|NFL Team Column
2009 NFL Draft Review
29 April 2010
Denver Broncos Draft Grades
There was one thing Josh McDaniels wanted to accomplish this draft. Draft hard working character guys. He certainly did that. Only time will tell whether or not this philosophy will work out in the long run for the Broncos.
Grading Scale: A= Great Pick, B= Good Pick, C= Average Pick, D= Below Average Pick, F= Horrible Pick
Overall Grade: B
22. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
I was doubtful that they would draft Dez Bryant. Especially after several of the rumors about his character. Demaryius Thomas was the Broncos only other choice at wide receiver. Demaryius Thomas never got his chance to showcase his skills at Georgia Tech due to their offense. But in Denver he should certainly be able to do that. He has the size, speed, and upside. Which should certainly make an interesting prospect to watch develop over the years. (Pick Grade: C)
25. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
This is a perfect situation for Tim Tebow. He has the luxury to sit behind Kyle Orton, and learn the system from Josh McDaniels. McDaniels hasn't had the opportunity to get 'His Guy' at quarterback. Kyle Orton was never going to be a franchise quarterback. Brady Quinn had potential but he has shattered confidence from his past experience in Cleveland. And Tom Brandstater nothing more than a back-up quarterback at the next level. Tebow gives McDaniels the developmental quarterback he wants. My only problem with the pick is what they gave up for it. They traded a 2nd round pick, and two fourth round picks. Which in a deep draft those picks could have come in handy. (Pick Grade: D)
45. Zane Beadles, G, Utah
The Broncos entered this years draft with nothing at their interior line. Zane Beadles could fix that. He was originally a right tackle, but will likely move inside due to his small arms. Beadles and Chris Kuper will make a nice pair of guards for the Broncos. (Pick Grade: B)
80. J.D. Walton, C, Baylor
The Broncos literally had nothing at center, they had no one even slated to be a center. It was obvious they were going to draft a center. And they certainly got great value in J.D. Walton. He was widely considered a 2nd round prospect, but luckily for Broncos he slipped to them in the third. (Pick Grade: A)
87. Eric Decker, WR, Minnesota
A hard working receiver with great toughness. Eric Decker is exactly what Josh McDaniels looks for in a prospect. Decker and Demaryius Thomas should be suitable replacements for former Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall. (Pick Grade: B)
137. Perrish Cox, CB, Oklahoma St.
Another good value pick for the Broncos. Perrish Cox was widely considered a 2nd or 3rd round prospects. Once again the Broncos were fortunate enough to have him slip to them in the 5th round. He will likely push Alphonso Smith for the nickel spot. (Pick Grade: A)
183. Eric Olsen, C/G, Notre Dame
It's a bit unknown where Eric Olsen will play. He will likely provide depth for the Broncos offensive line. (Pick Grade: C)
225. Syd'Quan Thompson, CB, California
Syd'Quan Thompson has second round talent, but is under-sized and slow. Still he should be able to learn a lot from Champ Bailey and Andre' Goodman. (Pick Grade: B)
232. Jammie Kirlew, OLB, Indiana
Jammie Kirlew provides depth for the Broncos linebacking corps. He also has some upside, and could push Robert Ayers a bit this summer. (Pick Grade: C)
23 April 2010
Broncos Continue to Address the Offense on Day 2
The Denver Broncos started off their second day of drafting by selecting Zane Beadles. This is a great pick, and fills everything Josh McDaniels loves in a prospect. He has the versatility to play at either guard, or center. Both major needs for the Denver Broncos. Zane Beadles also has the vocal leadership and is a team player. Once again Josh McDaniels goes for the ‘Team First Player’. A solid signing.
The Denver Broncos continued to address their offensive line. They selected J.D. Walton with the 80th pick. J.D. Walton has great potential and should become a star in this league. Another high character guy, Josh McDaniels continue to upgrade his Broncos team.
Another offensive pick, the Broncos selected a personal favorite in Eric Decker. He has a great work ethic. You see him fighting for jump ball. He lays himself out there to make the amazing play. He has great size and is another great addition to the Broncos receiving corps. Once again McDaniels went for the high character players. There were concerns about the Broncos receiving game. Looks like that’s over with the addition of Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas.
22 April 2010
Broncos Draft Offense and Land Tim Tebow
The Denver Broncos certainly surprised some people with their choices. But they certainly make sense from Josh McDaniels stand point.
