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  • more pre-draft musings and ramblings. . . .

    the more i think about our upcoming draft, the more nervous i get. . . about this time last year, i wrote a long post about why i thought we needed to spend some high picks on the defensive line, and why i thought we were likely to come up short if we didn't-- i don't think it needs to be re-stated, because most people around here acknowledge the need for some serious help on the D-line, and those who don't aren't likely to be convinced by anything i can say. . .

    this year, most of the so-called "experts" agree that it's one of our biggest and most pressing needs. . . our situation at defensive tackle is downright pathetic, and end isn't much better-- at least we have some DECENT guys there, but no standouts, and everyone besides elvis is over thirty and will be gone in the next few years. . . given that this draft has one of the best and deepest classes of DEs in recent memory, it seems a no-brainer that we should pick up some young talent to improve our pass rush. . . most posters also feel that we need help at safety-- and at least the vocal majority seem to feel that we should address that position in the first round (if people dispute these claims, i can add a poll to the thread). . . .

    however. . . the more that i think about it, the more i begin to suspect that we will not address either DE or safety with our top pick-- and i actually feel that we may ignore at least one of those two spots entirely on the 1st day. . . for starters, let's consider shanahan's draft history. . . in the dozen years that he's run our drafts he has never taken a defensive end in the 1st round (unless you count trevor pryce, who was drafted to play tackle)-- and he's only taken two DEs on the first DAY!! and those were both in 2001. . . no need to wonder why our pass rush sucks. . .

    the history at safety isn't much more encouraging. . . no 1st rounders, and two total 1st day picks-- the most recent in 2000. . . our history of drafting DTs is SLIGHTLY better, but not by much-- one 1st rounder (pryce), and three others on the 1st day. . .

    now, let's contrast those numbers to shanny's favorite draft targets-- linebacker, wide receiver and cornerback. . . THREE LBs taken in the 1st round, two more on the 1st day. . . two receivers in the 1st round, with three more on the 1st day. . . and two corners taken in the 1st round, with a whopping SIX more on the 1st day!!

    just for informational purposes, the other positions have been drafted as follows. . . ofeensive tackle, one in the 1st round. . . interior OL, two on the 1st day. . . RB, four on the 1st day. . . QB, one in the 1st round and one more on the 1st day. . . TE, one on the 1st day. . .

    do these numbers mean that we'll draft acoordingly this year? no, of course not, and i'm not trying to imply that they do. . . however, it is true that certain teams have strongly ingrained draft patterns. . . philadelphia loves to draft linemen and DBs on the 1st day-- seems like they take a few every year. . . new england does the same with linemen and tight ends. . . for years, it's seemed like the eagles have needed some impact LBs, but they steadfastly refuse to spend a 1st rounder on the position-- and even when they do spend high picks, they get guys like matt mccoy or chris gocong. . . for years now, new england has ended the season relying on street free agents like hank poteat, but they seem disinterested in spending high picks on DBs (they did take hobbs in the 3rd a few years ago). . .

    it just seems to me that shanahan doesn't place much value on safeties and defensive ends. . . not only do we have his draft history to look at, but free agency as well. . . how many journeymen and retreads has he brought in at those positions over the years? when we've gotten help at safety, it's been guys like izell reese, lee flowers and nick ferguson (the only one we've gotten any decent play out of). . . and lynch, of course-- but even he was brought in after his prime, and because he was available on the cheap due to injury concerns. . . this isn't in any way intended to de-value the quality seasons lynch has given us-- merely intended to point out that the only big-name safety shanahan has ever gone after was a guy he was able to get below normal market value, and at the end of his career. . .

    i didn't have any problem with the decision to part ways with trevor pryce-- he had a huge cap number, and wasn't coming close to playing up to it. . . but add in the fact that we didn't re-sign either bert berry or reggie hayward, and the last three quality pass rushers we've had departed because of money. . . the fact that we looked at both john abraham and patrick kerney the past two years does give me a bit of hope that shanny isn't completely blind to our need, but the bottom line is that we didn't get either of those guys. . . we may never know the exact in's and out's of our cap, but the way we've managed to find room to give big contracts to henry and graham shows that we're pretty creative at finding extra room when we want to-- i'm not disappointed that we didn't get kerney (i didn't want to overpay for him), but the bottom line here IMO is that we just don't seem very interested in shelling out the necessary cash to acquire (or keep) top pass rushers. . . and i'm not posting all of this to cry about it-- just making some observations. . .


    soooo, that's the background. . . when i really consider all this in addition to the state of our current roster, it's all too easy for me to see scenarios where we'll ignore our needs at safety and DE once again. . . if i had to guess at our 1st round pick right now, joe staley and alan branch would be my first thoughts. . .

    obviously we haven't been big on spending high picks on OTs, but lepsis is aging and coming off a serious injury, and he's really the only true left tackle on our roster. . . pears may have a future at right tackle, but he's not athletic enough for LT. . . and meadows has already retured once, and is a huge injury risk-- even if he holds up for another year or two, he clearly isn't a long-term answer. . . staley fits our system perfectly, and if we draft him this year he can learn under lepsis before being thrown in the fire at the critical LT spot. . . i think the FO is probably willing to invest a top pick to potentially protect our new franchise player. . . with rumors of our attempts to trade with detroit, the other scenario i can see (and i really hate this one) is giving up a king's ransom to move up to #2 and take joe thomas. . . branch would also fill a huge need, and also fits perfectly into our current scheme. . .

