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View Full Version : How To Build The 2013 Denver Broncos (I.E. **** Negativity, Lets Talk Football)


Drek
01-15-2013, 06:33 PM
Typed this up the morning after the playoff game, held off on posting it until my angst regarding the loss cleared, and then re-read it. Still think it's pretty worthwhile so now i'm posting it (hence why I refer to "last night's game" frequently).

So here's the road map to fixing this team's problems, as I see them.

Offense

Fact #1 Knowshon Moreno was the straw that stirred the drink on offense.

This is not because Moreno is a great player, he's pretty good but has his issues. No, this is because Moreno's skill set fits a Peyton Manning offense. He's become a solid north/south runner who gets into his cuts quickly and gets you consistent positive yardage. Hillman and Hester are all or nothing backs where Hillman either gives you a nice 5-10 yard run or a gain of zero and Hester either falls forward for 3 or falls on his face for zero. Moreno consistently moves the ball forward and converts 3rd and shorts. This is important, but it's also something McGahee could do.

Moreno also steps up big in pass pro, where we saw our other RBs all fail us at some point last night. Hillman is simply too small, Hester is not a running threat so simply putting him back there on anything but short yardage telegraphs pass and effectively chums the waters, and Ball outright misses assignments. McGahee also did this well.

Where Moreno and McGahee deviate is when asked to catch the ball. Consider Moreno's touchdown catch. Would anyone ever expect McGahee to pull that ball in? Hell, would anyone ever expect McGahee to put that stutter step on a defender that Moreno used to separate? I sure has hell wouldn't. Moreno as a check down and extra receiving threat was huge for this offense and is something we need to recognize and build on in any way possible.

Fact #2 This OL is too shallow and too weak to handle the best DLs in the league. Clady get bent back on top of Manning repeatedly, and Beadles, Koppen, etc. get zero push against Ngata and Kemoatu in the run game. Orlando Franklin was probably our best OL last night and Kruger was whipping him around the edge with regularity.

A 100% Kuper would be a slight help, but I doubt enough to turn the tide. While Koppen was replacing JD Walton I also think we all agree that Koppen played better than we'd ever expect Walton to.

This OL lacks depth and power. We couldn't run the ball with AD taking hand offs with the kind of blocking this OL sets up.

Defense

Fact #1 1. We STILL can't stop even average TEs. This is a failure by both our safeties and our linebackers. None of our safeties or LBs are good in man coverage at all, and Moore is probably the best in zone despite his **** up in last night's game. This is unacceptable. Q. Carter was hands down our best man cover guy between both groups last year, but now had arthroscopic knee surgery on a leg with an already bum hamstring. He might not be the same player when he comes back.

Fact #2 Our pass rush comes entirely from the edges, not a single person on this team can generate pressure up the middle. Opposing QBs far too often have a pocket to step into and make clean throws regardless of what our edge rushers do. This is the end result of us targeting a big time DT year after year in FA but failing to sign them. In the spring of 2011 we chased Brandon Mebane but let him return to Seattle for a very reasonable offer, and in spring of 2012 we did the same with Paul Soliai. This doesn't even go into the fact that we weren't even in on Barry Cofield, who left the Giants and signed with the Skins in 2011. We need a mauler in the middle who pushes the pocket. He doesn't need to get sacks, just deform the pocket and be stout against the run. Doom and Miller will do the rest.

Fact #3 Champ is no longer an elite corner. He simply couldn't run with Smith. No excuses. He went against one of the game's fastest wide outs and he got ran off the field. He's still a good corner and will still give us great production against most teams in the regular season, but against playoff level competition he's a liability. Want proof? After seeing what Flacco and Smith did to him last night picture what it'd be like for us to play the Falcons with Champ on Julio Jones and Matt Ryan throwing the ball. Or worse, the Packers and any of their WRs against him with Rodgers. If Flacco was a more accurate QB the Ravens could have blown us out in regulation because of this.

So that's defense. Special teams weren't a problem at all last night, other than Prater ****ing up his one field goal opportunity. But Prater is better than what we could replace him with so that is a case of rolling with it and hoping he matures. The leash on Prater has definitely gotten shorter, but it's still plenty long enough to not spend finite resources on a replacement.

Ok, so we've identified the major problems from a thematic standpoint, so how can we upgrade? Well first, what are our resources?

$18M in cap room, about $5M of that earmarked for rookie signings. We can clear another $17.75M with the following cuts:

DJ Williams has a cap number of $7.7M next year with only about $1.7M guaranteed.
Joe Mays has a cap number of $4.16M with only $160K of that guaranteed.
Mike Adams has a cap number of $1.75M, no guaranteed money.
Caleb Hanie has $1.25M in salary, none guaranteed.
Manny Ramirez has $715K, none guaranteed.
Andre Caldwell has a $1M cap number, only $100K guaranteed.
Jacob Hester has a $715K cap number, none guaranteed.
Julius Thomas has a $651 cap number with only $96K guarnateed and $96K of outstanding signing bonus money for 2014.
Willis McGahee has a $3M cap number with $500K guaranteed and $500K of outstanding signing bonus money for 2014.

So that's $30.75M after these cuts but minus the rookie money.

First, retaining our own guys:
Clady is the big one here. He's already turned down 5/$50M. The tag is $9.6M for OLs this year though, so worst case he gets tagged if he won't take a more reasonable extension than the rumored "more than Joe Thomas" demands. Lets just put him down at the $10M, knowing the team has all the leverage here. So that brings us down to $20.75M.

Carter and Colquitt are undrafted RFAs, so in order to protect them at all we're looking at $2M each. Reasonable and necessary, if a little pricey. Another $4M off the books, now at $16.75M.

At DT all three of Vickerson, Bannan, and Unrein are free agents. Unrein is an exclusive rights RFA, so we can give him $550K and call it good. Bannan signed here for $1M last year, I don't see him having much leverage to get a raise, so another $1M for him. Vickerson played well, but I don't think he'll find a massive market, he's a roll player. I'd say $2M and if he wanted more let him try to find it. So all total we're talking about $3.5M at DT. Brings us down to $13.25M.

Koppen is a free agent and only made $825K last year. He should definitely be brought back as he was a stabilizing influence on an OL that needs stability. I'd expect him to resign for something in the $1-$2M range, so we'll go with $1.5M as an average. That brings us down to $11.75M.

Bruton is likely to be retained for something in the area of $1M, same with Stokley. So that brings us down to ~$9.75M, and in my opinion basically wraps up the FAs we should really care about keeping.

Not very much money, but some renegotiation by Doom, Champ, Manning, etc. could buy us a decent bit more cap space. We'll see how that goes.

With that $9.75M to work with and our full allotment of draft picks this is the road map I'd outline for us:

1. Running Back.
I see a RB taylor made for this offense in the draft, his name is Stepfan Taylor from Stanford, currently projected as a late 2nd/early 3rd by most draft prognosticators. He's a well rounded three down back who can contribute in all phases of the Manning offense, much like Knowshon Moreno. He should offer a bit more explosiveness than Moreno and will be an ideal #2 behind him for a season or two before replacing him. Couple this with Hillman developing physically and we could have a good two back tandem of Taylor and Hillman for a long time going forward.

2. Offensive Line.
I'd love to draft one of the premier guards in this class, and Barrett Jones before his lisfranc was my top target with our first round pick. Unfortunately I just don't see the numbers adding up there, as the premier OGs likely go before our first round pick, Jones' health makes him a question mark we can't really afford to roll the dice on before round 3, and honestly, we need a guy we know can contribute right away. To me that means free agency. Obviously a late round OL should be included in the mix, but a quality 6th man needs to be acquired on the OL. To that end my personal preference would be signing Louis Vasquez away from the Chargers. He was a spread OL in college and is a better pass protector than run blocker, but has improved in that aspect of his game in the pros. Most importantly he's big and powerful. With the Chargers dropping both Smith and Turner there will likely be some front office transition and Vasquez isn't the kind of guy you put a tag on. For an AAV around $4-$5M we likely could lock up a 26 year old starting guard for a reasonable price. This would bump Beadles to the swing guard/tackle role, making him that 6th man I was talking about. If Vasquez can't be had then Donald Thomas from New England would be a solid alternative, competing with Beadles for the LG job while also providing another player with some experience at OC in a pinch.

3. Defensive Tackle.
We won't be in range to grab a standout DT in the draft and also will not have the money to go after a Henry Melton. That's ok because I see a perfect fit that will likely sign cheap on a "make good" deal. Terence Knighton of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Some off-field issues and freak injury problems have greatly depleted Knighton's value, including him losing his starting job in Jacksonville. They have a new GM and are likely once again changing coaches. This sounds like an excellent opportunity for Del Rio to recruit one of his former standouts, getting Knighton here on reasonable money to provide the 4-3 nose tackle this defense needs to take the next step. His salary would likely be quite reasonable since he needs to re-establish his value. If he does that and makes our roster he'd bump one of the other DTs off, making this more or less cap neutral as far as the final 53 man roster is concerned (what the cap number is based on).

4. Middle Linebacker.
To me this is where we go with our first round pick. Manti Te'o, Kevin Minter, and Alec Ogeltree are all first round worthy MLBs and one is almost definitely going to be available for us in the first. If Te'o's lackluster championship game makes him slide to us then great, we're sitting pretty, otherwise I'd be more than happy with Alec Ogeltree, the former safety with elite athleticism and NFL ready coverage skills. He'd instantly improve our ability to handle opposing TEs.

5. Safety.
This is a two part solution. Step one, move Champ to safety, taking his declining speed from only above average back to elite status, step two is sign another corner to battle Carter for the #2 job opposite Harris. This leaves a safety depth chart of Champ, Rahim Moore (he's a solid player, he's coming back, quit hating on him for one play), Q. Carter, and Bruton. I like the looks of that. So that leads straight to...

6. Corner.
Ideal world Del Rio can get us a sweet deal on Derek Cox from Jacksonville. While oft-injured he's a standout when on the field. I don't see that happening though, he's likely looking at >$7M AAV and we'd have a hard time fitting that on the books. The alternative also comes from Jacksonville though, in the form of Rashean Mathis. A former standout at corner he wasn't quite up to par this season after his ACL tear in 2011. He's healthy now though and got stronger as the year went on. He's an older experienced veteran who would provide us a very solid base to only work up from at #2 corner if Carter takes the next step forward. This way worst case scenario Mathis is #2, Carter is #3, and Omar Boldin is #4. Solid group. Add another mid to late round corner and we should be doing ok here.

So that's a road map I'd like to see the team shoot for. Use the available cash to splash the pot in stealing a division rival's best young OL, fixing one of our weaknesses while creating one for them, add even moderate draft luck and we can hit needs while still going BPA in rounds 1 and 2, then fill out the other immediate needs with low cost veteran signings that Del Rio should have some strong appeal to.

KevinJames
01-15-2013, 06:45 PM
nice post, I like a lot of this. I don't see Champ going to safety as much as I agree with it I just don't see it Del Rio said that it wont happen in 2013. I don't think you will see a position change unless its Champ going to the coaches and asking for it himself.

If for some reason Champ has a change of heart and asks to play safety I think Omar will be at the very least a nickle, Fox & Del Rio are all high on this kid as well Elway.

BroncoMan4ever
01-15-2013, 06:48 PM
Jesus christ! Another move Champ to Safety person. Name me 10 better corners than Champ. Yes against guys with 4.3 or better speed he isn't the lockdown guy he typically is. But he is still a very good corner. Add in he has no interest in a position switch. Also the idea that a guy can just switch positions and dominate is laughable. Look at DJ used to be a good WLB but can't play MLB or SLB worth a ****. Who says Champ is an elite Safety playing Corner?

Inkana7
01-15-2013, 06:50 PM
I think a lot of people underrate Walton's performance pre-injury. Koppen played fantastic stepping in, but I don't think he's a slam dunk upgrade by any means.

rbackfactory80
01-15-2013, 06:52 PM
Real leaders on both side of the ball. Rah rah go get some m'fers

SonOfLe-loLang
01-15-2013, 06:53 PM
I'd be pretty OK with this. Though I'd still like to see what Julius Thomas can do next TC. He's still a great athlete

Drunken.Broncoholic
01-15-2013, 06:55 PM
Jesus christ! Another move Champ to Safety person. Name me 10 better corners than Champ. Yes against guys with 4.3 or better speed he isn't the lockdown guy he typically is. But he is still a very good corner. Add in he has no interest in a position switch. Also the idea that a guy can just switch positions and dominate is laughable. Look at DJ used to be a good WLB but can't play MLB or SLB worth a ****. Who says Champ is an elite Safety playing Corner?

Seemed to work well for McCourty.

CEH
01-15-2013, 06:56 PM
My number one is a nastier oline
The oline is way too passive
I could go a rb like a Doug martin in the first as well
Short yardage has to improve

BroncoMan4ever
01-15-2013, 07:02 PM
Seemed to work well for McCourty.

McCourty had no other option. It was position switch or unemployment or no playing time, and he wasn't even a starter. Like it or not you don't make a guy who is better than 90% of the players at his position learn a new position

enjolras
01-15-2013, 07:05 PM
Champ played at an elite level all season. One game hardly means we need to move him to safety. What a massive overreaction.

The disturbing part was JDR's inability to recognize what was happening. What New England this weekend. They'll play nothing but cover-2 out of their base or nickel package pretty much the whole damn game. You stop those big over the top throws and you stop Baltimore. It's that simple.

tldr; Champ should have had safety help and it was a stunning coaching oversight that he didn't.


That said I definitely agree about our needs on the interior DL. Wolfe was ok, but far from disruptive. He disappeared for big stretches of games.

We need big help up the middle. It starts at middle linebacker and then safety and defensive tackle. Find talented players at any of those spots. If we can shore up the middle this will be a really really good defense.

maher_tyler
01-15-2013, 07:11 PM
MLB, DT, G, RB in that order. We get those things and depth and were golden.

