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  • Why the Broncos need to Draft Clady or Baker

    Don't misunderstand, I would love for the Broncos to fix the front seven on defense with a defensive tackle and/or linebacker.

    But, to fix the offense, they need to address the offensive line. In the Super Bowl years we had an offensive line that was made up of mostly free agents. Many of them entered the league as undrafted free agent rookies, but they spent several years with another team developing their talent before ever becoming a Bronco. Funny though that the only one that is being considered for the Hall of Fame was a first round draft pick in 1984, selected by the Giants. Zimmerman apparently opted for the USFL instead before joining the Vikings in 1986.

    I'm not suggesting that Clady or Baker will become Hall of Famers, but they have tremendous talent that will have a more immediate impact than what we currently have on the team. Two first round talents that can fit into the zone blocking scheme. The Broncos would be smart to get one of them. I don't know anything about Brandon Albert but he's the top rated guard prospect according to ESPN's Scouts,Inc. I wouldn't be angry if the Broncos got him too in the second round. He would be a reach at our pick considering Scouts, Inc gave him a grade of 80, but that's a second round grade. Maybe they could trade down in the second and pick up a third round selection.

    My basic argument is that the Broncos need to start drafting for talent on the offensive line rather than going with lesser talent that they believe fits a scheme. If they are going to use the lesser talent, then they need to start being honest about what the expectations are for a given season. The offense isn't going to be very good anytime soon as long as they keep taking lesser talent on the offensive line. It's going to take a long while for those players to develop into anything special. In the mean time, Nalen and Hamilton will have retired before the rest of the line develops and they'll have to start all over again. The scheme is nice, but it's only as effective as the talent running it. Either bring in free agents that have already developed their talent or start drafting it early.
    My Opinion isn’t determined by what the Popular Opinion is. Sometimes I agree with the Majority, Sometimes I Don’t. If My Opinion is Different than Yours, I have to Ask One Question:
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  • #2
    A Tackle will fall to us in the 2nd.
    Baker may fall into the bottom of round 1 or the early 2nd and if he does we could always trade up to get him.
    I would rather us go out and sign a FA like Travelle Wharton or Jordan Gross and draft a project like Oniel Cousins or Duane Brown in the 4th!!!
    We already have 2 good, young Tackles and need to put a veteran in place to compete or push these kids!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by broncolee View Post
      Don't misunderstand, I would love for the Broncos to fix the front seven on defense with a defensive tackle and/or linebacker.

      But, to fix the offense, they need to address the offensive line. In the Super Bowl years we had an offensive line that was made up of mostly free agents. Many of them entered the league as undrafted free agent rookies, but they spent several years with another team developing their talent before ever becoming a Bronco. Funny though that the only one that is being considered for the Hall of Fame was a first round draft pick in 1984, selected by the Giants. Zimmerman apparently opted for the USFL instead before joining the Vikings in 1986.

      I'm not suggesting that Clady or Baker will become Hall of Famers, but they have tremendous talent that will have a more immediate impact than what we currently have on the team. Two first round talents that can fit into the zone blocking scheme. The Broncos would be smart to get one of them. I don't know anything about Brandon Albert but he's the top rated guard prospect according to ESPN's Scouts,Inc. I wouldn't be angry if the Broncos got him too in the second round. He would be a reach at our pick considering Scouts, Inc gave him a grade of 80, but that's a second round grade. Maybe they could trade down in the second and pick up a third round selection.

      My basic argument is that the Broncos need to start drafting for talent on the offensive line rather than going with lesser talent that they believe fits a scheme. If they are going to use the lesser talent, then they need to start being honest about what the expectations are for a given season. The offense isn't going to be very good anytime soon as long as they keep taking lesser talent on the offensive line. It's going to take a long while for those players to develop into anything special. In the mean time, Nalen and Hamilton will have retired before the rest of the line develops and they'll have to start all over again. The scheme is nice, but it's only as effective as the talent running it. Either bring in free agents that have already developed their talent or start drafting it early.
      So guys like Nalen, Neal, or Lepsis were lesser talent? How many offensive linemen has Shanahan drafted in the first round? As I recall they were mostly tightends converted over. The team is going to be ok with Harris,Hamilton/Kuper, Nalen, Myers/Holland and Pears. Pears has been there for a few years now and has the tools and experience to stay there for a long time. The only question mark on the o-line is Harris, and the coaching staff seems to think he has got what it takes.

      Lets not forget that Pears can play the left side as well as the right side, so if Harris doesn't work out on the left side we can just swap them. I'm afraid of drafting o-line in the first just simply because of Foster. Not every good prospect will do good here in Denver, they have to have a certain amount of speed and agility, hence all the x tightends. I will be disapointed if offensive lineman go in rounds 1 or 2 simply because the defense was horrible and it won't fix itself.