    if those two guys aren't available, i can very realistically see us taking lawrence timmons or even paul posluszny at #21 (i can also see me smashing my TV in frustration if we do). . . not a smart move IMO, but it does fit shanny's draft MO pretty well-- constantly spend high picks on LB at the expense of the D-line. . . with al wilson seemingly no longer in our plans, this unfortunately seems all-too-possible to me. . . given our love for players with special teams value, i do think michael griffin may at least be on our radar-- but reggie nelson freaks, prepare to be disappointed! we've NEVER shown much interest in a center-fielder type of safety-- we consistently look for guys who can play like linebackers and support the run in the box. . . if branch and staley aren't available, i can also see us going after tedd ginn. . .

    dsiclaimer-- i'm not saying that i WANT us to disregard these positions, just saying that i still think it's a lot more possible than most people realize. . . of course shanahan isn't stupid, so hopefully i'm just worrying about nothing. . . with the depth at DE, we can still get solid value late on the 1st day (IF we don't package those picks to move up!), so i hope we at least make some attempt to upgrade our pass rush beyond some long-shot late round pick. . .
    Last edited by dogfish; 04-12-2007, 09:09 PM.
    Officially Objectified by the GPA

    rest in peace, darrent williams and damien nash-- you will be missed!!

  • #2
    Originally posted by dogfish
    the more i think about our upcoming draft, the more nervous i get. . . about this time last year, i wrote a long post about why i thought we needed to spend some high picks on the defensive line, and why i thought we were likely to come up short if we didn't-- i don't think it needs to be re-stated, because most people around here acknowledge the need for some serious help on the D-line, and those who don't aren't likely to be convinced by anything i can say. . .

    this year, most of the so-called "experts" agree that it's one of our biggest and most pressing needs. . . our situation at defensive tackle is downright pathetic, and end isn't much better-- at least we have some DECENT guys there, but no standouts, and everyone besides elvis is over thirty and will be gone in the next few years. . . given that this draft has one of the best and deepest classes of DEs in recent memory, it seems a no-brainer that we should pick up some young talent to improve our pass rush. . . most posters also feel that we need help at safety-- and at least the vocal majority seem to feel that we should address that position in the first round (if people dispute these claims, i can add a poll to the thread). . . .

    however. . . the more that i think about it, the more i begin to suspect that we will not address either DE or safety with our top pick-- and i actually feel that we may ignore at least one of those two spots entirely on the 1st day. . . for starters, let's consider shanahan's draft history. . . in the dozen years that he's run our drafts he has never taken a defensive end in the 1st round (unless you count trevor pryce, who was drafted to play tackle)-- and he's only taken two DEs on the first DAY!! and those were both in 2001. . . no need to wonder why our pass rush sucks. . .

    the history at safety isn't much more encouraging. . . no 1st rounders, and two total 1st day picks-- the most recent in 2000. . . our history of drafting DTs is SLIGHTLY better, but not by much-- one 1st rounder (pryce), and three others on the 1st day. . .

    now, let's contrast those numbers to shanny's favorite draft targets-- linebacker, wide receiver and cornerback. . . THREE LBs taken in the 1st round, two more on the 1st day. . . two receivers in the 1st round, with three more on the 1st day. . . and two corners taken in the 1st round, with a whopping SIX more on the 1st day!!

    just for informational purposes, the other positions have been drafted as follows. . . ofeensive tackle, one in the 1st round. . . interior OL, two on the 1st day. . . RB, four on the 1st day. . . QB, one in the 1st round and one more on the 1st day. . . TE, one on the 1st day. . .

    do these numbers mean that we'll draft acoordingly this year? no, of course not, and i'm not trying to imply that they do. . . however, it is true that certain teams have strongly ingrained draft patterns. . . philadelphia loves to draft linemen and DBs on the 1st day-- seems like they take a few every year. . . new england does the same with linemen and tight ends. . . for years, it's seemed like the eagles have needed some impact LBs, but they steadfastly refuse to spend a 1st rounder on the position-- and even when they do spend high picks, they get guys like matt mccoy or chris gocong. . . for years now, new england has ended the season relying on street free agents like hank poteat, but they seem disinterested in spending high picks on DBs (they did take hobbs in the 3rd a few years ago). . .

    it just seems to me that shanahan doesn't place much value on safeties and defensive ends. . . not only do we have his draft history to look at, but free agency as well. . . how many journeymen and retreads has he brought in at those positions over the years? when we've gotten help at safety, it's been guys like izell reese, lee flowers and nick ferguson (the only one we've gotten any decent play out of). . . and lynch, of course-- but even he was brought in after his prime, and because he was available on the cheap due to injury concerns. . . this isn't in any way intended to de-value the quality seasons lynch has given us-- merely intended to point out that the only big-name safety shanahan has ever gone after was a guy he was able to get below normal market value, and at the end of his career. . .

    i didn't have any problem with the decision to part ways with trevor pryce-- he had a huge cap number, and wasn't coming close to playing up to it. . . but add in the fact that we didn't re-sign either bert berry or reggie hayward, and the last three quality pass rushers we've had departed because of money. . . the fact that we looked at both john abraham and patrick kerney the past two years does give me a bit of hope that shanny isn't completely blind to our need, but the bottom line is that we didn't get either of those guys. . . we may never know the exact in's and out's of our cap, but the way we've managed to find room to give big contracts to henry and graham shows that we're pretty creative at finding extra room when we want to-- i'm not disappointed that we didn't get kerney (i didn't want to overpay for him), but the bottom line here IMO is that we just don't seem very interested in shelling out the necessary cash to acquire (or keep) top pass rushers. . . and i'm not posting all of this to cry about it-- just making some observations. . .


    soooo, that's the background. . . when i really consider all this in addition to the state of our current roster, it's all too easy for me to see scenarios where we'll ignore our needs at safety and DE once again. . . if i had to guess at our 1st round pick right now, joe staley and alan branch would be my first thoughts. . .