Drek
01-15-2013, 07:13 PM
Jesus christ! Another move Champ to Safety person. Name me 10 better corners than Champ. Yes against guys with 4.3 or better speed he isn't the lockdown guy he typically is. But he is still a very good corner. Add in he has no interest in a position switch. Also the idea that a guy can just switch positions and dominate is laughable. Look at DJ used to be a good WLB but can't play MLB or SLB worth a ****. Who says Champ is an elite Safety playing Corner?

If I could easily name 10 better corners that would put him in the middle of the pack for starters league-wide. He's obviously better than that, but he's not an elite shut down corner anymore. Guys with 4.3 speed are pretty par for the course against elite passing offenses, if Champ can't keep up with them he's going to be exploited as a liability.

Also, as you said he likely isn't going to instantly be perfect at safety. I'm sure he'll get to that point but he'll need a bit of time to transition. The speed is starting to go, moving him now buys him an easier transition while his athleticism helps prop him up and lets him play safety at an elite level while he learns on the job.

This isn't just about fixing Champ's declining speed either. The secondary clearly lacks a field general from the safety position. Champ could do quite well in that capacity. He also is easily our best coverage option against elite TEs, helping combat this team's biggest defensive liability which also happens to be a very en vogue weapon league-wide.

It's a best of all scenarios option. I don't expect them to actually do it, unfortunately, but it's the best solution to a multitude of problems.

Chris
01-15-2013, 07:15 PM
I expect them to move champ to S 2014-2015.

Al Wilson
01-15-2013, 07:17 PM
The good thing about the Broncos is that Elway upgraded every possible position. We now have good players in every position on this team, and quality depth with potential. There isn't MAJOR holes on this team. Either way, Elway is going to be evaluating every position and will be looking to improve and upgrade. I don't see glaring weaknesses on this team to be honest. Maybe a great tight end who can be a playmaker, and a starting running back with potential.

Drek
01-15-2013, 07:20 PM
If for some reason Champ has a change of heart and asks to play safety I think Omar will be at the very least a nickle, Fox & Del Rio are all high on this kid as well Elway.
This is why I like the idea of bringing in Mathis. He's short term and likely cheap, letting our own younger guys (Carter and Boldin) push for more PT without a big financial disincentive from a long term FA contract.

Champ played at an elite level all season. One game hardly means we need to move him to safety. What a massive overreaction.

The disturbing part was JDR's inability to recognize what was happening. What New England this weekend. They'll play nothing but cover-2 out of their base or nickel package pretty much the whole damn game. You stop those big over the top throws and you stop Baltimore. It's that simple.

tldr; Champ should have had safety help and it was a stunning coaching oversight that he didn't.
We willingly walked ourselves into the wrong matchups against their WRs, honestly. Champ should have been on Bolden and Harris should have been on Smith. Harris has the speed to stay with him while Champ is more capable of matching Bolden's physical style of play.

That is reason #1 why if they don't move Champ I think we'll still do fine at corner, scheme could have hid a lot of that weakness. We'll just be deficient in coverage at safety, unless Moore takes another step forward as big as his year 1 to year 2 growth and Q. Carter comes back 100% athletically and takes a mental step forward as well.


That said I definitely agree about our needs on the interior DL. Wolfe was ok, but far from disruptive. He disappeared for big stretches of games.

We need big help up the middle. It starts at middle linebacker and then safety and defensive tackle. Find talented players at any of those spots. If we can shore up the middle this will be a really really good defense.
The solution for both Wolfe and the DT position is one and the same if you ask me. Have Wolfe put on another 10-15 pounds this off-season and become a nearly full time DT. That frees up the strong side end job for Ayers and Malik Jackson (as well as Hunter who I bet they bring back on the cheap to give him another shot) while letting Wolfe be our pass rush up the middle.

BroncoMan4ever
01-15-2013, 07:25 PM
MLB, DT, G, RB in that order. We get those things and depth and were golden.

I'd put RB ahead of G simply because the line has been good this year. There aren't that many teams with a Ngata type on the DL that can cause that much disruption. But regardless of line play our backs for the several seasons are incapable of picking up short yardage.

I'd also add speed at the WR spot as a need. Speed is truly what killed us. Baltimore having it on offense and us not having that homerun threat

BroncoMan4ever
01-15-2013, 07:30 PM
The solution for both Wolfe and the DT position is one and the same if you ask me. Have Wolfe put on another 10-15 pounds this off-season and become a nearly full time DT. That frees up the strong side end job for Ayers and Malik Jackson (as well as Hunter who I bet they bring back on the cheap to give him another shot) while letting Wolfe be our pass rush up the middle.

I worry that adding weight to a guy like Wolfe can slow him down and be detrimental to his play

Lestat
01-15-2013, 07:30 PM
we need a absolute mauler on the inside of the OL, someone who can push guys out of the way and make bigger holes for the RB's.

we need a play making MLB who can be the QB of the defense.

Bmore Manning
01-15-2013, 07:36 PM
We have already done these in the draft forum..

Funny how you came at me in that very thread about cap room and here you are talking about getting players. And one in particular Terrance Knighton who myself and DB4L have been beating that drum. It wasn't cool when I wanted him and talked about how we would add tier two free agents, but it's great when you do it!

✡✡ JOSHUA ✡✡
01-15-2013, 07:43 PM
I would like to see the new offensive coordinator incorporate some of the concepts from Josh McDaniels' offense where they flood zones and run picks. They are impossible to cover. My kind of plays.

Bmore Manning
01-15-2013, 07:48 PM
Champs not moving to safety. A pay cut is within reason as he should be our #2 corner. But he shouldn't be replaced with an old vet. Rather we take advantage of the press man CBs from the draft.
-Rhodes (1), Amerson (2), Hester (4-5)

At DT Knighton has been someone I have asked for quiet some time. We could also steal Pat Sims away from Cincy, he has added pass rush to his game working with Atkins. Unrein can be had back cheap so bring him back. Not sure why you don't want to draft a DT a loaded position in the draft..?

Drafting a MLB is not necessarily following BPA.. Te'o, Minter, and Ogaltree may all three be gone then what?

I find it interesting you don't address WR.. There needs to be an explosive and dynamic WR added who can move inside and out..

Bmore Manning
01-15-2013, 07:49 PM
Champs not moving to safety. A pay cut is within reason as he should be our #2 corner. But he shouldn't be replaced with an old vet. Rather we take advantage of the press man CBs from the draft.
-Rhodes (1), Amerson (2), Hester (4-5)

At DT Knighton has been someone I have asked for quiet some time. We could also steal Pat Sims away from Cincy, he has added pass rush to his game working with Atkins. Unrein can be had back cheap so bring him back. Not sure why you don't want to draft a DT a loaded position in the draft..?

Drafting a MLB is not necessarily following BPA.. Te'o, Minter, and Ogaltree may all three be gone then what?

I find it interesting you don't address WR.. There needs to be an explosive and dynamic WR added who can move inside and out..

Requiem
01-15-2013, 08:00 PM
Don't think Amerson has the ability to play press-man successfully in the pros. That isn't what got him his bread and butter in college football, it is the off-man trails with safety help behind him and zone coverages where he succeeds the most. I look at Rhodes and Amerson and the big difference between the two of them is ability to play press. Which is why Rhodes is a superior prospect. Amerson probably could switch to FSU in the NFL and be very successful too.

Rohirrim
01-15-2013, 08:03 PM
Here's my opening dance card for the draft:

28. Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
58. Travis Frederick, OG/C, Wisconsin
90. Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

Then, go get Urlacher. ;D

Taco John
01-15-2013, 08:06 PM
Love me some Drek...

DBroncos4life
01-15-2013, 08:09 PM
We have already done these in the draft forum..

Funny how you came at me in that very thread about cap room and here you are talking about getting players. And one in particular Terrance Knighton who myself and DB4L have been beating that drum. It wasn't cool when I wanted him and talked about how we would add tier two free agents, but it's great when you do it!

Corey Williams and Ma'ake Kemoeatu wouldn't be bad either. Williams coming off a injury might be cheaper and Ma'ake has history with Fox.

TheReverend
01-15-2013, 08:10 PM
Excellent work and thread.

Bmore Manning
01-15-2013, 08:11 PM
Don't think Amerson has the ability to play press-man successfully in the pros. That isn't what got him his bread and butter in college football, it is the off-man trails with safety help behind him and zone coverages where he succeeds the most. I look at Rhodes and Amerson and the big difference between the two of them is ability to play press. Which is why Rhodes is a superior prospect. Amerson probably could switch to FSU in the NFL and be very successful too.

This is one we are going to disagree on. The vast majority of his work was man to man.. He has all the attributes to be a press man corner.. His ball skills are great too, body control and fluidity to turn and run.

That's a prefect press man corner..

Requiem
01-15-2013, 09:03 PM
This is one we are going to disagree on. The vast majority of his work was man to man.. He has all the attributes to be a press man corner.. His ball skills are great too, body control and fluidity to turn and run.

That's a prefect press man corner..

Off-man coverage or zone. You would rarely find any instance with Amerson playing press-man. If he lines up and gets beat on the press, he doesn't have the the speed to recover. Really good balls kills though. (And I meant free safety earlier) Should be a Top 64 player.

NFLBRONCO
01-15-2013, 09:11 PM
I agree with what's been posted. What about a Trindon type skill player on offense.

dsmoot
01-15-2013, 09:13 PM
I'd put RB ahead of G simply because the line has been good this year. There aren't that many teams with a Ngata type on the DL that can cause that much disruption. But regardless of line play our backs for the several seasons are incapable of picking up short yardage.

I'd also add speed at the WR spot as a need. Speed is truly what killed us. Baltimore having it on offense and us not having that homerun threat

The OL is good in pass protect. They lack the push in the run game to control short yardage. I still think we need help up the middle or another Tackle that will allow Franklin to move inside.

I think LB is still a key need in pass coverage on TE and filling the MLB thumping position. DJ is gone. Brookings was a decent stop gap. We all see the limitations of Mays.

We do need a RB. I am not sure what we have in Hillman just yet. WM has been good for us but he may be at the end. KM showed definite improvement but I am not sure he is a No. 1 back. I would like to see someone like a young Willis who can deliver a blow, break tackles.

We do need a DT

BroncoMan4ever
01-15-2013, 09:18 PM
Here's my opening dance card for the draft:

28. Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
58. Travis Frederick, OG/C, Wisconsin
90. Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

Then, go get Urlacher. ;D

Yeah a slow aged vet to replace a slow.aged vet. Sounds great.

BroncoMan4ever
01-15-2013, 09:21 PM
I agree with what's been posted. What about a Trindon type skill player on offense.

I would love to see the front office take a real look at seeing what it would take to get Harvin in Denver.

Requiem
01-15-2013, 09:23 PM
Piss ton of RB/WR in rounds 2-4 that you could just squirt for. Trade some losers for picks lets get PLan A+++ going!!

BroncoMan4ever
01-15-2013, 09:41 PM
Piss ton of RB/WR in rounds 2-4 that you could just squirt for. Trade some losers for picks lets get PLan A+++ going!!

Who do we have who is under contract, expendable and worth anything but late round or conditional picks?

DENVERDUI55
01-15-2013, 09:52 PM
I agree with Drek's original post. Great effort and analysis put into that. I would add a speed slot guy as several have mentioned so far.

SonOfLe-loLang
01-15-2013, 10:00 PM
I agree with what's been posted. What about a Trindon type skill player on offense.

Tavon Austin

24champ
01-15-2013, 10:03 PM
For the nth time, Champ isn't moving to safety. He had one bad game, and so did many others on the team. Now he shut down Torrey smith in the regular season by allowing only 14 yards.

Compounding Champs bad play was the fact that this defense got zero pressure on Flacco. You are asking alot of your secondary to shut down recievers when Flacco isn't under pressure throughout the game. This defense had 52 sacks for the year with doom and Von managing to get half a sack apiece in a playoff game. Not only did the front seven fail to generate pressure, it also failed to stop the run. Front seven is equally as responsible for this cluster****.

Bottom line is, nobody really showed up for this game. I don't see Champ moving to Safety but possibly a scheme change where he isn't on an island anymore. You move Champ to safety and you have another hole to fill, plus you have the highest paid safety in the league. Not good asset management from a talent and financial standpoint.

BroncoMan4ever
01-15-2013, 10:12 PM
What about Chris Rainey? Speed in the offense immediately. Hit him in screens and dumpoffs and let him run.

NFLBRONCO
01-15-2013, 10:21 PM
Tavon Austin

I'd love him in Denver

BroncoBen
01-15-2013, 10:41 PM
So here's the road map to fixing this team's problems, as I see them.

1. Running Back.
I see a RB taylor made for this offense in the draft, his name is Stepfan Taylor from Stanford, .

4. Middle Linebacker.
To me this is where we go with our first round pick. Manti Te'o, Kevin Minter, and Alec Ogeltree are all first round worthy



Derek.. Very well written and thought out.

I love the idea of drafting Stepfan Taylor if he is there in the 2nd round. Eddie Lacy from Alabama might be available at #28, questions about his style of running. But the Broncos might have to go against the grain and draft a runningback in the 1st round.

Manti Te'o is the one player I would stay away from, he is a NCAA player.. Not so much a NFL player. I watched too many Notre Dame Games.. And the quality of opponents was not that great. His showing against Alabama raises some red flags.

lonestar
01-15-2013, 10:46 PM
Champ played at an elite level all season. One game hardly means we need to move him to safety. What a massive overreaction.

The disturbing part was JDR's inability to recognize what was happening. What New England this weekend. They'll play nothing but cover-2 out of their base or nickel package pretty much the whole damn game. You stop those big over the top throws and you stop Baltimore. It's that simple.

tldr; Champ should have had safety help and it was a stunning coaching oversight that he didn't.


That said I definitely agree about our needs on the interior DL. Wolfe was ok, but far from disruptive. He disappeared for big stretches of games.

We need big help up the middle. It starts at middle linebacker and then safety and defensive tackle. Find talented players at any of those spots. If we can shore up the middle this will be a really really good defense.

Most of your post I agree with.

