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MindField
02-02-2008, 11:19 PM
The most dramatic re-construction of a great NFL football team that I have ever witnessed was conducted by Jimmy Johnson and his work with the Dallas Cowboys of the early 1990's. This was probably due to the fact that Johnson aquired so many draft picks, that his methodical blue print unfolded seemingly before our eyes. Johnson inherited the lowly Cowboys after they went 3-13 in Tom Landry's last season, and in four short seasons, built the perfect beast, culminating in a 52-17 win in Super Bowl XXVII over an outstanding Buffalo Bills team. The first piece to Johnson's Championship puzzle was QB Troy Aikman who he selected first overall in the 1990 Draft.

The Cowboys also had some key parts in place when Johnson took over with WR Michael Irvin, OT Mark Tuinea, DE Jim Jeffcoat and S Bill Bates. Irvin in particular had proven himself to be a Pro Bowl calibur talent, and the second of what would become Dallas' three-headed monster.

In Johnson's second Draft, the selection of Florida RB Emmitt Smith completed the trifecta.

The rest as they say, is history. You can talk about alot of things concerning the Cowboys and their success, but usually the topic of conversation always seems to revert bakc to the 'Triplets.'

The Broncos themselves only becamne Champions when they had a confluence of weapons in the form of John Elway, Terrell Davis, Shannon Sharpe and Rod Smith.

In 1999, Peyton Manning joined Marvin Harrison, and a year later took Edgerrin James to give the Colts their version of the triplets. Before the Colts finally won their Super Bowl, James was repaced by another first round Draft choice at RB, Joseph Addai.

To me, the bottom line is this. If you have a great QB like I believe Jay Cutler is going to become, and he has a big time receiving weapon like Brandon Marshall, who I also believe is on the verge of great things, a big-time RB is the next obvious step.

To me, that makes the Denver Broncos first round Draft pick in this Draft an obvious one in Oregon RB Jonathan Stewart (5'11"-230) or Illinois RB Rashard Mendenhall (5'11"-225), but the choice is a running back. It is the quickest way to give the Broncos great Offensive balance, which in the end is what separates good NFL teams from great ones.

When you add in the fact that TE Tony Scheffler looks like he will be a player (our Jay Novacek?), that Selvin Young might very well be the perfect backup RB for the Broncos, and a dominant blocking TE in Daniel Graham is already on board, it does not take very much imagination to see that Mike Shanahan will have as many (young) weapons at his disposal than at any time since those Super Bowl's of the late 90's.

So, debate it all you want to and decide who you prefer more (I'll take Jonathan Stewart), Stewart or Mendenhall, but a big time RB is the only choice for the Denver Broncos with the #12 pick of the 2008 Draft.

BroncoKazuki
02-03-2008, 12:14 AM
CP coming if people cant figure this out or end up throwing the "draft defense first, or we'll go 3-10 next year" again im seriously gonna wonder why.

Only ONE team... Count it ONE team ever won a SB with defense alone and that was the 2001 Ravens.

the last best Defensive team were the Bears and they Lost to the Colts in the Super Bowl.


So this year is our chance to get the pick of the litter in RB. Its time to give Jay another weapon and complete the trifecta ! :salute:

jojo187
02-03-2008, 01:24 AM
Good original post one little fact when the broncos won back to back superbowls with Elway, Davis, and Smith only one of those weapons was a first round pick Elway. You do not need to spend a first round pick on a RB.

Further more the thing that made the "triplets" great was a great offensive Line the thing that made broncos great was offensive line. All great offenses have a domiant Oline

BroncoKazuki
02-03-2008, 01:26 AM
Good original post one little fact when the broncos won back to back superbowls with Elway, Davis, and Smith only one of those weapons was a first round pick Elway. You do not need to spend a first round pick on a RB.

Further more the thing that made the "triplets" great was a great offensive Line the thing that made broncos great was offensive line. All great offenses have a domiant Oline

But Shanahan admitted that when he drafted Davis it was a virtual fluke, if Davis had more spotlight he may have in fact ended up a 1st rounder. Remember Davis played behind someone witch didnt give him enough light.

Rod well he's Rod and we'll never find someone like that in a UFA at all.

jojo187
02-03-2008, 01:37 AM
The Broncos front office has proven the ability to find RB talent late in the draft or in free agency they dont need to use a 1st round pick on RB to find a good one. Also they already have a good running back combo with henry and Young.

RealBronco
02-03-2008, 01:50 AM
CP coming if people cant figure this out or end up throwing the "draft defense first, or we'll go 3-10 next year" again im seriously gonna wonder why.

Only ONE team... Count it ONE team ever won a SB with defense alone and that was the 2001 Ravens.

the last best Defensive team were the Bears and they Lost to the Colts in the Super Bowl.


So this year is our chance to get the pick of the litter in RB. Its time to give Jay another weapon and complete the trifecta ! :salute:

I wouldn't say "draft defense first" but I would say our D-line and linebacking needs a serious overhaul before we can be anything close to a contender.

Our offense this season showed so much promise and potential...and they put up huge amounts of points during some key games...

but then our defense fell flat and did not protect our offensive production.

However....and here's what I think you're getting at. Our offense isn't at full potential quite yet either. The obvious weaknesses reside in the line... Cutler needs more protection...even if this kid gets a few more seconds in the pocket because we draft a key lineman that can block, then I believe Cutler will be deadly.

Basically, the line on both sides of the ball needs the most work. If we can draft some talented kids to build both of our lines on, we will be well on our way.

A key to a successful running game is not only the talented runner, but a line that will block and open up key holes for him to be able to use his talent in.

Our tight ends have the potential to help develop that blocking scheme....but right now that's really all we've got.

Basically a successful draft would be a running back, and a guy on the O-Line, and another on D-Line, that we feel we can develop into great players...

I dunno, after that maybe a linebacker and maybe even a fullback to help open up lanes...

BroncoKazuki
02-03-2008, 01:54 AM
The Broncos front office has proven the ability to find RB talent late in the draft or in free agency they dont need to use a 1st round pick on RB to find a good one. Also they already have a good running back combo with henry and Young.

Our last best back was.... drum roll please... Clinton Portis and he was a 1st round back in the 2nd round. He got pushed out.


Where's the all mighty RB that we found in the 5th 6th and 7th rounds.... not on the team or flat out faded from the league.

Henry was a FA bust and Bowlen has now put the choke-chain on Shanahan for doing the same stupid thing all over again.

Bowlen will be pressing Shanahan to find someone that can be looked at as a Franchise Back.

The backs we have now are all utter trash that are just products of the system. Just like the Trash Backs we had before them and so on.

The only best back post TD was Portis, the rest have be thrown out and been wasted picks. :coffee:

that is all.:coffee:

BroncoKazuki
02-03-2008, 02:00 AM
I wouldn't say "draft defense first" but I would say our D-line and linebacking needs a serious overhaul before we can be anything close to a contender.

Our offense this season showed so much promise and potential...and they put up huge amounts of points during some key games...

but then our defense fell flat and did not protect our offensive production.

However....and here's what I think you're getting at. Our offense isn't at full potential quite yet either. The obvious weaknesses reside in the line... Cutler needs more protection...even if this kid gets a few more seconds in the pocket because we draft a key lineman that can block, then I believe Cutler will be deadly.

Basically, the line on both sides of the ball needs the most work. If we can draft some talented kids to build both of our lines on, we will be well on our way.

A key to a successful running game is not only the talented runner, but a line that will block and open up key holes for him to be able to use his talent in.

Our tight ends have the potential to help develop that blocking scheme....but right now that's really all we've got.

Basically a successful draft would be a running back, and a guy on the O-Line, and another on D-Line, that we feel we can develop into great players...

I dunno, after that maybe a linebacker and maybe even a fullback to help open up lanes...

The O-line will take time and we Drafted Harris last year, I'd just cant give the bust card to him yet.

I'm not against drafting an OT but any OT we draft will have to sit to learn the ZBS.