    obviously we haven't been big on spending high picks on OTs, but lepsis is aging and coming off a serious injury, and he's really the only true left tackle on our roster. . . pears may have a future at right tackle, but he's not athletic enough for LT. . . and meadows has already retured once, and is a huge injury risk-- even if he holds up for another year or two, he clearly isn't a long-term answer. . . staley fits our system perfectly, and if we draft him this year he can learn under lepsis before being thrown in the fire at the critical LT spot. . . i think the FO is probably willing to invest a top pick to potentially protect our new franchise player. . . with rumors of our attempts to trade with detroit, the other scenario i can see (and i really hate this one) is giving up a king's ransom to move up to #2 and take joe thomas. . . branch would also fill a huge need, and also fits perfectly into our current scheme. . .

    if those two guys aren't available, i can very realistically see us taking lawrence timmons or even paul posluszny at #21 (i can also see me smashing my TV in frustration if we do). . . not a smart move IMO, but it does fit shanny's draft MO pretty well-- constantly spend high picks on LB at the expense of the D-line. . . with al wilson seemingly no longer in our plans, this unfortunately seems all-too-possible to me. . . given our love for players with special teams value, i do think michael griffin may at least be on our radar-- but reggie nelson freaks, prepare to be disappointed! we've NEVER shown much interest in a center-fielder type of safety-- we consistently look for guys who can play like linebackers and support the run in the box. . . if branch and staley aren't available, i can also see us going after tedd ginn. . .

    dsiclaimer-- i'm not saying that i WANT us to disregard these positions, just saying that i still think it's a lot more possible than most people realize. . . of course shanahan isn't stupid, so hopefully i'm just worrying about nothing. . . with the depth at DE, we can still get solid value late on the 1st day (IF we don't package those picks to move up!), so i hope we at least make some attempt to upgrade our pass rush beyond some long-shot late round pick. . .
    :thumb:
    Good post mr. fish............. ^ that's a lot of typing

    Comment


    • #3
      If anything gives me hope that the Collective Bronco Braintrust has focused on the defensive line, it is the following facts:

      -They brought in Bates and a collection of new position coaches.

      -They made a BIG push for Patrick Kerney.

      -There have been other reports of interest in defensive linemen in the draft (not much, but some)

      Does this mean they'll address the line? No. And discounting the past couple of years, Denver's draft history is somewhere between average and horrible. But in statistics, we have something called Moving Averages, wherein a prediction for the next future "event" is based upon the average of set number previous events. As the events move along, new averages are computed. I'd like to think that the last couple of drafts demonstrate better prospect evaluation, and the offseason focus on defense (Bly, Kerney, Bates, etc) is a clue that defense is being taken more seriously.

      I'll be crossing my fingers in a couple weeks...
      "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is." -Yogi Berra

      "All models are wrong, but some are useful."

      Comment


      • #4
        The Broncos have and probably will continue (since Shanahan's Era) and always will consider the best player available on the board at any position, versus the best player available at a position need. It's a really interesting argument. It differs for every team, and it's clearly shown by draft habits. When Floyd Reese was the GM of the Titans, he strictly adhered to the BPA theory, and the Patriots have adhered to this as well. It's no coincidence that they've been pretty successful at drafting top talent over the years.

        In the long run, I think that drafting the BPA does more good than drafting for need. Often when drafting for need, you come into reaches because you have to equate several possibilities. For example (hypothetical), "We need a defensive end, but we're still in the first round but the next end we have on the board is valued as a mid-second round pick. The top player on our board is a wide receiver, and we have somewhat of a need there, but it's not pressing."

        So, what do you do? I'm not sure, but Denver seems to be a mixture of both, depending on the year. Which is why you see such ambiguity as far as success goes with their picks.

        If it's me, it's always BPA. Far too many times have teams been burned by not doing this. Drafting for need is beneficial, but it can also get you in trouble depending on the strength of the class at the position you're drafting at.

        From what I've heard and from what I believe, the Broncos WANT to upgrade the defensive line, it just depends on what kind of value they can get. Obviously, the value at DT sucks, and the value for two-gap defensive tackles sucks even worse, which is why Paul Soliai, a great physical specimen with good upside, is being considered a second-rounder even though he has only a true year of D-I experience.

        This is why I think you saw Denver trade for Wilkinson (attempt I guess) and them showing interest in Kris Jenkins. Investing a pick in one of them makes more sense than rolling the dice on someone who is a long-term project. Outside Alan Branch, there is no defensive tackle in this draft that can immediately start and be an effective two-gap man in our system. Obviously that's my belief, but I think most would agree with me.

        When it's possible for the Broncos to get a veteran like Kris Jenkins, outside his injury history which seems over for a second or third-round pick, you definitely have to consider it. Had the Broncos not acquired Javon Walker last year, we'd but up **** creek without a paddle at that position. Thus, when a team trades for a player within a pick, it has to be considered part of their draft as well. Jenkins is only 27 years old, he has a good five years of football left in him. I think Denver realizes his potential, and if they had to give #56 for them, they would be willing to do it. I think they're that desperate. I think that the Broncos have decent enough ends to be successful for next year, but outside Dumervil they do not have any good edge rushers who can get upfield on a consistent basis. That's why so many people are talking end for the Broncos.

        I also think the Broncos will upgrade the offensive tackle position. Lepsis, whose rehab seems to be going fine, is older and there is always worry after having an injury like his. Adam Meadows is not a quality tackle and Pears is a veteran of one year experience wise. Denver needs depth, and possibly a body to contend as a starter.

