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  1. #1
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    Mid-Season Rookie Stats and Theories Applied to the 2006 Draft

    Go to this thread to see the Midseason Rookie Stats for all positions and all rookies.

    http://forums.denverbroncos.com/showthread.php?t=45400



    Here are my theories based on those stats:


    1) Once again, as usual, the only DTs that produce are the ones taken in the first two rounds. After that, the production is non-existant.

    This suggests to me that if you have a *need* at DT, you'd better draft one of the top 5 DTs within the first two rounds.



    2) Last draft was piss-poor for DEs and most of the good ones were turned into 3-4 LBs. What we did learn was that it was a total crapshoot and there was little diffference between landing a star in the 1st round or in the 4th round. Infact, the most productive DE was Chris Canty who slipped due to injury to the 4th round.

    This suggests to me that if you have a *need* at DE, you'd better draft a *sure thing* within the top 15 picks or else just wait and gamble in the mid rounds on a guy that slipped due to injury or some other concern.



    3) Once again, the draft proves there is no need to draft a LB in the first round unless its a 3-4 rush LB. (DJ Williams )



    4) If you have a *need* at OT the season of the draft, you'd better pick one of the top guys within the initial 50 selections, there is a noticeable drop off in terms of production and play time after that point.



    5) WRs do not need to be drafted in the first round. This position is a total crap shoot and you can get top production from ANY round in the draft, specifically the 3rd-6th rounds appear to be bargain-basement windfalls.



    6) OGs seem to be targeted in the 3rd-4th round and most are productive.



    7) OC is the hardest position for a rookie to pick up immediately outside of QB, and most do not play their first year. Most OCs go in the 4th-5th round.

    This tells me that we will not be drafting Nalen's replacement, we will be moving Hamilton over. Or if we do draft Nalen's replacement, he won't play next year.



    8) Round 2 looks to be the best area to draft a Safety and get solid immediate production. After that, its a crap shoot.




    CONCLUDING THOUGHTS:

    1) If Denver has a top 15 pick, it should target Mario Williams or Mathias Kiwanuka. If Denver does NOT, it should pass up on players like Tamba Hali, Ray Edwards, and Elvis Dumervil (he's a 3-4 LB anyway). History shows that these semi-elite DEs pan out as often as a 2nd-4th round pick. Denver should draft all its DE needs either in the top 15, or in the 3rd round area.


    2) If Denver has a bottom 15 pick, it should target a DT. The best bang for your buck will be a DT in the first 2 rounds, after that, the prospects are nothing.


    3) If Denver wants a WR, just wait and take a flyer on a few guys in the middle rounds. They are just as likely to be hits as drafting a top 10 guy. This is the riskiest position to draft early.


    4) If Denver wants a Safety that helps immediately, it looks like round 2 or 3 is where he needs to be drafted. After that, its developmental guys. We've got a lot of developmental guys as is, we don't need more.


    5) If Denver wants a starter at OT, and we don't because we never start rookies on the line, they would need to draft one within the first 50 selections. Otherwise just target a developmental guy in the mid rounds.


    6) Developmental OGs/OCs can be taken in the last two rounds, immediate contributors in the middle rounds.



    WHAT DENVER SHOULD DO IN THE 2006 DRAFT:

    1) Trade up (both 1sts) and take a top 15 impact player at DE (Williams/Kiwanuka)

    2) Stand pat, draft the best available DT and draft the best available OT in the 1st.


    1a) Then draft a DT in the 2nd round and a Safety in the 3rd.

    2b) Then draft a Safety in the 2nd round and a DE in the 3rd.


    Our 4th round pick is gone, so take a WR in the 5th, an OG in the 6th, and a QB in the 7th.

  2. #2
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    I think most of these theories will carry out consistently over past drafts, when you begin to apply them to to the 2004 draft and 2002 draft (I hate the 2003 draft and it may go down as the decades worst draft as far as depth is concerned.) I did a somewhat similar study on this in the summer, looking at the best players at each position (as annointed by the Warroom, to prevent my personal fan bias) and seeing not only where they were drafted, but with which team they made an impact, be it the parent club, or a subsequent club through trade/free agency. If I remember correctly, the general principle of that brief analysis was that impact ends and left tackles are top fifteen pick guys in most cases, impact DTs were primary first round guys, solid second round picks, and crap shoots after that. Funny that the top two, Rogers of Detroit and Jenkins of Carolina were second rounders if I remember correctly.