      Comment


      • #4
        It would be kind of dumb to draft a lineman in the first this year knowing that it probably would take at least a year for him to get adjusted to denver's zone scheme. I think with the 12th pick in the draft (boom or bust) it needs to be someone who can make an impact this upcoming season.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by KWHIT97 View Post
          A Tackle will fall to us in the 2nd.
          Baker may fall into the bottom of round 1 or the early 2nd and if he does we could always trade up to get him.
          I would rather us go out and sign a FA like Travelle Wharton or Jordan Gross and draft a project like Oniel Cousins or Duane Brown in the 4th!!!
          We already have 2 good, young Tackles and need to put a veteran in place to compete or push these kids!!
          I think Oniel Cousins will be a Guard instead of OT when time tells his story...
          he has only been a OL for two seasons...

          Comment


          • #6
            Joe Thomas didn't come in a make up the difference of the Cleveland Browns becoming a playoff contender, as I believe would be the same for us.

            Lets take a look at the perfect New England Patriots....

            LT Matt Light
            Height: 6-4 Weight: 305
            Year: 7 Yrs/Pat: 7
            Acquired: D2-01 (48th overall)
            School: Purdue
            Major: Industrial Technology
            Born: Jun 23, 1978 Greenville OH
            Matt Light was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round (48th overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft ... Signed by the Patriots (7/22/01) ... Placed on injured reserve (12/22/05).

            LG Logan Mankins
            Height: 6-4 Weight: 310
            Year: 3 Yrs/Pat: 3
            Acquired: D1-05 (32nd overall)
            School: Fresno State
            Born: Mar 10, 1982
            Logan Mankins was drafted by the New England Patriots in the first round (32nd overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft ... Signed by the Patriots (07/25/05).

            C Dan Koppen
            Height: 6-2 Weight: 296
            Year: 5 Yrs/Pat: 5
            Acquired: D5-03(164th overall)
            School: Boston College
            Major: Management
            Born: Sep 12, 1979 Dubuque IA
            Dan Koppen was drafted by the New England Patriots in the fifth round (164th overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft ... Placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury (11/15/05).

            RG Stephen Neal
            Height: 6-4 Weight: 305
            Year: 6 Yrs/Pat: 6
            Acquired: FA-01
            School: Cal State-Bakersfield
            Major: Physical Education
            Born: Oct 9, 1976 San Diego CA
            Stephen Neal was originally signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent (7/23/01) ... Waived by the Patriots (8/26/01) ... Signed to the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad (9/4/01) ... Signed by the Patriots (12/12/01) from the Eagles practice squad ... Placed on injured reserve (10/23/02) ... Placed on reserve/physically unable to perform list (8/26/03) ... Placed on injured reserve (11/10/03).

            RT Nick Kaczur
            Height: 6-4 Weight: 315
            Year: 3 Yrs/Pat: 3
            Acquired: D3b-05 (100th overall)
            School: Toledo
            Born: Jul 28, 1979
            Nick Kaczur was drafted by the New England Patriots in the third round (100th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft ... Signed by the Patriots (07/20/05).

            Notice one number 1 pick (32nd overall) , also notice that the lease amount of experience is 3 years.

            It takes time to groom the O Line, and I like what we have going so far as long as we add depth in the later rounds.
            Last edited by megg; 01-28-2008, 10:27 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              I think it would be nice to get Cutler a RB and LT, to add with Marsh-Scheff... along w/ Kuper and Harris... Our offense would pretty much be set.

              BUT... same could be said of DT, LB, FS.


              I would say... let's wait a year... See if Harris is the answer. Elway won SuperBowls WHEN HE HAD An ALL-PRO RUNNING BACK. Let's take a RB in the first (If Ellis/Phillips are gone)... THEN, take a stud, play making LB to help DJ...

              AFTER THAT... we have some 4 picks... I also expect to add another two picks... I hope a 2nd and a 3rd... Anyway... THEN... that's when you grab a DT like Laws, a FS like Barret... a WR like Royal and a OL prospect. Let's hope we find gold here...

              Get a Stewart/Mendenhall to ensure success... And hope the latter picks (DT, OL, WR, FS) are players... OF the ilk like Marsh, Elvis etc...

              This way... We have clear-cut needs NEXT YEAR'S draft. Cutler will have his weapons, and they can grow together...

              We would have a nice, young front 7... Lofton-DJ-Thomas-Moss-Elvis-Crowder.


              AND... if Harris isn't the answer... we now target LT in the next draft.