We may have put up points but we struggled poorly in the Red zone due to the RBs we have and the Running back by Committee witch has hindered any continuity at that position.

We have a chance to get our RB now rather then later. We did the same thing with Cutler, even though Jake did well, he was a timebomb waiting to happen so we passed on some backs in that draft and defensive linemen to go for Jay. Witch in my opinion was a very smart move to secure the future for the Franchise.

Lets not repeat what happen to Elway with Jay. Lets give Jay a RB now while were in position. Then rebuild the O-line as we go.

We fix the Red zone and things will go our way a-lot more and help Jay from making rash Decisions when he throws witch ends up going into the INT column.

Elway and Davis both said that we need help in the DT position but we also need a Dominant Run game.

We couldnt set up the Play Action at all witch gives more movement for a QB as well as misdirection.
Jay also needs to work on his release a bit more witch will also minimize the time he'll need in the pocket.

RealBronco
02-03-2008, 02:40 AM
The O-line will take time and we Drafted Harris last year, I'd just cant give the bust card to him yet.

I'm not against drafting an OT but any OT we draft will have to sit to learn the ZBS.

We may have put up points but we struggled poorly in the Red zone due to the RBs we have and the Running back by Committee witch has hindered any continuity at that position.

We have a chance to get our RB now rather then later. We did the same thing with Cutler, even though Jake did well, he was a timebomb waiting to happen so we passed on some backs in that draft and defensive linemen to go for Jay. Witch in my opinion was a very smart move to secure the future for the Franchise.

Lets not repeat what happen to Elway with Jay. Lets give Jay a RB now while were in position. Then rebuild the O-line as we go.

We fix the Red zone and things will go our way a-lot more and help Jay from making rash Decisions when he throws witch ends up going into the INT column.

Elway and Davis both said that we need help in the DT position but we also need a Dominant Run game.

We couldnt set up the Play Action at all witch gives more movement for a QB as well as misdirection.
Jay also needs to work on his release a bit more witch will also minimize the time he'll need in the pocket.

Basically I agree :)

Like I said, it will take a few years....if we can draft these guys ASAP then we'll have time to build them up to be greats...just like we're grooming Cutler to be.

It'll be interesting to see what Harris does in the future. And I agree that our running back situation has declined drastically. Denver used to be the envy of the league at that position...and now it's mediocre.

But I also think the system had a little to do with that. Like you said, this committee thing doesn't really work....it makes the individual backs inconsistent....and the blockers have to adjust to different running styles.

Not to mention the damages state of the O-line doesn't help our running game any either.

We get our RB....then we get the guys we need to help him be a success. i.e. OT, maybe even a FB.

I dunno.

BroncoKazuki
02-03-2008, 02:54 AM
Basically I agree :)

Like I said, it will take a few years....if we can draft these guys ASAP then we'll have time to build them up to be greats...just like we're grooming Cutler to be.

It'll be interesting to see what Harris does in the future. And I agree that our running back situation has declined drastically. Denver used to be the envy of the league at that position...and now it's mediocre.

But I also think the system had a little to do with that. Like you said, this committee thing doesn't really work....it makes the individual backs inconsistent....and the blockers have to adjust to different running styles.

Not to mention the damages state of the O-line doesn't help our running game any either.

We get our RB....then we get the guys we need to help him be a success. i.e. OT, maybe even a FB.

I dunno.

we use TE more then FB.

we can re-hablitiate Henry into a FB he has the skills somewhat to do so, and with him as FB he'll be able to good things then just be a backup to our Franchise RB. Never know maybe the reason why Henry wasnt that great as a RB was because he was a natural FB.

MindField
02-03-2008, 08:42 AM
The Broncos have had success with RB's selected later in the Draft, but they have also had their failures too...yes, Davis was a sixth round pick, and Olandis Gary was a fourth, and Mike Anderson was a sixth....but Clinton Portis was a second...

But so was Tatum Bell, and how did that turn out? The Broncos also spent a fourth round pick on Shawn Alexander's brother, Curtis, and his NFL career lasted exactly two training Camps. Then there is fourth round pick Quentin Griffin, and I don't think I need to go there.

The bottom line is this, if you do NOT spend a first round pick, you cannot hope to match the talents of the Big Boy teams in the AFC that did, such as the Chargers with LT, the Patriots with Laurence Maroney, and the Colts with Joseph Addai. The Chiefs also made a great selection when they took Larry Johnson even though they had the NFL's leading rusher at the time in Priest Holmes.

At some point in time, you get what you pay for, and if you think you can consistently get a GREAT RB in Day Two of the Draft, you are sadly mistaken, and you discount the importance of having a multitiude of weapons, because that is what the NFL has become. As nice a back as Selvin Young is, or even a second-tier pick in this Draft like Georgia Tech's Tashard Choice for example, they are NOT as talented as Jonathan Stewart or Rashard Mendenhall.

Look, the Broncos are not going to win the Super Bowl next season. They are not going to rebuild this team to a Championship level in one offseason. It will take a couple of very good Drafts and offseasons, stockpiling players at several positions that cannot be addressed in one Draft. You cannot say, 'We need a LB first', or a DT if they are not the best players available to you in the Draft. The Broncos did this in taking Ashley Lelie over Ed Reed, or in taking DJ Williams over Stephen Jackson, and how did those picks turn out? Reed and Jackson have been dominant players that have been in Pro Bowls, while Lelie and Williams have had, at best, marginal success.

Drafting for need is a very risky proposition, and in Drafting at #12, there is no question with Stewart and Mendenhall likely to be on board that RB has the best value.

Passing on a RB of their talents in the first round VS taking a mid-rounder is the same as buying a Ford Taurus and hoping it will perform as well as a Mercedes Benz....I suppose it is possible, but it is not likely, and the truth of the matter is, Mike Anderson and Olandis Gary were Drafted along time ago, so the Broncos so-called success of drafting RB's in the later rounds has not happened in almost ten years, and is looking more and more like luck than anything else.

Zanders76
02-04-2008, 06:11 PM
The Broncos have had success with RB's selected later in the Draft, but they have also had their failures too...yes, Davis was a sixth round pick, and Olandis Gary was a fourth, and Mike Anderson was a sixth....but Clinton Portis was a second...

But so was Tatum Bell, and how did that turn out? The Broncos also spent a fourth round pick on Shawn Alexander's brother, Curtis, and his NFL career lasted exactly two training Camps. Then there is fourth round pick Quentin Griffin, and I don't think I need to go there.

The bottom line is this, if you do NOT spend a first round pick, you cannot hope to match the talents of the Big Boy teams in the AFC that did, such as the Chargers with LT, the Patriots with Laurence Maroney, and the Colts with Joseph Addai. The Chiefs also made a great selection when they took Larry Johnson even though they had the NFL's leading rusher at the time in Priest Holmes.

At some point in time, you get what you pay for, and if you think you can consistently get a GREAT RB in Day Two of the Draft, you are sadly mistaken, and you discount the importance of having a multitiude of weapons, because that is what the NFL has become. As nice a back as Selvin Young is, or even a second-tier pick in this Draft like Georgia Tech's Tashard Choice for example, they are NOT as talented as Jonathan Stewart or Rashard Mendenhall.

Look, the Broncos are not going to win the Super Bowl next season. They are not going to rebuild this team to a Championship level in one offseason. It will take a couple of very good Drafts and offseasons, stockpiling players at several positions that cannot be addressed in one Draft. You cannot say, 'We need a LB first', or a DT if they are not the best players available to you in the Draft. The Broncos did this in taking Ashley Lelie over Ed Reed, or in taking DJ Williams over Stephen Jackson, and how did those picks turn out? Reed and Jackson have been dominant players that have been in Pro Bowls, while Lelie and Williams have had, at best, marginal success.

Drafting for need is a very risky proposition, and in Drafting at #12, there is no question with Stewart and Mendenhall likely to be on board that RB has the best value.