        The Broncos also ordered quite a few tape on defensive backs, whether it's a safety or a cornerback, Denver will bolster their defensive backfield. It's all about creating mistmatches, and I think you'll see a pick on the first day in that area. Safety seems more logical, because with Champ, Bailey and Foxworth Denver has a great three corner package, Curome Cox and Karl Paymah are fine as depth behind them. I think a safety somewhere on the first-day makes a lot of sense. The Broncos loved Donte Whitner last year, so the position has been on their mind for some time now. Michael Griffin makes a lot of sense. Denver needs a player who can come in and contribute on special teams and someone who can challenge as a starter now or next year. #21 might be too high, but he'd be worth it.

        I'll say this. I will not be surprised if Denver gets an offensive weapon, especially a receiver for Cutler. A lot of people disagree with me that Denver will be looking that way, but let's face it. Not a whole lot of proven talent there, most of the guys we signed or have outside Walker and Marshall have only a year or two left on their deals, none are really long term options. This class is epic, and it's deep - very deep. Denver would be be making a paramount mistake to not look into getting a receiver somewhere on the first day. It could definitely help.

        Linebacker will get considered strongly as well, I know that Denver loves Patrick Willis. They did not hide this at the Senior Bowl. If Willis somehow slips past the top twelve picks, I expect a big jump on the board to occur. Wilson will not be a Bronco next year, and this kid can come in and contribute right away. I also think that the Broncos will like guys like Florida State backers, and Miami's Beason. Unlike Cugel, I do not believe that drafting a 'backer early shows disappointment in DJ, it was made clear by John Clayton from his Dove Valley report at the end of the season that Ian and Al did not live up to expectations. Shanahan meets with every player from the all-stars to the scrubs at the end of the year, and I'm guessing the reports on Al and Ian weren't that good.

        I hope we can get something for Al, even if it's a fourth-rounder it makes more sense to get some value than nothing and releasing him outright. New Orleans becomes a potential suitor in this scenario. They have four fourth-rounders.

        Anyways, I'm prepared for the unpredictable. I think Denver's in too good of a position to really mess up this draft. I think you'll see a lot of people being pissed because they have the hopes of defensive line in their mind right away, and if it isn't address in round one, they'll just say what we did sucks. I do not place much merit in these people's opinions, because you do not judge a draft on what you don't do, it's who you get and how they perform down the road. You have to analyze the draft beyond face value to appreciate and understand how a team performed or didn't, and I think you'll see a lot of people on this forum missing that key concept come draft day.

        My thoughts. Good thread.
        Last edited by Dream; 04-12-2007, 09:45 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Dream
          The Broncos have and probably will continue (since Shanahan's Era) and always will consider the best player available on the board at any position, versus the best player available at a position need. It's a really interesting argument. It differs for every team, and it's clearly shown by draft habits. When Floyd Reese was the GM of the Titans, he strictly adhered to the BPA theory, and the Patriots have adhered to this as well. It's no coincidence that they've been pretty successful at drafting top talent over the years.

          In the long run, I think that drafting the BPA does more good than drafting for need. Often when drafting for need, you come into reaches because you have to equate several possibilities. For example (hypothetical), "We need a defensive end, but we're still in the first round but the next end we have on the board is valued as a mid-second round pick. The top player on our board is a wide receiver, and we have somewhat of a need there, but it's not pressing."

          So, what do you do? I'm not sure, but Denver seems to be a mixture of both, depending on the year. Which is why you see such ambiguity as far as success goes with their picks.

          If it's me, it's always BPA. Far too many times have teams been burned by not doing this. Drafting for need is beneficial, but it can also get you in trouble depending on the strength of the class at the position you're drafting at.

          From what I've heard and from what I believe, the Broncos WANT to upgrade the defensive line, it just depends on what kind of value they can get. Obviously, the value at DT sucks, and the value for two-gap defensive tackles sucks even worse, which is why Paul Soliai, a great physical specimen with good upside, is being considered a second-rounder even though he has only a true year of D-I experience.

          This is why I think you saw Denver trade for Wilkinson (attempt I guess) and them showing interest in Kris Jenkins. Investing a pick in one of them makes more sense than rolling the dice on someone who is a long-term project. Outside Alan Branch, there is no defensive tackle in this draft that can immediately start and be an effective two-gap man in our system. Obviously that's my belief, but I think most would agree with me.

          When it's possible for the Broncos to get a veteran like Kris Jenkins, outside his injury history which seems over for a second or third-round pick, you definitely have to consider it. Had the Broncos not acquired Javon Walker last year, we'd but up **** creek without a paddle at that position. Thus, when a team trades for a player within a pick, it has to be considered part of their draft as well. Jenkins is only 27 years old, he has a good five years of football left in him. I think Denver realizes his potential, and if they had to give #56 for them, they would be willing to do it. I think they're that desperate. I think that the Broncos have decent enough ends to be successful for next year, but outside Dumervil they do not have any good edge rushers who can get upfield on a consistent basis. That's why so many people are talking end for the Broncos.

          I also think the Broncos will upgrade the offensive tackle position. Lepsis, whose rehab seems to be going fine, is older and there is always worry after having an injury like his. Adam Meadows is not a quality tackle and Pears is a veteran of one year experience wise. Denver needs depth, and possibly a body to contend as a starter.

          The Broncos also ordered quite a few tape on defensive backs, whether it's a safety or a cornerback, Denver will bolster their defensive backfield. It's all about creating mistmatches, and I think you'll see a pick on the first day in that area. Safety seems more logical, because with Champ, Bailey and Foxworth Denver has a great three corner package, Curome Cox and Karl Paymah are fine as depth behind them. I think a safety somewhere on the first-day makes a lot of sense. The Broncos loved Donte Whitner last year, so the position has been on their mind for some time now. Michael Griffin makes a lot of sense. Denver needs a player who can come in and contribute on special teams and someone who can challenge as a starter now or next year. #21 might be too high, but he'd be worth it.