Wolfe pretty much played almost every down all season on the DL at some position.

I'm sure someone can find the number of snaps he took, which was a damne sight more probably times 2 over last year in college. In all he was in 17 games in regular and post season, not to mention four preseason games. A bunch more than his 10 game college season. Most rookies hit the famed rookie wall in about game 8-10.

If had not disappeared in some games he would have had to be superman.

extralife
01-15-2013, 11:14 PM
Calling Champ a "liability" is a ****ing joke. Yeah, I suppose he'd be a liability if you had three Darrelle Revis clones in front of him making a combined 150 million dollars. We don't. No one does. He was second team all-pro at 34. Do you have a magic potion that produces all pro players at every position? That can just replace age with similarly skilled youth at a whim? No? We lost a playoff game, the ****ing world didn't end. Everyone here called us the best, most balanced team in the NFL less than a week ago. Today, it's time to blow it all up. Get over yourselves.

lonestar
01-15-2013, 11:25 PM
Derek.. Very well written and thought out.

I love the idea of drafting Stepfan Taylor if he is there in the 2nd round. Eddie Lacy from Alabama might be available at #28, questions about his style of running. But the Broncos might have to go against the grain and draft a runningback in the 1st round.

Manti Te'o is the one player I would stay away from, he is a NCAA player.. Not so much a NFL player. I watched too many Notre Dame Games.. And the quality of opponents was not that great. His showing against Alabama raises some red flags.
With all his hype I was expecting a Golden God at MLB in the games I saw sadly I was very disappointed. While he may some day be a star, not sure we can wait that long.

lonestar
01-15-2013, 11:31 PM
Calling Champ a "liability" is a ****ing joke. Yeah, I suppose he'd be a liability if you had three Darrelle Revis clones in front of him making a combined 150 million dollars. We don't. No one does. He was second team all-pro at 34. Do you have a magic potion that produces all pro players at every position? That can just replace age with similarly skilled youth at a whim? No? We lost a playoff game, the ****ing world didn't end. Everyone here called us the best, most balanced team in the NFL less than a week ago. Today, it's time to blow it all up. Get over yourselves.

:thumbs: well said

We can improve in almost all spots. CB is not an area we have the biggest concerns.

Way back after Manning took our team apart in a playoff game, mikey decided to fix it by getting a great CB, poortis for Champ. Problem solved.

But then next year IIRC he ignored Champ and toasted the other corner.
When that was upgraded he ate our Nickle back alive..

What mikey failed to get over all his years was pressure the QB with only your DL and then everyone playing behind them are instantly upgraded.

JDR knows that and I suspect so do The JOHNs.

I look for more DT those to be hgh on their wish list.

Mat'hir Uth Gan
01-16-2013, 12:06 AM
Some good thoughts Drek and excellent effort.


RE: DTs

Over the last few years, we've seemed to have put a soft cap at DT in the salary range of 2.5 million. A lot of the big name DT Free Agents we chased commented that we only offered them a contract in that range, while most of them went on to sign for 5 million per year.

A large reason for that is our heavy rotation at DT. We rotate three guys pretty evenly. Bannan (592 Snaps), Vickerson (537), Unrein (414). For comparison, Wolfe and Dumervil played over a 1000 snaps each. So, we're only playing our DTs about 50% of the time.

For this reason, I don't see us spending high draft resources on the position (1st or 2nd round pick) and I can't imagine we will have any more luck this season signing DTs than we've had in the past. Even a guy like Knighton will command more than 2.5 million. And I think Vickerson might even price himself out of our range.

I expect we'll re-sign Bannan, keep Unrein, and just re-sign and promote Siliga. Those will be our 3 DTs on game day. (Wolfe and Jackson not withstanding). And I think we'll be solid with that rotation. I do expect us to draft a DT in the mid-late rounds (AJ Francis?) that we can keep as a gameday inactive while we develop him similar to what we did with Siliga this year.



RE: RB

I don't see why we don't just keep Moreno. He and Hillman were very effective together this year. Moreno is pretty much identical to Joseph Addai. If anything, let McGahee go, and stick with the young guys. Don't see the need to burn a high draft pick here.


RE: O-Line

I think we're okay here, we just need depth. I remember what a healthy Kuper looks like, and Beadles is a quality OG. Our OTs are fine. Walton was playing excellent before he was injured.


RE: CB

Bailey is staying at CB. Harris is a stud. Carter was solid for a nickel. Bolden is developing. We have room for depth.


RE: Safety

Agree that Moore is a quality FS despite his gaffe. And I think Adams was solid at SS. We do need a young Safety developing at SS as Carter can't be relied upon, while Leonhard and Bruton are FAs that probably won't be back. I'd expect the SS to start in the 2014 season. I'm thinking an early round draft pick.



I'd list our biggest needs as:

1) MLB
2) SS
3) WR
4) DT
5) OL Depth
6) CB Depth
7) WR Depth

SoCalBronco
01-16-2013, 12:09 AM
Off-man coverage or zone. You would rarely find any instance with Amerson playing press-man. If he lines up and gets beat on the press, he doesn't have the the speed to recover. Really good balls kills though. (And I meant free safety earlier) Should be a Top 64 player.

Amerson put in one of the worst CB performances in recent history in our game against them this year. Dude was destroyed by Philip Dorsett and Rashawn Scott all day.......oh and he pulled a Rahim the Dream at the end of the game for the winning TD on a 60 yard TD.

spiralism
01-16-2013, 04:02 AM
Notable available players:

Henry Melton
Greg Jennings
Wes Welker
Mike Wallace
Dwight Freeney
Desmond Bryant
Cliff Avril
Randy Starks
Brian Urlacher
Brent Grimes
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Derek Cox
Aqib Talib
Ed Reed
Jairus Byrd
Louis Delmas

Most i'd say are legitimately available. I'd have Reed as retiring (if Baltimore manage to do it all this year i guarantee it), Urlacher, Freeney, Talib, DRC, Cox and Bryant to stay put but the rest are fair game.

Anyways, positional reviews:

QB: Manning

RB: I'd stick with Knowshon. Definitely proving his worth. Mcgahee as rotation but there could be a possibility we let him go and replace him with Steven Jackson or just stick with Hillman/Ball. All are solid, viable options.

OL: Re-sign Clady at all costs and keep them healthy, esp. Kuper with his injury issues lately. Let us see what Walton can do and learn from Koppen

WR: Could be upgraded. Stokely is no guarantee to stay on at his age and we could be down an excellent slot receiver and go to guy on key downs. Welker in the slot would be ****ing amazing. On another hand, Jennings signed as a #2 bumping Decker to slot would be an equally excellent move. Both are by far the best options given familiarity with elite QBs, attention to detail and excellent route running.

DL: Lot of options here. Freeney if he was considered would be a decent rotational addition (imagine Doom and Freeney rushing off the line along with Miller) and is friendly with Peyton. Cliff Avril would provide an even better option in the same regard. DT throws up some excellent names. Henry Melton would be a godsend and it's uncertain what direction Bears management go with this team. Other excellent options such as Randy Starks and Desmond Bryant abound

LB: Urlacher if he were to hit the market would have to be seriously considered. Age aside, he's exactly what we want, definition of elite at the position. Other than that, not much. We're set at two of three LB positions and Brooking is only a concern due to age/fading skills more than anything. Manti's stock has fallen since the National Championship and it is unclear how his stock will change when the combine comes around. If he falls a few spots Elway would be well advised to pull the trigger and orchestrate something, it would fill a hole immediately and have us set on D for years.

Secondary: Champ will remain corner but should not be targeting speed receivers - he's not 29 anymore. Another CB should be attained unless we trust Harris to cover #1 receivers. Considering the jump he made this year, don't rule it out. Grimes, DRC and Cox are interesting options and should be pursued unless we intend to give Porter another bite of the cherry. Moore will likely be given a chance to redeem himself but it depends on how the team responds to him, they are reportedly really pissed at him. Safety upgrades are no harm, Leonhard is old. Byrd, Delmas and Goldson are elite level replacements. Reed is not likely to be available

Coaching: Fox has his flaws certainly and has not proved he can prepare a team off a playoff bye. This was the sloppiest and most unprepared game by the team all year. However, McCoy is gone and could be replaced by the likes of Whizenhunt which would be an interesting move. Del Rio is gladly very likely to stay put and defensive stability can only be welcomed. Jury is still out on Fox and his "next Marty" reputation he's keen on building but the fact of the matter is he's going nowhere.

In summary, i think this team would be well advised to take a long look at WR - Welker and Jennings in particular, at DL and in the secondary where numerous options abound. MLB is a need but unless Urlacher hits the market which is dubious at best, Elway needs to be taking a long look at pulling together a move to nab Manti as it would go a long way towards completing this team and this is far from the strongest draft class.

TheReverend
01-16-2013, 05:57 AM
Melton2013!

Then either Cox or DRC, stud ILB in draft, IOL depth and BPA

Ray Finkle
01-16-2013, 06:15 AM
I'd love Melton but don't know if he'd be allowed to leave. Whether they can get him or not, I'd like to see them take a shot at Dorsey and Smith for the DL.

BroncoInferno
01-16-2013, 06:39 AM
If we move Champ to safety, we better have a better answer to replace him than an old Mathis. Carter is an ideal guy to cover the slot, but his size makes him a liability on the outside against bigger guys. He can stick like glue to those bigger guys, but we saw people like Denario Alexander make plays against him on jump balls. And then behind Harris and Carter there's no one proven. So, even if Champ's not elite anymore, he's still a good player and I don't like our depth if he's at safety (Omar Bolden's a wildcard there, but he's done nothing yet to instill confidence in him as a long-term solution).

R8R H8R
01-16-2013, 06:51 AM
Some good thoughts Drek and excellent effort.


RE: DTs

Over the last few years, we've seemed to have put a soft cap at DT in the salary range of 2.5 million. A lot of the big name DT Free Agents we chased commented that we only offered them a contract in that range, while most of them went on to sign for 5 million per year.

A large reason for that is our heavy rotation at DT. We rotate three guys pretty evenly. Bannan (592 Snaps), Vickerson (537), Unrein (414). For comparison, Wolfe and Dumervil played over a 1000 snaps each. So, we're only playing our DTs about 50% of the time.

For this reason, I don't see us spending high draft resources on the position (1st or 2nd round pick) and I can't imagine we will have any more luck this season signing DTs than we've had in the past. Even a guy like Knighton will command more than 2.5 million. And I think Vickerson might even price himself out of our range.

I expect we'll re-sign Bannan, keep Unrein, and just re-sign and promote Siliga. Those will be our 3 DTs on game day. (Wolfe and Jackson not withstanding). And I think we'll be solid with that rotation. I do expect us to draft a DT in the mid-late rounds (AJ Francis?) that we can keep as a gameday inactive while we develop him similar to what we did with Siliga this year.



RE: RB

I don't see why we don't just keep Moreno. He and Hillman were very effective together this year. Moreno is pretty much identical to Joseph Addai. If anything, let McGahee go, and stick with the young guys. Don't see the need to burn a high draft pick here.


RE: O-Line

I think we're okay here, we just need depth. I remember what a healthy Kuper looks like, and Beadles is a quality OG. Our OTs are fine. Walton was playing excellent before he was injured.


RE: CB

Bailey is staying at CB. Harris is a stud. Carter was solid for a nickel. Bolden is developing. We have room for depth.


RE: Safety

Agree that Moore is a quality FS despite his gaffe. And I think Adams was solid at SS. We do need a young Safety developing at SS as Carter can't be relied upon, while Leonhard and Bruton are FAs that probably won't be back. I'd expect the SS to start in the 2014 season. I'm thinking an early round draft pick.



I'd list our biggest needs as:

1) MLB
2) SS
3) WR
4) DT
5) OL Depth
6) CB Depth
7) WR Depth

Good post. I'd say, MLB is the only real glaring need, but I don't want them to reach. Btw, Al Wilson was taken with the last pick in the 1st round in 1999 and Ray Lewis was taken in the 20's IIRC, so a quality guy might be available where we draft.

Will be interesting if Elway would go for Welker in FA, but he has shown to lean towards the "value" guys, so I don't know.

I agree with you on keeping Moreno, but I would draft a guy if there is a good player that complements Knowshon & Hillman in the first 3 rounds. Moreno nor McGahee can be fully trusted to stay healthy for a season.

Since Champ isn't moving to safety then we need to address that either in draft or FA. I thought I read somewhere that this draft is safety heavy. If so, let's get a good one.

TheElusiveKyleOrton
01-16-2013, 07:16 AM
I'd like Percy Harvin, please.

Love the idea of Stepfan in the 2nd. Dude's a beast, and protects the ball. And if we're going to be a conservative team at the end of games, we've got to have a back (or collection of backs) who can move the sticks.

I'm in the No Champ To Safety Club. It's a good club to be in. Guy had one bad game.

Agree we have to solidify the interior of both lines. What's JDR's record with that as a head man in Jacksonville? Anyone?

socalorado
01-16-2013, 08:12 AM
Some good thoughts Drek and excellent effort.
Also, nice post by MUG as well.

I agree with alot of Dreks assessment of the team.
RB
Keep Slowshon. He proved many of us wrong, and its not unheard of for RBs to get injured anymore, so DEN does need to go get another 1. And i have been advocating along with a few other posters to get Stepfan Taylor. The guy is "Taylor"ed for the DEN offense. Hes a well trained RB, that can run outside, inside, has power, speed, vision, and most importanly....he is an excellent blitz pickup blocking RB, who also has $$$$ hands, and catches outta the backfield all day.
Dump Ball and i hate to say it, McGahee. Hes just too old. Keep Hillman too. Hillman manned up in that game.
WR
I want Amendola, but looking at the FA $$$$, DEN would really have to restructure some contracts. Hes a better option than Welker. Younger, and with just as good hands. But Peyton would really have to restructure as would Champ, who should.
I think DEN looks to the later rounds for a slot/burner possibly.
TE.
Go with the guys you got, and cut Julius Thomas. I think Green has shown more upside and could be the real gem of the 2.
OL
Keep all of em currently except Ramirez, and try to sign G/C Brandon Moore UFA (NYJ)
Hes a 10 year vet, looking to win a SB, and he wants to play for a winner.
Mauler with good pass pro, he can play multiple positions along the line.

