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meangene
03-19-2010, 04:02 AM
Time has come for Broncos' 2009 draftees to produce
By Lindsay H. Jones
The Denver Post
Posted: 03/19/2010 01:00:00 AM MDT

For all the older, veteran players the Broncos have picked up in Josh McDaniels' first two free-agent classes, the success of the 2010 Broncos might have more to do with a group of guys still in their early 20s.

Attention, 2009 draft class: You're up.

"If you're going to be on this team, we need everyone to give their all. The first year's out of the way; nothing's new anymore," veteran tight end Daniel Graham said Thursday. "They know what to expect in the offseason. They know how long the season is going to be. We expect a real big change from all of them."

The Broncos made 10 selections in the draft last April, including five picks in the first two rounds, an almost-unheard-of haul of early draft picks, yet McDaniels didn't see an immediate return on that investment.

Only one of their draft picks was a starter running back Knowshon Moreno, the No. 11 pick. Outside linebacker Robert Ayers, No. 16 overall, played in the team's nickel defense and failed to record a sack.

Seven other draft picks played primarily on special teams or not at all, and one seventh-round offensive lineman Blake Schleuter was cut before the end of training camp.

That kind of production won't cut it in 2010, and the Class of 2009 knows it.

"Every year you have expectations. We did some good things last year, we did some bad things," Ayers said. "I think when opportunity comes, I have a lot of faith in myself and a lot of faith in those guys too that we'll be ready to step up."

Ayers said that he, safeties Darcel McBath (No. 48 overall) and David Bruton (No. 114), cornerback Alphonso Smith (No. 37) and tight end Richard Quinn (No. 64) have benefited from spending their rookie seasons behind star veterans like Elvis Dumervil, Brian Dawkins, Champ Bailey and Graham.

Soon it will be time to show what they learned.

Linebacker Mario Haggan, who started all 16 games last year, is expected to move inside to replace Andra Davis, who was released last week, making a bigger role for Ayers at outside linebacker opposite Dumervil.

Tight end Tony Scheffler, a restricted free agent, isn't expected to return, leaving Quinn second on the depth chart behind Graham. Smith will compete with newly signed Nate Jones and Tony Carter to be the team's nickel corner. Moreno is expected to remain the team's No. 1 tailback - sharing carries with Correll Buckhalter and J.J. Arrington, trying to become the Broncos' first 1,000-yard rusher since 2006.

"I think last year for the majority of our rookie class was about learning our roles," Ayers said.

The process of becoming more than role players is underway during the team's voluntary conditioning program. This is the first full offseason the 2009 draft picks have in the Broncos' program.

"Last season, the one thing was different was coming off the combine, training when you're working on the 40 and vertical jumps," Ayers said. "This year there is more intensity, and real football things. I think that will help me going into the season."

The Joker
03-19-2010, 04:34 AM
Haggan moving inside makes sense, he's got that kind of size and downhill playing style to be an effective TED.

If Brandon Spikes' 40 time drops him down to our 3rd round pick then I'd love to see us pounce on him as a long term solution at the spot.

Hopefully Ayers is ready to start at OLB. I know a lot of people were down on him last year but I thought he did reasonably OK considering he was being asked to do a lot of stuff he hadn't really done in college.

HILife
03-19-2010, 06:16 AM
Time has come for Broncos' 2009 draftees to produce
By Lindsay H. Jones
The Denver Post
Posted: 03/19/2010 01:00:00 AM MDT

For all the older, veteran players the Broncos have picked up in Josh McDaniels' first two free-agent classes, the success of the 2010 Broncos might have more to do with a group of guys still in their early 20s.

Attention, 2009 draft class: You're up.

"If you're going to be on this team, we need everyone to give their all. The first year's out of the way; nothing's new anymore," veteran tight end Daniel Graham said Thursday. "They know what to expect in the offseason. They know how long the season is going to be. We expect a real big change from all of them."