    Another theory that I hold to be true is that little can be read into wide receivers until their third year, as long as teams allow for a consistent level of playing time for development. This doesn't mean starting a player, but does mean getting them regular playing time. It is unfair to compare wide receivers after one year because the learning curve is so steep, and some teams require more development time while others, like Tennessee and Chicago, allow their rookies to play through all struggles, which can distort public opinion on players, in Chicago's case, Bobby wade or Bernard Berrian as "developing talents" simply because they have seen plenty of action early. Return to this class in three years and then we will see who got it right at wide receiver. Nonetheless, because the learning curve is so steep, and patience is so thin, wide receiver remains a boom or bust postition.

    I think your suggested modes of action for the upcoming draft are sound, but I also don't see them as a reality, judging this team on past actions. This teams simply doesn't value the impact speed pass rusher, or multi-talented DT. Instead, Coyer seems more eager to milk the value out of solid players with great functional strength, a method I'm highly against. Warren is the first DT with multiple skills placed in this scheme since Trevor Pryce moved to end, and Warren's contributions appear to be excellent at this point. I also contend that his sack total would double if anybody could collapse the pocket, but all we have is pocket pushers, and outside of the corner blitz, we rarely send pressure right off tackle to collapse the pocket. It is my opinion that this team should make every effort to retain Warren.

    End is where I have my biggest disagreement with our scheme. There are several teams with big left ends with combo ability that still will employ a right end that fancies himself as a one trick pony. NY Jets are a fine example, where Shaun Ellis plays both the run and pass well for a left end, enough that the team allows its right end to be more one demensional, which Jhn Abraham is. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are also similar in this manner, but both these two teams employ a heavy cover two scheme. The linebacker talent on ths team will overcompensate any difficiencies in run defense with the front four, especially if it pertains to just one player, the right end. Why we continue to de-emphasize the role of the speed rusher in a good defense is what has continually seperated our good defense from the league's great defenses this season as well as past season. Hayward or Berry could have been that guy, but were abandoned as they entered their prime.

    Fans can continue to say what they want about the ever so subjective pressures we generate, but any team second to last in sacks is doing something wrong up front. Hopefully this will force Shanahan to break tradition in de-emphasizing the speed rusher, but do to the false accolades handed our front four, I', afraid this will be an ongoing delimma we must continue to scratch our head on.

    You picked the wrong team to promote draft theory on. Your ideals are sound, but the decisions of this draft room are anything but. Perhaps we need a run on defensive lineman as we saw with corners to get this one right, and you'd think Shany would role the dice on another first round end or tackle, he struck gold with the last one, why not try again?

  3. #3
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    Great rebuttal analysis. Very sound.

    I'm hoping the "light bulb" turned on this season and Shanahan got an idea of what a defensvie line that can create pressure AND could get sacks might do towards the success of the team.

    I expect 2 D-linemen to be taken in the first 4 picks at least. Alot depends on how the offseason goes, but right now, it looks to me that John Engleberger will be our only DE still on the roster and we will lose our best interior linemen to free agency, Gerrard Warren.

    The rest of the team is pretty sound, especially if we keep Dayne as the backup bruising RB type. OT/OG depth will need to be addressed. And Safety/WR could certainly be targeted, but we aren't sure what management thinks of all the developmental players at both positions.

    The team really only has one glaring area in terms of need and depth and that's the D-line. I think the odds are roughly 50/50 that Shanahan goes postal and drafts 3 DEs/DTs in the first 4 picks. And even if they turn out to be duds, I'll still be thrilled that we finally looked at the D-line again.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mat'hir Uth Gan
    Great rebuttal analysis. Very sound.

    I'm hoping the "light bulb" turned on this season and Shanahan got an idea of what a defensvie line that can create pressure AND could get sacks might do towards the success of the team.

    I expect 2 D-linemen to be taken in the first 4 picks at least. Alot depends on how the offseason goes, but right now, it looks to me that John Engleberger will be our only DE still on the roster and we will lose our best interior linemen to free agency, Gerrard Warren.