Passing on a RB of their talents in the first round VS taking a mid-rounder is the same as buying a Ford Taurus and hoping it will perform as well as a Mercedes Benz....I suppose it is possible, but it is not likely, and the truth of the matter is, Mike Anderson and Olandis Gary were Drafted along time ago, so the Broncos so-called success of drafting RB's in the later rounds has not happened in almost ten years, and is looking more and more like luck than anything else.

Although inspired and heartfelt, alot of this argument is biased, and with conflicting facts.
Since there are too many options to pick from I will use the KC situation to express my opinion.
The truth is that if you know how to evaluate your draft you can find potential in most any round. A perfect example was UDFA and NFL rushing leader (twice I think) Priest Holmes. He wasn't even drafted and he was considered the most dangerous and explosive player in the league for at least two years before getting hurt. Yeah you could say it was luck, but why do the best teams seem to do it over and over, get "lucky" I mean. But like you mentioned, they went and picked up LJ (who I believed was the best and most underrated back of the class) with a fairly high draft pick(#27, in 03').
The difference in their respective values are great, but I question were they both good RBs from opposite sides of the Draft tracks or were they, as you say products of the system.

I hope you would agree to both, but it is understandable if you didn't. The most damning evidence to the "Triplets/ Trifecta/ Triangle" whatever, is that like this situation, as well as aconstant gripe of Broncos fans for the last 15 years, is thet the Olines of these seemingly great backs never get the respect and attention that they deserve. Looking back at the Great teams you have mentioned, all of them had great, almost legendary (Zimmerman HOF), olines.

Is it a coincindence that right after Shields and Roaf retired that KC's running game went south (even with the great LJ). What about Shaun Alexander and his troubles after Steve Hutchinson left or that Minnisotas run game haas taken off with the addition of hutchinson. Sure AP is just awesome, but Chester Taylor was dragging people before AP got there and continued to do so when AP was hurt.

Probably still just luck:confused:. How about the once mighty Broncos Oline. Once Zimmerman then Schlereth left, the running game has been on a slow and steady decline. And as more and more of that great group leave... maybe that explains to the gradual decline in the production of runningback we have had over the years, maybe just coincidence. We probably just need better backs. Super human backs that (ala Chad Jhonson) can hike to themselves and run through the holes that they make on their own. The best of them (in most peoples opinion) was Clinton Portis.

Portis had all the measurables of a great RB, but he couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag. He had speed around the edges, but he spent most of his time tripping over his shoelaces. This last year (post Taylor) was the only time I've seen him consistantly fight and refuse to go down. It also happened to be one of his best years and the helped the Skins make thart turn around. The point is that, even Portis the Great was only as successful as the width of the holes made for him by the oline. For the record I believe Anderson was the best post TD RB we've had (always moving the chains, nice and slow):salute:.

The colts line produced: Marshal Faulk, Edgerine James, D. Rhodes, Joseph Addai, and even Kenton Keith is getting into the mix. Just Luck....ooor, prehaps they have had one of the best olines in the NFL for years.

You mention Stephen Jackson, but he had a lousy year as well. Coincidence that his oline was devestated by injuries this year.

Laurence Maroney.......see Super Bowl. Before one rebutts that their oline was getting creamed, remember what it leaves your argument open to.

Is it possible that the geniuses in the Chargers organization were so keen that they were able to see the hidden potential in L. Neal, M. Turner, AND D. Sproles, not to mention the all powerful LT. Was this the same hidden potential that nobody else in the League was able to see. It would be rude to take away from the remarkable talents the Charges have behind center by insinuating that the oline might have something, if not a great deal, to do with it. Can the entire Charger backfield be that good? I'm not a cynic, but come on.

In the end, there are no sure things in the Draft, poeple can only hope that they have the unique ability to make the correct asessments to get the best value for players. Sometimes it is just a crap shoot. However, you can look at what is most important to the success of your team as well as teams around the league, and there is no way you could pick the best back in the world if you don't have the best line possible blocking for him.

Personally, I would rather have a great Oline that made a poor RB look good over a great RB that made a poor Oline look average....If I were to chose and those were my only options.;)

But what do I know , I just wasted an hour of my life in front of the blinking lights.:cheers:

JoRo
02-04-2008, 06:23 PM
Our last best back was.... drum roll please... Clinton Portis and he was a 1st round back in the 2nd round. He got pushed out.


Where's the all mighty RB that we found in the 5th 6th and 7th rounds.... not on the team or flat out faded from the league.

Henry was a FA bust and Bowlen has now put the choke-chain on Shanahan for doing the same stupid thing all over again.

Bowlen will be pressing Shanahan to find someone that can be looked at as a Franchise Back.

The backs we have now are all utter trash that are just products of the system. Just like the Trash Backs we had before them and so on.

The only best back post TD was Portis, the rest have be thrown out and been wasted picks. :coffee:

that is all.:coffee:

If I could ever find it I would post the FO article that actually proved this. We had decent backs (trash is a lil harsh) but none of them were really even considered above average on a per play statistical study other than CP. Mike the Marine had a good year in 05 but again... wasn't a world beater like TD...

Merely having a "1000" yard back means nothing to me. I don't know if we NEED a 1st rounder, but I do believe we need at least some sort of back or back system where the opposing offense has to do more than say "Oh well lets sometimes come up to stop them."

With Cutler at the helm now, I feel defense will key on him first... which will elevate the game of any back once we get a half decent line to open up holes, but at the same time I want a real back that can take advantage of those oppurtunities (ALA Edge James in Indy or Maroney)

Having a stud QB and RB (or RB's) makes the defense have to pick their poison... but even a lesser poison can kill you.

JoRo
02-04-2008, 06:32 PM
Although inspired and heartfelt, alot of this argument is biased, and with conflicting facts.
Since there are too many options to pick from I will use the KC situation to express my opinion.
The truth is that if you know how to evaluate your draft you can find potential in most any round. A perfect example was UDFA and NFL rushing leader (twice I think) Priest Holmes. He wasn't even drafted and he was considered the most dangerous and explosive player in the league for at least two years before getting hurt. Yeah you could say it was luck, but why do the best teams seem to do it over and over, get "lucky" I mean. But like you mentioned, they went and picked up LJ (who I believed was the best and most underrated back of the class) with a fairly high draft pick(#27, in 03').
The difference in their respective values are great, but I question were they both good RBs from opposite sides of the Draft tracks or were they, as you say products of the system.

I hope you would agree to both, but it is understandable if you didn't. The most damning evidence to the "Triplets/ Trifecta/ Triangle" whatever, is that like this situation, as well as aconstant gripe of Broncos fans for the last 15 years, is thet the Olines of these seemingly great backs never get the respect and attention that they deserve. Looking back at the Great teams you have mentioned, all of them had great, almost legendary (Zimmerman HOF), olines.

Is it a coincindence that right after Shields and Roaf retired that KC's running game went south (even with the great LJ). What about Shaun Alexander and his troubles after Steve Hutchinson left or that Minnisotas run game haas taken off with the addition of hutchinson. Sure AP is just awesome, but Chester Taylor was dragging people before AP got there and continued to do so when AP was hurt.

Probably still just luck:confused:. How about the once mighty Broncos Oline. Once Zimmerman then Schlereth left, the running game has been on a slow and steady decline. And as more and more of that great group leave... maybe that explains to the gradual decline in the production of runningback we have had over the years, maybe just coincidence. We probably just need better backs. Super human backs that (ala Chad Jhonson) can hike to themselves and run through the holes that they make on their own. The best of them (in most peoples opinion) was Clinton Portis.

Portis had all the measurables of a great RB, but he couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag. He had speed around the edges, but he spent most of his time tripping over his shoelaces. This last year (post Taylor) was the only time I've seen him consistantly fight and refuse to go down. It also happened to be one of his best years and the helped the Skins make thart turn around. The point is that, even Portis the Great was only as successful as the width of the holes made for him by the oline. For the record I believe Anderson was the best post TD RB we've had (always moving the chains, nice and slow):salute:.

