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  • What’s better? HOF corner or HOF MLB?
    Hate List for 2016-2017 Season: 1. Oakland, 2. New England, 3. Kansas City, 4. Pittsburgh and 5. Houston (yes, Houston....)

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    • Originally posted by Pruke View Post
      What’s better? HOF corner or HOF MLB?
      Well there is 36 DB's vs 31 LB's in the HOF. That doesn't really answer the question but it is hard to answer since over the decades the roles have changed some.

      There are also different schemes that use the positions in different ways today, especially when you consider players like Atwater or Mel Blount vs Darrell Green. Or how about Ronnie Lott or Charles Woodson and the impact they had on their teams. Dick Butkus in a different era? Ray Lewis more recently, Mike Singletary and Brian Urlacher were major cogs for their teams. Can't forget Lawrence Taylor or Derrick Thomas but they were OLB/Edge type players.

      Lets hope Paton can bring in and/or draft some more HOF players.
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      • Originally posted by Pruke View Post
        What’s better? HOF corner or HOF MLB?
        In the 2022ish passing league I think HoF corner. There really isn't a wrong answer there...I mean both are HoFers. I can easily make a good argument for either being better.
        Let's Ride!

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        • If I read the logic in this article, I will try to align with our draft strategy...

          2022 NFL Draft: Strongest position group? Weakest?

          1) Edge defender

          After a two-year run of the wide receiver position holding the No. 1 spot in this exercise, edge defender is clearly at the top of the food chain for the 2022 draft. This position group has star-caliber potential, plenty of future starters and quality depth ranging well into the fifth round. Aidan Hutchinson, Travon Walker, Kayvon Thibodeaux and Jermaine Johnson II should all become early starters with high upside, but what I love about this crop is the diversity of the depth. There are speed rushers, long defenders with traits and pure power players -- something for every team and every scheme.

          2) Safety

          Despite subpar times in the 40-yard dash, Kyle Hamilton is still the star of this group and on course to become a very talented starter. However, the talent behind Hamilton is what drives the safety position into the No. 2 spot here. I expect five to six future starters will be drafted inside the first 64 picks at the end of this month, with Lewis Cine, Nick Cross and Jaquan Brisker leading the charge after Hamilton. Daxton Hill offers legitimate cover talent against big slots, while players like Tycen Anderson and Jalen Pitre won't be far behind. If you need a starter at safety, you are finally in luck.

          3) Interior offensive line

          With more and more teams looking to bump tackles inside to guard or center, this position group has become much more loaded over the last few years. Kenyon Green and Tyler Linderbaum are the headliners -- and I'm projecting Tyler Smith as a tackle-to-guard move, which adds another possible first-rounder. The number of potential future starters at the center position is very impressive, with several prospects featuring guard/center roster flexibility, which could elevate their draft slotting.

          4) Cornerback

          The five-year average of cornerbacks taken over the first three rounds is 13.4. This year's class should approach -- and potentially surpass -- that number, but I wouldn't call this a standout position group. Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner is the best of the bunch, but Trent McDuffie may be the safest. The positional growth of Derek Stingley Jr. and Andrew Booth could have a big impact on how we view this crop in three years. In my estimation, there are more cornerbacks with third-round grades than second-round grades, but overall, the depth and upside look good in Rounds 3 through 5.

          5) Offensive tackle

          This tackle group features potential star power in Evan Neal and Ickey Ekwonu, with both Charles Cross and Trevor Penning grabbing 6.4 marks in my grading system, projecting them as good, early starters. I also see Bernhard Raimann as a raw prospect with plenty of upside still to cultivate. But once we draft past those five, it gets shaky real quick. Day 2 and Day 3 depth is below average, with many of the prospects on the wrong side of the line dividing their ceiling from their floor.

          6) Quarterback

          We are unlikely to see a quarterback go inside the top five picks, but I won't be surprised if four -- or maybe even five -- solid starters emerge from this group. Malik Willis, Kenny Pickett, Matt Corral and Desmond Ridder would be late-first/mid-second-round picks in most drafts, but could get pushed up a bit this year. Willis has the highest upside, but Pickett and Corral are more game-ready. Ridder is loaded with intangibles (and talent) to make him a very good game manager at the NFL level. Depth won't be great here, but Jack Coan is a solid Day 3 sleeper.