    The rest of the team is pretty sound, especially if we keep Dayne as the backup bruising RB type. OT/OG depth will need to be addressed. And Safety/WR could certainly be targeted, but we aren't sure what management thinks of all the developmental players at both positions.

    The team really only has one glaring area in terms of need and depth and that's the D-line. I think the odds are roughly 50/50 that Shanahan goes postal and drafts 3 DEs/DTs in the first 4 picks. And even if they turn out to be duds, I'll still be thrilled that we finally looked at the D-line again.
    This draft could go in so many directions. Shanny could go nuts and draft 3 lineman with the first four picks. Last year he stocked up on CB's and I believe the 03 draft he drafted 4 dlineman, I think he might try again this year with Dlineman. In the past, I think he tries to find that diamond in the rough in the later rounds with dlineman. That is very hard to do, and he realizes it. The fact is you need an athletic freak of nature that weighs 325lb's and has cat like quickness to create havoc on the dline. It is hard to devolp this position more than any other, if the players don't have the physical atributes.

    At first I wanted a OT in this draft because there were about 5-6 possible first rounders, but the way our line has been playing, sign Lepsis forget the OT's. If it aint broke don't fix it. There are some Dlineman that might slide to us if we get 18-32 picks, which I think we will end up with. Kiwi and Super Mario are out of the question unless we trade up. But at the end of the first round their will be some pretty good players in Eric Henderson, Darryl Tapp and Manny Lawson(good speed rushers), Orien Harris, Gabe Watson, and Jesse Mahelona (stuffers).

    We need a ball hawk safety badly and the only safeties I have seen this year are Huff, Blue, Threat, and Bing. Huff seems to be the best hawk and looked the best to me. Bing has been a little disappointing, Blue seems to be a great hitter but I don't know about his coverage skills. What other safeties are out there that are late first round material???

    I have been watching Minnesota gophers and Eslinger or Setterstrom seem perfect for our system, so I wouldn't mind at all if Shanny took Eslinger in the second round (if he falls).

    Our first three rounds (if we get comp picks for Kennedy and Hayward) we can have six picks, which is great! 2-3 Dlineman, ball hawk safety or two, OG, maybe a WR would be good for me. I have a feeling some trades will be made prior to or on draft day, so things will probably change.
    Last edited by BroncoRT; 11-04-2005 at 10:55 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mat'hir Uth Gan
    Great rebuttal analysis. Very sound.

    I'm hoping the "light bulb" turned on this season and Shanahan got an idea of what a defensvie line that can create pressure AND could get sacks might do towards the success of the team.

    I expect 2 D-linemen to be taken in the first 4 picks at least. Alot depends on how the offseason goes, but right now, it looks to me that John Engleberger will be our only DE still on the roster and we will lose our best interior linemen to free agency, Gerrard Warren.

    The rest of the team is pretty sound, especially if we keep Dayne as the backup bruising RB type. OT/OG depth will need to be addressed. And Safety/WR could certainly be targeted, but we aren't sure what management thinks of all the developmental players at both positions.

    The team really only has one glaring area in terms of need and depth and that's the D-line. I think the odds are roughly 50/50 that Shanahan goes postal and drafts 3 DEs/DTs in the first 4 picks. And even if they turn out to be duds, I'll still be thrilled that we finally looked at the D-line again.
    Unless we win the Super Bowl, I have a hard time seeing Warren leave this team. If I remember correctly, the cap begins to ease up in a year or two, so what would the problem be to sign Warren to a lengthy deal and large signing bonus, with dummy years attached to the end to spread the bonus out, as we did with Bailey. I would think Warren's contract could be made cap friendly for two years before you begin taking a serious hit. In this manner, i think Denver could field a competitive offer for Warren, and if his actions and words are worth anything, he may be willing to stay in Denver for comparable money. The bonus is the only part of th contract that holds weight, and we can spread it out. I just don't see Shanahan letting his best interior guy go without at least making a legitimate effort to retain him. I also can see Brown back with a cut/resign or pay cut deal, similar to the Boulware/Rob Morris moves of this past off season. I wouldn't be crushed if Brown did leave, as he is only a good run stuffer, something easily replacable. I have no clue on Pryce, I think his play is overrated this year, but this is a situation I find too difficult to speculate on.