Demaryius Thomas can be Josh McDaniels Brandon Marshall. He has great size and speed. He has great upside as well. He wasn't able to really showcase his skills due to Georgia Tech's offense. However he could potentially shine in Denver's. Thomas could certainly surprise in Denver.
QB Tim Tebow is everything Josh McDaniels looks for in a quarterback. Great size and arm strength. He also has the leadership that he wants. He's an all around team player. Something that Josh McDaniels will like. Tebow could flourish under McDaniels.
In my opinion Denver gave up to much to move up to 25. The Broncos gave up a 2nd round pick, a 3rd round pick, and a 4th round pick. Four quality picks in a very deep draft for a raw quarterback prospect. It's difficult to understand, but Josh McDaniels has been know to take a player he wants. No matter what the cost is.
20 April 2010
Denver Broncos Draft Preview
As the 2010 NFL Draft comes closer. It’s time to analyze what the Denver Broncos may do on draft day. Despite being the coach for one year Josh McDaniels may have already shown some of his draft tendencies. Below I will discuss what McDaniels worked off of in the 2009 NFL Draft. And how that will likely relate to what he may do this draft.
Josh McDaniels has often drafted for production. Don’t believe me here’s a little chart below to explain what I mean.
12. Knowshon Moreno, HB Georgia
Moreno was the most productive running back in the draft. Dominating several teams in the SEC.
18. Robert Ayers, RLB Tennessee
Robert Ayers absolutely dominated his senior season. Specifically in tackles for loss (TFL). Ayers had an impressive 15.5 TFLs.
37. Alphonso Smith, CB Wake Forest
Alphonso Smith has the record for the most interceptions in the ACC with 21.
48. Darcel McBath, FS Texas Tech
Was one of the NCAA’s leading interception men. McBath had 70 tackles, and 6 interceptions in 2008 for the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
64. Richard Quinn, TE North Carolina
Richard Quinn was widely believed as the 2nd best blocking tight end in the 2009 NFL Draft.
114. David Bruton, SS Notre Dame
David Bruton had an impressive 93 tackles and 3 interceptions in his senior season.
141. Kenny McKinley, WR South Carolina
Steve Spurrier described him as the best wide receiver he ever coached.
Those are prime examples of what Josh McDaniels may look for in the 2010 NFL Draft. Players that have produced in the NFL.
Finally Josh McDaniels is know for drafting off a short draft board. That’s why you often see him reaching on prospects like Darcel McBath, Richard Quinn, and Alphonso Smith. Denver Fans should be expecting to see McDaniels snatch up the players he wants. Whether it’s a reach or not.
6 April 2010
Denver Broncos: What do they need in the 2010 NFL Draft.
After a busy off-season where Denver addressed several weaknesses on their defense. The Denver Broncos draft plan starts to become more and more clear.
Running Back- The Denver Broncos struggled to score in the red-zone. Particularly near the goal-line. Correll Buckhalter is hurt too often. The Broncos need to find a goal-line back in the middle of the draft. Ben Tate, Anthony Dixon, and Toby Gerhart are all possibilities in rounds 2 through 4.
Wide Receiver- This will become one of the Broncos biggest need if they are unable to keep Brandon Marshall (which is highly likely). This should be address early in the draft. Some prospects to look at are Dez Bryant, Arrelious Benn, and Brandon LaFell.
Center- The Broncos are looking to get bigger all around their offensive line. Center is another position that should be addressed early. Maurkice Pouncey, J.D. Walton, and Matt Tennant are all possibilities in the 2nd or 3rd round.
Inside Linebacker- With the release of Andra’ Davis this becomes one of the Broncos biggest needs. I doubt Spencer Larsen, Marques Haggan, or Wesley Woodyard can be full time starters. Rolando McClain seems like a lock at 11 if he’s available.
Rush Linebacker- With Marques Haggan possible moving inside the Broncos are in desperate need of depth. Aside from Elvis Dumervil, and Robert Ayer the Broncos have Darrell Reid (penalty problems), and Jarvis Moss (talent problems). Arthur Moats, Dexter Davis, and George Selvie are all possibilities.
Cornerback- Champ Bailey, and Andre Goodman do not have much time left in the NFL. Aside from Alphonso Smith the Broncos don’t have much youth in their secondary. Javier Arenas, Amari Spievey, and Walter Thurmond are all prospects to look at in the middle of the draft.