DL
I think MUG is right. JDL thinks he can get good production from mid-round DTs in the draft, and that where they will go. DT is deep thiss year, so many of the solid DTs may end up dropping a bit anyways.
Daniel McCullers*, DT, Tennessee Monster at 6-8 360. 4-5 round
Larry Black, Jr., DT, Indiana 6-3 310 4-5 round

Secondary

Sorry, i am in agreement with Drek Champ needs to go to #2 CB/hybrid position.
I think the Charles Woodson position of playing the opposing teams TEs and possesion recievers and playing man, up front at the LOS and using him as a
blitzer and as a nickel depending on down and team is what is needed for Champ. Hes would play less, and be able to be more physical and jump routes, which is something he cant do on burners anymore.
Harris is legit. Carter looked better than advertised because of the DL and that had alot to do with Champs success this year as well. Harris is very fast and has really good hands.
I think DEN needs to look at drating a new "shut down" corner in this draft or the next. Its just simply time.
Xavier Rhodes could be there at #28 amazingly and should be looked at hard by DEN.
Dude is a beast with Patrick Peterson size and ball skills, only a bit less refined.
Milliner and Banks are both considered to go ahead of Rhodes, so he just might be there. Amerson is a FS in the NFL. Hes got serious problems in press coverage, and will be looked at as a FS by NFL teams.

LB
1 name.
LSU's Kevin Minter. Look him up. Just the perfect 3 down, 4-3 MLB that can do it all.
I say its either him or Rhodes in the 1st.

As for FA, theres just no way Henry Melton is not gonna break the bank, so hes a pipe dream. And Amendola could be as well. Urlacher is a complete waste of $$$.
Realistically, I would hope DEN could free up enough cap room to sign 2 solid players that could really define the team going forward. Possibly 2 more cheap role players.
Heres my list of realistic guys with some cap room made
SS William Moore - (ATL) Yes, keep Rahim Moore at FS or Dashon Goldson (SF)
or SS Michael Mitchell (OAK) who is an underrated player, very solid safety.
G/C Brandon Moore – (NYJ) Dump Ramirez, let the rest fight it out for the starting spots. Or Louis Vasquez (SD) great find Drek!
DT Sedrick Ellis – (NO) Still very young, and could be a steal. Or DT Alan Branch (SEA)who could walk, but DEN would need to cough up some mid-level FA coin for him. He might just be worth it.

Bmore Manning
01-16-2013, 08:15 AM
Off-man coverage or zone. You would rarely find any instance with Amerson playing press-man. If he lines up and gets beat on the press, he doesn't have the the speed to recover. Really good balls kills though. (And I meant free safety earlier) Should be a Top 64 player.

I said he has the attributes to play press man, that's technique that he can be taught. I said he played the vast majority of man to man. He reminds me of Cromartie with a similar style and physical attributes to his game. Being taught a jam to reroute a WR won't be an overly daunting task. I believe he can learn it.

socalorado
01-16-2013, 08:19 AM
I said he has the attributes to play press man, that's technique that he can be taught. I said he played the vast majority of man to man. He reminds me of Cromartie with a similar style and physical attributes to his game. Being taught a jam to reroute a WR won't be an overly daunting task. I believe he can learn it.

I think Amerson will be looked at by NFL teams as a FS.
I would love for him to go ahead of Rhodes though!! LOL!
So DEN can get RHodes!

Bmore Manning
01-16-2013, 08:25 AM
I think Amerson will be looked at by NFL teams as a FS.
I would love for him to go ahead of Rhodes though!! LOL!
So DEN can get RHodes!

Not sure why you gave Drek credit for my idea of Champ being the #2 corner on our team.. He clearly said move him to safety..

Nobody's bashing Rhodes he's one of the 3-4 corners that I like from the draft. He's the only one I would touch in the first of those CBs I like, but I think your assessment is off on Amerson, and I called him a second round pick. I don't doubt he could play FS, but with the size of the WRs coming out in today's NFL, I would like him at CB. Also not sure where you got that he struggles in man to man, he was a stud in 2011, and he got overly aggressive this year and had numerous mental lapses on the field. But he's a kid, and his size, speed, and skill set cannot be taught, but make no mistake about it his game under the right coach and system can be refined!

Old Dude
01-16-2013, 08:34 AM
Not crazy about cutting McGahee. If experience shows us anything, it's that we need depth at RB, and we specifically need someone who can act as a receiver and pick up blitzes. McGahee does both of these well and he's relatively cheap. Age is a factor, but I don't see him as more injury prone than Moreno.

If we cut someone, it's most likely Ball or Hester, though I'm still scratching my head as to why we moved up to draft Hillman in the first place.

socalorado
01-16-2013, 08:35 AM
Not sure why you gave Drek credit for my idea of Champ being the #2 corner on our team.. He clearly said move him to safety..

Nobody's bashing Rhodes he's one of the 3-4 corners that I like from the draft. He's the only one I would touch in the first of those CBs I like, but I think your assessment is off on Amerson, and I called him a second round pick. I don't doubt he could play FS, but with the size of the WRs coming out in today's NFL, I would like him at CB. Also not sure where you got that he struggles in man to man, he was a stud in 2011, and he got overly aggressive this year and had numerous mental lapses on the field. But he's a kid, and his size, speed, and skill set cannot be taught, but make no mistake about it his game under the right coach and system can be refined!

I didnt know it was your idea. I think we all have been discussing it. I have him in the Charles Woodson role. But yes, covering possesion guy or TEs in some teams case, would be best IMHO.
As for Amerson and Rhodes, i guess Amerson could play CB, but he needs to work on his technique. He has all the other tools. Dude is a beast of a player.
I think Rhodes is a more pure CB in that he has really good press, man to man coverage skills and just a bit more of a better CB than Amerson.

socalorado
01-16-2013, 08:39 AM
Not crazy about cutting McGahee. If experience shows us anything, it's that we need depth at RB, and we specifically need someone who can act as a receiver and pick up blitzes. McGahee does both of these well and he's relatively cheap. Age is a factor, but I don't see him as more injury prone than Moreno.

If we cut someone, it's most likely Ball or Hester, though I'm still scratching my head as to why we moved up to draft Hillman in the first place.

I am not huge on the move up in the draft either, but so far so good. Let the kid develop. Youngest player in the NFL.
As for Ball, i think we all expect him to be cut.
So if DEN drafted Taylor you got
Taylor
Moreno
Hillman
Hester
I think DEN has to keep Hester as a short yardage-goal line guy and let Magahee, as much as i hate it, walk.

TheReverend
01-16-2013, 09:05 AM
Moreno, Hillman and McGahee are more than serviceable.

If you want to upgrade the running game, get a better lineman or two.

Ray Finkle
01-16-2013, 09:10 AM
Moreno, Hillman and McGahee are more than serviceable.

If you want to upgrade the running game, get a better lineman or two.

who would you recommend replacing C and RG?

socalorado
01-16-2013, 09:11 AM
Moreno, Hillman and McGahee are more than serviceable.

If you want to upgrade the running game, get a better lineman or two.

Nah. i would agree if Moreno had made it through that last game, but hes just not reliable at all. And Mcgahee is 31 years old, and cant be relied upon as a viable option either. Too many injuries, too mnay years and too much mileage on those 2 RBs alone.
Do you really think that DEN will not address the position in the offseason?

2KBack
01-16-2013, 09:15 AM
Well done Drek, as usual.

I agree with your approach for the most part. Like the positions to address, even if we wouldn't necessarily fill them with the same players.

I see as the bigger areas that could use attention as: ILB, DL (even D end), SS, OL, RB

RB- I have been among the biggest supporters of Moreno, and I think Hill is likely going to a take a nice leap with an offseason to grow and show. I think WM is about done, his body is beat up, and the years keep on growing. I like Stepfan Taylor a lot, but I think we can go much later and get better value. I think Moreno should start as the man, but I like adding RB's every year (late round). We will need the depth. I've mention Rex Burkhead and Cameron MArshall before. Marshall has elite physical skills that were wasted by the Staffs of ASU (not unlike Brock), Burkhead is an underrated athlete and fits what we do perfectly. Unless they light up the combine, they can be had 4th round or later.

ILB- I think this needs to be our top priority, and I think there is talent available. For as strong as our D was overall, we had to be overly creative to hide our deficiency at MLB. We need a solid all around Mike, one with some cover skills so we can keep Miller attacking. Minter is my favorite, if Teo is there Great. I'm not against Ogletree assuming he can get stronger, he would already be a great coverage backer. I trust Del Rio with Linebackers, and I am sure they are aware they need one.

DL: Dline is a slow developing position, rookies rarely make major impacts. That is why I am really excited about Wolfe next season. If he takes the next step on a solid rookie campaign, we are already ahead of the game. Vickerson has grown to be dependable. I think there are a couple of mid tier FA's that could be upgrades. Mebane, Branch, Dorsey are all options. One of the Fatties from George could be good anchors. Will Sutton is another disruptive player that I would love....he is a DT/DE tweener (I'm sure Rev would love that). He could provide disruption anywhere on the line, giving us insane flexibility.

SS: I haven't given up on Moore, but I never liked Mike Adams. There are a couple nice options in the draft like Elam. I think we might want to consider Laron Landry from the jets. He was a scary playmaker with Washington before all the injuries. He showed himself to finally be healthy in 2012. I believe he is a FA, and would be a perfect secondary enforcer.

For all DB options I will bow to The Rev's suggestions though. He seems to watch DB's like I watch RB's. So I'm down with whoever he likes.

As for OL, I think we need it, but I can't spot a great one to save my life.

TheReverend
01-16-2013, 09:18 AM
who would you recommend replacing C and RG?

Tricky spot... healthy Kuper is a big upgrade. Then there's Walton and Blake... can they make the same type of progress Beadles made from 2011-2012?

I'm firmly in the Minter in round 1 camp, so I'd look OL help with the 2nd pick... someone like Frederick from Wisconsin, Kyle Long from Oregon, Dallas Thomas, big ass Larry Warford maybe.

There's some pretty damn good linemen in this class.

Ray Finkle
01-16-2013, 09:23 AM
Tricky spot... healthy Kuper is a big upgrade. Then there's Walton and Blake... can they make the same type of progress Beadles made from 2011-2012?

I'm firmly in the Minter in round 1 camp, so I'd look OL help with the 2nd pick... someone like Frederick from Wisconsin, Kyle Long from Oregon, Dallas Thomas, big ass Larry Warford maybe.

There's some pretty damn good linemen in this class.

Good analysis but I am afraid Kuper is never going to be the same. I hope Minter's available but don't see him getting past a team like the Steelers.

Rascal
01-16-2013, 09:26 AM
If we cut someone, it's most likely Ball or Hester, though I'm still scratching my head as to why we moved up to draft Hillman in the first place.

Because Elway has the power of foresight to know that Moreno would get injured, but somehow missed that Rahim would pull the ultimate doh!

TheReverend
01-16-2013, 09:32 AM
Good analysis but I am afraid Kuper is never going to be the same. I hope Minter's available but don't see him getting past a team like the Steelers.

It's possible and if so, Franklin could kick inside (in the event of getting Long or Thomas) or vice versa, or just plug in Warford. Warford's a mauler so he'd be a great fit at RG since Beadles already excels at our pulling G needs.

Bmore Manning
01-16-2013, 09:33 AM
I didnt know it was your idea. I think we all have been discussing it. I have him in the Charles Woodson role. But yes, covering possesion guy or TEs in some teams case, would be best IMHO.
As for Amerson and Rhodes, i guess Amerson could play CB, but he needs to work on his technique. He has all the other tools. Dude is a beast of a player.
I think Rhodes is a more pure CB in that he has really good press, man to man coverage skills and just a bit more of a better CB than Amerson.

Rhodes is more polished and NFL ready, again I really like his game. But Amerson has such incredible physical attributes/ball skills, I think if he refines and improves technique he has more upside.

Inkana7
01-16-2013, 09:42 AM
Tricky spot... healthy Kuper is a big upgrade. Then there's Walton and Blake... can they make the same type of progress Beadles made from 2011-2012?

I'm firmly in the Minter in round 1 camp, so I'd look OL help with the 2nd pick... someone like Frederick from Wisconsin, Kyle Long from Oregon, Dallas Thomas, big ass Larry Warford maybe.

There's some pretty damn good linemen in this class.

I agree with this assessment 100%. Minter's my guy at MLB, and I definitely think we should go O-Line in the 2nd. DL or DB (my preference) in round 3.

The only problem is that who do you replace on the offensive line? They're all solid enough to start for a lot of teams, and guys like Beadles and Walton have shown growth under Magazu (and then there's Blake,as you mentioned). But really no matter what, we need more quality O-Linemen, as there were times when I thought Manny Ramirez was going to get Peyton killed (and Kuper looked just as bad at times against BAL). That guy sucks.

On the defensive line, I really wouldn't mind rolling with Vickerson, Bannan (our best DT, IMO) Unrein and Wolfe another year. The things we do on the Front-7 seem pretty different than almost every other 4-3 front I've seen, and Wolfe seems to play more like a DT than a pure DE. If Ayers and Hunter progress, or we bring in another free agent DE, then I think a rotation of those 4 on the inside would work just fine.

BroncoMan4ever
01-16-2013, 09:52 AM
Moreno, Hillman and McGahee are more than serviceable.

If you want to upgrade the running game, get a better lineman or two.

Are they? McGahee was dropping the ball on a weekly basis. Hillman has shown flashes but is being used wrong. Dive plays into the interior line are not plays he should run with regularity. Moreno stepped up his game the last half of the season, but his history of getting hurt and missing series every week and being mediocre far outweigh what he has done recently.