    So for arguement's sake, I can see Warren returning, along with Myers and, my sleeper player, Demetrin Veal. This line is a solid NT short of being stout up the middle. A player worth looking at in the second/third round would be Orien Harris, an ideal 4-3 NT with some playmaking ability. An interior of Warren, Harris, Myers and Veal in rotation would be a very solid group. I think Veal could break out as a pass rushing specialist inside, his motor and quickness are both plus tools. He has been a nice suprise and one that will only see his role grow in the coming weeks.

    So I could go for a 4-3 NT somewhere on the first day. I do think RE has to be addressed in the first round, and really, I don't see anywhere else we'd look. I strongly believe that WR is a main focal point for tis team at the moment. Watts is likely out at year's end, you simply don't leave Shanahan's dog house that easily. Adams has been inconsistent or nonexsistent to the point I'm shocked Watts was demoted for him. Devoe turned in a nice game and should continue to be monitored. I still think his ciling is as a number four guy, but you never know. That leaves two years of Smith, and two years under contract for Lelie. I believe your opinion of wide receivers is true, but that is a style often done out of luxury, not necessity. This team likely will not pass on a first round wide out, Shanny has took one in Lelie and really wanted Clayton a year ago. It was never revealed who Shanny's first round guys were last season, but I'm sure WR was on that list (Williamson, Clayton?) Enough precident has been set that I believe WR will take up one of our first round picks, unless we use the free agent route, which is the wild card at any position.

    Left tackle is my favorite position, and as much as I'd love to see this team tap into the deep pool of them early, I also don't see this happening, unless we decide to part ways with Lepsis, which remains a real possibility. I read a while back that his knee is a potentially cumbersome problem as he continues to age, and that the cartilige, or lack thereof, is a concern. I believe that came from Sporting News. It is a possibility, and there is a precadent, so I won't rule it out.

    Basically, I strongly believe we will look wide receiver and then possibly end. I think we draft one right end high, a NT fairly high, and then a project possibly late day one/mid day two. How we decide to twist and wiggle the cap will determine a great deal of our draft strategy in April.

  6. #6
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    Hey MUG, im pretty sure we are going to get some comp picks in 06'.

  7. #7
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    I still think this team lacks a true ofensive playmaker, someone that teams gameplan around. Thats why i believe if possible we trade up and draft Reggie Bush, now before you call me crazy. I think he is going to go in the 5-10 range depending on who stays and who goes, but he would be able to fill the need at wide out and would be a deadly offensive weapon that would allow our offense to go in so many directions.
    It might be realistic because the draft is so deep that many teams at the top of the draft might be more willing to trade down in order to help make thier team stronger in more than one area.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dub-DeuceKnight
    I still think this team lacks a true ofensive playmaker, someone that teams gameplan around. Thats why i believe if possible we trade up and draft Reggie Bush, now before you call me crazy. I think he is going to go in the 5-10 range depending on who stays and who goes, but he would be able to fill the need at wide out and would be a deadly offensive weapon that would allow our offense to go in so many directions.
    It might be realistic because the draft is so deep that many teams at the top of the draft might be more willing to trade down in order to help make thier team stronger in more than one area.
    This is kind of like the "trade up for Mike Williams" talk that was going on last draft, only I'm pretty sure Bush will go #2 or #3 to the 49ers as long as Houston continues to be the NFL's worst team. That being the case, I feel it would make zero sense for us to trade an arm and a leg for a top 3 pick.

    Besides, I'd personally prefer D'Brickashaw Ferguson or Jimmy Williams to Bush if we must trade up.

    And back on topic, I currently have the Broncos doing theory 2, with Jonathan Scott and Claude Wroten being the OT and DT, Pat Watkins as the FS, and Manny Lawson as the DE (or pass rushing LB). I think I like the first theory better, though. Players like Kiwanuka and Williams are just so hard to come by, and I feel they're can't-miss picks. If it can possibly happen on draft day, then I want to see it happen.
    Last edited by PsychoChicken; 11-07-2005 at 09:59 PM.
    A proponent of Denver drafting Cutler since 10/05.

    So naturally, my Adopt-A-Bronco is Jay Cutler!

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