|04-22-2005, 12:51 PM||#1|
Draft Defense Early&Often
Join Date: Oct 2004
Some of the stuff is outdated(pre-trade) but there are some good questions.
If healthy, "Browncos" could tap potential
By Bill Williamson
Denver Post Staff Writer
Denver Post staff writer Bill Williamson will post his Broncos Mailbag each Friday during the 2005 NFL season on DenverPost.com. Welcome to a special pre-draft installment. Another special installment will run next Friday, April 29 to satisfy your post-draft curiosity.
To drop a question into the Mailbag click here or visit DenverPost.com's Broncos Page.
Maybe the defensive linemen from the Browns spent too much time eating it for a team with a lousy offense. When you are on the field 80 percent of a game, you are bound to look worse than if you are only out there 40 percent of the time.
-- Mike Moulton, Gainesville, Fla.
Good point, Mike. Just because the Browns struggled in run defense, don't automatically expect Denver to stink in that area as well. Many different reasons play a factor. In Denver's system and as part of an ensemble, if healthy, some of these "Browncos" could excel here.
Kick/punt returner might be the Broncos' biggest need. Who are the best available in the draft?
-- Jay Alave, Philadelphia
Jay - A quality return man is certainly a major need for the Broncos. Coach Mike Shanahan said at his postseason press conference that an impact return man was needed. Watch for Denver to look at drafting a returner late in the draft. They could double up with a cornerback/returner with a high pick in a player such as Clemson's Justin Miller. Or they could look at more of a pure return man such as Hawaii's Chad Owens, Northern Illinois' Dan Sheldon or Maryland's Steve Suter in the latter rounds.
With all the pickups from Cleveland and the restructuring of Trevor Pryce's contract, do you think that the Broncos still need to go after a DT or a DE in the draft?
-- John Detty, Vincennes, Ind.
John - Unless someone the team is in love with (perhaps Maryland's Shawne Merriman or Troy State's DeMarcus Ware) slips, Denver will likely address other needs in the first few rounds of the draft. It is amazing that this went from an emergency-need position to an area of overflow in a few weeks.
From Denver Post columnist Jim Armstrong: After whiffing on Jeff Garcia and Gus Frerotte, the Broncos figure to use one of their third-rounders on a backup for Jake Plummer (above).
Can Ron Dayne make up for the loss of Reuben Droughns?
-- Josh, Lookout Mountain, Colo.
Josh - If you mean a veteran who'll get a few carries until there is an injury before getting chance, then, yes. Dayne will be a backup in Denver. However, with the Broncos' track record of getting yardage out of backs who failed elsewhere, and the fact that Dayne has excelled in a similar system at Wisconsin, this is a worthwhile endeavor.
Most mock drafts are predicting that the Broncos will take a D-lineman in the first round. I would rather they select Mark Clayton from OU. He is an excellent return man, very good receiver and an aggressive blocker downfield. Most mock drafts have him going between Nos. 18 and 22. What are the chances he slips to No. 25? What is your opinion of Clayton?
-- Joe Sullivan, Denver
Joe - There is also a faction that believes Clayton will be a top-15 pick. If he is available when Denver picks (at No. 57 in the second round following the trade with Washington on Tuesday), the team would have to consider him. Clayton is likely one of the few receivers who could possibly slip whom Denver would consider. He is a very smooth player who appears ready to make a quick contribution.
Are the Broncos thinking receiver in the early rounds of the draft?
-- Jason, Chandler, Ariz.
Jason - If they see someone they really like fall, yes, I can see the Broncos take a receiver in the first day of the draft. How about Northern Colorado's Vincent Jackson in round two or three?
What's the story with safety Chris Young? The Broncos were so high on him, calling him a "diamond in the rough" early on. Haven't seen much of him except on the sidelines.
-- Barbara Mack, Atlanta
Barbara - The Broncos still like Young a lot, and he will get more chances in camp to show something with Nick Ferguson entering the starting lineup as a result of Kenoy Kennedy signing with Detroit.
From Denver Post columnist Thomas George: "You will not find Pat Bowlen (above) in the final few hours before the NFL draft starts Saturday locked in a film room at the Broncos' complex, contemplating which college players can cut it."
How dramatic will the change from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 be on our profile? We seemed to give up some big plays last year, and the big names in the AFC can throw the ball. Is this the change we needed to get speed on the field?
-- David Meusborn, Topeka, Kan.
David - The Broncos will employ a 3-4 more in the nickel package. They've done it some in the past. Now, it will simply be a bigger part of the nickel package.
What do the Broncos think they can get out of Courtney Brown that the Browns couldn't? Is this another indictment of Butch Davis and his coaching staff? Are the Broncos grasping at air here, or could he be another Alfred Williams-type career resurrection?
-- Bret Haller, Phoenix, Ariz.
Bret - What they're most hoping to get out of Brown that hasn't happened consistently in the past is health. When injury free, Brown has been an outstanding player. However, he has missed 33 of 80 career games.
What's our answer to the Raiders acquiring Randy Moss? Lenny Walls is tall, but can he hang with Moss' speed?
-- Randall, Norfolk, Va.
Answer to Moss, Randall? Just hope Moss is not in the mood to play twice a year. Having the 6-foot-4 Walls on the Broncos' side won't hurt the cause, but Moss is a special player. He could score on Shaquille O'Neal in the corner of the end zone if he felt like it.