On paper I would agree that RB isn't a big hole but watching games this year I have no faith in Willis not fumbling, Moreno keeping up his level of recent play

TheReverend
01-16-2013, 10:51 AM
I agree with this assessment 100%. Minter's my guy at MLB, and I definitely think we should go O-Line in the 2nd. DL or DB (my preference) in round 3.

The only problem is that who do you replace on the offensive line? They're all solid enough to start for a lot of teams, and guys like Beadles and Walton have shown growth under Magazu (and then there's Blake,as you mentioned). But really no matter what, we need more quality O-Linemen, as there were times when I thought Manny Ramirez was going to get Peyton killed (and Kuper looked just as bad at times against BAL). That guy sucks.

On the defensive line, I really wouldn't mind rolling with Vickerson, Bannan (our best DT, IMO) Unrein and Wolfe another year. The things we do on the Front-7 seem pretty different than almost every other 4-3 front I've seen, and Wolfe seems to play more like a DT than a pure DE. If Ayers and Hunter progress, or we bring in another free agent DE, then I think a rotation of those 4 on the inside would work just fine.

Look at 4-3 unders or 3-4 BumPhillips teams and you'll see what we do more often.

24champ
01-16-2013, 11:34 AM
I saw a Mock on CBS Sports that had us taking Sherrif Floyd of Florida. Would be a good get.

Requiem
01-16-2013, 11:40 AM
Amerson put in one of the worst CB performances in recent history in our game against them this year. Dude was destroyed by Philip Dorsett and Rashawn Scott all day.......oh and he pulled a Rahim the Dream at the end of the game for the winning TD on a 60 yard TD.

The guy went from being a potential Top 10 selection at the beginning of the year to being a 2nd-3rd round draft projection. I respect Bmore's opinion, but I just don't see him going to a team that is going to have him playing press. He is going to have to be in the right scheme to succeed in the NFL. Best fit in the NFL is a zone heavy scheme. I still wouldn't be surprised if he is moved to FS either. He reminds me a lot of Sean Smith of the Dolphins.

CEH
01-16-2013, 11:47 AM
Why not look at Brandon Moore FG G . I know he's 33 but if his skills are still there he's a top notch G

Bmore Manning
01-16-2013, 11:56 AM
The guy went from being a potential Top 10 selection at the beginning of the year to being a 2nd-3rd round draft projection. I respect Bmore's opinion, but I just don't see him going to a team that is going to have him playing press. He is going to have to be in the right scheme to succeed in the NFL. Best fit in the NFL is a zone heavy scheme. I still wouldn't be surprised if he is moved to FS either. He reminds me a lot of Sean Smith of the Dolphins.

Maybe his size, but he has ball skills and body control/ fluidity like Cromartie. He took too many chances this year, and like you said when he's on he's a top talent. The kid could be refined and his technique improved. He has played majority man to man, why is it hard to envision him learning to bump/jam at the line? And he's fast.. I'm not sure why he couldn't learn these simple techniques..? Give me the value pick of Amerson in the second even third round, when he has top 10 skill written all over him. His ceiling is much much higher.

socalorado
01-16-2013, 01:03 PM
Maybe his size, but he has ball skills and body control/ fluidity like Cromartie. He took too many chances this year, and like you said when he's on he's a top talent. The kid could be refined and his technique improved. He has played majority man to man, why is it hard to envision him learning to bump/jam at the line? And he's fast.. I'm not sure why he couldn't learn these simple techniques..? Give me the value pick of Amerson in the second even third round, when he has top 10 skill written all over him. His ceiling is much much higher.

Its funny, cause i also liken him to Sean Smith.
Its Rhodes/Minter or bust in the 1st round.

Amerson will be there in round 2.

Requiem
01-16-2013, 01:07 PM
Maybe his size, but he has ball skills and body control/ fluidity like Cromartie. He took too many chances this year, and like you said when he's on he's a top talent. The kid could be refined and his technique improved. He has played majority man to man, why is it hard to envision him learning to bump/jam at the line? And he's fast.. I'm not sure why he couldn't learn these simple techniques..? Give me the value pick of Amerson in the second even third round, when he has top 10 skill written all over him. His ceiling is much much higher.

I wouldn't say that he has played a majority of his snaps man to man given Mike Archer and the roots of his defense. He has always been a zone guy, and when Amerson does play in man coverage, it's off-man seven yards down the field so he can spy the QB and make his read and go for the ball. I think you are getting enamored with his long and lengthy frame thinking that shows he can have the grit and toughness to press. I just don't see him doing that at NC State (I'm an FSU and ACC fan.)

If a team takes Amerson pretty high, I bet they are going to put him at safety. Many reports are already coming out that teams saying that is their primary interest in him. If he doesn't play FS, he is going to play in a zone heavy defense where he can do what he does best. As stated before, he doesn't have the recovery speed necessary to effectively be a press-man guy. I would be shocked if he ran under a 4.5.

Not somebody I'm willing to throw a risk down on.

Bmore Manning
01-16-2013, 01:17 PM
Its funny, cause i also liken him to Sean Smith.
Its Rhodes/Minter or bust in the 1st round.

Amerson will be there in round 2.

Its really funny to me cause he plays nothing like him, just similar body type.
Sean Smith has bad to average ball skills..

I'm not advocating drafting Amerson in the first. Does it come off or sound like that? Rather I'm advocating drafting value, and taking a player with top ten upside even though he's second round value, if and when he's available say in the second, definitely in the third!

Requiem
01-16-2013, 01:24 PM
Pretty much ever "?" Smith had coming out of Utah is the same with Amerson at N.C. State, and they both excelled in reads off the zone. They are very similar.

Bmore Manning
01-16-2013, 01:25 PM
I wouldn't say that he has played a majority of his snaps man to man given Mike Archer and the roots of his defense. He has always been a zone guy, and when Amerson does play in man coverage, it's off-man seven yards down the field so he can spy the QB and make his read and go for the ball. I think you are getting enamored with his long and lengthy frame thinking that shows he can have the grit and toughness to press. I just don't see him doing that at NC State (I'm an FSU and ACC fan.)

If a team takes Amerson pretty high, I bet they are going to put him at safety. Many reports are already coming out that teams saying that is their primary interest in him. If he doesn't play FS, he is going to play in a zone heavy defense where he can do what he does best. As stated before, he doesn't have the recovery speed necessary to effectively be a press-man guy. I would be shocked if he ran under a 4.5.

Not somebody I'm willing to throw a risk down on.

Req, I live in ACC territory.. I have also watched him. Yes his man to man was not at the LOS. Let's just agree to disagree with him. I'm not sure I would like him at FS I'm not sure he brings that type of physicality to the position.

I am enamored with his ball skills and the flashes of being a stud that he has shown, but again I believe in drafting for value. I would consider him in the second and would no doubt pull the trigger if he falls to the third. I think he can be refined.

Cito Pelon
01-16-2013, 01:38 PM
Well, Denver has only six picks this draft, one in each round except the Bunkley trade removes a sixth rounder, so not a lot to work with there (also late in each round).

I figure the FO sees the same things you guys do with respect to MLB, RB, OL, DT, safety.

I doubt they'll go big-money FA anywhere, that doesn't seem to fit the past pattern. Since Fox and Elway got here they've been picking guys off other team's practice squads and mid-tier FA's. What we want and what they do are two different things. Guys like Melton don't seem to fit the team philosopy of value FA signings. If they can get a low-ball offer in for Knighton, I could see that happening. Rev and other guys have been hollering for years to sign big-money longterm contract FA's like Jonathan Joseph, Mebane, Cofield, etc. But they were apparently too much big-money/longterm contract for the Broncos.

They probably like most of their starters for another year, and like their draftees from last year in Bolden, Blake, Trevathan. Probably counting on Walton coming back strong, and Kuper.

So I figure in the draft it will be:
1) MLB
2) RB
3) BPA among OL/DT/safety
4) BPA WR/RB
5) BPA whatever
7) BPA of course

No telling what tradeups/tradedowns they'll do. They've shown if the guys they wanted aren't there, they will trade down. And vice-versa.

Trading down from #28 might be a good thing if the MLB they want isn't there (and I'm assuming they even want a MLB). They might want to roll the dice on DJ Williams. Having extra draft picks in a deep draft might be the way to go, it's not like they have extra picks early.

socalorado
01-16-2013, 01:51 PM
Its really funny to me cause he plays nothing like him, just similar body type.
Sean Smith has bad to average ball skills..

I'm not advocating drafting Amerson in the first. Does it come off or sound like that? Rather I'm advocating drafting value, and taking a player with top ten upside even though he's second round value, if and when he's available say in the second, definitely in the third!

Oh, if Amerson is there in the 2nd, man i would hope they would jump all over him. Unless Rhodes was already the pick in the 1st.

I still say for DEN its Minter/Rhodes in the 1st. Find a way to get one of em.

Rohirrim
01-16-2013, 01:58 PM
Well, Denver has only six picks this draft, one in each round except the Bunkley trade removes a sixth rounder, so not a lot to work with there (also late in each round).

I figure the FO sees the same things you guys do with respect to MLB, RB, OL, DT, safety.

I doubt they'll go big-money FA anywhere, that doesn't seem to fit the past pattern. Since Fox and Elway got here they've been picking guys off other team's practice squads and mid-tier FA's. What we want and what they do are two different things. Guys like Melton don't seem to fit the team philosopy of value FA signings. If they can get a low-ball offer in for Knighton, I could see that happening. Rev and other guys have been hollering for years to sign big-money longterm contract FA's like Jonathan Joseph, Mebane, Cofield, etc. But they were apparently too much big-money/longterm contract for the Broncos.

They probably like most of their starters for another year, and like their draftees from last year in Bolden, Blake, Trevathan. Probably counting on Walton coming back strong, and Kuper.

So I figure in the draft it will be:
1) MLB
2) RB
3) BPA among OL/DT/safety
4) BPA WR/RB
5) BPA whatever
7) BPA of course

No telling what tradeups/tradedowns they'll do. They've shown if the guys they wanted aren't there, they will trade down. And vice-versa.

Trading down from #28 might be a good thing if the MLB they want isn't there (and I'm assuming they even want a MLB). They might want to roll the dice on DJ Williams. Having extra draft picks in a deep draft might be the way to go, it's not like they have extra picks early.

Well thought out. Reasonable. Probably true. And boring.

Now, let me tell you how we trade up for Lotulelei!....... :~ohyah!:

lonestar
01-16-2013, 02:02 PM
Some good thoughts Drek and excellent effort.


RE: DTs

Over the last few years, we've seemed to have put a soft cap at DT in the salary range of 2.5 million. A lot of the big name DT Free Agents we chased commented that we only offered them a contract in that range, while most of them went on to sign for 5 million per year.

A large reason for that is our heavy rotation at DT. We rotate three guys pretty evenly. Bannan (592 Snaps), Vickerson (537), Unrein (414). For comparison, Wolfe and Dumervil played over a 1000 snaps each. So, we're only playing our DTs about 50% of the time.

For this reason, I don't see us spending high draft resources on the position (1st or 2nd round pick) and I can't imagine we will have any more luck this season signing DTs than we've had in the past. Even a guy like Knighton will command more than 2.5 million. And I think Vickerson might even price himself out of our range.

I expect we'll re-sign Bannan, keep Unrein, and just re-sign and promote Siliga. Those will be our 3 DTs on game day. (Wolfe and Jackson not withstanding). And I think we'll be solid with that rotation. I do expect us to draft a DT in the mid-late rounds (AJ Francis?) that we can keep as a gameday inactive while we develop him similar to what we did with Siliga this year.



RE: RB

I don't see why we don't just keep Moreno. He and Hillman were very effective together this year. Moreno is pretty much identical to Joseph Addai. If anything, let McGahee go, and stick with the young guys. Don't see the need to burn a high draft pick here.


RE: O-Line

I think we're okay here, we just need depth. I remember what a healthy Kuper looks like, and Beadles is a quality OG. Our OTs are fine. Walton was playing excellent before he was injured.


RE: CB

Bailey is staying at CB. Harris is a stud. Carter was solid for a nickel. Bolden is developing. We have room for depth.


RE: Safety

Agree that Moore is a quality FS despite his gaffe. And I think Adams was solid at SS. We do need a young Safety developing at SS as Carter can't be relied upon, while Leonhard and Bruton are FAs that probably won't be back. I'd expect the SS to start in the 2014 season. I'm thinking an early round draft pick.



I'd list our biggest needs as:

1) MLB
2) SS
3) WR
4) DT
5) OL Depth
6) CB Depth
7) WR Depth

MUG good thoughts.

Because John and for that matter Josh brought in some quality players in the draft and via UFA, we now have ony a few spots that need real attention.

IMO we are getting real close to being able to draft BPA regardless of position of need.. While I grant MLB is an issue or has been since Wilson retired I hope we will not reach for the 4th best if we draft one in the first.

While I used to subscribe doing this mostly it was because we desperately needed some positions, especially on defense at any spot not manned by Champ.

As for your thoughts on DT. Because of their size and our altitude I think the prudent resting of them is a great idea. I only hope that they can even put on a few more pounds each for the upcoming season as IMO that will only help the run game as well as allow them to collapse the pocket a tad more than they do today.

Bmore Manning
01-16-2013, 02:12 PM
Oh, if Amerson is there in the 2nd, man i would hope they would jump all over him. Unless Rhodes was already the pick in the 1st.

I still say for DEN its Minter/Rhodes in the 1st. Find a way to get one of em.

I think they may both be gone.. They are both very talented players

socalorado
01-16-2013, 02:36 PM
I think they may both be gone.. They are both very talented players

Dude, theres only 27 picks ahead of us. Cmon, man.