Punter- Mitch Berger was a major failure for the Broncos this year. Expect the Broncos to address their problem at punter to be addressed in the 6th or 7th round. Zoltan Mekso, and Brent Bowden are all possibilities.
11 March 2010
The Denver Broncos Announce Several Signings
The Denver Broncos have announced the signings of defensive linemen Jarvis Green, Justin Bannan, and Jamal Williams. The Broncos also announced the signing of corner back Nathan Jones.
One of the reasons that contributed to the Broncos downfall was that their defensive line faded down the stretch. It’s hard to see the Broncos defensive line’s fading down the stretch now. They’ll have players like Jarvis Green, Justin Bannan, Jamal Williams, Ronald Fields, Ryan McBean, Kenny Peterson, and Chris Baker. If the Broncos add someone like Rolando McClain. They will arguably have one of the strongest front seven.
The Broncos lacked youth in their secondary. Both Champ Bailey, Andre’ Goodman, and Ty Law are in thirties. Which only leaves Alphonso Smith, and Tony Carter in their twenties. Nathan Jones would provide the youth the Broncos need.
All of these moves will help the Broncos in the long run. It appears that Josh McDaniels has grown over time, and learned more about building a team.
27 February 2010
Denver Broncos Mock Draft
1. Dez Bryant, WR Oklahoma State
It seems highly likely that Brandon Marshall will not be a Denver Bronco next year. So Josh McDaniels may look towards replacing him early. Dez Bryant would be a great replacement for him. He has great size, and is physical. Similar to Marshall. He also has good hands as well. He would definitely be a huge step in the direction of making Denver fans forget about Marshall.
2. Cam Thomas, NT UNC
Adding a nose tackle in the draft has to be a top priority for the Denver Broncos. If they can manage to add someone like Cam Thomas. That would be a major step towards improving their defensive line. Cam Thomas would take over as nose tackle, thus allowing Chris Baker to move to his original position at defensive end. Denver would have a promising line with Cam Thomas, Ryan McBean, and Chris Baker.
3. Eric Norwood, ILB South Carolina
Andra Davis was a serviceable linebacker for a year. I doubt Josh McDaniels wants to go another year with him. Eric Norwood has the experience at linebacker. He has the size. He also has the athleticism you want. And should make a solid 3-4 inside linebacker to go along with D.J. Williams.
4. Jarrett Brown, QB West Virginia
The Broncos will probably part ways with Kyle Orton after next season. Plus they have said they aren’t happy with the progress of Tom Brandstater. So Josh McDaniels may want to add another young quarterback. Jarrett Brown is a perfect fit for Denver. He has played in a similar system. He has a strong arm. He’s a little raw, but after year under Josh McDaniels wing. He could reach his full potential.
6. Eric Olsen, C/G Notre Dame
One thing Josh McDaniels loves is versatility. And Eric Olsen has that. He has experience at both center and guard. Olsen would likely play at center. Than Denver would allow last years fourth round pick Eric Olsen take over for Ben Hamilton. This should put an end to Denver’s offensive line woes.
7. Keiland Williams, HB LSU
One thing became apparent this year. Knowshon Moreno can not be a full time back. Denver also struggled scoring on the goal-line. Keiland Williams could fix both of those problems. He would be a solid back to compliment Knowshon Moreno. And he has the size to serve as their goal-line back.
30 January 2010
Denver Broncos Make Some Coaching Changes
The Denver Broncos have announced several coaching changes these past few days. Don Martindale is set to take over as defensive coordinator. Eric Studesville formerly the Buffalo Bills running back coach will replace Bobby Turner. The Broncos also announced a couple more moves in the coaching staff as well.
Don Martindale has served as the Broncos linebacker coach since 2005. Denver will keep the same defensive philosophy, thanks to Martindale’s aggressiveness. Martindale will replace former defensive coordinator Mike Nolan who later signed with the Miami Dolphins.
Eric Studesville served as the Buffalo Bills running back coach/coordinator for six years. Last year the Bills had the 16th best rushing attacked compared to the Broncos 18th spot.
Also the Broncos announced the hiring of Bob Ligashesky who will become the tight ends coach. Which moves Clancy Brown to offensive line coach. Head coach Josh McDaniels son Ben McDaniels was moved to quarterbacks coach as well.