          I'll say this. I will not be surprised if Denver gets an offensive weapon, especially a receiver for Cutler. A lot of people disagree with me that Denver will be looking that way, but let's face it. Not a whole lot of proven talent there, most of the guys we signed or have outside Walker and Marshall have only a year or two left on their deals, none are really long term options. This class is epic, and it's deep - very deep. Denver would be be making a paramount mistake to not look into getting a receiver somewhere on the first day. It could definitely help.

          Linebacker will get considered strongly as well, I know that Denver loves Patrick Willis. They did not hide this at the Senior Bowl. If Willis somehow slips past the top twelve picks, I expect a big jump on the board to occur. Wilson will not be a Bronco next year, and this kid can come in and contribute right away. I also think that the Broncos will like guys like Florida State backers, and Miami's Beason. Unlike Cugel, I do not believe that drafting a 'backer early shows disappointment in DJ, it was made clear by John Clayton from his Dove Valley report at the end of the season that Ian and Al did not live up to expectations. Shanahan meets with every player from the all-stars to the scrubs at the end of the year, and I'm guessing the reports on Al and Ian weren't that good.

          I hope we can get something for Al, even if it's a fourth-rounder it makes more sense to get some value than nothing and releasing him outright. New Orleans becomes a potential suitor in this scenario. They have four fourth-rounders.

          Anyways, I'm prepared for the unpredictable. I think Denver's in too good of a position to really mess up this draft. I think you'll see a lot of people being pissed because they have the hopes of defensive line in their mind right away, and if it isn't address in round one, they'll just say what we did sucks. I do not place much merit in these people's opinions, because you do not judge a draft on what you don't do, it's who you get and how they perform down the road. You have to analyze the draft beyond face value to appreciate and understand how a team performed or didn't, and I think you'll see a lot of people on this forum missing that key concept come draft day.

          My thoughts. Good thread.
          ^ That's even more typing!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Dream
            The Broncos have and probably will continue (since Shanahan's Era) and always will consider the best player available on the board at any position, versus the best player available at a position need. It's a really interesting argument. It differs for every team, and it's clearly shown by draft habits. When Floyd Reese was the GM of the Titans, he strictly adhered to the BPA theory, and the Patriots have adhered to this as well. It's no coincidence that they've been pretty successful at drafting top talent over the years.

            In the long run, I think that drafting the BPA does more good than drafting for need. Often when drafting for need, you come into reaches because you have to equate several possibilities. For example (hypothetical), "We need a defensive end, but we're still in the first round but the next end we have on the board is valued as a mid-second round pick. The top player on our board is a wide receiver, and we have somewhat of a need there, but it's not pressing."

            So, what do you do? I'm not sure, but Denver seems to be a mixture of both, depending on the year. Which is why you see such ambiguity as far as success goes with their picks.

            If it's me, it's always BPA. Far too many times have teams been burned by not doing this. Drafting for need is beneficial, but it can also get you in trouble depending on the strength of the class at the position you're drafting at.

            From what I've heard and from what I believe, the Broncos WANT to upgrade the defensive line, it just depends on what kind of value they can get. Obviously, the value at DT sucks, and the value for two-gap defensive tackles sucks even worse, which is why Paul Soliai, a great physical specimen with good upside, is being considered a second-rounder even though he has only a true year of D-I experience.

            This is why I think you saw Denver trade for Wilkinson (attempt I guess) and them showing interest in Kris Jenkins. Investing a pick in one of them makes more sense than rolling the dice on someone who is a long-term project. Outside Alan Branch, there is no defensive tackle in this draft that can immediately start and be an effective two-gap man in our system. Obviously that's my belief, but I think most would agree with me.

            When it's possible for the Broncos to get a veteran like Kris Jenkins, outside his injury history which seems over for a second or third-round pick, you definitely have to consider it. Had the Broncos not acquired Javon Walker last year, we'd but up **** creek without a paddle at that position. Thus, when a team trades for a player within a pick, it has to be considered part of their draft as well. Jenkins is only 27 years old, he has a good five years of football left in him. I think Denver realizes his potential, and if they had to give #56 for them, they would be willing to do it. I think they're that desperate. I think that the Broncos have decent enough ends to be successful for next year, but outside Dumervil they do not have any good edge rushers who can get upfield on a consistent basis. That's why so many people are talking end for the Broncos.

            I also think the Broncos will upgrade the offensive tackle position. Lepsis, whose rehab seems to be going fine, is older and there is always worry after having an injury like his. Adam Meadows is not a quality tackle and Pears is a veteran of one year experience wise. Denver needs depth, and possibly a body to contend as a starter.

            The Broncos also ordered quite a few tape on defensive backs, whether it's a safety or a cornerback, Denver will bolster their defensive backfield. It's all about creating mistmatches, and I think you'll see a pick on the first day in that area. Safety seems more logical, because with Champ, Bailey and Foxworth Denver has a great three corner package, Curome Cox and Karl Paymah are fine as depth behind them. I think a safety somewhere on the first-day makes a lot of sense. The Broncos loved Donte Whitner last year, so the position has been on their mind for some time now. Michael Griffin makes a lot of sense. Denver needs a player who can come in and contribute on special teams and someone who can challenge as a starter now or next year. #21 might be too high, but he'd be worth it.