1. Kansas City (2-14)-OT Luke Joeckel Texas A&M
2. Jacksonville (2-14)-DT Star Lotulelei Utah
3. Oakland (4-12)-DE Bjoern Warner Florida State
4. Philadelphia (4-12)-CB Dee Milliner Alabama
5. Detroit (4-12)-DE Damontre Moore Texas A&M
6. Cleveland (5-11)-OLB Jarvis Jones Georgia
7. Arizona (5-11)-QB Geno Smith West Virginia
8. Buffalo (6-10)-DE Dion Jordon Oregon
9. New York Jets (6-10)-OLB Barkevious Mingo LSU
10. Tennessee (6-10)-OG Chance Warmack Alabama
11. San Diego (7-9)-NT Johnathan Hankins Ohio State
12. Miami (7-9)-WR Cordarrelle Patterson Tennessee
13. Tampa Bay (7-9)-CB Johnthan Banks Mississippi State
14. Carolina (7-9)-DT Sheldon Richardson Missouri
15. New Orleans (7-9)-DE Sam Montgomery LSU
16. St. Louis (7-8-1)-OT Erik Fisher Central Michigan
17. Pittsburgh (8-8)-ILB Manti Te’o Notre Dame
18. Dallas (8-8)-DE Ezekiel Ansah BYU
19. New York Giants (9-7)-ILB Alec Olgletree Georgia
20. Chicago (10-6)-TE Dion Sims Michigan State
21. Cincinnati* (10-6)-ILB Kevin Minter LSU
22. St. Louis-Was(10-6)-WR Keenan Allen California
23. Minnesota* (10-6)-WR Terrance Williams Baylor
24. Indianapolis* (11-5)-G/T Barrett Jones Alabama
25. Seattle* (11-5)-OT D.J. Fluker Alabama
26. Green Bay* (11-5)-S Matt Elam Florida
27. Houston* (12-4)-WR DeAndre Hopkins Clemson
28. Denver* (13-3)-CB Xavier Rhodes Florida State


And 2 CBs still go ahead of Rhodes.
Unfortunately Minter is snagged by CIN.
I think MIN has too much need at WR to take Rhodes there.

Bmore Manning
01-16-2013, 02:45 PM
I mocked Minter to us and got that trend rolling! It's not that I wouldn't want him or Rhodes, but they are both really good players, I see Rhodes being available..

broncosteven
01-16-2013, 02:49 PM
Typed this up the morning after the playoff game, held off on posting it until my angst regarding the loss cleared, and then re-read it. Still think it's pretty worthwhile so now i'm posting it (hence why I refer to "last night's game" frequently).

So here's the road map to fixing this team's problems, as I see them.

Offense

Fact #1 Knowshon Moreno was the straw that stirred the drink on offense.

This is not because Moreno is a great player, he's pretty good but has his issues. No, this is because Moreno's skill set fits a Peyton Manning offense. He's become a solid north/south runner who gets into his cuts quickly and gets you consistent positive yardage. Hillman and Hester are all or nothing backs where Hillman either gives you a nice 5-10 yard run or a gain of zero and Hester either falls forward for 3 or falls on his face for zero. Moreno consistently moves the ball forward and converts 3rd and shorts. This is important, but it's also something McGahee could do.

Moreno also steps up big in pass pro, where we saw our other RBs all fail us at some point last night. Hillman is simply too small, Hester is not a running threat so simply putting him back there on anything but short yardage telegraphs pass and effectively chums the waters, and Ball outright misses assignments. McGahee also did this well.

Where Moreno and McGahee deviate is when asked to catch the ball. Consider Moreno's touchdown catch. Would anyone ever expect McGahee to pull that ball in? Hell, would anyone ever expect McGahee to put that stutter step on a defender that Moreno used to separate? I sure has hell wouldn't. Moreno as a check down and extra receiving threat was huge for this offense and is something we need to recognize and build on in any way possible.

Fact #2 This OL is too shallow and too weak to handle the best DLs in the league. Clady get bent back on top of Manning repeatedly, and Beadles, Koppen, etc. get zero push against Ngata and Kemoatu in the run game. Orlando Franklin was probably our best OL last night and Kruger was whipping him around the edge with regularity.

A 100% Kuper would be a slight help, but I doubt enough to turn the tide. While Koppen was replacing JD Walton I also think we all agree that Koppen played better than we'd ever expect Walton to.

This OL lacks depth and power. We couldn't run the ball with AD taking hand offs with the kind of blocking this OL sets up.

Defense

Fact #1 1. We STILL can't stop even average TEs. This is a failure by both our safeties and our linebackers. None of our safeties or LBs are good in man coverage at all, and Moore is probably the best in zone despite his **** up in last night's game. This is unacceptable. Q. Carter was hands down our best man cover guy between both groups last year, but now had arthroscopic knee surgery on a leg with an already bum hamstring. He might not be the same player when he comes back.

Fact #2 Our pass rush comes entirely from the edges, not a single person on this team can generate pressure up the middle. Opposing QBs far too often have a pocket to step into and make clean throws regardless of what our edge rushers do. This is the end result of us targeting a big time DT year after year in FA but failing to sign them. In the spring of 2011 we chased Brandon Mebane but let him return to Seattle for a very reasonable offer, and in spring of 2012 we did the same with Paul Soliai. This doesn't even go into the fact that we weren't even in on Barry Cofield, who left the Giants and signed with the Skins in 2011. We need a mauler in the middle who pushes the pocket. He doesn't need to get sacks, just deform the pocket and be stout against the run. Doom and Miller will do the rest.

Fact #3 Champ is no longer an elite corner. He simply couldn't run with Smith. No excuses. He went against one of the game's fastest wide outs and he got ran off the field. He's still a good corner and will still give us great production against most teams in the regular season, but against playoff level competition he's a liability. Want proof? After seeing what Flacco and Smith did to him last night picture what it'd be like for us to play the Falcons with Champ on Julio Jones and Matt Ryan throwing the ball. Or worse, the Packers and any of their WRs against him with Rodgers. If Flacco was a more accurate QB the Ravens could have blown us out in regulation because of this.

So that's defense. Special teams weren't a problem at all last night, other than Prater ****ing up his one field goal opportunity. But Prater is better than what we could replace him with so that is a case of rolling with it and hoping he matures. The leash on Prater has definitely gotten shorter, but it's still plenty long enough to not spend finite resources on a replacement.

Ok, so we've identified the major problems from a thematic standpoint, so how can we upgrade? Well first, what are our resources?

$18M in cap room, about $5M of that earmarked for rookie signings. We can clear another $17.75M with the following cuts:

DJ Williams has a cap number of $7.7M next year with only about $1.7M guaranteed.
Joe Mays has a cap number of $4.16M with only $160K of that guaranteed.
Mike Adams has a cap number of $1.75M, no guaranteed money.
Caleb Hanie has $1.25M in salary, none guaranteed.
Manny Ramirez has $715K, none guaranteed.
Andre Caldwell has a $1M cap number, only $100K guaranteed.
Jacob Hester has a $715K cap number, none guaranteed.
Julius Thomas has a $651 cap number with only $96K guarnateed and $96K of outstanding signing bonus money for 2014.
Willis McGahee has a $3M cap number with $500K guaranteed and $500K of outstanding signing bonus money for 2014.

So that's $30.75M after these cuts but minus the rookie money.

First, retaining our own guys:
Clady is the big one here. He's already turned down 5/$50M. The tag is $9.6M for OLs this year though, so worst case he gets tagged if he won't take a more reasonable extension than the rumored "more than Joe Thomas" demands. Lets just put him down at the $10M, knowing the team has all the leverage here. So that brings us down to $20.75M.

Carter and Colquitt are undrafted RFAs, so in order to protect them at all we're looking at $2M each. Reasonable and necessary, if a little pricey. Another $4M off the books, now at $16.75M.

At DT all three of Vickerson, Bannan, and Unrein are free agents. Unrein is an exclusive rights RFA, so we can give him $550K and call it good. Bannan signed here for $1M last year, I don't see him having much leverage to get a raise, so another $1M for him. Vickerson played well, but I don't think he'll find a massive market, he's a roll player. I'd say $2M and if he wanted more let him try to find it. So all total we're talking about $3.5M at DT. Brings us down to $13.25M.

Koppen is a free agent and only made $825K last year. He should definitely be brought back as he was a stabilizing influence on an OL that needs stability. I'd expect him to resign for something in the $1-$2M range, so we'll go with $1.5M as an average. That brings us down to $11.75M.

Bruton is likely to be retained for something in the area of $1M, same with Stokley. So that brings us down to ~$9.75M, and in my opinion basically wraps up the FAs we should really care about keeping.

Not very much money, but some renegotiation by Doom, Champ, Manning, etc. could buy us a decent bit more cap space. We'll see how that goes.

With that $9.75M to work with and our full allotment of draft picks this is the road map I'd outline for us:

1. Running Back.
I see a RB taylor made for this offense in the draft, his name is Stepfan Taylor from Stanford, currently projected as a late 2nd/early 3rd by most draft prognosticators. He's a well rounded three down back who can contribute in all phases of the Manning offense, much like Knowshon Moreno. He should offer a bit more explosiveness than Moreno and will be an ideal #2 behind him for a season or two before replacing him. Couple this with Hillman developing physically and we could have a good two back tandem of Taylor and Hillman for a long time going forward.

2. Offensive Line.
I'd love to draft one of the premier guards in this class, and Barrett Jones before his lisfranc was my top target with our first round pick. Unfortunately I just don't see the numbers adding up there, as the premier OGs likely go before our first round pick, Jones' health makes him a question mark we can't really afford to roll the dice on before round 3, and honestly, we need a guy we know can contribute right away. To me that means free agency. Obviously a late round OL should be included in the mix, but a quality 6th man needs to be acquired on the OL. To that end my personal preference would be signing Louis Vasquez away from the Chargers. He was a spread OL in college and is a better pass protector than run blocker, but has improved in that aspect of his game in the pros. Most importantly he's big and powerful. With the Chargers dropping both Smith and Turner there will likely be some front office transition and Vasquez isn't the kind of guy you put a tag on. For an AAV around $4-$5M we likely could lock up a 26 year old starting guard for a reasonable price. This would bump Beadles to the swing guard/tackle role, making him that 6th man I was talking about. If Vasquez can't be had then Donald Thomas from New England would be a solid alternative, competing with Beadles for the LG job while also providing another player with some experience at OC in a pinch.

3. Defensive Tackle.
We won't be in range to grab a standout DT in the draft and also will not have the money to go after a Henry Melton. That's ok because I see a perfect fit that will likely sign cheap on a "make good" deal. Terence Knighton of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Some off-field issues and freak injury problems have greatly depleted Knighton's value, including him losing his starting job in Jacksonville. They have a new GM and are likely once again changing coaches. This sounds like an excellent opportunity for Del Rio to recruit one of his former standouts, getting Knighton here on reasonable money to provide the 4-3 nose tackle this defense needs to take the next step. His salary would likely be quite reasonable since he needs to re-establish his value. If he does that and makes our roster he'd bump one of the other DTs off, making this more or less cap neutral as far as the final 53 man roster is concerned (what the cap number is based on).

4. Middle Linebacker.
To me this is where we go with our first round pick. Manti Te'o, Kevin Minter, and Alec Ogeltree are all first round worthy MLBs and one is almost definitely going to be available for us in the first. If Te'o's lackluster championship game makes him slide to us then great, we're sitting pretty, otherwise I'd be more than happy with Alec Ogeltree, the former safety with elite athleticism and NFL ready coverage skills. He'd instantly improve our ability to handle opposing TEs.

5. Safety.
This is a two part solution. Step one, move Champ to safety, taking his declining speed from only above average back to elite status, step two is sign another corner to battle Carter for the #2 job opposite Harris. This leaves a safety depth chart of Champ, Rahim Moore (he's a solid player, he's coming back, quit hating on him for one play), Q. Carter, and Bruton. I like the looks of that. So that leads straight to...

6. Corner.
Ideal world Del Rio can get us a sweet deal on Derek Cox from Jacksonville. While oft-injured he's a standout when on the field. I don't see that happening though, he's likely looking at >$7M AAV and we'd have a hard time fitting that on the books. The alternative also comes from Jacksonville though, in the form of Rashean Mathis. A former standout at corner he wasn't quite up to par this season after his ACL tear in 2011. He's healthy now though and got stronger as the year went on. He's an older experienced veteran who would provide us a very solid base to only work up from at #2 corner if Carter takes the next step forward. This way worst case scenario Mathis is #2, Carter is #3, and Omar Boldin is #4. Solid group. Add another mid to late round corner and we should be doing ok here.

So that's a road map I'd like to see the team shoot for. Use the available cash to splash the pot in stealing a division rival's best young OL, fixing one of our weaknesses while creating one for them, add even moderate draft luck and we can hit needs while still going BPA in rounds 1 and 2, then fill out the other immediate needs with low cost veteran signings that Del Rio should have some strong appeal to.


I agree with just about everything here even if not 100% with everything you wrote about KM.

1) RB's, we need to seriously upgrade the RB's if not then Elway flat out lied about protecting PM with the run game. McGahee can't finish a season without injury, KM is the same thing, when counted on they are not there, I understand about there is never a good time to get injured (I have been through it personally) but after a couple years it is a trend you cannot ignore. Not sure who is available from a FA position. I wonder if we don't look at a trade or make RB a priority (doesn't have to be 1st round, just that they id talent) in the draft. Hester needs to be moved to FB or cut, he is terrible as a runner, I don't think he can catch well, I don't remember him catching anything. It is a shame we didn't get Tollbert when he was out there, I know he was expensive but he would have been nice to have after KM went down.

2) OL - I don't think it is as big a priority unless Koppen doesn't resign. I think they should draft a C of the future, someone to groom and keep the heat on Walton. Maybe Walton progresses this offseason or learned after sitting behind an All Pro? The staff knows what they have and if they need to draft a C then they will do so.

I would certainly keep Ramieriz(sp?) around for quality depth but maybe see if duh bears would trade for him, he is way better than they have now if we can get some decent picks for him we could move up on draft day. He is nice to have considering Kuper came back from 2 tough injuries.

Clady needs to be resigned ASAP.