16 January 2010
Denver Broncos Impending Free Agents
The Denver Broncos have ten free-agents to address this off-season. So it’s time to consider which players are worth keeping a few more years, and which players should be let go.
Kyle Orton- After a solid year for the Broncos with 21 touchdowns, and a 62.2 completion percentage. It’s likely Denver may re-sign Orton for a couple of years and either try to develop rookie quarterback Tom Brandstater or draft another young quarterback early in the NFL Draft.
Brandon Marshall- It seems very unlikely that Brandon Marshall will return to the Broncos after his recent antics. Marshall has constantly gotten into some off the field issues. Plus Marshal doesn’t fit the ‘Team First’ mentalility that Josh McDaniels wants in his players. It’s likely that McDaniels and the Broncos will be looking for a similar compensation the Lions got for Roy Williams (First and Third round pick).
Tony Scheffler- Tony Scheffler, similar to Brandon Marshall have not see eye to eye with Josh McDaniels. Scheffler has been upset most of the year with his lack of receptions and involvement in the offense. Due to Scheffler’s low numbers this year Denver will not get the compensation they would have wished for. It’s likely they will get a 4th round pick, 3rd round if a team is very interested.
Ben Hamilton- Hamilton really struggled this year and isn’t getting any younger. So I’d be surprised if the Denver Broncos ever really considered re-signing Hamilton.
Russ Hochstein- Hochstein was solid depth this year for the Denver Broncos, he may be brought back another year as depth.
Chris Kuper- It’s really difficult to see Denver deciding not to re-sign a young and talented linemen like Kuper. Kuper is one of few young talented offensive linemen on the Broncos team.
Elvis Dumervil- Elvis Dumervil has absolutely flourished in a 3-4 defense, and now with Brandon Marshall likely not returning to Denver Dumervil will get a well deserved pay raise. In three years with Denver Dumervil has had an impressive 43 sacks. Dumervil also lead the NFL in sacks this year with 17.
Ty Law- Ty Law provided decent depth for the Broncos this year, but he’s too old to keep around any longer.
Josh Barrett- A young player who played decent last year, it wouldn’t hurt to keep him around as solid depth and a developmental player.
Matt Prater- Matt Prater improved this year, so Denver is no longer in need of a kicker. It’s very likely that Prater will be re-signed. Prater had a 12.2 increase in kicking percentage this year.
8 January 2010
Broncos Choke Again, Now Time to Make Some Changes
This is a familiar story to all Broncos fans, they start out and hot and slowly crash and burn near the end of the season. This team has show promise but it’s obvious that there must be changes made, and I’ll preview those positions that need to be addressed this off-season during the free agency period and during the NFL Draft.
Quarterback- Kyle Orton is a game manager, and nothing more. Denver needs to find a quarterback with the ability to stretch the field with their arm. A couple of prospects that would be a good fit for Denver’s system are Sam Bradford, Ryan Mallett, Jarrett Brown, and Sean Canfield. All have decent to good arm strength and have the ability to stretch the field, and with Josh McDaniels teaching them I believe they could reach their full potential.
Running Back- Sure this does come as a surprise with Denver already selecting Knowshon Moreno last year in the first round. But Moreno has shown that he can’t handle the load as a every down back, plus with Buckhalter and Jordan in their thirties it wouldn’t hurt if they drafted one late in the draft. Some prospects to look at are Brandon Minor, Charles Scott, Noel Devine, Andre Anderson, and Chris Brown.
Wide Receiver- Brandon Marshall appears to be on his way out of Denver, thanks to his recent antics. So it’s likely Denver may look for a receiver that fits the mold of Marshall (possession, great size, physical) . Some prospects to look at are Dez Bryant, Arrelious Benn, Eric Decker, Riley Cooper, and Jeremy Williams.
Offensive Line- Denver needs to add depth and find some young starters to rebuild their once great offense line. Chris Kuper is the only serviceable guard, so the Broncos may want to add another young guard. The Broncos are old and have no depth at center, so they will need to find a young center in either the 4th or 5th round.
Defensive Line- Denver’s defenses emergence is nothing short of amazing, but late in the season it began to wear down. Kenny Peterson is in his thirties and Ronald Fields in my opinion doesn’t have the size to play nose tackle full time. For defensive line the Broncos will need to add some depth early, look for prospects like Arthur Jones, Alex Carrington, Dan Williams, and Torrell Troup to be looked at by Denver.