            I'll say this. I will not be surprised if Denver gets an offensive weapon, especially a receiver for Cutler. A lot of people disagree with me that Denver will be looking that way, but let's face it. Not a whole lot of proven talent there, most of the guys we signed or have outside Walker and Marshall have only a year or two left on their deals, none are really long term options. This class is epic, and it's deep - very deep. Denver would be be making a paramount mistake to not look into getting a receiver somewhere on the first day. It could definitely help.

            Linebacker will get considered strongly as well, I know that Denver loves Patrick Willis. They did not hide this at the Senior Bowl. If Willis somehow slips past the top twelve picks, I expect a big jump on the board to occur. Wilson will not be a Bronco next year, and this kid can come in and contribute right away. I also think that the Broncos will like guys like Florida State backers, and Miami's Beason. Unlike Cugel, I do not believe that drafting a 'backer early shows disappointment in DJ, it was made clear by John Clayton from his Dove Valley report at the end of the season that Ian and Al did not live up to expectations. Shanahan meets with every player from the all-stars to the scrubs at the end of the year, and I'm guessing the reports on Al and Ian weren't that good.

            I hope we can get something for Al, even if it's a fourth-rounder it makes more sense to get some value than nothing and releasing him outright. New Orleans becomes a potential suitor in this scenario. They have four fourth-rounders.
            Most of this is spot on. But you just contradicted yourself.
            "I do not believe that drafting a 'backer early shows disappointment in DJ, it was made clear by John Clayton from his Dove Valley report at the end of the season that Ian and Al did not live up to expectations. Shanahan meets with every player from the all-stars to the scrubs at the end of the year, and I'm guessing the reports on Al and Ian weren't that good.
            Either the Broncos leave D.J. Williams buried at SLB (whether they move Ian Gold or Wilson or not) in which case he was a wasted pick or they don't.

            That's like using your #1 pick on a guy you project to be a LT and have him stuck at RT (examples: Raiders Robert Gallery, Broncos George Foster).

            That's a busted pick. The Broncos have Louis Green and Nate Webster. What on earth do they do with them? Are they going to put Nate Webster at the starting MLB position and leave D.J. stuck at SLB? They might as well trade him if they intend to do that!

            And I haven't heard anything that indicates they are going to get rid of Ian Gold. They would take a big cap hit if they did that. Nor does it seem that D.J. is that great a prospect at OLB. He's too poor a pass-defender. (The proof of that is that he was taken off the field on passing third downs a lot last year and a DB was brought in for the nickel package).

            The Broncos DL sucked horribly last year which is why the LBs didn't perform that well. They're only as good as the DL in front of them. And with losers like Engleberger playing DL, and nonentities like Mike Myers, Lang and Ekuban actually STARTING in front of them what did anybody expect?

            Too damn many useles Browncos hanging around is what's wrong with the Broncos!

            I have no idea what Shanahan is thinking of course, but he damn well better take a DL in the first or second round!
            sigpic

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            • #7
              I liked your post dogfish, and yours too Dream. I agree with you that this is a nervous time, as the draft is just 2 weeks away.

              While I don't see us trading up for Joe Thomas, I don't think we would have to go as high as 2 to get him. I think he may fall as far as #4 or #5 because I really think Russell goes to Oakland, and Detroit takes Calvin Johnson and trades him right then. Cleveland really needs a QB and might reach for Quinn, or they should take Peterson. Tampa at 4 gets whoever is left of those players, or moves up. I can see Thomas going a little lower than 2 though. Enough of that though.

              As far as Denver is concerned, their first round pick is really intriguing. It seems interesting to me that where we have needs is in areas of the draft that are really strong. DE, WR, etc. Those are the logical places to look for early, but because there is such depth at those positions, I really think there is talent available later on so that makes me believe they will look elsewhere in round 1 unless they trade up.

              Because of that, I agree that the logical early choices for them would be at DT if one falls, or Safety because those positions are not necessarily deep overall. I can also see an early OT taken, but I don't think we're as thin at O-line as it has been made to seem.

              Before I wrap this up, here's my sleeper pick.

              Quentin Moses DE, UGA. I'm a homer on that pick since I'm from Georgia, but I have watched every game of theirs for the last 10 years, and I'm telling you the guy is talent laden and waiting to explode from his frustrating 06 season. The guy is a much better player than Charles Johnson (the beneficiary of Moses' double and triple teams all year). Moses is speedy and strong, and has great moves and a natural feel when he's close to the QB. He was once projected as a possible top 5 pick before the 06 season after a dominant 05 year. This guy will most likely be available in round 2 or even later if we're lucky, and could come in and make an IMMEDIATE impact, which we need.

              At the time of this post, we are 14 days : 23 hours : 53 min : 50 seconds to the NFL Draft !!!!

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              • #8
                When you look at what we mostly drafted on defense, it was usually the positions that our D coordinators really liked. That gives me hope that Shanny was listening and taking advice from them. That would mean that the defensive line might be more of a priority with Bates here. Or I am just trying to make up reasons in my head to give myself hope of some d-line help.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cugel
                  I have no idea what Shanahan is thinking of course, but he damn well better take a DL in the first or second round!
                  Absolutely dead on. :thumb:

                  Except that I would not be disappointed if he took DL in the first AND second rounds.

                  -----

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                  • #10
                    One difference this year though, is we have Jim Bates, who relies on a good defensive line. Im just hoping he convinces shanny to draft DL, since he has already said we need to improve there.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cugel
                      Either the Broncos leave D.J. Williams buried at SLB (whether they move Ian Gold or Wilson or not) in which case he was a wasted pick or they don't.
                      The difference between the examples you give and D.J. is that he is being forced to play SAM because of Ian and Al, not because he has not performed at a high enough level to take one of those positions, Gallery and Foster couldn't play LT due to their own pitfalls as players, D.J. is getting stuck at SAM (for now, but who knows) because of bringing Ian Gold back. Ian's not that great. I've been saying that bringing back Ian was one of the worst decisions we've done in the past five years or so.