          7) Running back

          While this position is very light on star power, it is extremely deep, with help to be found from Round 2 all the way through the late rounds. Breece Hall and Kenneth Walker III are the best of the class and could become early starters. It falls off after those two, but the third, fourth and fifth rounds are going to be filled with prospects possessing size, toughness and talent that will land them roles in running back tandems and as pass-catching specialists. Georgia's Zamir White and James Cook are perfect examples of the types of backs that pepper the middle rounds.

          8) Wide receiver

          While some are much higher on this wide receiver class, I come away a little lukewarm after the talent and depth we've seen from the 2020 and '21 drafts. While we are likely to see more first-rounders than the five-year average of 3.6, I don't believe there to be a true star in this group. North Dakota State's Christian Watson is an ascending prospect, but beyond him, the depth and ceiling and consistency for Day 2 wideouts is lacking.

          9) Linebacker

          For this position, I only consider true linebackers -- not 3-4 edge defenders, since they are usually rushers. Nakobe Dean and Devin Lloyd are the top players here, but I only have borderline first-round grades on both (other evaluators are higher on them). Day 2 should offer up a handful of eventual starters at the position, but there are more questions attached to several prospects than teams might like. From a depth standpoint, this position is slightly below average.

          10) Tight end

          This is actually a fairly deep position in this year's draft, but when you plug in "star potential" and "future starters" into the mix, the total grade comes down substantially. Last year's class lacked depth, but had Kyle Pitts as an absolute stud, while this year's class doesn't even feature a 6.4 prospect (my mark for a very good starter). Teams are going to find depth well into Day 3, but it's a middle/lower-middle-class crop this season.

          11) Interior defensive line

          My bottom-ranked group from last year stays in the cellar. Georgia's Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt are both high-level prospects, and Travis Jones has really improved his standing this draft season, but it gets thin quickly. There are prospects like Matthew Butler and Kalia Davis whom I like as flash players with upside, but it's not a deep group.

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          OK, my takeaways, relative our team (see next post):

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          • The 4 positions I am most interested in are OLine, CB, Edge and ILB. According to this report, we may want to go OT with our first selection given the lack of depth in this draft. On the other hand, if Paton thinks we can go for an Interior Oliner instead, then it appears there may be ample opportunities to find a potential starter, and maybe even allow us to select another position first.

            Which brings me to CB/Edge, and I like the prospects. There seems to be some depth in both positions, and I love the fact we can go after an Edge of any description with some real possibilities of success. Therefore, I might lean towards Edge, but not if I can get one a little later, with my 2nd or 3rd selection.

            All in all, given that we pick late 2nd round, but have multiple picks in 3 and 4, this looks set up for a nice marriage between our needs and what might be waiting for us. And it appears we can even find a goof RB, maybe TE, in the mid to late rounds.

            I think we are going to be just fine. And lets not forget, we can move up or down to maximize the draft weekend.

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            • Originally posted by brianmcfarlane View Post
              I am actually glad they didn't sign Wagner. He will average 10M/yr and potentially 13M avg per year with the Rams, that is too much for the Broncos to put out for an ILB with what their scheme is likely to be. Broncos starters going into the 2021 season made ~4M between them.

              Darius Leonard was the highest paid ILB/MLB in 2021 (Colts), Colts were 16th in total yards vs Broncos 8th in total yards. Seattle last season was 28th in total yards defensively with Wagner as the starting ILB... Wagner was 2nd highest paid LB. Buffalo Bills were the best defense in 2021, they play a 4-3 base personnel, Tremaine Edwards is their MLB he was a 1st round pick and is getting his 5th year option this season at 12.7M. The 49ers were 3rd in total defense yards last season they play a 4-3 base personnel and no LB shows up in salary ranking. The Cowboys have spent relatively heavily in draft capital over the last few seasons, the latest is Micah Parsons ... the Cowboys ranked 7th in points against and 19th in total yards. The Broncos were competitive last season with low salary, "backup" ILB's like they have been for virtually the last decade, the position has not been a difference maker. In 2015 the ILB's were Trevathan and Brandon Marshall starting, they were not high paid LB's, Trevathan was a 6th round draft choice.