3) I totally agree we need a DT who can take on double teams and push the pocket. I like the fact that Wolf played the entire season and he did get better but he cannot take on double teams and push the middle of the pocket. I would let Vickerson and Bannan go, Vickerson is slightly above avg but we need to upgrade him. Melton is asking alot but I would love to see if they could find a way to get him. I don't want to keep being cheap at this position. In the offseason after the Jags loss in 1996(Jan 97 actually) Shanny went out and got Neil Smith, I sure hope Elway follows suit only this time getting the best DT on the market.

4) We ABSOLUTELY need to upgrade MLB! Mays should be outright cut. The only way I keep DJ around is if he renegotiates. DJ didn't do anything after coming back, he struggled to get on the field, the staff doesn't seem to have much faith in him. I think he is gone unless he takes a large paycut. DJ is good depth just not at what we are paying him now. I think we should find a way to move up in the 1st round of the draft and get the best MLB on the board. I don't know if it is Teo but I like what John sees in LB's and I think he can find us a good one. Trevathan and Irving saw the field some this year, I just don't know if either can move to the middle and be the force we need, Johnson seems more like a ST guy.


5) Now that we fired our Secondary coach I doubt they go after a big time FA Safety, I am guessing we stay the course with what we have. I would love to let Adams walk and find a better Vet to upgrade there. We should at least draft a Safety to compete in TC but I think the core group will be back.

I also don't think Champ was beaten as bad as it looked, I wonder if he wasn't expecting a safety being there to redirect Smith on the 1st TD, he was in better coverage (though behind Smith) on the 2nd TD that was a Jump Ball, again Champ was all alone as he was on the long Incompletion Smith got a step on. I really think this is why the backs coach was let go, not just Moores Michael Dean Perry moment.

6) With a new DB coach I like our depth here, Porter is likely gone barring some miracle, but Harris and Carter played well all year, Champ is still a top 5 CB, one bad game does not make him trash. With some better safety play Champ is fine. Corner always seems to be a position we always draft, I expect the same thing this year. If they can find a cheap quality Vet for depth then great, I think a Slot WR is more important than CB. Plus if we had better DT and MLB play QB's wouldn't have all that time to chuck the ball 70 yards downfield.


I sure hope they add a FB and run more I formation sets I really think having a FB opening holes would benefit KM and Hillman, the pulling guards did get a push but the backs are not into or though those holes quick enough. You can still run a power scheme with a FB. Those shotgun zone runs require a stout OL and take a lot of time to run, the single back has to make too many quick decisions and needs to be able to see everything. Put a FB back there, use a pistol formation if they want but give the backs a lead blocker from out of the backfield.

Tombstone RJ
01-16-2013, 03:01 PM
Dude, theres only 27 picks ahead of us. Cmon, man.

1. Kansas City (2-14)-OT Luke Joeckel Texas A&M
2. Jacksonville (2-14)-DT Star Lotulelei Utah
3. Oakland (4-12)-DE Bjoern Warner Florida State
4. Philadelphia (4-12)-CB Dee Milliner Alabama
5. Detroit (4-12)-DE Damontre Moore Texas A&M
6. Cleveland (5-11)-OLB Jarvis Jones Georgia
7. Arizona (5-11)-QB Geno Smith West Virginia
8. Buffalo (6-10)-DE Dion Jordon Oregon
9. New York Jets (6-10)-OLB Barkevious Mingo LSU
10. Tennessee (6-10)-OG Chance Warmack Alabama
11. San Diego (7-9)-NT Johnathan Hankins Ohio State
12. Miami (7-9)-WR Cordarrelle Patterson Tennessee
13. Tampa Bay (7-9)-CB Johnthan Banks Mississippi State
14. Carolina (7-9)-DT Sheldon Richardson Missouri
15. New Orleans (7-9)-DE Sam Montgomery LSU
16. St. Louis (7-8-1)-OT Erik Fisher Central Michigan
17. Pittsburgh (8-8)-ILB Manti Te’o Notre Dame
18. Dallas (8-8)-DE Ezekiel Ansah BYU
19. New York Giants (9-7)-ILB Alec Olgletree Georgia
20. Chicago (10-6)-TE Dion Sims Michigan State
21. Cincinnati* (10-6)-ILB Kevin Minter LSU
22. St. Louis-Was(10-6)-WR Keenan Allen California
23. Minnesota* (10-6)-WR Terrance Williams Baylor
24. Indianapolis* (11-5)-G/T Barrett Jones Alabama
25. Seattle* (11-5)-OT D.J. Fluker Alabama
26. Green Bay* (11-5)-S Matt Elam Florida
27. Houston* (12-4)-WR DeAndre Hopkins Clemson
28. Denver* (13-3)-CB Xavier Rhodes Florida State


And 2 CBs still go ahead of Rhodes.
Unfortunately Minter is snagged by CIN.
I think MIN has too much need at WR to take Rhodes there.

yep, I doubt Minter, Ogletree or Te'o will be around when the Broncos pick. And depending on the combine, I'm not sure Rhodes will be around either leaving a player like Barrett Jones or a WR as more of a possibility. Broncos just have to take BPA.

Cito Pelon
01-16-2013, 03:05 PM
Well thought out. Reasonable. Probably true. And boring.

Now, let me tell you how we trade up for Lotulelei!....... :~ohyah!:

Ab-so-lutelelei!

Cito Pelon
01-16-2013, 03:26 PM
Dude, theres only 27 picks ahead of us. Cmon, man.

1. Kansas City (2-14)-OT Luke Joeckel Texas A&M
2. Jacksonville (2-14)-DT Star Lotulelei Utah
3. Oakland (4-12)-DE Bjoern Warner Florida State
4. Philadelphia (4-12)-CB Dee Milliner Alabama
5. Detroit (4-12)-DE Damontre Moore Texas A&M
6. Cleveland (5-11)-OLB Jarvis Jones Georgia
7. Arizona (5-11)-QB Geno Smith West Virginia
8. Buffalo (6-10)-DE Dion Jordon Oregon
9. New York Jets (6-10)-OLB Barkevious Mingo LSU
10. Tennessee (6-10)-OG Chance Warmack Alabama
11. San Diego (7-9)-NT Johnathan Hankins Ohio State
12. Miami (7-9)-WR Cordarrelle Patterson Tennessee
13. Tampa Bay (7-9)-CB Johnthan Banks Mississippi State
14. Carolina (7-9)-DT Sheldon Richardson Missouri
15. New Orleans (7-9)-DE Sam Montgomery LSU
16. St. Louis (7-8-1)-OT Erik Fisher Central Michigan
17. Pittsburgh (8-8)-ILB Manti Te’o Notre Dame
18. Dallas (8-8)-DE Ezekiel Ansah BYU
19. New York Giants (9-7)-ILB Alec Olgletree Georgia
20. Chicago (10-6)-TE Dion Sims Michigan State
21. Cincinnati* (10-6)-ILB Kevin Minter LSU
22. St. Louis-Was(10-6)-WR Keenan Allen California
23. Minnesota* (10-6)-WR Terrance Williams Baylor
24. Indianapolis* (11-5)-G/T Barrett Jones Alabama
25. Seattle* (11-5)-OT D.J. Fluker Alabama
26. Green Bay* (11-5)-S Matt Elam Florida
27. Houston* (12-4)-WR DeAndre Hopkins Clemson
28. Denver* (13-3)-CB Xavier Rhodes Florida State


And 2 CBs still go ahead of Rhodes.
Unfortunately Minter is snagged by CIN.
I think MIN has too much need at WR to take Rhodes there.

I thought Cincy liked their current linebackers?

lonestar
01-16-2013, 03:33 PM
Well, Denver has only six picks this draft, one in each round except the Bunkley trade removes a sixth rounder, so not a lot to work with there (also late in each round).

I figure the FO sees the same things you guys do with respect to MLB, RB, OL, DT, safety.

I doubt they'll go big-money FA anywhere, that doesn't seem to fit the past pattern. Since Fox and Elway got here they've been picking guys off other team's practice squads and mid-tier FA's. What we want and what they do are two different things. Guys like Melton don't seem to fit the team philosopy of value FA signings. If they can get a low-ball offer in for Knighton, I could see that happening. Rev and other guys have been hollering for years to sign big-money longterm contract FA's like Jonathan Joseph, Mebane, Cofield, etc. But they were apparently too much big-money/longterm contract for the Broncos.

They probably like most of their starters for another year, and like their draftees from last year in Bolden, Blake, Trevathan. Probably counting on Walton coming back strong, and Kuper.

So I figure in the draft it will be:
1) MLB
2) RB
3) BPA among OL/DT/safety
4) BPA WR/RB
5) BPA whatever
7) BPA of course

No telling what tradeups/tradedowns they'll do. They've shown if the guys they wanted aren't there, they will trade down. And vice-versa.

Trading down from #28 might be a good thing if the MLB they want isn't there (and I'm assuming they even want a MLB). They might want to roll the dice on DJ Williams. Having extra draft picks in a deep draft might be the way to go, it's not like they have extra picks early.

Finally someone not DREAMing about players that are not going to happen.

So far as you said John is not going after other teams mistakes, he is looking for potential of young kids from their PS squad and older rejects for spot duty and making hay in the draft, as well as UDFAs.

Building a very good foundation for the LONG Term success of the team.

Good,post :thumbs:

socalorado
01-16-2013, 03:38 PM
I thought Cincy liked their current linebackers?

CIN either takes Minter or Reid or Elam.
The fan base is screaming to take a FS, and they have not been really keen on how Rey Rey panned out so far, so Minter is a big upgrade there too.
Your thinking of Burfict. CIN has 5! LBs that are FA's!!!
Vincent Rey – CIN – (RFA)
Thomas Howard – CIN
Manny Lawson – CIN
Rey Maualuga – CIN
Dan Skuta – CIN

And i am not sure what their salary cap is, but they have not been real happy with Rey Maualuga at MLB.

Bmore Manning
01-16-2013, 03:52 PM
CIN either takes Minter or Reid or Elam.
The fan base is screaming to take a FS, and they have not been really keen on how Rey Rey panned out so far, so Minter is a big upgrade there too.
Your thinking of Burfict. CIN has 5! LBs that are FA's!!!
Vincent Rey – CIN – (RFA)
Thomas Howard – CIN
Manny Lawson – CIN
Rey Maualuga – CIN
Dan Skuta – CIN

And i am not sure what their salary cap is, but they have not been real happy with Rey Maualuga at MLB.

$55 Million in cap room.

socalorado
01-16-2013, 03:55 PM
$55 Million in cap room.

Great.
Hopefully they manage to do what they always do and waste it.
Hilarious!

Bmore Manning
01-16-2013, 03:58 PM
Finally someone not DREAMing about players that are not going to happen.

So far as you said John is not going after other teams mistakes, he is looking for potential of young kids from their PS squad and older rejects for spot duty and making hay in the draft, as well as UDFAs.

Building a very good foundation for the LONG Term success of the team.

Good,post :thumbs:

Could you even name one player I called for that was "dreaming"

Bmore Manning
01-16-2013, 03:59 PM
Great.
Hopefully they manage to do what they always do and waste it.
Hilarious!

They will be resigning their own first and foremost, extending others, and maybe they go after a few players.

broncosteven
01-16-2013, 03:59 PM
Finally someone not DREAMing about players that are not going to happen.

So far as you said John is not going after other teams mistakes, he is looking for potential of young kids from their PS squad and older rejects for spot duty and making hay in the draft, as well as UDFAs.

Building a very good foundation for the LONG Term success of the team.

Good,post :thumbs:

Well they did throw a ton of money at Manning last year, he wasn't on anyone's PS.

I could see them going after 1 big name if they feel the need to, doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to try to build a team for the future when PM's clock is ticking.

Melton would make the whole D better and a quality proven RB would make the O better. They are not building a team for Ossweiler.

Cito Pelon
01-16-2013, 04:44 PM
CIN either takes Minter or Reid or Elam.
The fan base is screaming to take a FS, and they have not been really keen on how Rey Rey panned out so far, so Minter is a big upgrade there too.
Your thinking of Burfict. CIN has 5! LBs that are FA's!!!
Vincent Rey – CIN – (RFA)
Thomas Howard – CIN
Manny Lawson – CIN
Rey Maualuga – CIN
Dan Skuta – CIN

And i am not sure what their salary cap is, but they have not been real happy with Rey Maualuga at MLB.

Maybe they'll re-sign their guys. No telling what Mike Brown will do, but he's been loyal over the years. Minter seems like a guy that would fit in well on the Broncs, gotta hope for the best.

gyldenlove
01-16-2013, 04:55 PM
CIN either takes Minter or Reid or Elam.
The fan base is screaming to take a FS, and they have not been really keen on how Rey Rey panned out so far, so Minter is a big upgrade there too.
Your thinking of Burfict. CIN has 5! LBs that are FA's!!!
Vincent Rey – CIN – (RFA)
Thomas Howard – CIN
Manny Lawson – CIN
Rey Maualuga – CIN
Dan Skuta – CIN

And i am not sure what their salary cap is, but they have not been real happy with Rey Maualuga at MLB.

Maualuga is a pretty big failure in that defence, he has no instincts at all, he can't cover - he is basically Joe Mays.

BroncoMan4ever
01-16-2013, 04:56 PM
Well they did throw a ton of money at Manning last year, he wasn't on anyone's PS.

I could see them going after 1 big name if they feel the need to, doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to try to build a team for the future when PM's clock is ticking.

Melton would make the whole D better and a quality proven RB would make the O better. They are not building a team for Ossweiler.
Proven RB is just a way of saying a re-tread. RB is one of few positions a rookie can come in and be instantly successful. Why bring in an old guy when we can draft a good one

DBroncos4life
01-16-2013, 05:10 PM
CIN either takes Minter or Reid or Elam.
The fan base is screaming to take a FS, and they have not been really keen on how Rey Rey panned out so far, so Minter is a big upgrade there too.
Your thinking of Burfict. CIN has 5! LBs that are FA's!!!
Vincent Rey – CIN – (RFA)
Thomas Howard – CIN
Manny Lawson – CIN
Rey Maualuga – CIN
Dan Skuta – CIN

And i am not sure what their salary cap is, but they have not been real happy with Rey Maualuga at MLB.

