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The Beat: Off-Season and Draft Outlook

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  • #31
    Basically I'm just tagging this thread for the breakdowns and comments from the posters I enjoy reading here.

    I already have "The Beat" on my bookmarks on Firefox.

    Thanks for everyones input, Dream, MUG, Cugel, Mindfield, JoRo, Max, Stnzed(others I'm sure I'm forgetting). You guys bring a great insight to a gringo living in Mexico.

    Sucking up over.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Dream View Post
      That's an interesting question and I really haven't thought about it until you mentioned it.

      Essentially, as you know we have Erik Pears and Ryan Harris at tackle on our roster.

      Pears is not a right tackle in the NFL. He plays way too high, doesn't have great technique and shows no power on that side of the line. At the very best, he's a serviceable left tackle, but he is not the kind of player you want protecting a guy like Cutler full time. He was beat a lot off the edge last year at right tackle, so putting him at LT would be even more of a concern.

      The Broncos coaches (from what insider people have said and reporters) really like Ryan Harris, as they should. He's the prototype for a Broncos offensive lineman, has the ability to play either tackle spots or guard - and has good footwork, but needs some technique help. He sat this year to hopefully improve all that, and I guess we'll see in camp.

      The thing is, Williams is by far more talented than Harris or Pears. I seriously wouldn't know if Williams would start - but it shouldn't be that hard to beat out Harris or Pears. If the Broncos invest a high pick in him, I'd hope they'd give him a chance to start and break that "you sit for one year" deal.

      What makes this year different is that Harris has no real experience starting in the NFL, and Pears pretty much sucks. I think Harris can be a quality NFL left tackle, but I think he could be a great guard, and probably a good right tackle. We haven't seen him play, so there are just a lot of questionmarks.

      In all honesty, OT in the first round is probably wishful thinking. Shanahan seemed to be pleased with Pears, and they are high on Harris. However, I had it on good word a few moths ago that Baker and Clady were two guys they were interested in, and that they were looking at offensive tackles hard.

      I don't know if it'll be a first-round pick, but I expect the Broncos to find a tackle somewhere. They have to. If they don't do it in FA; you know they're going to do it in the draft because there's no way in Hell you go into camp with two OT's, and a guy who can play OT (Kuper) in a pinch on your roster. There's just no way.

      Harris was a first-round talent after his junior year, but slipped his senior year. I am fairly confident Denver slapped a second round grade on the guy and felt lucky they could get him at #70 back in 2007. He has great potential, but it remains to be seen. Denver's going to have to add a guy somewhere, at least they should. Then again, they've been known to overlook positions and let them suffer. (Safety this past year is one of them, defensive line for about three years prior as well.)

      Until the rumors start flying and the combine happens, you won't hear good information. Believe me, I ask the select people I've gotten to know over the past few years and they keep saying, "just wait." The one thing that seems to be known right now is that the Broncos want more picks, and that's a good thing.

      We'll see what they do in FA; we'll hear some combine tidbits and then we'll know.

      I'm sorry if my answer was ambiguous, but I can't really say. If we drafted Williams and he showed the ability to start right away, HE SHOULD START. Throw Harris in at a guard spot or RT (pending on who comes back, say Hamilton doesn't) and let the youth get experience.

      Those guys are way more talented than Pears is. Pears just SUCKS.
      IN all honesty Dream, if people are telling you "just you wait" that to me sounds like the Broncos are trying to trade down and pick up a 3rd round pick. That would make a lot of sense if they can find a partner.

      Somebody who desperately wants a LT could be interested in the #12 spot, because that's where the value seems to be right now, unless somebody unexpectedly falls out of the top 10.

      But, as of now, you have a lot of choices at #12, they just don't happen to be a positions the Broncos need:

      RB - outside of Darren McFadden, you've got everybody probably still on the board: Jonathan Stewart, Rashard Mendenhall, Felix Jones. There's a possibility for somebody who wants a RB.

      S - Kenny Phillips seems to be falling, so that's not any incentive.

      DT - After Dorsey and Ellis are gone in the top 5, not much value, which is a big reason the Broncos want to trade down. Nobody is going up to #12 to get Kentwan Balmer. No incentive there for a trade.

      DE - Vernon Gholston & Phillip Merling could both be available & Calais Campbell.