              In 2021 the Broncos were 3rd in points against, with ultimately backup ILB's. I think the new DC is going with a similar defensive scheme as the Rams and/or what Fangio is known for?
              I would like to see the Broncos draft an ILB early (2nd-4th round this season) as I do most seasons - and they don't - but, I also think they will be fine at the position without spending a lot of cap or draft cap.

              I imagine that if certain FA's are still available after the draft the Broncos will consider bringing them back - Kenny Young, Bryce Callahan and Kareem Jackson - I think it will depend on how they were able to address those positions in the draft.
              You make a good point about the difference between playing Mike Backer in a split front as opposed to two Inside Backers in an odd front. On top of that is the difference for Backers playing behind two-gap and one-gap run defense. The reads in one-gap are less.

              For coverage, unless a lot of Combo, like Tampa 2 is called, Backer responsibility will be short zones or mostly third guy in on 1/0.

              During the last three seasons, Denver’s D from an Inside Backer POV seems simplified in order to focus on attacking the ball. There has been some usage of ILBs as pass rushers. If D-Line and OLBs can consistently generate pressure with four, that puts the Inside Backers in coverage more. We'll see how many different ones the new DC uses.
              "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

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              • Originally posted by JvDub95 View Post

                I completely get what you're saying....they aren't called the QB of the defense for no reason. I just can't pass up a generational player at CB or S or DT (Aaron Donald??) for an avg or above avg ILB.
                There are definitely exceptions, and players from different positions who have played that "QB of the defense" role. Donald (although he's a different animal, I would still take an above average ILB/MLB over the likes the "standard" elite DTs like Sapp, Young, or Pryce), Lott (safety is probably 1b for the QB of the D role), Brooks etc.

                I just can't think of one great defense that had a CB as their most important player. As great as Deion was he never made that much of a difference to his team's success until he went to SF and Dallas, and in those places he was 3rd in the pecking order behind Norton and McDonald, and Haley and Woodson, even though he was clearly better at his position than they were at theirs.

                But, like you said, all positions are complementary, I just believe a force in the middle can improve every position.

                Originally posted by Pruke View Post
                What’s better? HOF corner or HOF MLB?

                Butkus, Lambert, Gradishar (he's in, I refuse to accept it any other way), Lewis, Urlacher, Lanier, Seau, Singletary

                or

                Sanders, Bailey, Green, Lane, Blount, Brown, Haynes, Law

                Bet it took a second for most to remember who most of the CB were, while most LB popped into your heads instantly. Historically it is definitely LB, but there is a very good chance I'm stuck in an antiquated way of thinking.
                Last edited by broncojuan; 04-07-2022, 07:26 PM.
                Bring Back ORANGE Sunday!!!

                Tim Tebow combines the intensity of Ray Lewis with the throwing ability of... Ray Lewis.

                "It is a damn poor mind indeed which can't think of at least two ways to spell any word."-Andrew Jackson

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                • Originally posted by broncojuan View Post

                  There are definitely exceptions, and players from different positions who have played that "QB of the defense" role. Donald (although he's a different animal, I would still take an above average ILB/MLB over the likes the "standard" elite DTs like Sapp, Young, or Pryce), Lott (safety is probably 1b for the QB of the D role), Brooks etc.

                  I just can't think of one great defense that had a CB as their most important player. As great as Deion was he never made that much of a difference to his team's success until he went to SF and Dallas, and in those places he was 3rd in the pecking order behind Norton and McDonald, and Haley and Woodson, even though he was clearly better at his position than they were at theirs.

                  But, like you said, all positions are complementary, I just believe a force in the middle can improve every position.




                  Butkus, Lambert, Gradishar (he's in, I refuse to accept it any other way), Lewis, Urlacher, Lanier, Seau, Singletary

                  or

                  Sanders, Bailey, Green, Lane, Blount, Brown, Haynes, Law

                  Bet it took a second for most to remember who most of the CB were, while most LB popped into your heads instantly. Historically it is definitely LB, but there is a very good chance I'm stuck in an antiquated way of thinking.
                  To me, Safety will always be the most valuable position. They have an impact at all levels of the field whether it’s coming down in run support, taking away the deep ball, or patrolling the middle of the field. Then some of the ways they compliment other positions like filling a gap that a LB might’ve missed or couldn’t get to, or allowing the CBs to play short/intermediate routes aggressively to force a turnover, it just takes the position over the top for me. And on top of that nowadays there moving down and playing LB in certain nickel and dime situations.