Inside Linebacker- Andra Davis was a serviceable linebacker early in the season. However Davis like most of Denver’s defense was worn down as the season went on. Maybe Wesley Woodyard, or Spencer Larsen can step up but it wouldn’t hurt if they look towards adding another young linebacker late in the draft.
Cornerback- Ty Law, Champ Bailey, and Andre’ Goodman are all to old to be starting corner for much longer. The Broncos do have players like Alphonso Smith, and Tony Carter but they may want to find a taller and much more physical corner during the off-season.
Punter- Football is a game of inches, and Mitch Berger has been a major failure for Broncos this year. The Broncos will need to go out and find a punter in either the free-agency, the draft, or during the un-drafted free agency period.
There are several needs the Broncos need to address after another long and disappointing season for the Orange and Blue.
5 May 2009
By Bryan Dietzler
The Broncos went into the 2009 NFL Draft with a lot of needs and the picks by which to get them. With two first round selections, the Broncos took a running back and a linebacker (defensive end) leaving some to question why they ended up taking a running back when they needed more help on defense. Some of their other picks were questionable as well and there are many critics lining up to take a shot at Denver’s draft.
The following is a look at the players that Denver drafted in the 2009 NFL Draft and my overall grade on their draft.
Knowshon Moreno-RB-Georgia picked 1st (12th)
Some experts raised a few questions as to why the Broncos went ahead and picked a running back after they had signed three during the offseason. Moreno will end up being the starting running back when it’s all said and done but the Broncos could have filled out other needs, especially on defense, with this pick.
Robert Ayers-OLB/DE-Tennessee picked 1st (18th)
The Broncos did do something good by taking Ayers but they may have taken him a little bit too early in the draft. Ayers should help them out in their conversion from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 and will act as a pass rushing outside linebacker. A good pick, a bit early, but a good and solid pick for this team.
Alphonso Smith-CB-Wake Forest picked 2nd (37th)
This pick might have been a reach for a guy who is so small but in college, Smith was a big time playmaker and should fit in their nickel package well. Most experts just can’t get over the issue with his size however but he should be able to make up for it with his ability.
Darcel McBath-CB-Texas Tech picked 2nd (48th)
The Broncos continued building up their secondary with another pick at cornerback. McBath is bigger than Smith and may see a starting spot ahead of Smith.
Richard Quinn-TE-North Carolina picked 2nd (64th)
The last of the Broncos second round picks was Quinn who was an interesting choice as the team could have went and gotten some other talent at that point in the draft aside for Quinn. However, he will help them out, especially in the running game but isn’t much of a pass catching tight end.
David Bruton-FS-Notre Dame picked 4th (114th)
The Broncos continued to look for help in the secondary by taking Bruton, a free safety who might need some work but could eventually step up and start in a year or two. He will push some of the starters at the position going into training camp but will most likely have to wait his turn.
Seth Olsen-OG-Iowa picked 4th (132nd)
The Broncos went for some depth on the offensive line with this pick and managed to get a pretty solid guard and someone who might be able to start if needed at some point. Olsen is a pretty solid player and a good pick at this point in the draft.
Kenny McKinley-WR-South Carolina picked 5th (141st)
The Broncos went for some depth at the wide receiver position for this pick and could have a guy that could contend for the third or fourth spot on the team at that position. McKinley comes in a lot better groomed than some of the players taken before him in the draft.
Tom Brandstater-QB-Fresno State picked 6th (174th)
The Broncos needed someone who could push both Kyle Orton and Chris Simms for the starting job in Denver and they didn’t quite get one with Brandstater. He could become the number three quarterback there and help at least back up and make a run for the number two spot sometime further down the road.
Blake Schlueter-C-TCU picked 7th (225th)
The Broncos went for some depth on the offensive line again and got a guy who just might be able to step in and start at some point down the road. This may have been the Bronco’s steal of the draft because he has worked out so well during pre-draft workouts.
The Broncos really missed out on upgrading their defense which is something that they had to do thanks to the switch in defensive schemes so they will be hurting this first year out. The thought was that they might make a play for a quarterback in the first round, such as USC’s Mark Sanchez but they failed to do that also leaving many to wonder what their draft strategy was exactly.
Overall Grade: D