      QB - Matt Ryan figures to be gone and there's nobody else likely in the 1st round, but then QBs have tended to be surprise sliders in the last few years. If so, that's a huge incentive for a team to want to trade up. But, he'd have to be on the board at #11 for this to happen. If it did, Shanahan's phone would melt down.

      OT - Probably the best reason for a team to want to trade up. After Jake Long, some team could want Ryan Clady or Chris Williams. If the Broncos don't and either or both were available there should be some trade interest, depending on what other teams' needs are. But, it's hard to see elite LT prospects falling much farther than #12-15, so this is a chance for the Broncos to deal.

      CB - Acquib Talib, Leodis McKelvin, Mike Kelvin - any or all could be there. If Talib slides to #12 that would be another huge incentive for teams looking for CB help to trade up without paying too much compensation.

      Overall, it would have to be the right circumstances if the Broncos expect to get any value from trading down out of their pick. It's not going to be as easy as just saying "here it is come and get it!"
      Last edited by Cugel; 01-29-2008, 12:27 PM.
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      • #33
        I think Talib is going to fall a lil bit farther than 12. I may be wrong but he really doesn't seem to have the recovery speed and seeing how he is mainly a bump and run typa corner he fits right now into cover 2 schemes best... schemes that often times don't use a 1st on corners... Not sure, but I have seen a 1st-2nd round grade on him right now..
        Bronco fan from Packer Land.
        Lefty Writer on The Sports Show with Woody Paige and Les Shapiro
        Tweet me @JoRo_5551

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Cugel View Post
          IN all honesty Dream, if people are telling you "just you wait" that to me sounds like the Broncos are trying to trade down and pick up a 3rd round pick. That would make a lot of sense if they can find a partner.
          From my experience over the past two years getting some good information, I'd say it has more to do with the fact that the talk isn't going on because:

          A) It's very early, and the evaluation process isn't even close to being done and;

          B) That free agency hasn't even happened.

          I'm in agreement that they are going to trade down, but people shouldn't expect any rumors or anything yet. Most of the things people are talking about are made by board posters and not nearly the truth.

          Like I said in the article; the Broncos will evaluate their options, look at their board and make a decision from there.

          No move will be done prior to April 19th; that's a given.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Mat'hir Uth Gan View Post
            *I've* always believed DJ Williams was strictly a MIKE, so I was excited to see him moved there last season. And I was very excited with his play and he should only get better. So, I would argue he finally was used in his natural position. I would be very disturbed to see us move him to WILL, where I don't think he fits whatsoever.

            I really liked Webster at SAM. I was very skeptical at first, but I thought he played very well there. His natural position is MIKE as well, so I found it very telling that when Ian got hurt, they didn't move DJ to WILL and Nate to MIKE. Remember that by that point, Coyer's scheme was scrapped and they were running Slowik's version of things. I see no reason why that would change now.

            I freely admit that Gold has limitations at WILL, specifically with tackling bigger players. But, with two very strong tacklers at MIKE and SAM, as well as playing Lynch up in the box, I think Gold's coverage versatility trumps his shortcomings in tackling. And I still think he tackles at worst, average. But he does miss a few, and unfortunately, they are usually very obvious. His play in zone coverage is less so.



            At Defensive Tackle, I made the pre-season prediction that Alvin McKinley was the best DT on our roster. I've always liked him at Cleveland, so that was kind of a homer prediction, but it turned out to be true, debateable at worst. I don't think anyone wanted Marcus Thomas to start since he had basically missed a full year of football and was a rookie. He was more of an exciting pick for the future. The fact that we cut/traded our Top 4 DTs (depth chart wise) in the first few weeks was mind-blowing. And that's the reason our season tanked.

            Everything starts up front in the trenches on both sides of the ball. Our D-line was completely ineffective against the Run, and lackluster in pass rushing. The LBs have to read their keys, and with pulling OGs, FBs, and TEs (because our D-line did not require double teams) they had to fight through trash just to attempt to make a play.

            I really think that our defense will improve dramatically just as a matter of course this season. All the rookies will be much better due to experience and a year of strength training at the professional level. I think all we need are either NT's to try and clog inside, or else penetrating 3-techiques to try and be a high pressure defense. We need 2 of either, and one of which must be a veteran to start now.