The Broncos made 10 selections in the draft last April, including five picks in the first two rounds, an almost-unheard-of haul of early draft picks, yet McDaniels didn't see an immediate return on that investment.

Only one of their draft picks was a starter running back Knowshon Moreno, the No. 11 pick. Outside linebacker Robert Ayers, No. 16 overall, played in the team's nickel defense and failed to record a sack.

Seven other draft picks played primarily on special teams or not at all, and one seventh-round offensive lineman Blake Schleuter was cut before the end of training camp.

That kind of production won't cut it in 2010, and the Class of 2009 knows it.

"Every year you have expectations. We did some good things last year, we did some bad things," Ayers said. "I think when opportunity comes, I have a lot of faith in myself and a lot of faith in those guys too that we'll be ready to step up."

Ayers said that he, safeties Darcel McBath (No. 48 overall) and David Bruton (No. 114), cornerback Alphonso Smith (No. 37) and tight end Richard Quinn (No. 64) have benefited from spending their rookie seasons behind star veterans like Elvis Dumervil, Brian Dawkins, Champ Bailey and Graham.

Soon it will be time to show what they learned.

Linebacker Mario Haggan, who started all 16 games last year, is expected to move inside to replace Andra Davis, who was released last week, making a bigger role for Ayers at outside linebacker opposite Dumervil.

Tight end Tony Scheffler, a restricted free agent, isn't expected to return, leaving Quinn second on the depth chart behind Graham. Smith will compete with newly signed Nate Jones and Tony Carter to be the team's nickel corner. Moreno is expected to remain the team's No. 1 tailback - sharing carries with Correll Buckhalter and J.J. Arrington, trying to become the Broncos' first 1,000-yard rusher since 2006.

"I think last year for the majority of our rookie class was about learning our roles," Ayers said.

The process of becoming more than role players is underway during the team's voluntary conditioning program. This is the first full offseason the 2009 draft picks have in the Broncos' program.

"Last season, the one thing was different was coming off the combine, training when you're working on the 40 and vertical jumps," Ayers said. "This year there is more intensity, and real football things. I think that will help me going into the season."

cut?

dbfan21
03-19-2010, 06:40 AM
Time has come for Broncos' 2009 draftees to produce
By Lindsay H. Jones
The Denver Post
Posted: 03/19/2010 01:00:00 AM MDT



Tight end Tony Scheffler, a restricted free agent, isn't expected to return, leaving Quinn second on the depth chart behind Graham. ."

Is that fact or just her opinion?

steeledude
03-19-2010, 06:50 AM
Is that fact or just her opinion?

Opinion. Any time a journalist cites information (like that) without a valid source then they're just making crap up.

TonyR
03-19-2010, 06:57 AM
Is that fact or just her opinion?

I'd bet that it's an informed opinion.

Paladin
03-19-2010, 07:36 AM
Unless she got it from Josina, it is just another opinion........

meangene
03-19-2010, 07:39 AM
I'd bet that it's an informed opinion.

She does just throw a lot of stuff out there and I was reluctant to cite the article but this seems to be info she gained from talking to the players. Quoting Ayers would seem to indicate his impressions about his expected role even if he does not specifically say anything about the move of Haggen. It certainly would make sense with the release of Davis. We have heard nothing about Scheffler and the reports have been conflicting whether the tender is an indication whether we do, or don't, want him back. I'm guessing the latter and think we may be just gonna take what we can get for him. In any case, I would like the move of Haggan inside - I see him as a much better fit as an inside downhill thumper. Ayers development could well be the key to our defense this season.

Dagmar
03-19-2010, 09:10 AM
Hopefully Ayers is ready to start at OLB. I know a lot of people were down on him last year but I thought he did reasonably OK considering he was being asked to do a lot of stuff he hadn't really done in college.

Ayers will start and he'll do well.

Tombstone RJ
03-19-2010, 09:30 AM
Is that fact or just her opinion?

The article says "isn't EXPECTED to return" so the reporter is hedging her bets.