Nate Clements, Adam Jones, and Terence Newman are FA's as well. That is a big chunk of their secondary.

Mat'hir Uth Gan
01-16-2013, 05:36 PM
Cincinnati probably resigns Howard to play WILL and moves Burfict to MIKE. Howard was pretty good for them up until his injury. Maualuga and Lawson won't be back. I think they'll draft Ogletree to play SAM. It's well-known they don't care about off the field drug issues. I don't really see a team before Cincinnati taking a chance on Ogletree.

I think we'll be able to nab Minter if we want him. Baltimore was really the only team I was concerned about. I do not expect Xavier Rhodes to fall to us.

Bmore Manning
01-16-2013, 08:14 PM
Pretty much ever "?" Smith had coming out of Utah is the same with Amerson at N.C. State, and they both excelled in reads off the zone. They are very similar.

Amerson would not excel in zone or at FS, he doesn't like to tackle. I cannot fathom where you and SoCal are coming up with this.

Old Dude
01-17-2013, 11:08 AM
I wouldn't be shocked to see Denver make a play for Richard Seymour.

The defensive line is still an issue. The Raiders are several million over the cap. With just a couple years remaining in his career, he'd be attracted to a contender (much like Neil Smith back in 97, so long as we're sticking to those analogies).

Sure, there are age and health issues, but there are always issues for UFAs.

fontaine
01-18-2013, 04:51 AM
With that $9.75M to work with and our full allotment of draft picks this is the road map I'd outline for us:

1. Running Back.
I see a RB taylor made for this offense in the draft, his name is Stepfan Taylor from Stanford, currently projected as a late 2nd/early 3rd by most draft prognosticators. He's a well rounded three down back who can contribute in all phases of the Manning offense, much like Knowshon Moreno. He should offer a bit more explosiveness than Moreno and will be an ideal #2 behind him for a season or two before replacing him. Couple this with Hillman developing physically and we could have a good two back tandem of Taylor and Hillman for a long time going forward.

2. Offensive Line.
I'd love to draft one of the premier guards in this class, and Barrett Jones before his lisfranc was my top target with our first round pick. Unfortunately I just don't see the numbers adding up there, as the premier OGs likely go before our first round pick, Jones' health makes him a question mark we can't really afford to roll the dice on before round 3, and honestly, we need a guy we know can contribute right away. To me that means free agency. Obviously a late round OL should be included in the mix, but a quality 6th man needs to be acquired on the OL. To that end my personal preference would be signing Louis Vasquez away from the Chargers. He was a spread OL in college and is a better pass protector than run blocker, but has improved in that aspect of his game in the pros. Most importantly he's big and powerful. With the Chargers dropping both Smith and Turner there will likely be some front office transition and Vasquez isn't the kind of guy you put a tag on. For an AAV around $4-$5M we likely could lock up a 26 year old starting guard for a reasonable price. This would bump Beadles to the swing guard/tackle role, making him that 6th man I was talking about. If Vasquez can't be had then Donald Thomas from New England would be a solid alternative, competing with Beadles for the LG job while also providing another player with some experience at OC in a pinch.

3. Defensive Tackle.
We won't be in range to grab a standout DT in the draft and also will not have the money to go after a Henry Melton. That's ok because I see a perfect fit that will likely sign cheap on a "make good" deal. Terence Knighton of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Some off-field issues and freak injury problems have greatly depleted Knighton's value, including him losing his starting job in Jacksonville. They have a new GM and are likely once again changing coaches. This sounds like an excellent opportunity for Del Rio to recruit one of his former standouts, getting Knighton here on reasonable money to provide the 4-3 nose tackle this defense needs to take the next step. His salary would likely be quite reasonable since he needs to re-establish his value. If he does that and makes our roster he'd bump one of the other DTs off, making this more or less cap neutral as far as the final 53 man roster is concerned (what the cap number is based on).

4. Middle Linebacker.
To me this is where we go with our first round pick. Manti Te'o, Kevin Minter, and Alec Ogeltree are all first round worthy MLBs and one is almost definitely going to be available for us in the first. If Te'o's lackluster championship game makes him slide to us then great, we're sitting pretty, otherwise I'd be more than happy with Alec Ogeltree, the former safety with elite athleticism and NFL ready coverage skills. He'd instantly improve our ability to handle opposing TEs.

5. Safety.
This is a two part solution. Step one, move Champ to safety, taking his declining speed from only above average back to elite status, step two is sign another corner to battle Carter for the #2 job opposite Harris. This leaves a safety depth chart of Champ, Rahim Moore (he's a solid player, he's coming back, quit hating on him for one play), Q. Carter, and Bruton. I like the looks of that. So that leads straight to...

6. Corner.
Ideal world Del Rio can get us a sweet deal on Derek Cox from Jacksonville. While oft-injured he's a standout when on the field. I don't see that happening though, he's likely looking at >$7M AAV and we'd have a hard time fitting that on the books. The alternative also comes from Jacksonville though, in the form of Rashean Mathis. A former standout at corner he wasn't quite up to par this season after his ACL tear in 2011. He's healthy now though and got stronger as the year went on. He's an older experienced veteran who would provide us a very solid base to only work up from at #2 corner if Carter takes the next step forward. This way worst case scenario Mathis is #2, Carter is #3, and Omar Boldin is #4. Solid group. Add another mid to late round corner and we should be doing ok here.

So that's a road map I'd like to see the team shoot for. Use the available cash to splash the pot in stealing a division rival's best young OL, fixing one of our weaknesses while creating one for them, add even moderate draft luck and we can hit needs while still going BPA in rounds 1 and 2, then fill out the other immediate needs with low cost veteran signings that Del Rio should have some strong appeal to.

I completely agree with this except for the need at OL/S.

We already have a much improved interior with Walton/Beadles so I think they'll get better next year now that they'll be used to playing in this offense. Kuper will be at full strength next year along with Franklin continuing to improve. Koppen, Blake, and Ramirez will provide very good depth. So the question is: Any OL we bring in would have to be better than any of these guys to make the final roster.

The best chance for improvement in this team is going to come one of two ways:

1. Upgrading the biggest weakness in the roster at MLB, DT, RB (Moreno is good in this offense but we should expect a lot more from our run game it's up against 6 man fronts with safeties deep most of the time). Our run game is NOT a home run threat with any of our backs and there's huge room for improvement there. Our OL, passing game is good enough to create opportunities for the run game but ask yourself how many times the likes of Moreno/Hillman couldn't evade that final tackler that was the difference between a nice 12-15 yard gain and a home run?

2. BPA in the draft. We need another x-factor in this team. We have a number of them like Von with his pass rush, Trindon Holliday in Special Teams, Manning in the passing game but we still need a couple more difference makers against the run (either at DT or MLB) and a home run threat at RB or even TE.

I think the TE position is the dark horse in terms of need. Tamme isn't a difference maker, he's a decent compliment but not a guy who's going to dominate the opposition and our passing game is built to open up the crossing/shallow routes over the middle for a big time TE to exploit.

TheReverend
01-18-2013, 05:54 AM
I wouldn't be shocked to see Denver make a play for Richard Seymour.

The defensive line is still an issue. The Raiders are several million over the cap. With just a couple years remaining in his career, he'd be attracted to a contender (much like Neil Smith back in 97, so long as we're sticking to those analogies).

Sure, there are age and health issues, but there are always issues for UFAs.

Old Patriots 3-4 DEs have worked out extremely well for us.

Rohirrim
01-18-2013, 07:36 AM
I think that having a guy like Sharrif Floyd at DT, who can create an interior pass rush out of the 4 man front, makes our secondary that much better. With Wolfe, Doom and Von rushing from the edges, that creates one on ones for Floyd. Since I've been saying the same thing for years (about various pass rushing DTs) and the Broncos obviously don't agree, I assume I'm wrong about that.

eddie mac
01-18-2013, 09:15 AM
I think that having a guy like Sharrif Floyd at DT, who can create an interior pass rush out of the 4 man front, makes our secondary that much better. With Wolfe, Doom and Von rushing from the edges, that creates one on ones for Floyd. Since I've been saying the same thing for years (about various pass rushing DTs) and the Broncos obviously don't agree, I assume I'm wrong about that.

Maybe only me but I always thought that the Broncos put guys up front to protect an often inadequate MLB (especially since Wilson retired) by keeping blockers away from the next level and playing decent run defense. If there's an interior rush to go along with that then it was always a bonus. Personally feel if you draft a guy like Floyd and start him you better have a guy beside him that can take on 2 and keep the OL off the LB'ers, cos we currently dont have anyone near a playmaker there in the middle and dont even start me on their coverage skills.

Requiem
01-18-2013, 10:04 AM
Amerson would not excel in zone or at FS, he doesn't like to tackle. I cannot fathom where you and SoCal are coming up with this.

I'm starting to think more and more you don't really see much of Amerson play or do a generally poor job overall in grading out cornerbacks on their respective styles of play. You've been arguing non-sense for quite some time and I've had a hard time biting my tongue on and not being condescending about it.

He is not fast (won't run better than a 4.45) and his best skills are reading the eyes of the QB and then making an attack on the ball. He isn't going to have the luxury of doing that in man coverage (especially press) and as mentioned earlier, operates under a heavy zone scheme in college. That is why they had him at field corner with the Pack.

I've talked to over a dozen NC State fans the past few days about Amerson, their scheme (to see if it lined up with what I had said) and they all have the same feelings as me about him. They think he is a good player, but needs to be in the right scheme to succeed. A lot of them said zone corner, or he will have to make a move like Malcolm Jenkins, Charles Godfrey or Tanard Jackson made in the NFL to make up for not being able to play man. I even had a few long-time faithful state that 85% + of the coverages they ran this year were strictly zone.

If you saw the Miami and Tennessee games this year, you can see where SoCal and I are coming from. He did all right against FSU.

NFLBRONCO
01-18-2013, 10:20 AM
I think Denver needs to address DT DE MLB G at minimum and slot WR and RB 2nd tier needs

ozomulsion
01-18-2013, 03:35 PM
What about Chris Rainey? Speed in the offense immediately. Hit him in screens and dumpoffs and let him run.

For whatever reason, we don't do screens in this offense. Catching screen passes and gaining big yards after the catch is one of KM's best attributes.

Bmore Manning
01-18-2013, 05:51 PM
I'm starting to think more and more you don't really see much of Amerson play or do a generally poor job overall in grading out cornerbacks on their respective styles of play. You've been arguing non-sense for quite some time and I've had a hard time biting my tongue on and not being condescending about it.

He is not fast (won't run better than a 4.45) and his best skills are reading the eyes of the QB and then making an attack on the ball. He isn't going to have the luxury of doing that in man coverage (especially press) and as mentioned earlier, operates under a heavy zone scheme in college. That is why they had him at field corner with the Pack.

I've talked to over a dozen NC State fans the past few days about Amerson, their scheme (to see if it lined up with what I had said) and they all have the same feelings as me about him. They think he is a good player, but needs to be in the right scheme to succeed. A lot of them said zone corner, or he will have to make a move like Malcolm Jenkins, Charles Godfrey or Tanard Jackson made in the NFL to make up for not being able to play man. I even had a few long-time faithful state that 85% + of the coverages they ran this year were strictly zone.

If you saw the Miami and Tennessee games this year, you can see where SoCal and I are coming from. He did all right against FSU.

His problem is how overly aggressive he played in 2012. I'm sure he played with a cockiness, because of his Junior season. Again I said I think he could learn to play press man. What about his game would you say he could play safety other than his ball skills? He's no stud at tackling, and when I watched him he at times looked disinterested, unless the ball was in the air. Maybe the attributes I'm looking for I'm forcing on prospects to deem them draft worthy. It could be all me, maybe I'm not good at evaluating CBs. Or I could be right and time will tell..

broncos-rock
01-18-2013, 07:12 PM
Not the easiest task but we need to find mannings Terrell Davis! We need a stud RB that can grind out the 7 yards but can also take it to the house.

Tombstone RJ
01-21-2013, 03:14 PM
If Lacy has a great combine he'll go in the first round. I wonder if the Broncos might think about snagging Mendenhall in FA?

Mountain Bronco
01-21-2013, 04:44 PM
For the nth time, Champ isn't moving to safety. He had one bad game, and so did many others on the team. Now he shut down Torrey smith in the regular season by allowing only 14 yards.

Compounding Champs bad play was the fact that this defense got zero pressure on Flacco. You are asking alot of your secondary to shut down recievers when Flacco isn't under pressure throughout the game. This defense had 52 sacks for the year with doom and Von managing to get half a sack apiece in a playoff game. Not only did the front seven fail to generate pressure, it also failed to stop the run. Front seven is equally as responsible for this cluster****.

Bottom line is, nobody really showed up for this game. I don't see Champ moving to Safety but possibly a scheme change where he isn't on an island anymore. You move Champ to safety and you have another hole to fill, plus you have the highest paid safety in the league. Not good asset management from a talent and financial standpoint.


This, you can't just leave Champ on an Island anymore, but how many teams actually have a corner that you can? Because of the necessity of having more deep help, I think a safety upgrade is a must. I actually think Moore will grow and get better, but we could upgrade either safety spots. MLB is a huge glaring hole that needs filled and has to be done as we have to be able to (1) stop the run with the front 7 and (2) improve coverage on TE in the base and nickle packages. After those two areas of need, beef up front.

On offense, I see Virgil Green making a big leap next year as a matchup nightmare. At RB we are actually fairly deep, but with little star power. Not sure what to do there, but Moreno, McGahee and Hilman are all good, but none are game breakers. Would like some more depth at WR as beyond Thomas and Decker there isn't much.

broncos-rock
01-21-2013, 08:46 PM
If Lacy has a great combine he'll go in the first round. I wonder if the Broncos might think about snagging Mendenhall in FA?

That's funny you bring Mendenhall up, I'm thinking he has something to prove and would come cheap. ^5