How DE Plays Out: Follow The Trend
I've noticed a trend in Dove Valley since John Elway took over, and I think it offers some insight into what we'll see this team do moving forward. Their M.O. has consistently been to fix positions of need by putting a young, talented guy behind a consistent, proven vet who can still produce but is nearing the end of his career. I think this makes a ton of sense, and I think part of the idea is to have the veteran help mentor his eventual replacement.
Have Brian Dawkins, bring in Rahim Moore and Quinton Carter
Have a struggling but young Knowshon, bring in Willis McGahee. Later bring in a ridiculously young/talented Ronnie Hillman.
Bring in Daniel Fells along with Virgil Green and Julius Thomas. Replace Fells with Dreessen and Tamme.
Have Champ Bailey, bring in Chris Harris and bring back Tony Carter. One year deals to Porter and DRC.
Joe Mays was a mistake, but having Keith Brooking show Nate Irving and Steven Johnson play the position probably didn't hurt.
In 2011 they rolled with what they had, but in 2012 they signed Peyton Manning and put Brock Osweiler behind him to soak up everything he can.
Now admittedly the RB one is a little weak; they just had to find people who could play the position. And at TE, Dreesseen and Tamme are arguably still in the prime of their careers. But I think there's still a pretty clear trend here.
Looking at the DE position, I think Denver will go the same route. They'll probably sign either Freeney or Abraham to be the vet who produces now, and they'll draft a guy early (probably first, but definitely by the second round) to learn everything he can and provide depth. I'd honestly be surprised if I didn't see both things happen.
Seeing what we did with Rahim Moore, I think the front office is going to trust these young guys to produce as soon as the vet in front of them moves on. I wonder if they'll do the same thing with Nate Irving this season.