Hercules Rockefeller
03-19-2010, 09:35 AM
Moreno at 11 and Ayers at 16? Who proofreads this stuff?

uplink
03-19-2010, 11:46 PM
I thought Ayers was real close to a number of sacks last year. a few time Doom got there a split second before him

Borks147
03-20-2010, 12:15 AM
cut?

re-signed

Cito Pelon
03-20-2010, 01:16 AM
Absolutely the rookies from 2009 have to make a mark, they did little of note as rookies.

The 2009 draft reminds me a lot of the 2007 draft for the expectations. At this time in 2008 people were saying, "Moss, Crowder, Thomas, these guys drafted last year have to step up this year."

"Moss, Crowder, Thomas" could read in 2010 as "Ayers, Phonz, McBath".

On the harsh side of honesty, I'm not sold on Ayers, Phonz, McBath as stud starters. I'm thinking all three are marginal starters for their careers. I'm thinking Denver should draft D players again in the first three rounds.

Of course I could be wrong, but Ayers and Phonz I'm pretty sure about. They'll never be impact players. Smith, maybe as a returner. If Denver wants a good D for the future, they better draft D early.

Cito Pelon
03-20-2010, 01:20 AM
I thought Ayers was real close to a number of sacks last year. a few time Doom got there a split second before him

Ayers is more like Moss than Elvis.

Play2win
03-20-2010, 02:02 AM
Ayers is more like Moss than Elvis.

How about he's not like either.

Baba Booey
03-20-2010, 02:45 AM
I think Ayers could be solid opposite Elvis. He seems to have the physical tools and hopefully he'll pick up the mental part of the pro game this offseason. He makes a good point that this time last year he and his classmates were preparing for the draft, whereas now they're focused on training for their respective roles and just getting better within the system.

Drek
03-20-2010, 05:19 AM
Absolutely the rookies from 2009 have to make a mark, they did little of note as rookies.

The 2009 draft reminds me a lot of the 2007 draft for the expectations. At this time in 2008 people were saying, "Moss, Crowder, Thomas, these guys drafted last year have to step up this year."

"Moss, Crowder, Thomas" could read in 2010 as "Ayers, Phonz, McBath".

On the harsh side of honesty, I'm not sold on Ayers, Phonz, McBath as stud starters. I'm thinking all three are marginal starters for their careers. I'm thinking Denver should draft D players again in the first three rounds.

Of course I could be wrong, but Ayers and Phonz I'm pretty sure about. They'll never be impact players. Smith, maybe as a returner. If Denver wants a good D for the future, they better draft D early.
The massive difference you're missing is that basically none of the '07 guys played year one, whereas Moreno was the starting tailback, Ayers was in heavy rotation at OLB, while McBath and Bruton both where ST studs and got varying levels of time in the defense which both made good use of.

Stud starters? Maybe not, but I'd settle for average to above average from the majority of the class. Not everyone needs to be a stud.

The only guys who compare to '07 draftees is Alphonso Smith:Jarvis Moss (traded up to get him, saw limited action to start the season, then got hurt and wasn't 100% for the rest of the year) and Seth Olsen:Ryan Harris (didn't see the field).

We saw more out of the '09 class in year one then what most of the previous regime's drafts provided ever. Hell, we got rookies who actually contribute on special teams for a change.

Broncoman13
03-20-2010, 07:57 AM
Moreno- I think he'll show up in amazing shape to TC. He'll be around 220-222# and will be much stronger than he was coming into camp last year. I would be shocked if he didn't run for 1000 and look quite good doing it.

Ayers- I have faith that he'll progress more and more over the next year. I'm not sure he'll be a world beater next year, but I think he'll show enough to make us very comfortable with him manning that OLB slop opposite of Doom. Anthony Spencer took about two full years to really show his worth and now he looks like a pro-bowler on the opposite side of DWare. Ayers should be in the 60-70 tackle range with about 6 or 7 sacks. Get to those numbers and I think he is on the right track. Gotta be more explosive off the snap though. He is ALWAYS a step slower than everyone else.