                  There’s no Legion of Boom without Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, the No Fly Zone didn’t look nearly as good when Ward and Stewart were out and they weren’t even elite safeties. Or how our defense in the mid 2000s absolutely bottomed out when Lynch and then later Dawkins would get hurt and they were past their primes, I still have nightmares about Josh Barrett in the open field against Deangelo Williams. Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu might be the 2 single most impactful defenders I’ve ever seen.

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                  • Originally posted by Hadez View Post

                    In the 2022ish passing league I think HoF corner. There really isn't a wrong answer there...I mean both are HoFers. I can easily make a good argument for either being better.
                    I was thinking CB too but with the athletic tight ends and mobile quarterbacks in today's NFL, I probably lean towards MLB.

                    But like you said, no wrong answer really. Just a preference.

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                    • BTW....Nice job Paton, signing up Kareem for another year. Not an expensive signing, but a very solid one. Gives us another year to manage the Safety position, with one of the best tandems in the league, and allows us to add some CB depth in the draft. Perfect, given all the variables.

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                      • I see that Gordon is talking to The Ravens. Even if he goes, based on the RB draft situation, which is described as not big on star power but very deep, we will have no problem backing Williams, with a draft pick, Boone, and whatever.

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                        • Think we had 14 mil cap room before getting Jackson. Still cap room moves to be made but imo getting Jackson means we not getting Gordon
                          Let's Ride!

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                          • Originally posted by Hadez View Post
                            Think we had 14 mil cap room before getting Jackson. Still cap room moves to be made but imo getting Jackson means we not getting Gordon
                            Need c.$7 million for rookies, I think.
                            "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

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                            • Originally posted by beastlyskronk View Post

                              To me, Safety will always be the most valuable position. They have an impact at all levels of the field whether it’s coming down in run support, taking away the deep ball, or patrolling the middle of the field. Then some of the ways they compliment other positions like filling a gap that a LB might’ve missed or couldn’t get to, or allowing the CBs to play short/intermediate routes aggressively to force a turnover, it just takes the position over the top for me. And on top of that nowadays there moving down and playing LB in certain nickel and dime situations.

                              There’s no Legion of Boom without Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, the No Fly Zone didn’t look nearly as good when Ward and Stewart were out and they weren’t even elite safeties. Or how our defense in the mid 2000s absolutely bottomed out when Lynch and then later Dawkins would get hurt and they were past their primes, I still have nightmares about Josh Barrett in the open field against Deangelo Williams. Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu might be the 2 single most impactful defenders I’ve ever seen.
                              You make a good point (and I do think safety can be right up there with ILB/MLB), but just to play devil's advocate (yup, I'm the devil). Lynch played the year after Al Wilson had his career ending injury, and the D fell from 9th to 28th, and the D was awful 2 of the 3 years Dawkins was here (the 3rd year was Von's rookie season). 2015 for us was all about the pass rush (Von, Ware, Barrett, Wolfe, Malik Jackson and co. led the league with 52 sacks, 13th in INT FTR). Seattle was a top 10 (7) D in 2011, but went on a 4 year run of being the number 1 D in the league starting the year they drafted Wagner.

                              I'll give you Troy (although those Pitt teams had a great pass rush, he was my favorite non-bronco while he was playing), however Ed Reed played with maybe the best MLB of all time (Ray Lewis).
                              Last edited by broncojuan; 04-08-2022, 10:13 PM.
                              Bring Back ORANGE Sunday!!!

                              Tim Tebow combines the intensity of Ray Lewis with the throwing ability of... Ray Lewis.

                              "It is a damn poor mind indeed which can't think of at least two ways to spell any word."-Andrew Jackson

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                              • Originally posted by broncojuan View Post

                                You make a good point (and I do think safety can be right up there with ILB/MLB), but just to play devil's advocate (yup, I'm the devil). Lynch played the year after Al Wilson had his career ending injury, and the D fell from 9th to 28th, and the D was awful 2 of the 3 years Dawkins was here (the 3rd year was Von's rookie season). 2015 for us was all about the pass rush (Von, Ware, Barrett, Wolfe, Malik Jackson and co. led the league with 52 sacks, 13th in INT FTR). Seattle was a top 10 (7) D in 2011, but went on a 4 year run of being the number 1 D in the league starting the year they drafted Wagner.