The colts line produced: Marshal Faulk, Edgerine James, D. Rhodes, Joseph Addai, and even Kenton Keith is getting into the mix. Just Luck....ooor, prehaps they have had one of the best olines in the NFL for years.

You mention Stephen Jackson, but he had a lousy year as well. Coincidence that his oline was devestated by injuries this year.

Laurence Maroney.......see Super Bowl. Before one rebutts that their oline was getting creamed, remember what it leaves your argument open to.

Is it possible that the geniuses in the Chargers organization were so keen that they were able to see the hidden potential in L. Neal, M. Turner, AND D. Sproles, not to mention the all powerful LT. Was this the same hidden potential that nobody else in the League was able to see. It would be rude to take away from the remarkable talents the Charges have behind center by insinuating that the oline might have something, if not a great deal, to do with it. Can the entire Charger backfield be that good? I'm not a cynic, but come on.

In the end, there are no sure things in the Draft, poeple can only hope that they have the unique ability to make the correct asessments to get the best value for players. Sometimes it is just a crap shoot. However, you can look at what is most important to the success of your team as well as teams around the league, and there is no way you could pick the best back in the world if you don't have the best line possible blocking for him.

Personally, I would rather have a great Oline that made a poor RB look good over a great RB that made a poor Oline look average....If I were to chose and those were my only options.;)

But what do I know , I just wasted an hour of my life in front of the blinking lights.:cheers:


And this is why I don't know if I want us going back in the first.

So much of the running back comes from the line.. although I disagree heartily with your Alexander situation (he had over 370 carries... he was doomed)

I do think that if we take Choice and then amp up our OT situation we could be good too... a power back and Young behind a better line... though I do NOT think that OT would make a huge improvement in one year (studies show that lines typically need time together to play well... another study from FO I can't type up right now((at work)))

But I am really thinkin we will not take an OT in the first... unless Shanny was blowing smoke he is actually happy with our OT situation (oh please let me be blind to the smoke in my face) in which case we will go elsewhere... if we go OT later I hope we get Duane Brown as I am really high on him right now from what I have read and looked into (although I don't watch nearly as much tape as some of the other people soooooo take it for what it's worth)

I just hope whoever we do pickup isn't a reach for need with the hope of competing next year. Yes I want us to win games next year... but I don't want us to put a bandaid on a broken bone, I want us to give the wound time, rehab and really fix it so it is at full strength, which means taking the best player at the places we draft even if it means passing a worse need such as DT to take a lesser need like OT or RB. (We DO need OT talent.. if you don't believe that you must think that the team wanted Graham to just be a training wheel for Pears all year)

MindField
02-04-2008, 07:15 PM
Although inspired and heartfelt, alot of this argument is biased, and with conflicting facts.
Since there are too many options to pick from I will use the KC situation to express my opinion.
The truth is that if you know how to evaluate your draft you can find potential in most any round. A perfect example was UDFA and NFL rushing leader (twice I think) Priest Holmes. He wasn't even drafted and he was considered the most dangerous and explosive player in the league for at least two years before getting hurt. Yeah you could say it was luck, but why do the best teams seem to do it over and over, get "lucky" I mean. But like you mentioned, they went and picked up LJ (who I believed was the best and most underrated back of the class) with a fairly high draft pick(#27, in 03').
The difference in their respective values are great, but I question were they both good RBs from opposite sides of the Draft tracks or were they, as you say products of the system.

I hope you would agree to both, but it is understandable if you didn't. The most damning evidence to the "Triplets/ Trifecta/ Triangle" whatever, is that like this situation, as well as aconstant gripe of Broncos fans for the last 15 years, is thet the Olines of these seemingly great backs never get the respect and attention that they deserve. Looking back at the Great teams you have mentioned, all of them had great, almost legendary (Zimmerman HOF), olines.

Is it a coincindence that right after Shields and Roaf retired that KC's running game went south (even with the great LJ). What about Shaun Alexander and his troubles after Steve Hutchinson left or that Minnisotas run game haas taken off with the addition of hutchinson. Sure AP is just awesome, but Chester Taylor was dragging people before AP got there and continued to do so when AP was hurt.

Probably still just luck:confused:. How about the once mighty Broncos Oline. Once Zimmerman then Schlereth left, the running game has been on a slow and steady decline. And as more and more of that great group leave... maybe that explains to the gradual decline in the production of runningback we have had over the years, maybe just coincidence. We probably just need better backs. Super human backs that (ala Chad Jhonson) can hike to themselves and run through the holes that they make on their own. The best of them (in most peoples opinion) was Clinton Portis.

Portis had all the measurables of a great RB, but he couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag. He had speed around the edges, but he spent most of his time tripping over his shoelaces. This last year (post Taylor) was the only time I've seen him consistantly fight and refuse to go down. It also happened to be one of his best years and the helped the Skins make thart turn around. The point is that, even Portis the Great was only as successful as the width of the holes made for him by the oline. For the record I believe Anderson was the best post TD RB we've had (always moving the chains, nice and slow):salute:.

The colts line produced: Marshal Faulk, Edgerine James, D. Rhodes, Joseph Addai, and even Kenton Keith is getting into the mix. Just Luck....ooor, prehaps they have had one of the best olines in the NFL for years.

You mention Stephen Jackson, but he had a lousy year as well. Coincidence that his oline was devestated by injuries this year.

Laurence Maroney.......see Super Bowl. Before one rebutts that their oline was getting creamed, remember what it leaves your argument open to.

Is it possible that the geniuses in the Chargers organization were so keen that they were able to see the hidden potential in L. Neal, M. Turner, AND D. Sproles, not to mention the all powerful LT. Was this the same hidden potential that nobody else in the League was able to see. It would be rude to take away from the remarkable talents the Charges have behind center by insinuating that the oline might have something, if not a great deal, to do with it. Can the entire Charger backfield be that good? I'm not a cynic, but come on.

In the end, there are no sure things in the Draft, people can only hope that they have the unique ability to make the correct assesments to get the best value for players. Sometimes it is just a crap shoot. However, you can look at what is most important to the success of your team as well as teams around the league, and there is no way you could pick the best back in the world if you don't have the best line possible blocking for him.

Personally, I would rather have a great Oline that made a poor RB look good over a great RB that made a poor Oline look average....If I were to chose and those were my only options.;)

But what do I know , I just wasted an hour of my life in front of the blinking lights.:cheers:

So, we have a difference of opinion, and that's fine. I happen to think that a Coach should coach to his strengths, and if Shanahan is ever going to prosper again, it is going to have to be with a great Offensive football team. I personally think the best way to have that is with great balance Offensively, and I also think that a sure fire talent like a Stewart or a Mendenhall (because that is how I view them) at tailback is a better investment than sifting through the rubble of late round picks or undrafted Free Agents....put it this way, for every Priest Holmes or Terrell Davis, there are literally hundreds of backs over the same period of time that did not play a down in the NFL, and far more talented backs over that time came out of the early rounds. I think you simply bite the bullet, as you did with Cutler, and get a special player if you can, and I think Mendenhall and Stewart both are going to be extremely good NFL tailbacks.

Now, I view the Broncos at a critical juncture right now in their development. They have invested the early pick in Cutler, and purged themselves of Plummer and a veteran football team that was good enough to get to an AFC Championship game, but that was not good enough, according to Shanahan, to win a Super Bowl. So, now you have Cutler as a cornerstone of a very young, transitioning football team, and low and behold, a possible diamond in the rough, Brandon Marshall has emerged, who looks like he can become a great player, and one of the better weapons in the NFL at WR. He looks like he has special talent, rare talent, and that is a great compliment to go with Cutler. I also believe the Broncos have a very good outlet player in TE Tony Scheffler....the only thing missing is the beast Running Back, and this year, they have a chance to add just that to what is looking like a very promising collection of weapons....and this is even before we talk about Javon Walker, who I personally hope the Broncos can work things out with. God, if you are a D-Coordinator and you face an Offense of Cutler, Stewart/Mendenhall, Marshall, J Walker, Scheffler and Selvin Young??!, where would YOU begin?