Alphonso Smith- He sure didn't make the jump very well in his rookie year. I think it had as much to do with playing the nickel as it did playing in the NFL (vs NCAA). He is an outside guy that understands how to use the sideline to his advantage. His reaction time to the receiver on the outside was something he could trust, now on the inside and having to cover at least two aspects of the field, he is struggling. I hope he can figure it out or the Broncos are smart enough to move him to the outside. The smartest thing to do with Alphonso may be to play him behind Champ and/or Goodman and if/when they need a breather he plays that spot. Groom him for the future. I really hope he figures this thing out b/c he is a great guy.

McBath- I hated this pick at draft time. But as the season went on I saw a lot out of him. Enough to make me think that he could end up being a starter sooner than most of us probably expect. He has a ton more athletic ability compared to Hill but Hill is the brains of the secondary (according to BDawk and Champ). And, it would make sense to get him back there with Dawkins for a year or two. I think McD really hit on this pick.

Quinn- If he wasn't a second round pick he'd be camp fodder. Terrible pick for a player that showed little to nothing. I don't know if he can turn it around or not.

Olsen and Bruton- I guess there is a chance that Olsen moves to Center and competes for a starting position. That is both disturbing and encouraging. I don't like the idea of a guy that is switching positions making our line calls, but on the other hand he could very well be a mid round steal. At the least, I expect him to be a back-up on the 52 man roster. David Bruton will be a pro-bowler this year. He played at a pro-bowl level last year. Very similar to what Ryan Clady did as a rookie and all the accolades he got in year two, I think if Bruton has a similar year to his rookie season he'll be voted in as the ST Pro-bowl player. He made some amazing plays and during camp and practice sessions was showing the vets how to get it done. Great pick and he'll be a player for a long long time... and he didn't look too bad in back up duty at safety.

Drek
03-20-2010, 08:12 AM
Olsen and Bruton- I guess there is a chance that Olsen moves to Center and competes for a starting position. That is both disturbing and encouraging. I don't like the idea of a guy that is switching positions making our line calls, but on the other hand he could very well be a mid round steal. At the least, I expect him to be a back-up on the 52 man roster.

I think our likely plan for the middle of the OL is to have Olsen, Hochstein, probably a mid to late round draftee, and some camp fodder fight it out for RG while Kuper moves to LG and we draft either JD Walton or Matt Tennant to take over at center.

Broncoman13
03-20-2010, 08:27 AM
Could very well be... I just hope we don't reach on a Center in the draft b/c of need.

TheReverend
03-20-2010, 09:53 AM
The massive difference you're missing is that basically none of the '07 guys played year one, whereas Moreno was the starting tailback, Ayers was in heavy rotation at OLB, while McBath and Bruton both where ST studs and got varying levels of time in the defense which both made good use of.

Stud starters? Maybe not, but I'd settle for average to above average from the majority of the class. Not everyone needs to be a stud.

The only guys who compare to '07 draftees is Alphonso Smith:Jarvis Moss (traded up to get him, saw limited action to start the season, then got hurt and wasn't 100% for the rest of the year) and Seth Olsen:Ryan Harris (didn't see the field).

We saw more out of the '09 class in year one then what most of the previous regime's drafts provided ever. Hell, we got rookies who actually contribute on special teams for a change.

Wha...?

Moss was already into a heavy rotation in the buffallo game in week 1 and also got a start in before his injury.

Crowder also got a heavy dose of playing time, even netting 4 sacks his rookie year.

Marcus Thomas had the most rookie playing time of them all contributing all 16 games (including a week 2 interception) with 5 starts.

I have high hopes for Ayers and McBath especially... but your point isn't a point because it's based on extremely flawed memory. If you said, the difference between the 09 draft class and the 07 draft class is that our defensive position coaches have significantly better track records with developing players, then sure, I think you're onto something.

