|04-13-2007, 03:52 PM||#1|
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Atlanta, GA
Sporting News 32-day Mock Draft-Broncos
32-day mock draft: What should Denver do at No. 21?
April 8, 2007
The Broncos' defense was rolling during the team's 5-1 start to last season. It gave up only 44 points over six games, and the league was buzzing about how dominant the unit was.
It all started to go downhill, however, in a 34-31 shootout loss to Indianapolis at home. Over the homestretch, when the team dropped five of seven games to drop out of the playoffs, the Broncos gave up 194 points.
It seemed like the defense wore down a bit and ran out of gas trying to stop run-heavy attacks, including San Diego twice. That finish led to defensive coordinator Larry Coyer getting fired.
The team is screaming for defensive line help, and really, we won't look anywhere else for its most glaring first-round need. The Broncos need an improved rotation to keep their front-line players fresher late in games, and they definitely need to upgrade the pass rush after producing only a middle-of-the-pack 35 sacks in 2006.
We've already taken the top two defensive ends (Gaines Adams, Jamaal Anderson) and top two defensive tackles (Alan Branch, Amobi Okoye) off the board, but the rest of the prospects at those positions are fair game. So if some of our past mock picks hold true, the Broncos should get a pretty good value at 21.
Let's first look at the kind of defensive linemen Denver already has. Many of them seem to be able to play both end and tackle, looking at their past versatility. One notable "Brownco", Courtney Brown, is no longer a Bronco, but former Browns Kenard Lang, Alvin McKinley (newly signed), Gerard Warren and Ebenezer Ekuban are penciled in as the starting front four.
The pleasant surprise from last season was end/tackle Elvis Dumervil. Dumervil was very productive in college at Louisville but was knocked for his lack of size (5-11, 250). The Broncos used him well as a situational pass rusher on third down, however, and he produced a team-high 8 1/2 sacks as a rookie.
Now, if they can get a bigger guy to produce on all downs, coming off the edge, they'll be set. Luckily, the draft has such an option.
Final decision: Florida defensive end Jarvis Moss. There's debate to who is the draft's No. 3 end behind Adams and Anderson, with Nebraska's Adam Carriker and Georgia's Charles Johnson also in the conversation, but I like Moss more because he's the tallest of the bunch at 6-6 1/2 and has the Florida pedigree. Also, being that tall, he's different from the incumbent Broncos linemen, starting with the shorter Dumervil and the projected starters averaging between 6-3 and 6-4.
Even if Moss, a sleek athlete who's coming out early as a junior, needs time to grow into a solid all-around end, like Dumervil, he can produce in the short team in situations and contribute with some younger, fresher legs. The Broncos need more spark from their pass rush, and Moss can provide it.