As far as the O-Line goes, yes, it, like alot of areas on the football team needs to improve...but Tom Nalen and Ben Hamilton look to be back next year, both are veteran players and can help the group of youngsters the Broncos have, and other young players like Ryan Harris and Erik Pears are going to have to get better....but O-Lines can be re-built in rather short order. Just three years ago, for example the San Diego Chargers O-Line was a disaster area, and now it is among the best in the AFC.

The point is, the #12 pick in this years Draft HAS to be a player that is a very good one for the Broncos, and I just don't see a player that can have the same impact that Jonathan Stewart or Rashard Mendenhall can. They are potential game-changing players....really, I don't see any player from any other position, unless you propose to trade up, that can have their impact, and I think that would be a bad idea for the Broncos, since they are already short on Draft picks to begin with.

BTW, our GREAT Super Bowl O-Line was made up of the following players:

C Tom Nalen, seventh round draft pick.
RG Brian Habib, a Free Agent signee from the Vikings that was an undrafted Free Agent for them.
LG Mark Schlereth, another Free Agent that was a 10th round pick of the Redskins.
RT Tony Jones, aquired in trade from the Cleveland Browns for a second round pick that was originally a 10th round pick of the Browns.
LT Gary Zimmerman, a first round talent and refugee from the USFL that the Broncos aquired in trade from the Vikings.

So, as you can see, great O-Lines can be built, just as you suggest RB's can be found, with later round Draft picks.

I also believe what John Madden believes, which is great Running Backs make great Offensive Lines, and not the other way around.

It just comes down to the philosophy you want to employ, and I am a subscriber to Jimmy Johnson's theory of the more playmakers you have, the better off you are. Jimmy invested Draftpicks to have playmakers at every position, and the result weas the most balanced, dynamic football team I personally ever saw play in the NFL. A good example of this is Emmitt Smith himself...I don't think he was a GREAT talent, per se, but he was extremely effective because the Cowboys had so many weapons and if you tried to clamp down on any one thing, they would kill you with something else, and that included Aikman (who is not generally considered a historically GREAT NFL QB), Michael Irvin, Smith and Jay Novacek (a Plan B castoff Free Agent fronthe Arizona Cardinals). That is where it all started. Their Defense was also very good, but it was helped immensely, as the Broncos was in 1997/98, because they could play loose and attack, and if they made a mistake or two along the way, the offense was so strong, it could bail them out.

So strangely enough, my belief now is that our Defense can best improve in the short term by making our Offense a jauggernaut.

AC1
02-04-2008, 11:17 PM
Although inspired and heartfelt, alot of this argument is biased, and with conflicting facts.
Since there are too many options to pick from I will use the KC situation to express my opinion.
The truth is that if you know how to evaluate your draft you can find potential in most any round. A perfect example was UDFA and NFL rushing leader (twice I think) Priest Holmes. He wasn't even drafted and he was considered the most dangerous and explosive player in the league for at least two years before getting hurt. Yeah you could say it was luck, but why do the best teams seem to do it over and over, get "lucky" I mean. But like you mentioned, they went and picked up LJ (who I believed was the best and most underrated back of the class) with a fairly high draft pick(#27, in 03').
The difference in their respective values are great, but I question were they both good RBs from opposite sides of the Draft tracks or were they, as you say products of the system.

I hope you would agree to both, but it is understandable if you didn't. The most damning evidence to the "Triplets/ Trifecta/ Triangle" whatever, is that like this situation, as well as aconstant gripe of Broncos fans for the last 15 years, is thet the Olines of these seemingly great backs never get the respect and attention that they deserve. Looking back at the Great teams you have mentioned, all of them had great, almost legendary (Zimmerman HOF), olines.

Is it a coincindence that right after Shields and Roaf retired that KC's running game went south (even with the great LJ). What about Shaun Alexander and his troubles after Steve Hutchinson left or that Minnisotas run game haas taken off with the addition of hutchinson. Sure AP is just awesome, but Chester Taylor was dragging people before AP got there and continued to do so when AP was hurt.

Probably still just luck:confused:. How about the once mighty Broncos Oline. Once Zimmerman then Schlereth left, the running game has been on a slow and steady decline. And as more and more of that great group leave... maybe that explains to the gradual decline in the production of runningback we have had over the years, maybe just coincidence. We probably just need better backs. Super human backs that (ala Chad Jhonson) can hike to themselves and run through the holes that they make on their own. The best of them (in most peoples opinion) was Clinton Portis.

Portis had all the measurables of a great RB, but he couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag. He had speed around the edges, but he spent most of his time tripping over his shoelaces. This last year (post Taylor) was the only time I've seen him consistantly fight and refuse to go down. It also happened to be one of his best years and the helped the Skins make thart turn around. The point is that, even Portis the Great was only as successful as the width of the holes made for him by the oline. For the record I believe Anderson was the best post TD RB we've had (always moving the chains, nice and slow):salute:.

The colts line produced: Marshal Faulk, Edgerine James, D. Rhodes, Joseph Addai, and even Kenton Keith is getting into the mix. Just Luck....ooor, prehaps they have had one of the best olines in the NFL for years.

You mention Stephen Jackson, but he had a lousy year as well. Coincidence that his oline was devestated by injuries this year.

Laurence Maroney.......see Super Bowl. Before one rebutts that their oline was getting creamed, remember what it leaves your argument open to.

Is it possible that the geniuses in the Chargers organization were so keen that they were able to see the hidden potential in L. Neal, M. Turner, AND D. Sproles, not to mention the all powerful LT. Was this the same hidden potential that nobody else in the League was able to see. It would be rude to take away from the remarkable talents the Charges have behind center by insinuating that the oline might have something, if not a great deal, to do with it. Can the entire Charger backfield be that good? I'm not a cynic, but come on.

In the end, there are no sure things in the Draft, poeple can only hope that they have the unique ability to make the correct asessments to get the best value for players. Sometimes it is just a crap shoot. However, you can look at what is most important to the success of your team as well as teams around the league, and there is no way you could pick the best back in the world if you don't have the best line possible blocking for him.

Personally, I would rather have a great Oline that made a poor RB look good over a great RB that made a poor Oline look average....If I were to chose and those were my only options.;)

But what do I know , I just wasted an hour of my life in front of the blinking lights.:cheers:

That's a terrific post!! It's surprising how many people seem to ignore the importance of line-play.

Great stuff!

broncsfan21
02-05-2008, 12:07 AM
Yea the offensive line is one of the most underappreciated positions in football. The broncos need some top tier talent to compliment a top-tier running back. i just wish that the RBs in this draft were available 2 years from now so we could get oline this year and develop them so they are a cohesive unit for the arrival of a premier back.

I'm all for getting Mendenhall this year, but i do not think we have the best line outside of nalen and hamilton. And because the shelf life of RBs is so short, i feel we would waste a good amount of their best years before we could have a dominant oline.

BroncoKazuki
02-05-2008, 01:42 AM
Yea the offensive line is one of the most underappreciated positions in football. The broncos need some top tier talent to compliment a top-tier running back. i just wish that the RBs in this draft were available 2 years from now so we could get oline this year and develop them so they are a cohesive unit for the arrival of a premier back.

I'm all for getting Mendenhall this year, but i do not think we have the best line outside of nalen and hamilton. And because the shelf life of RBs is so short, i feel we would waste a good amount of their best years before we could have a dominant oline.


It takes time for an O-line to gel, we just cant throw anyone on the line and pray for the best no matter how talented they are, that right there courts disaster for us and our rookie linemen.

We still have a decent O-line could have been better but it was decent, even before this year the O-line was ok for an RB. We just need to build it with later picks(2nd 3rd 4th) then with a first pick.