Drek
03-20-2010, 10:00 AM
Could very well be... I just hope we don't reach on a Center in the draft b/c of need.

I'd be fine with either Walton or Tennant at #45, depending on who the FO thought was the better of the two for our system.

Center is the most under drafted position in the NFL. It amazes me that a guy like Nick Mangold was the 29th selection in the draft. The Jets took D'Brickashaw Ferguson with the 4th overall pick, and Mangold has been the better, more valuable player EVERY season the two have been in the league.

Alex Mack was the 21st overall pick. He did more in his first season than every other rookie OL last season, including the three OTs taken before him.

Centers especially play at a high level soon, they don't bust often, and a good one is essential to having a quality OL. Getting a guy you're 90% sure will spend the next decade anchoring your interior OL for a 2nd round pick is about as far from an overpay as it gets.

Drek
03-20-2010, 10:22 AM
Wha...?

Moss was already into a heavy rotation in the buffallo game in week 1 and also got a start in before his injury.

Crowder also got a heavy dose of playing time, even netting 4 sacks his rookie year.

Marcus Thomas had the most rookie playing time of them all contributing all 16 games (including a week 2 interception) with 5 starts.

I have high hopes for Ayers and McBath especially... but your point isn't a point because it's based on extremely flawed memory. If you said, the difference between the 09 draft class and the 07 draft class is that our defensive position coaches have significantly better track records with developing players, then sure, I think you're onto something.

Smith was seeing heavy playing time until he got hurt too, he'd beaten Jack Williams out for the nickel job up to that point. He didn't reclaim it after the injury, but to open the season he saw at least as many opportunities at nickel as Williams.

You're right though, they did get on the field and contribute. Unfortunately they did so by default on a horrible D that was devoid of talent. Unlike with Ayers, McBath, and Bruton who played well in place of solid to very good players, Crowder and Thomas played their rookie seasons simply because there was no better option.

In reality I don't think Crowder is a bad player, he just got put in a bad position. He's a text book UT grad who had lived his entire collegiate career off his athleticism. He was the last guy you wanted to throw to the wolves from year one. Marcus Thomas was a similar scenario, obviously not in football shape his first year, and yet he was ran out on the field too quickly.

As a result both where just two other guys in the middle of a very bad defense.

Ultimately I don't think its accurate or fair to compare the 2009 class to the 2007 class because much of the '09 class was drafted behind solid or better veterans specifically so they have the chance to learn and aren't rushed out onto the field like so many of Shanahan's draft classes where.

Guys like Mike Jenkins and Anthony Spencer with Dallas and Brandon Merriweather of the Patriots are good examples of what McDaniels is trying to establish. None of them contributed out of the gate, primarily because they where not asked to do so. But all three have answered the call in the following seasons to become quality starters.

TheReverend
03-20-2010, 10:37 AM
Smith was seeing heavy playing time until he got hurt too, he'd beaten Jack Williams out for the nickel job up to that point. He didn't reclaim it after the injury, but to open the season he saw at least as many opportunities at nickel as Williams.

You're right though, they did get on the field and contribute. Unfortunately they did so by default on a horrible D that was devoid of talent. Unlike with Ayers, McBath, and Bruton who played well in place of solid to very good players, Crowder and Thomas played their rookie seasons simply because there was no better option.

In reality I don't think Crowder is a bad player, he just got put in a bad position. He's a text book UT grad who had lived his entire collegiate career off his athleticism. He was the last guy you wanted to throw to the wolves from year one. Marcus Thomas was a similar scenario, obviously not in football shape his first year, and yet he was ran out on the field too quickly.

As a result both where just two other guys in the middle of a very bad defense.

Ultimately I don't think its accurate or fair to compare the 2009 class to the 2007 class because much of the '09 class was drafted behind solid or better veterans specifically so they have the chance to learn and aren't rushed out onto the field like so many of Shanahan's draft classes where.