            But to answer your post, I think our LBs are a team strength. I think our secondary is a team strength. But we need to fix the D-line to see that talent shine. I really believe, just like Baltimore, we are only an elite DT away from being a Top 10 Defense again. Hopefully we can draft/sign one that can be instantly as effective as Ngata was. The lack of a scheme and the lack of either an elite Nose Tackle or an Elite 3-technique is why I believe our defense faltered last season. Having two Quasi-Nose Tackles starting side by side, one of which was a raw rookie, is like leaving the portcullis up when someone is raiding your castle.
            I could not disagree more.

            Really, I think it's as easy as comparing our Defense when we had a healthy Al Wilson, vs the Defense we had after he got injured in '06, and the one we had last year with DJ Williams. Williams' absolute lack of leadership skills, his lack of recognition, and his inability to diagnose was glaring to me.

            I thought Webster was the best LB we had and did an admirable job at playing a position he was not well-suited for. Considering what we have as potential starters, we would be better off having Winborn and Webster moved back inside to battle it out, with Williams moved back to strongside where he has done his best work to date. That would leave us to find a weakside OLB to take Gold's place.

            But considering that this is a pathetic Draft for LB's, it will have to come through Free Agency if at all, because there is not a Day One LB worth drafting that will amount to anything more than a serviceable starter (Connor), because there is not a future Pro Bowler among them.

            Of course, considering Shanahan's history (he took Williams in a terrible draft for LB's), that's probably what we will draft.
            Last edited by MindField; 01-29-2008, 05:10 PM.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by MindField View Post
              I could not disagree more.

              Really, I think it's as easy as comparing our Defense when we had a healthy Al Wilson, vs the Defense we had after he got injured in '06, and the one we had last year with DJ Williams. Williams' absolute lack of leadership skills, his lack of recognition, and his inability to diagnose was glaring to me.

              I thought Webster was the best LB we had and did an admirable job at playing a position he was not well-suited for. Considering what we have as potential starters, we would be better off having Winborn and Webster moved back inside to battle it out, with Williams moved back to strongside where he has done his best work to date. That would leave us to find a weakside OLB to take Gold's place.

              But considering that this is a pathetic Draft for LB's, it will have to come through Free Agency if at all, because there is not a Day One LB worth drafting that will amount to anything more than a serviceable starter (Connor), because there is not a future Pro Bowler among them.

              Of course, considering Shanahan's history (he took Williams in a terrible draft for LB's), that's probably what we will draft.



              those are some bold statements about the draft crop of Lb's. anyway its your opinion and your entitled.....

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Cugel View Post
                Seeing as how Mel Kiper has Jake Long 3rd on his big board it's difficult to see how he falls to #12.

                The top 10 tend to be consensus picks, the ones everybody would make. It's tough to get those very far wrong, so I'd say Long is gone in the top 5 at least.

                Historically, the top OT in the draft has invariably been a top 5 pick.
                If you watched the Wolverines and read Long's press clippings, you'd swear Long was wearing #52 not #77.

                That's just my opinion, I'm just some dude on the internet, but I thought Long was a bit overrated at this time last year. It wouldn't be the first time I was wrong......

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by stnzed View Post
                  If you watched the Wolverines and read Long's press clippings, you'd swear Long was wearing #52 not #77.

                  That's just my opinion, I'm just some dude on the internet, but I thought Long was a bit overrated at this time last year. It wouldn't be the first time I was wrong......
                  I'm not accusing you of being wrong in your evaluation of Long. I don't claim to know enough to do that. But, Kiper and other top draftniks tend to get most of the top 10 picks right. That's because the very top of the draft tends to be obvious. Teams are focusing on all the same elite players. They stand out, especially the OTs and DL.

                  Sometimes a player will fall, and it's happened a lot with QBs in recent years (ex: Brady Quinn falling all the way to #22). Then sometimes a Miami will come along and astonish everybody by drafting Ted Ginn at #9. But, screw-ups like that are not all that common. Notice that the Miami coach and GM are not coming back this year. There's not a lot of incentive to do something totally unexpected when dealing with a top 10 draft pick when it might cost you your job.

                  So, if Kiper has Long rated in the top 5 then I'd bet he'll go in the top 10, barring trades where teams don't want an OL. That could still happen, but it's not the way to bet.
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