Sure grabbing an OT in the first would be awesome but in reality ask these questions without looking at the talent.
how fast can the player acclamation to the O-line?
How fast can that player build a bond with his fellow O-linemen?
How fast can he learn the ZBS?
How fast can he bring up his game from being off for so many months?

With those questions out there, the 3 major ones I can see pose a threat for a 1st round OT no matter how talented they are the Bond, Acclamation and the ZBS.

If he's been in a ZBS style line that may help them 25-40% but he'll still have to learn it, then that kid will be the new rookie... the hot shot so the bond and earning that spot will be questioned, witch leads to the acclamation of the player to the rest of a line.

Best analogy,

you buy a fish for your aquarium, taking in what the pet store owner says "wait 30 minutes before letting the fish into the tank" so you wait the 30 minutes and allow the fish to be inside the water so he gets acclimated to the water. Then you turn him lose into his new environment. If done right that fish will live a healthy lifespan for many many months or years.

If you were the other dumb person right when you get home you open the bag and let the fish in only to go into the kitchen and see your new 100 dollar fish belly up because of water shock.


So with that being said, while getting that 1st round OT seems nice they are also quote fragile. same thing can go with DT's...

AC1
02-05-2008, 08:49 AM
It takes time for an O-line to gel, we just cant throw anyone on the line and pray for the best no matter how talented they are, that right there courts disaster for us and our rookie linemen.

We still have a decent O-line could have been better but it was decent, even before this year the O-line was ok for an RB. We just need to build it with later picks(2nd 3rd 4th) then with a first pick.

Sure grabbing an OT in the first would be awesome but in reality ask these questions without looking at the talent.
how fast can the player acclamation to the O-line?
How fast can that player build a bond with his fellow O-linemen?
How fast can he learn the ZBS?
How fast can he bring up his game from being off for so many months?

With those questions out there, the 3 major ones I can see pose a threat for a 1st round OT no matter how talented they are the Bond, Acclamation and the ZBS.

If he's been in a ZBS style line that may help them 25-40% but he'll still have to learn it, then that kid will be the new rookie... the hot shot so the bond and earning that spot will be questioned, witch leads to the acclamation of the player to the rest of a line.

Best analogy,

you buy a fish for your aquarium, taking in what the pet store owner says "wait 30 minutes before letting the fish into the tank" so you wait the 30 minutes and allow the fish to be inside the water so he gets acclimated to the water. Then you turn him lose into his new environment. If done right that fish will live a healthy lifespan for many many months or years.

If you were the other dumb person right when you get home you open the bag and let the fish in only to go into the kitchen and see your new 100 dollar fish belly up because of water shock.


So with that being said, while getting that 1st round OT seems nice they are also quote fragile. same thing can go with DT's...


The fact that they need time to develop is precisely the reason to get an OT in this year's draft!! We aren't going anywhere next year. If we miss the chance this year, we are going to be looking at the same scrubs like Pears, who take advantage of the system to look good when running the ball against weaker teams. When faced against a good team that can limit our effectiveness in the run game, dominate our defense, and leave us playing catch-up, these scrubs will get exposed and we will be wishing (and hear Shanahan wishing) of how good our skill players would be if only we had a better O-line. Heck, these days teams are so good at pass-rushing, we are likely to find ourselves in those situations in the regular season itself (like we did against Houston and SD). This is absolutely the perfect time to invest in franchise LT, to let him grow with Cutler, even if he doesn't start this year (even though that is putting too much faith in Pears and Harris).

I find it hard to comprehend how you can make the argument that an elite back maximizes the potential of the ZBS (an argument I agree with, btw) and neglect the fact that an elite O-line will maximize it as much, if not more (given their added benefit in the passing game).

I think we should get both, a franchise LT and a franchise back, but do it in the right order. A better analogy is this - you're planning to get some pizza and watch a movie. The pizza takes about 45 minutes to be delivered. It takes you about 15 minutes to walk down to your neighborhood video store and pick out a movie. Do you order the pizza first or get the movie first? If you do the latter, it takes you an hour to have your pizza and the movie both ready, whereas in the former case, you're ready in 45 minutes.

ging
02-05-2008, 10:50 AM
I guess I dont see the O line as a big area of concern as some. With Nalen and Hamilton coming back we have our interior sured up and we have nice depth with Myers and Kuper Shanny hinted that Kuper could play any position on the line, He has a ton of potential and the big knock on him last year was his lack of experience. He now has experience and will only get better. He could play RT or LT next year. Let Pears and Harris fight for the other spot. So then we would have:

Harris Hamilton Nalen Holland Kuper as starters and Pears and Myers as backups. Myers can play any interior position and Pears can play either tackle position in a pinch.

We have some young guys already. They need time to work together and get on the same page.

Now we do need some depth on the Oline for when nalen and hamilton retire but you dont spend a 1st round pick on depth. Draft a couple Olinemen in the 4-5 round and let them learn for a year.

Unless the coaching staff is confident Harris wont ever be healthy we don't draft a LT in the first round.

AC1
02-05-2008, 11:38 AM
I guess I dont see the O line as a big area of concern as some. With Nalen and Hamilton coming back we have our interior sured up and we have nice depth with Myers and Kuper Shanny hinted that Kuper could play any position on the line, He has a ton of potential and the big knock on him last year was his lack of experience. He now has experience and will only get better. He could play RT or LT next year. Let Pears and Harris fight for the other spot. So then we would have:

Harris Hamilton Nalen Holland Kuper as starters and Pears and Myers as backups. Myers can play any interior position and Pears can play either tackle position in a pinch.

We have some young guys already. They need time to work together and get on the same page.

Now we do need some depth on the Oline for when nalen and hamilton retire but you dont spend a 1st round pick on depth. Draft a couple Olinemen in the 4-5 round and let them learn for a year.

Unless the coaching staff is confident Harris wont ever be healthy we don't draft a LT in the first round.

I agree that the interior of the line looks good with Nalen and Hamilton returning, and Pears and Kuper as backups. When Shanahan referred to Kuper's ability to play tackle, I think he meant as a backup in case of emergency. If he could be a starter at tackle, he would certainly have been tried there this past year, when the level of play from both tackle spots was extremely poor.

That leaves us with Pears and Harris. Pears is definitely not a starter at either spot. Witness the number of times Graham had to stay in and block. Anytime Graham ran a pattern on a pass-play, Cutler had a guy in his face from the right side. Also, when he was starting at LT in 2006, Plummer's scrambling kept the number of sacks low, but the sacks went up after Cutler came in. Our offense also declined overall from where it was in the 2005 season, once Pears took over at LT.

Harris may or may not be the answer at either tackle spot, but right now he is our only bona fide tackle (and one who has problems with his back). The pass-heavy nature of today's NFL, the poor state of our defense, and the fact that Cutler is more of a drop-back passer than Plummer was, means that we will find ourselves in more dropback passing situations than we have in the past. This calls for tackles who are not only good in the ZBS running game, but who can also hold their own one-on-one against a majority of the pass-rushers in the league (needing help only against the elite ones like Freeney or Taylor). Such elite talent is only available at the top of the draft (because no one trades or releases such players, and every team wants to get guys like these). Getting a guy like Clady to compete with Harris would instantly elevate our offensive line. The loser of the the LT battle can play RT. We can then focus on getting Cutler more play makers (and improving the D). He's not going to have much use for playmakers if he spends most of his time on his back (like the Houston or SD games).

fraguela09
02-05-2008, 01:44 PM
If Sedrick Ellis is there at 12... There's no question DEN grabs him. Otherwise, to me, it boils down to OT or RB. Seems like that is where the BPA comes to mind... and for the value/worth... This is basically the choice DEB is left with.

Clady-Williams-Baker-Otah

or

Mendenhall-Stewart


I think Kenny Phillips is an option... BUT he comes with the most risk. He could be the starting safety for the next 8 years or he could be a bust. UNLESS we are 100 percent, absolutely sold on his ability... we should pass! BUT, if we fall in love... he then becomes a viable third option.