              Basically, I would love a guy like Joe Thomas... Bronws went from like 50 sacks in 2006 to like 13 in 2007. He was HUGE... Rookie-of-the-year type impact, as big as AP. BUT, I don't think CLady is that guy... I would say Baker or Williams just as reliable. BUT, will they be better than Pears/Harris next year?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jvw View Post
                So guys like Nalen, Neal, or Lepsis were lesser talent? How many offensive linemen has Shanahan drafted in the first round? As I recall they were mostly tightends converted over. The team is going to be ok with Harris,Hamilton/Kuper, Nalen, Myers/Holland and Pears. Pears has been there for a few years now and has the tools and experience to stay there for a long time. The only question mark on the o-line is Harris, and the coaching staff seems to think he has got what it takes.

                Lets not forget that Pears can play the left side as well as the right side, so if Harris doesn't work out on the left side we can just swap them. I'm afraid of drafting o-line in the first just simply because of Foster. Not every good prospect will do good here in Denver, they have to have a certain amount of speed and agility, hence all the x tightends. I will be disapointed if offensive lineman go in rounds 1 or 2 simply because the defense was horrible and it won't fix itself.

                Starting Pears on the left side is the reason I am glad we have Ramsey... it would be a freaking disaster... doubt me? why was Graham held in all year this year? Cuz Pears can't block to save his life. He was undrafted for a reason... and while he would be an ok backup he is a below average starter.... look at how our sack rates went when we lost Lepsis in 06... they jumped... due to Pears starting!
                Bronco fan from Packer Land.
                Lefty Writer on The Sports Show with Woody Paige and Les Shapiro
                Tweet me @JoRo_5551

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jvw View Post
                  So guys like Nalen, Neal, or Lepsis were lesser talent? How many offensive linemen has Shanahan drafted in the first round? As I recall they were mostly tightends converted over. The team is going to be ok with Harris,Hamilton/Kuper, Nalen, Myers/Holland and Pears. Pears has been there for a few years now and has the tools and experience to stay there for a long time. The only question mark on the o-line is Harris, and the coaching staff seems to think he has got what it takes.

                  Lets not forget that Pears can play the left side as well as the right side, so if Harris doesn't work out on the left side we can just swap them. I'm afraid of drafting o-line in the first just simply because of Foster. Not every good prospect will do good here in Denver, they have to have a certain amount of speed and agility, hence all the x tightends. I will be disapointed if offensive lineman go in rounds 1 or 2 simply because the defense was horrible and it won't fix itself.

                  That's ridiculous! Would you pass on a guy like Walter Jones because George Foster didn't fit at RT and should have been moved to guard?

                  Nobody in their right mind would pass on Jones.

                  Great post Broncolee.

                  Btw, Lepsis, Hamilton, Myers, Holland, Neal and Harris (The list goes on and on) are all lesser talents, nobody is saying you can't get by with lesser talent, but you can't build a SB offensive line with just late round picks and FA's. You'll just end up with what the Broncos have, an average line with enormous flaws and horrible depth.

                  All this is fine for the Jake Plummer's and Brian Griese's, but when you have a lot more to lose you better do whatever you can to protect it......
                  Last edited by stnzed; 01-28-2008, 10:55 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JoRo View Post
                    look at how our sack rates went when we lost Lepsis in 06... they jumped... due to Pears starting!
                    A lot of that can be attributed to Cutler taking over for Plummer. Plummer is one of the best in the league at not taking sacks (well, when he was in the league). Cutler does not have the timing in his head or the ability to make it away from blitzes yet. Not all of it was due to Lepsis being down. We still took a ton more sacks this season than previous seasons when we had both Graham and Lepsis in.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This is something I posted in a different thread


                      I think our system of finding offensive linemen at the bottom of the drafts is a pretty sound one. We place a great deal of importance on finding players with quickness and smarts (to deal with the complex and versatile play book). The players we find tend to be relatively smaller in size, which is why they drop to the bottom of the draft in the first place (being small is not a requirement). Now, in an ideal world we would like to have a guy that has quickness, smarts and size. But we haven't looked for that guy too often in the past because he cost too much and we were able to get by quite comfortably without him. We did pick (and later regretted picking) Foster, but I believe that was just a case of picking a poor player, not a case of picking for the wrong position.

                      Now I think we are in a situation where we really need that elite guy. Not all along the OL, but just at the LT spot. The biggest reason for this is because we will most likely be seeing our offense in more drop back passing situations than we ever have under Shanahan's tenure. The two biggest reasons for this - our defense's ineptitude and rule-changes favoring pass-happy offenses (at least at the elite level). Couple more drop back passing situations with defenses learning how to better attack the ZBS (blitzing from the outside to contain the bootleg, for instance) and the new wave of defensive linemen that can both outpower and outrun our smaller offensive line, and you have a situation where we cannot "cheat" the roster-building process like the ZBS has allowed us to do so far.

