that has so many holes in it that it whistles when the wind blows. Without B-Dawk, your ‘D’ is suspect. Your VP is a Mr. Ed look-a-like. So I don’t know what anybody should be jealous for.

    ======================

    Not sure if I should take you seriously. Their defense is nothing without Dawkins? Yea…. no. Also, there is a difference between no receivers and unproven ones. You might remember that game Thomas had against the Steelers. I’d love to see what happens when a real QB comes to town.

  17. JaminJake,

    With Peyton as the QB, the Broncos are in desperate need of upgrading the O-line. Peyton is a class-act, and I am looking forward to see what he can do after the surgeries, recovery and a year off; but I fear that he will get hurt running(?) for his life. He needs protection to make this comeback and prove all of the doubters wrong.

    And I noticed you didn’t object to Mr. Ed, too funny. Good luck this year to the Broncos.

  18. Hey Tetards, shouldn’t you be busy contriving reasons to blame every player and coach on the Jets to explain away your idol’s inadequacies?

  19. The offensive line will look a lot better this year. Having a quarterback who doesn’t hold the ball forever because the most rudimentary coverage schemes baffle him will be the primary reason.

  20. No hard feelings to Manning, but I can’t wait to see Donkey fans crying after the inevitable results of a fragile neck in cold, thin air. Can you say Tebow Curse?

  21. I disagree with all the hating on the o-line. The front five did remarkably well protecting Tebow and constantly adjusting to Tebow running all over the place in the back field. When run blocking, they pushed forward most of the time. I think Peyton’s going to be just grand back there and the o-line is going to look great simply by not having to work quite as hard.

  22. John elway, john fox and Brian xanders are horrible drafters. They pretty much sucked and lucked into von miller. So I’m sure they will be reaching for a player in that first round enroute to a 6-10 record with blow hard elway at season end with more excuses than a principles office on senior skip day.

  23. People keep on harping about how the departure of Tebow will make the running game worse. My take is that it can only help it since they have a QB who you’ll(in all likelihood) have to actually play defense against the pass. The line has a good deal of youth on it, but they were able to help Denver get the most rushing yards in the league. That doesn’t magically happen just because of Tebow back there. Not saying they are the best, but they aren’t as bad as many of you make them out to be.

  24. McGahee doesn’t contribute in passing situations? Apparently you’ve never seen the guy pick up a blitz. Peyton manning is going to LOVE him.

  25. Jamminjake, normally I’d agree but when Orton was the starter the Broncos had one of the worst y/c in the nfl between 2010-2011 in a pass heavy offense. The line looked great run blocking for Tebow but the option offense is all about putting a body on a guy not creating designed holes like a traditional offense.

  26. @mrmarcus55 says: Apr 22, 2012 12:48 AM

    Calling out Elway, Fox, and Xanders after last years successful draft is just ignorant. From that draft they are projected to have 4 starters this year (Von, Franklin, Moore, Carter) and expect contributions from Julius Thomas and Chris Harris (undrafted but selected by EFX nontheless)

    Broncos have suffered since the Shanny days from 80% draft misses. Last year gives us some hope.

    Von miller may seem like a no-brainer selection now that he won DROY but give EFX credit for not overthinking the pick and going with Dareus who is a good player but wouldn’t have had the impact Von did.

  27. Manning will make both the O-line and recievers look about 90% better….
    and they already won a weak division last year.
    i would think 11-5 and another run at the playoffs is a strong likelyhood

  28. Unless Bockers falls to 25, I don’t see the Broncos reaching for a DT. A lot of drafts have Worthy or Reyes going to the Broncos. But most draft gurus agree both of these guys’ ceiling is 25 in the draft. Of which I don’t see any other teams in the 1st round picking either of these two. So really they are saying both are second rounders unless the Broncos reach. The Broncos have emphatically stated in the Denver Post that they are not going to draft by position. This is evidenced by not picking a single DT last draft.

    Honestly I don’t think the Broncos put a lot of stock in DT. Do you realize that Suh–arguably one of the best DTs in the NFL–had 4.0 sacks and 36 tackles last season. Backup for the Broncos Ryan McBean had 4.0 sacks and 33 tackles. The Broncos cut this guy (should be mentioned that he faces a suspension for failing a drug test because of “non-human” urine–but that’s a whole other story). What does that say about the position when one of the best DTs performance is nearly equaled by a backup? Dareus, the projected pick of the Broncos, had a slightly better season with 5.5 sacks and 43 tackles, but no where near the performance/impact of Von Miller.

    If the Broncos don’t get Bockers, here’s who I think the will draft instead. The guy I’m pulling for is ILB Dont’a Hightower. He might not fall that far though. He’s a 3 down linebacker that can stop the run and also create up the middle pressure on the QB. There is also the possibility they draft C/G Peter Konz. JD Walton was graded as the worst center in the NFL by Pro Football Focus. There is also a chance that they go and get Doug Martin at RB. He’s a good rusher, very good blocker (needing to be at Boise State) and great receiver.

    Some project a WR or QB in the first, but I think they will wait because there is a lot of depth at both positions. The Broncos need to get a player that can start and make an impact if they stay in the 1st round. WR or QB at 25 would be someone that would not be starting.

  29. @mrmarcus55 says: Apr 22, 2012 12:48 AM
    Okay, so I can see how the Donks sucked into the second overall pick in the 2011 draft, but please tell me, draft expert, how does someone luck into the second overall pick in the draft? Yes they selected #2, but they made the right right choice when their options were at the widest variety. They had their pick of any player not named Cam Newton. To me it shows discerning skill to pick Von Miller, not dumb luck.

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