                      That's a busted pick. The Broncos have Louis Green and Nate Webster. What on earth do they do with them? Are they going to put Nate Webster at the starting MLB position and leave D.J. stuck at SLB? They might as well trade him if they intend to do that!

                      And I haven't heard anything that indicates they are going to get rid of Ian Gold. They would take a big cap hit if they did that. Nor does it seem that D.J. is that great a prospect at OLB. He's too poor a pass-defender. (The proof of that is that he was taken off the field on passing third downs a lot last year and a DB was brought in for the nickel package).
                      It's only a bust in the sense that D.J. is not playing his original position, and that's not his fault. D.J. is still a good linebacker in this league, and was playing very, very well at the end of the season. Secondly, it's not uncommon for linebackers to be replaced with a DB in nickel packages, Ian and Al were better than D.J., but D.J. is not terrible in coverage. He has improved since he was a rookie and I expect him to get better, and his improvements in his game are leading to Al being expendable and him getting more time. Jim Bates sees his talents are being wasted, and wants to edit the line-up to make him have more of an impact. Good thinking.

                      The Broncos DL sucked horribly last year which is why the LBs didn't perform that well. They're only as good as the DL in front of them. And with losers like Engleberger playing DL, and nonentities like Mike Myers, Lang and Ekuban actually STARTING in front of them what did anybody expect?

                      Too damn many useles Browncos hanging around is what's wrong with the Broncos!

                      I have no idea what Shanahan is thinking of course, but he damn well better take a DL in the first or second round!
                      Engleberger, Myers, Lang and Ekuban are average starters, but good role players. They are not losers though.

                      I'm sure we'll address the line, but I'm almost certain we won't double dip (unless we trade for a DT) just due to the value at tackle.

                      I think you'll see one defensive lineman, an offensive tackle, a defensive back and a wide receiver with our first four selections if they are all kept. Replace either defensive back or receiver if one of the picks is traded away for Kris Jenkins.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ChampWJ
                        Cleveland really needs a QB and might reach for Quinn, or they should take Peterson.
                        No

                        Cleveland really needs an Offensive Line.
                        The Browns are gone; I'm not a fan of the Impostors

                        The real Browns are in Baltimore, see?

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                        • #13
                          We dont need a pass rushing defensive end. Dumerville is perfect for that and will only get better as he get more experience. Most of our ends are pass rush ends, just not really good ones. We could use a every down end that can play the run and the pass. Moss is just to small for that. If anderson were to fall he would be great. A good DT would also help out tremedously on our sack production. I think safety is our biggest need right now. If i had my choice i would go with nelson. Then griffin. Its not worth moving up high enough to get landry. Bates will take care of the d line.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JetterIsBetter
                            We dont need a pass rushing defensive end. Dumerville is perfect for that and will only get better as he get more experience. Most of our ends are pass rush ends, just not really good ones. We could use a every down end that can play the run and the pass. Moss is just to small for that. If anderson were to fall he would be great. A good DT would also help out tremedously on our sack production. I think safety is our biggest need right now. If i had my choice i would go with nelson. Then griffin. Its not worth moving up high enough to get landry. Bates will take care of the d line.
                            Denver needs defensive ends who can consistently win their one gap assignments in the new defensive line (wider spread) Bates' and Johnson are going to want to accomplish. Dumervil is the only legit fit for this defense. We need another.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dream
                              The Broncos have and probably will continue (since Shanahan's Era) and always will consider the best player available on the board at any position, versus the best player available at a position need. It's a really interesting argument. It differs for every team, and it's clearly shown by draft habits. When Floyd Reese was the GM of the Titans, he strictly adhered to the BPA theory, and the Patriots have adhered to this as well. It's no coincidence that they've been pretty successful at drafting top talent over the years.

                              In the long run, I think that drafting the BPA does more good than drafting for need. Often when drafting for need, you come into reaches because you have to equate several possibilities. For example (hypothetical), "We need a defensive end, but we're still in the first round but the next end we have on the board is valued as a mid-second round pick. The top player on our board is a wide receiver, and we have somewhat of a need there, but it's not pressing."

                              So, what do you do? I'm not sure, but Denver seems to be a mixture of both, depending on the year. Which is why you see such ambiguity as far as success goes with their picks.

                              If it's me, it's always BPA. Far too many times have teams been burned by not doing this. Drafting for need is beneficial, but it can also get you in trouble depending on the strength of the class at the position you're drafting at.
                              i agree that it's an interesting argument. . . as far as i'm concerned, the real trick is to balance to two, and manage to get good value while still addressing your principal needs-- of course, teams that draft well and pro-actively (and manage the cap well) don't generally HAVE quite as many pressing needs, but that's a topic for another thread. . .

                              i think leaning towards the BPA is the best course of action, but sometimes that may be easier said than done. . . for one thing, scouting is an inexact science-- it isn't always clear-cut whether who's the best player. . . is robert meachem better than darrelle revis? is michael griffin better than jarvis moss? clearly, we can't take greg olsen at #21 even if we think he's the BPA. . . you're comparing production vs. measurables, floor vs. ceiling, and then throwing in intangibles and injury history. . . and on top of it all, how dedicated are you to finding players who specifically fit your scheme vs. taking the best overall player and finding ways to use him? clearly, there are a lot of factors involved, and it's easy to seee where teams make mistakes. . .