Anyway... let's just assume it comes down to OT or RB. WOW, I would be happy either way. I think Clady-Williams or Mendenhall-Stewart... I think ALL four will be good, productive pro players... Two will most likely be stars. SAFE bet to grab one of these four and hope you picked wisely!

NOW... it could come down to something so simple: Shanny loves one guy over the rest. Covets that player and grabs that player.

OR... if all things are equal... He might think that he could grab a OT or RB later on (rounds 2-4) that are just as attractive, and so he goes the other route. In other words, if he likes a "sleeper" RB just as much but doesn't trust the depth at OT... He might go OT in Round 1... Same works in the reverse.


BUT... to avoid being bland and vanilla... I will now declare what direction I would go in if I were GM. I would take a RB... I think Mendenhall and Stewart are going to be VERY GOOD. It gives us a potential franchise RB, it gives us a returner (which we need), it pretty much locks up the offensive skill positions for the Cutler era... We find out if Harris is the answer and go from there. Much harder to grab a franchise RB than a OL piece... AND, this might be our best shot to match a RB w/ Cutler.

NOW... If I went RB in the first... I can't make it up in the second and grab a OT just to grab one... If a top one like Williams falls... OK... Otherwise, I have to go LB in the second round.

ging
02-05-2008, 01:45 PM
I agree that the interior of the line looks good with Nalen and Hamilton returning, and Pears and Kuper as backups. When Shanahan referred to Kuper's ability to play tackle, I think he meant as a backup in case of emergency. If he could be a starter at tackle, he would certainly have been tried there this past year, when the level of play from both tackle spots was extremely poor.

They couldn't try him at tackle because he played guard in place of hamilton most of the year. I suppose in the begining he could have but we had a solid vet in lepsis, and Pears had more starting experience. Looking back its easy to see neither of them played well but at the begining of the year most thought they were ok.
heres what espn says about him:

Comment: After missing the entire 2006 season, Kuper is the favorite to be the Broncos' starting right guard in 2007 and has the upside to develop into a fine player in their zone blocking system, which stresses quickness and movement skills. He is tall with long arms and not a massive road grader, yet he does display impressive pure strength for his size. His movement skills are very good and he is a fine overall athlete for the position. He is quick off the ball and changes directions in space fluidly, showing the ability to find and hit smaller moving targets. He bends his knees well and is an excellent leverage player. He has a quick set in pass protection and works hard and does a fine job pulling and trapping. Kuper will lose one-on-one battles with massive defensive tackles, though, and could still use more lower-body power. He is still a bit raw in just about all areas of his game, as he came from a very small football school and needs live game experience to improve. In a pinch, Kuper can also play right tackle. Overall, he is an excellent fit for the Broncos and should be a productive lineman for them.

Its obviously a little out dated but it shows he has the ability to play either tackle spot. Infact he fits the denver mold almost to a T

heres the scouting report for Harris. Most viewed him as a project going into the draft but he has the tools to succeed in denvers system.

Strengths: An experienced, battle-tested offensive lineman. Has developed into an extremely efficient offensive tackle at the highest collegiate level. Shows very good initial quickness and does a fine job with his first step and blocking angles. Technically sound lineman with good footwork and hand-placement. Rarely is out of position and does a good job of using leverage and angles to complete assignments as a run blocker. Possesses adequate upper-body power. Does a good job of cutting defenders when asked to and he also does a fine job of hitting the moving target in space. He is asked to pull more often than most OT's, and he shows very good quickness and mobility in that regard. He has long arms and big hands. Shows a quick set in pass pro. Is agile enough to mirror-and-slide with more athletic pass rushers. Rarely gets beat around the corner by pure speed.
Weaknesses: Lacks ideal size and dipped down under 280 pounds during his senior season. Possesses adequate but not good height for a left tackle prospect, and he must increase his bulk and prove he can maintain it moving forward. He lacks a wide base and does not show the consistent ability to anchor versus more powerful bull rushers. He doesn't play with a mean streak and he seems to be too much of a "finesse" blocker. He comes up short in terms of his ability to uproot defenders and drive them off the line of scrimmage as a run blocker. He also will leave his feet occasionally when he doesn't need to.

Overall: Harris received eight starts at right tackle during his true freshman season in 2003 and also saw extensive action on special teams. In 2004, he started at left tackle for all 12 of Notre Dames contests but still contributed on special teams. Harris once again started every game (12) for the Fighting Irish in 2005 at left tackle giving him 31 consecutive starts leading up to his senior season in 2006. Harris started in all 13 games at left tackle in 2006, giving him 44 consecutive starts to end his career.

Harris has great experience at the highest level as a three and a half year starter. He also is a fine athlete for the position. However, Harris lacks ideal size and strength. Even more concerning to us is that he seems to lack a certain degree of toughness that it takes to succeed as a starting offensive tackle in the NFL. As such, we think Harris is a bit of an overrated prospect and would not recommend selecting him before the third round.


I think we at least give him a shot after investing a 3rd round pick last year.

AC1
02-05-2008, 03:09 PM
They couldn't try him at tackle because he played guard in place of hamilton most of the year. I suppose in the begining he could have but we had a solid vet in lepsis, and Pears had more starting experience. Looking back its easy to see neither of them played well but at the begining of the year most thought they were ok.
heres what espn says about him:

Its obviously a little out dated but it shows he has the ability to play either tackle spot. Infact he fits the denver mold almost to a T

heres the scouting report for Harris. Most viewed him as a project going into the draft but he has the tools to succeed in denvers system.

I think we at least give him a shot after investing a 3rd round pick last year.

That's a valid point. I concede that Kuper couldn't have moved to RT because he was starting at LG. My mistake.

However, the fundamental idea still stands. It's a bit like saying we don't need to worry about DT because Ekuban and Kenny Peterson can play DT too. I think Kuper is going to be a fine player, and will eventually be our starter at RG. However, you can't take a guy who couldn't beat out Montrae Holland (himself a backup with the Saints) for the starting job with his primary skill (that of playing guard), and say we are going to rely on his secondary skill (that of playing tackle) to address a vital spot on our team.

Harris is also a promising player, but even the scouting report you pasted here doesn't describe him as an elite LT. That is what we need. A really good, top-tier LT that can get Cutler enough time in the pocket to find his targets.

ging
02-05-2008, 04:47 PM
That's a valid point. I concede that Kuper couldn't have moved to RT because he was starting at LG. My mistake.

However, the fundamental idea still stands. It's a bit like saying we don't need to worry about DT because Ekuban and Kenny Peterson can play DT too. I think Kuper is going to be a fine player, and will eventually be our starter at RG. However, you can't take a guy who couldn't beat out Montrae Holland (himself a backup with the Saints) for the starting job with his primary skill (that of playing guard), and say we are going to rely on his secondary skill (that of playing tackle) to address a vital spot on our team.

Harris is also a promising player, but even the scouting report you pasted here doesn't describe him as an elite LT. That is what we need. A really good, top-tier LT that can get Cutler enough time in the pocket to find his targets.
Its not the same as a DT going to DE its a completely different skill set. The transition on the Oline is alot easier. I believe Lepsis started as a guard before moving to Tackle.

I would also point out that Holland was arguably our best O lineman last year. The saints dont run the ZBS Holland not doing well there doesnt mean much to the broncos. He is not the first and probably wont be the last castoff from another team to start for the broncos.

The main knock on Harris is his strength. Alot of players gain alot of strength between their rookie year and 2nd year because of the team trainers and offseason programs. He has long arms, big hands and great athletic ability. Add in strength and a mean streak, both of which can be taught, and he has the ability to be a solid LT.

I could seen denver looking for a RT in the later rounds. This draft is fairly deep in the Oline. we can grab a couple in the 4th or 5th round who can provide depth and challenge for starting positions in a few years.