                                I'll give you Troy (although those Pitt teams had a great pass rush, he was my favorite non-bronco while he was playing), however Ed Reed played with maybe the best MLB of all time (Ray Lewis).
                                You won’t get any argument from me about Al Wilson being the best part of those defenses, he’s one of the most underrated MLBs of all time in my eyes and was right up there with Lewis and Urlacher. I mention Lynch and Dawkins (more specifically Dawkins) because once Al was out they kept the defense afloat despite being way past their prime. Lynch was 37 and playing through a neck injury his last season (the season without Al). Dawkins came over at 36 and was pretty good the first season. But that next season not only did his play decline but when he was out the defense was abysmal, they gave up over 300 rushing yards and 59 points to the Raiders. A great MLB would’ve prevented that as well though.

                                The No Fly Zone was great but contrary to what the name suggests it was more about the pass rush than the secondary. But when Ward and Stewart missed the game against the Steelers, they had nearly 400 yards passing and Antonio Brown torched everybody. And while the numbers were similar in the playoff matchup they went from 3 passing TDs to 0 but they didn’t have Brown. I think Ward and Stewart’s value lied more in how they allowed our CBs to play though, because anybody going over the middle knew they were getting lit up so it allowed the CBs to play aggressive on out breaking routes as well as shorter routes. That whole defense was just great though, great players that all complimented each other really well.

                                Ed Reed to me though was the more impactful player over Ray Lewis. Lewis was the heart and soul and was tremendous against the run and still good against the pass, but there were certain things you just couldn’t do when Ed Reed was on the field. Reed was probably the best center fielder at S that has ever played. There was a play in 2012, the Ravens were playing the Browns. The Ravens were in a cover 2 defense, Cleveland ran the TE right into the dead space between the Safeties and LBs while their WR (Travis Benjamin, incredibly fast) ran a go route. Reed had to stay in the vicinity of the TE to discourage the QB from going there so he was on the right hash. Benjamin was streaking down the sideline with no one within 20-30 yards of him and all the QB ( I believe Derek Anderson who had a big arm) had to do was just hit him and it’d be a TD. Only problem was Ed Reed was on the field so instead of just hitting Benjamin he would’ve had to actually lead him up the field. He didn’t do that, when he released the ball Reed was still on the right hash, when the ball came down Reed had intercepted it outside the numbers. There are a handful of guys that can make the play in all of NFL history, Reed made it look routine. The amount of ground he could cover in a very short amount of time defied logic. When you have a Safety that can do that, it puts so much pressure on the offense because any and every deep shot is not only a big risk of a turnover but a big risk of being points for the other team.

                                Earl Thomas did similar things for the legion of boom, no doubt Wagner’s speed made it easier as well as the length of KJ Wright, Malcolm Smith, and Kam Chancellor. Cover 3 has a weakness in the seams but with that kind of speed and length it made it incredibly difficult to attack. All the CBs had to do was make sure they forced the WR to take an inside release and then the rest of the defense took care of everything else. Eddie Jackson a few years ago had an incredible season in large part due to a very similar system. Anywhere inside the numbers was fair game for him to make a play on the ball and he did and was extremely close to winning DPOY that season if not for Aaron Donald.

                                Ultimately, it’s very rare to find a Safety that can do that consistently at a high level though. I think it’s much easier to find a HoF LB (not that it’s easy at all) than to find a Safety that can impact the game in that way. There’s been great safeties for sure, but most of them haven’t been able to play that way. There isn’t a single safety in the league right now that would be able to pull it off consistently. But when you do find that Safety that can eliminate any pass within the numbers no matter where they’re at on the field, it is so special. Champ Bailey IMO could’ve done that if he switched over. In fact, there are probably more CBs that can do it than actual Safeties. It’s why I thought Patrick Peterson should’ve played S when he came out, same thing with Jalen Ramsey. Factor in that CBs who switch to S generally end up being better than they were at CB, it just makes more sense to me.
                                ​​​​​

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