                      I want to stress again that I don't think we need an entire offensive line comprising of first-rounders. However, having one at LT allows us to provide Cutler with greater protection in drop back passing situations. Of course, the point is not to merely find any first-rounder for the LT spot, but one that combines the ZBS requirements of smarts and quickness, with the power and size of the best (slowness or lack of smarts would be a deal-breaker, IMO). Long, Clady, and some of the others (Baker, Williams etc.) seem to belong to this category and that's the reason I think there is value at the OT spot in the first-round for us.
                      Also, the reasoning of not picking an OT in the first because of George Foster is quite weak, as stnzed pointed out.

                      The theory of wanting a top-tier RB over the scrubs we've been using applies to OL too. If anything, getting top-tier OL should help in both the running and passing games.

                      Finally, I think we need to get some perspective on Pears' play. I'm not saying he sucks, but he needed Graham to stay and help him block at RT. His play at LT is not beyond question either. For most of that season, he basically had Plummer, whose scrambling ability makes any LT look better than he actually is. Once Cutler entered the line-up, the number of sacks and pressures shot up. Again, I'm not saying Pears sucks, just that we don't have an unquestionable evidence of his ability to be a solid starter at either tackle spot. I do think he is best suited as a backup.
                      Hoping for a defensive-minded head coach and a return to the ZBS on offense. At the very least, no more cheaters for head coach.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by megg View Post
                        Joe Thomas didn't come in a make up the difference of the Cleveland Browns becoming a playoff contender, as I believe would be the same for us.

                        Lets take a look at the perfect New England Patriots....

                        LT Matt Light
                        Height: 6-4 Weight: 305
                        Year: 7 Yrs/Pat: 7
                        Acquired: D2-01 (48th overall)
                        School: Purdue
                        Major: Industrial Technology
                        Born: Jun 23, 1978 Greenville OH
                        Matt Light was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round (48th overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft ... Signed by the Patriots (7/22/01) ... Placed on injured reserve (12/22/05).

                        LG Logan Mankins
                        Height: 6-4 Weight: 310
                        Year: 3 Yrs/Pat: 3
                        Acquired: D1-05 (32nd overall)
                        School: Fresno State
                        Born: Mar 10, 1982
                        Logan Mankins was drafted by the New England Patriots in the first round (32nd overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft ... Signed by the Patriots (07/25/05).

                        C Dan Koppen
                        Height: 6-2 Weight: 296
                        Year: 5 Yrs/Pat: 5
                        Acquired: D5-03(164th overall)
                        School: Boston College
                        Major: Management
                        Born: Sep 12, 1979 Dubuque IA
                        Dan Koppen was drafted by the New England Patriots in the fifth round (164th overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft ... Placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury (11/15/05).

                        RG Stephen Neal
                        Height: 6-4 Weight: 305
                        Year: 6 Yrs/Pat: 6
                        Acquired: FA-01
                        School: Cal State-Bakersfield
                        Major: Physical Education
                        Born: Oct 9, 1976 San Diego CA
                        Stephen Neal was originally signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent (7/23/01) ... Waived by the Patriots (8/26/01) ... Signed to the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad (9/4/01) ... Signed by the Patriots (12/12/01) from the Eagles practice squad ... Placed on injured reserve (10/23/02) ... Placed on reserve/physically unable to perform list (8/26/03) ... Placed on injured reserve (11/10/03).

                        RT Nick Kaczur
                        Height: 6-4 Weight: 315
                        Year: 3 Yrs/Pat: 3
                        Acquired: D3b-05 (100th overall)
                        School: Toledo
                        Born: Jul 28, 1979
                        Nick Kaczur was drafted by the New England Patriots in the third round (100th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft ... Signed by the Patriots (07/20/05).

                        Notice one number 1 pick (32nd overall) , also notice that the lease amount of experience is 3 years.

                        It takes time to groom the O Line, and I like what we have going so far as long as we add depth in the later rounds.
                        Not sure if you didnt notice he was selected to the pro bowl.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sing it with me now:

                          All we are saying...

                          is give Ryan Harris a chance!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Max Power View Post
                            Sing it with me now:

                            All we are saying...

                            is give Ryan Harris a chance!

                            Yeah, lets give him a chance to prove he can hold the weight during fasting (Which he can't!) while he's providing depth......

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Also... even if Harris is the goods... Getting another OT (to add to Harris and Kuper) means DEN is building a solid O-line... Pears is best served to be the third OT.

                              I do think people are forgetting CENTER. What if? Nalen is no lock to return (and he aint getting younger)...


                              STILL, no center is worth a Day One pick this draft... SO, question boils down to this: What new toy will Shanny give to Cutler to anchor the offense?

                              LT
                              RB
                              WR

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