Guys like Mike Jenkins and Anthony Spencer with Dallas and Brandon Merriweather of the Patriots are good examples of what McDaniels is trying to establish. None of them contributed out of the gate, primarily because they where not asked to do so. But all three have answered the call in the following seasons to become quality starters.

No, they didn't. I love Haggan but let's face it, he's a stop gap band aid and Ayers was not only behind him, but behind Reid as well in their rotation.

McBath stepped in on passing downs because Dawkins is an extreme liability in pass coverage. (Side note: McBath played extremely well)

And Bruton didn't even sniff a defensive snap until injuries forced him into that role.

Once again, i have high hopes for a lot of these guys and think they've shown the ability to play at this level, I just couldn't agree less with the points you're making on them, which confuses me because there are a LOT of valid points to make.

Broncoman13
03-20-2010, 10:56 AM
No, they didn't. I love Haggan but let's face it, he's a stop gap band aid and Ayers was not only behind him, but behind Reid as well in their rotation.

McBath stepped in on passing downs because Dawkins is an extreme liability in pass coverage. (Side note: McBath played extremely well)

And Bruton didn't even sniff a defensive snap until injuries forced him into that role.

Once again, i have high hopes for a lot of these guys and think they've shown the ability to play at this level, I just couldn't agree less with the points you're making on them, which confuses me because there are a LOT of valid points to make.


Anything you get from Bruton on defense is a bonus. The way he plays STs, he is as valuable as a punter or long snapper and worthy of a roster spot if he never played a defensive down. The simple truth is, if he were our 2nd round pick in place of Richard Quinn, and Quinn the 4th round pick... I don't think I'd be biatching about either one of them at this point. Perhaps I'm putting too much into the slot in which they were drafted???

TheReverend
03-20-2010, 11:14 AM
Anything you get from Bruton on defense is a bonus. The way he plays STs, he is as valuable as a punter or long snapper and worthy of a roster spot if he never played a defensive down. The simple truth is, if he were our 2nd round pick in place of Richard Quinn, and Quinn the 4th round pick... I don't think I'd be biatching about either one of them at this point. Perhaps I'm putting too much into the slot in which they were drafted???

The Quinn pick still makes me rage and Bruton is super overrated because he plays a gunner. And as for the slot in which they were drafted, our offensive and defensive MVPs respectively were both 4th round picks not so long ago.

Broncoman13
03-20-2010, 11:27 AM
The Quinn pick still makes me rage and Bruton is super overrated because he plays a gunner. And as for the slot in which they were drafted, our offensive and defensive MVPs respectively were both 4th round picks not so long ago.

I don't think he is overrated b/c he plays gunner. He made several plays on the ball that many gunners don't make. How many times did he make plays on the ball inside the opponents 10? Yes, he is in the position to do just that, but so were a ton of other guys in the past several years that didn't make a fraction of the plays Bruton made. Being put in a position to succeed is only half the battle, you gotta have someone that can seal the deal which is what Bruton brings to the table.

TheReverend
03-20-2010, 11:37 AM
I don't think he is overrated b/c he plays gunner. He made several plays on the ball that many gunners don't make. How many times did he make plays on the ball inside the opponents 10? Yes, he is in the position to do just that, but so were a ton of other guys in the past several years that didn't make a fraction of the plays Bruton made. Being put in a position to succeed is only half the battle, you gotta have someone that can seal the deal which is what Bruton brings to the table.

Sometimes.

I'm optimistic he can build on his rookie year, but he's Peyton Hillis/Todd Devoe/etc fever all over again.

Drek
03-20-2010, 01:32 PM
No, they didn't. I love Haggan but let's face it, he's a stop gap band aid and Ayers was not only behind him, but behind Reid as well in their rotation.

McBath stepped in on passing downs because Dawkins is an extreme liability in pass coverage. (Side note: McBath played extremely well)

And Bruton didn't even sniff a defensive snap until injuries forced him into that role.

Once again, i have high hopes for a lot of these guys and think they've shown the ability to play at this level, I just couldn't agree less with the points you're making on them, which confuses me because there are a LOT of valid points to make.