                              also, different teams have different strategies based upon their philosophies and the current makeup of their roster. . . for example, a team which is in bad cap shape and built around some aging superstars may feel more inclined to spend their high picks on players who can make an immediate impact at positions of need because they think they can make a superbowl push before a big star retires (say, their quarterback)-- or they may be more interested in trading a 1st day pick for an impact veteran. . . it's a calculated risk, and can indeed sometimes get you in trouble down the road-- but, if it pays off it may be worth it. . .

                              i thought we were more in this mode before last year's draft, when taking a chance at getting an impact pass rusher may have helped us push for a title with a core of players like lynch, wilson, nalen, smith and plummer. . . that's what i wanted going into the draft, but i was happier to get a potential franchise QB-- the way the team as a whole played last year, i think it was obviously the right decision. . .

                              with guys like plummer and wilson gone, and smith, lynch and nalen aging, i think we're in a different situation now. . . the team now is clearly being built around cutler. . . we have core vets like walker, bailey, and henry, but will be relying more on the development of youngsters like marshall, scheffler, dumervil, and whoever ends up starting on the right side of the O-line. . . i feel that this alters our draft strategy somewhat, potentially placing more emphasis on the future and guys with the most long-term developmental potential. . . should be a good thing, and HOPEFULLY it will lead to us getting the most out of our draft picks and building a more affordable team built through the draft instead of free agency. . .


                              Originally posted by Dream
                              From what I've heard and from what I believe, the Broncos WANT to upgrade the defensive line, it just depends on what kind of value they can get. Obviously, the value at DT sucks, and the value for two-gap defensive tackles sucks even worse, which is why Paul Soliai, a great physical specimen with good upside, is being considered a second-rounder even though he has only a true year of D-I experience.

                              This is why I think you saw Denver trade for Wilkinson (attempt I guess) and them showing interest in Kris Jenkins. Investing a pick in one of them makes more sense than rolling the dice on someone who is a long-term project. Outside Alan Branch, there is no defensive tackle in this draft that can immediately start and be an effective two-gap man in our system. Obviously that's my belief, but I think most would agree with me.

                              When it's possible for the Broncos to get a veteran like Kris Jenkins, outside his injury history which seems over for a second or third-round pick, you definitely have to consider it. Had the Broncos not acquired Javon Walker last year, we'd but up **** creek without a paddle at that position. Thus, when a team trades for a player within a pick, it has to be considered part of their draft as well. Jenkins is only 27 years old, he has a good five years of football left in him. I think Denver realizes his potential, and if they had to give #56 for them, they would be willing to do it. I think they're that desperate. I think that the Broncos have decent enough ends to be successful for next year, but outside Dumervil they do not have any good edge rushers who can get upfield on a consistent basis. That's why so many people are talking end for the Broncos.
                              i hope you're right about us wanting to upgrade-- it certainly makes a ton of sense, but as you can tell i remain wary of shanahan's intentions in this area. . . i fully agree that it makes sense for us to consider all options at DT-- i've said before, i think we're hosed if we go into the season with alvin mckinley starting against LT and LJ!

                              this is why i think branch is on our radar. . . and personally, i wouldn't be opposed to soliai at #56-- he's raw, but has rare movement skills for his size and a ton of potential. . . good two-gap tackles are hard to find, and generally go pretty high. . . if we can't get one of those two, we're pretty much backed into a corner, and i fully expect us to push hard for jenkins (i'm not convinced that rodgers will really be traded). . . i have quite a few reservations, but i can definitely see the possibilities as well-- i just hope that if we get him we send them #70 and not #56. . .


                              Originally posted by Dream
                              I also think the Broncos will upgrade the offensive tackle position. Lepsis, whose rehab seems to be going fine, is older and there is always worry after having an injury like his. Adam Meadows is not a quality tackle and Pears is a veteran of one year experience wise. Denver needs depth, and possibly a body to contend as a starter.

                              couldn't agree more here. . . i feel that we'll be strongly interested in staley. . . if not, doug free is the guy i prefer-- i like james marten, but he may or may not be athletic enough for the left side. . . harris fits our scheme, but i'm not impressed with him. . .



                              Originally posted by Dream
                              I'll say this. I will not be surprised if Denver gets an offensive weapon, especially a receiver for Cutler. A lot of people disagree with me that Denver will be looking that way, but let's face it. Not a whole lot of proven talent there, most of the guys we signed or have outside Walker and Marshall have only a year or two left on their deals, none are really long term options. This class is epic, and it's deep - very deep. Denver would be be making a paramount mistake to not look into getting a receiver somewhere on the first day. It could definitely help.

                              i also expect us to look at receivers. . . i myself don't necessarily view it as much of a need this year, but it's tough to argue that it makes sense with this group of receivers to grab one for the future-- especially if we can get another guy with solid return potential. . . with the amazing depth and diversity this year, guys will be available late 3rd who are solid 2nd round values most years. . . i'm sure that we'll at least look that way, and i won't be surprised if we take one. . . however, with the release of wilson i think we now have more needs than we have picks to fill them on the 1st day, so i also won't be shocked if we don't take one-- just depends on which direction they want to go, and who's on the board (assuming we don't trade our late 1st day picks). . . and of course, it comes back to whether we want to draft for immediate need, or for value and long-term potential. . . this is where not having a 4th really kills us (thanks, plummer!)-- that would have been a perfect spot to look at guys like clowney, walker or paul davis, maybe a guy like allison if he falls a bit. . .
                              Last edited by dogfish; 04-15-2007, 11:24 PM.
                              Officially Objectified by the GPA

                              rest in peace, darrent williams and damien nash-- you will be missed!!

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