IMO denver is not in a good spot to draft OT in round one. I for one am tired of the merry-go-round at RB

BroncoKazuki
02-05-2008, 05:31 PM
Its simple to fix,


OT in the 2nd round and RB in the first no matter how you slice it, we have a better chance going after an OT in the 2nd and getting a damn good one without breaking the bank.

with QB's you invest the 1st round pick and the time into making them great.

with OT's in the situation we are in now we cannot afford that long investment on a 1st round OT its not smart money wise. ESpically if an impact RB can turn around and give the triple threat. "Cutler, Marshall, Franchise 1st rd RB"


Right now for an 1st round OT and people wanting that OT to virtually "play now" would be bad for us and our 1st round RB.

our line depends on fast yet strong O-linemen to succeed, in the 2nd round we can get those heck a 1st round OT may fall out and go into the high-mid 2nd witch would work for us.

JoRo
02-06-2008, 03:05 PM
Its simple to fix,


OT in the 2nd round and RB in the first no matter how you slice it, we have a better chance going after an OT in the 2nd and getting a damn good one without breaking the bank.

with QB's you invest the 1st round pick and the time into making them great.

with OT's in the situation we are in now we cannot afford that long investment on a 1st round OT its not smart money wise. ESpically if an impact RB can turn around and give the triple threat. "Cutler, Marshall, Franchise 1st rd RB"


Right now for an 1st round OT and people wanting that OT to virtually "play now" would be bad for us and our 1st round RB.

our line depends on fast yet strong O-linemen to succeed, in the 2nd round we can get those heck a 1st round OT may fall out and go into the high-mid 2nd witch would work for us.


I will tell you right now if you a have a top 10 worthy tackle drop to 12 and you take an RB cuz the "rb is worht a first" crap then you are obviously being stupid.

I would take Clady over Mendenhall or Stewart, and Long. Williams I am not sure yet, but there is a legit value in taking a top tackle if given the choice. Look at the best tackles of the past decade, almost all are 1st rounders (Pace, Ogden, Jones)

lancane
02-06-2008, 03:17 PM
I will tell you right now if you a have a top 10 worthy tackle drop to 12 and you take an RB cuz the "rb is worht a first" crap then you are obviously being stupid.

I would take Clady over Mendenhall or Stewart, and Long. Williams I am not sure yet, but there is a legit value in taking a top tackle if given the choice. Look at the best tackles of the past decade, almost all are 1st rounders (Pace, Ogden, Jones)

False Joro, you are looking at what you want to see and not truth! Lepsis only two years ago was considered a top five left tackle, you do know he was an undrafted free agent tight end correct? Fact is that one out of every three offensive linemen in the first round actually live up to their value. I mean you are not just paying them rookie money, in this case you are paying them millions as if though a top free agent and they have yet to prove themselves. It may be worth the risk, but in Denver's lustrious history under Shanahan we have had only two first round linemen: Gary Zimmerman and George Foster, how many Pro Bowl linemen has Denver had during that time? eight and that is almost as good as any other AFC franchise, only one of those eight was a first round pick, the others were a 3rd Rounder, two were undrafted free agents, one was a 7th round pick and two others were 10th round picks...

JoRo
02-06-2008, 04:52 PM
False Joro, you are looking at what you want to see and not truth! Lepsis only two years ago was considered a top five left tackle, you do know he was an undrafted free agent tight end correct? Fact is that one out of every three offensive linemen in the first round actually live up to their value. I mean you are not just paying them rookie money, in this case you are paying them millions as if though a top free agent and they have yet to prove themselves. It may be worth the risk, but in Denver's lustrious history under Shanahan we have had only two first round linemen: Gary Zimmerman and George Foster, how many Pro Bowl linemen has Denver had during that time? eight and that is almost as good as any other AFC franchise, only one of those eight was a first round pick, the others were a 3rd Rounder, two were undrafted free agents, one was a 7th round pick and two others were 10th round picks...


Lanc: I said most. I know Lepsis is the exception (as is Peters from Buffalo) but those are such exceptions that it is very sad you would try and use that to point out this. You know why there are so many bust linemen in the first? Because teams will fail to teach them technique (Gallery) or they will be drafted higher due to physical measurements. When there is a player like say Jake Long... who is known to be a very high caliber tackle due to the seasons he's played and then say he lives up to it in the postseason... he is WELL WORTH the money you tie him up with. The only problem you will run into from there is: Injuries or if he fails to build on his current playing.... which means he isn't taught well or fails to work... which is both on the organization as: If he can't be taught due to a poor line coach you should be smarter about your coaches and if he fails to put in the work it should be caught in the interview process with his background people (which most scouts do especially with higher picks.)

Quick Lanc: How many starting left tackles in the NFL are drafted after the second round (1st and 2nd is where I would want us to go if we are looking at a new LT) Not very many...

The other line positions you can get by with later talent because they are not left alone on an island nearly as much... a study by FO in ESPN's Draft mag last year proved most teams you want a higher drafted LT and the rest you don't need.

The undrafted good tackle is an exception Lanc, not a rule.

lancane
02-06-2008, 05:08 PM
Lanc: I said most. I know Lepsis is the exception (as is Peters from Buffalo) but those are such exceptions that it is very sad you would try and use that to point out this. You know why there are so many bust linemen in the first? Because teams will fail to teach them technique (Gallery) or they will be drafted higher due to physical measurements. When there is a player like say Jake Long... who is known to be a very high caliber tackle due to the seasons he's played and then say he lives up to it in the postseason... he is WELL WORTH the money you tie him up with. The only problem you will run into from there is: Injuries or if he fails to build on his current playing.... which means he isn't taught well or fails to work... which is both on the organization as: If he can't be taught due to a poor line coach you should be smarter about your coaches and if he fails to put in the work it should be caught in the interview process with his background people (which most scouts do especially with higher picks.)

Quick Lanc: How many starting left tackles in the NFL are drafted after the second round (1st and 2nd is where I would want us to go if we are looking at a new LT) Not very many...

The other line positions you can get by with later talent because they are not left alone on an island nearly as much... a study by FO in ESPN's Draft mag last year proved most teams you want a higher drafted LT and the rest you don't need.

The undrafted good tackle is an exception Lanc, not a rule.

I am not saying it is a rule, what I was pointing out is that it has panned out better for Shanahan one way then what would be considered more traditional. Recently with my mock I took no offensive linemen until the 5th and Dream mentioned that as well. Personally I would love to get a second round tackle, but I think some of those second round graded tackles will fall because of the depth in the draft and one kid I think would be a wise addition would be Hills from Texas or Nicks from Nebraska if he can carry his weight well enough to remain as quick as he has been, Collins would be a solid addition...but I also think the issue is the lack of picks we have on day one! If we had three day one picks, and we did get Shaun Rogers in trade, I would be hard pressed not to go HB/OT/WR...I am sure you can understand that.

:cheers:

stnzed
02-06-2008, 05:14 PM
our line depends on fast yet strong O-linemen to succeed



Yet the Broncos lineman are neither......

BroncoKazuki
02-06-2008, 05:35 PM
Yet the Broncos lineman are neither......

we do need an infusion :D


quick someone find the fountain of youth and give it to our aging vets. :laugh:



but we do need some infusion and more depth in our O-line.

Bronco_X3
02-06-2008, 06:49 PM
But Shanahan admitted that when he drafted Davis it was a virtual fluke, if Davis had more spotlight he may have in fact ended up a 1st rounder. Remember Davis played behind someone witch didnt give him enough light.

Rod well he's Rod and we'll never find someone like that in a UFA at all.

true about davis
but disagree with rod
some good player can be found in the UFA

BroncoKazuki
02-06-2008, 06:52 PM
true about davis
but disagree with rod
some good player can be found in the UFA


Rod is Rod and we wont find another UFA Rod ever again. We havent had much success in UFA's other then the O-line.


But overall drafting talent is the best way to go and to draft high this year for Offense would be the best thing to do this year.


Well get lucky but how many of those UFA's are one hit wonders.