Haggan is a stop gap, but he's a solid stop gap. He isn't a liability and Ayers was able to rotate with him without being one either, as a rookie. For a guy who was supposed to be a three year project that is a pretty good start to his pro career.

Dawkins isn't an elite cover safety, but the guy is a perennial pro bowler. The fact that they'd take his leadership and field awareness off the field for McBath says a hell of a lot if you ask me, and McBath made the best of it.

Bruton did only get his shot due to injuries, but he looked good in that opportunity. Barrett was given the same shot and also did well, which makes me think that we've got a secondary coach who actually knows what he's doing, but at the same time he's working with a hell of a lot of athletic talent.

Personally I think Barrett will emerge as our long term SS and Bruton will be the 3rd safety and STs gunner, but he's a promising player who has out played his draft forecasts.

None of them where forced to play significant roles, but we should view that as a positive. When they did play they where generally pretty solid contributors and none of them (except Smith in his early season action) looked lost out there. Most rookies initially do. That is a good sign for the 2009 class.

Tombstone RJ
03-20-2010, 02:40 PM
I wonder if everyone here would freak if McD takes Haden at the #11... I can see the meltdown now...

Dagmar
03-20-2010, 02:44 PM
I wonder if everyone here would freak if McD takes Haden at the #11... I can see the meltdown now...

The meltdown WILL happen. Doesn't matter who we draft and when, a meltdown WILL happen.

Tombstone RJ
03-20-2010, 02:57 PM
Yah, this place will pretty much freak no matter what happens. The one guy I want in this draft is Cody. He's a ligit NT and he's exactly what the Broncos need. However, that's probably not gonna happen.

Drek
03-20-2010, 04:06 PM
Yah, this place will pretty much freak no matter what happens. The one guy I want in this draft is Cody. He's a ligit NT and he's exactly what the Broncos need. However, that's probably not gonna happen.
He's got the potential but he's got to control his weight, a massive issue. If he does that he'll be a steal, maybe even for us in round 2, but that is the huge question with him.

I wonder if everyone here would freak if McD takes Haden at the #11... I can see the meltdown now...

Haden would be a real good pick at #11 if he's there. In today's NFL you need at least three good corners. Maybe Smith is the guy, maybe not. I'm in the camp that thinks he's got too many tools in the toolbox not to put it together, but even if he does its not like Goodman is going to be around more than another year or two. 2010 Haden and Smith split time at nickel/dime and spelling Champ/Goodman. 2011 the better of the two takes over for Goodman, 2012 or 2013 Champ moves to FS and the other guy moves into a starting CB position.

TheReverend
03-20-2010, 04:10 PM
Haggan is a stop gap, but he's a solid stop gap. He isn't a liability and Ayers was able to rotate with him without being one either, as a rookie. For a guy who was supposed to be a three year project that is a pretty good start to his pro career.

Dawkins isn't an elite cover safety, but the guy is a perennial pro bowler. The fact that they'd take his leadership and field awareness off the field for McBath says a hell of a lot if you ask me, and McBath made the best of it.

Bruton did only get his shot due to injuries, but he looked good in that opportunity. Barrett was given the same shot and also did well, which makes me think that we've got a secondary coach who actually knows what he's doing, but at the same time he's working with a hell of a lot of athletic talent.

Personally I think Barrett will emerge as our long term SS and Bruton will be the 3rd safety and STs gunner, but he's a promising player who has out played his draft forecasts.

None of them where forced to play significant roles, but we should view that as a positive. When they did play they where generally pretty solid contributors and none of them (except Smith in his early season action) looked lost out there. Most rookies initially do. That is a good sign for the 2009 class.

Dawkin's was a human blooper real in coverage in 2008 and all the credit in the world should sit at Nolan's feet. The guy used him in cover 3 where he could roll under and Hill could play hash to hash, and every cover 2/man under 2 deep look, he was subbed out for McBath. Utilized everyone of Dawkin's strengths and simply eliminated the weaknesses that have come with his age.

You can attribute most of what you've said thus far to the 2007 draft class. Once again, that's not a slam on this draft class, but indicative of we just don't know.

In fact, out of all of the rookie class, I'd say McBath is the only one I'm sold on. Ayers was vastly outperformed by Crowders rookie season (and yes, LDE is the closest 3-4 equivalent to a SOLB). Moreno looked great one week and garbage for the next 3. Bruton made some great, flashy plays in a flashy position, that alone outperformed my personal expectations of him. Smith and Quinn were both worth it because those picks were/are just that hilariously entertaining.

Play2win
03-20-2010, 04:24 PM
Haden would be a real good pick at #11 if he's there. In today's NFL you need at least three good corners. Maybe Smith is the guy, maybe not. I'm in the camp that thinks he's got too many tools in the toolbox not to put it together, but even if he does its not like Goodman is going to be around more than another year or two. 2010 Haden and Smith split time at nickel/dime and spelling Champ/Goodman. 2011 the better of the two takes over for Goodman, 2012 or 2013 Champ moves to FS and the other guy moves into a starting CB position.

I wouldn't be adversed to that, to tell the truth.

But, there are many other moves that would definitely better quench my insatiable thirst for immediate gratification.

FireFly
03-20-2010, 05:44 PM
I miss Nate Jackson :(

Cito Pelon
03-21-2010, 08:21 AM
I wonder if everyone here would freak if McD takes Haden at the #11... I can see the meltdown now...

I've been thinking Haden might be the BPA at 11 along with Dan Williams and Brandon Graham.

Cito Pelon
03-21-2010, 08:34 AM
He's got the potential but he's got to control his weight, a massive issue. If he does that he'll be a steal, maybe even for us in round 2, but that is the huge question with him.



Haden would be a real good pick at #11 if he's there. In today's NFL you need at least three good corners. Maybe Smith is the guy, maybe not. I'm in the camp that thinks he's got too many tools in the toolbox not to put it together, but even if he does its not like Goodman is going to be around more than another year or two. 2010 Haden and Smith split time at nickel/dime and spelling Champ/Goodman. 2011 the better of the two takes over for Goodman, 2012 or 2013 Champ moves to FS and the other guy moves into a starting CB position.

Haden would be ok with me. Seems to me Smith would be better outside than inside, as noted already. So the scenario you present might just work out real well. Denver also just signed the FA nickle CB from Miami, Nate Jones.

DarkHorse
03-21-2010, 08:39 AM
My favorite pick from last year hasn't even been mentioned: Kenny McKinley.

Don't ask why, I just got this hunch/feeling about this guy. I can't wait to see more of him on the field.

ayjackson
03-21-2010, 09:18 AM
I'd be on board with Haden at 11. You can build a pretty effective defense with two shut-down corners and two quality OLBs.

I still cannot identify a pick that wouldn't lead to a meltdown.

ayjackson
03-21-2010, 09:21 AM
Haden would be ok with me. Seems to me Smith would be better outside than inside, as noted already. So the scenario you present might just work out real well. Denver also just signed the FA nickle CB from Miami, Nate Jones.

I agree with Smith outside. But he may stick it out for a year or two in the slot - I don't see Champ lasting at corner with this club for more than that. He could move to FS or stay at CB if his salary comes down, but the "patriot way" is usually not to overpay for declining production veterens, which is what Champ could be in a couple of years.

Cito Pelon
03-21-2010, 09:28 AM
My favorite pick from last year hasn't even been mentioned: Kenny McKinley.

Don't ask why, I just got this hunch/feeling about this guy. I can't wait to see more of him on the field.

I liked him a lot also.

In my earlier post I was being harsh on the 2009 D draftees, but I did like Moreno a lot, and McKinley seems like he'll be a solid WR.

Edit: McKinley is also a punt returner and that adds to his value.