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Old 04-03-2009, 03:38 PM   #1
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Default Inexperienced Broncos brass thrust into fire with haul of draft picks

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...ler/index.html


On Halloween Day 1987, the then Los Angeles Rams traded franchise running back Eric Dickerson to the Indianapolis Colts in a three-team deal that included the Buffalo Bills.

When the football world was done shaking its head and bulging its eyes at each new detail, the Rams ultimately came away with running backs Greg Bell and Owen Gill and six draft choices over the next two years: three in the first round and three more in the second.

It was considered an incredible haul at the time, but we now know the Rams wound up with little more than fool's gold.

Might the Denver Broncos be on the cusp of repeating history after dealing quarterback Jay Cutler and a fifth-round pick to the Chicago Bears for two No. 1s, a No. 3 and QB Kyle Orton? The question is valid considering neither of the men running the Broncos' draft has ever had the final say-so in a war room.

In the case of the Rams, in 1988 they used two of the first-round picks they got in the Dickerson deal on running back Gaston Green (14th overall) and wide receiver Aaron Cox (20th) and a second-rounder on linebacker Fred Strickland (47th). They used the three other picks the next year on running back Cleveland Gary (26th), linebacker Frank Stams (45th) and defensive back Darryl Henley (53rd).

At best, the players were journeymen. At worst, they were busts.

If Denver can convert the picks they received into impact players, the Broncos will be in position to improve on their one postseason win since the 1998 season. However, if the Broncos miss as badly as the Rams did two decades ago, they will be the new poster franchise on how not to conduct business.

Though the decision-makers have changed, recent history is not on their side.

Not only are new head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Brian Xanders running a draft for the first time, but also the Broncos' drafts this decade under former coach Mike Shanahan reveal a stunningly disproportionate number of misses. They get passing marks for 2008, when they acquired offensive tackle Ryan Clady and wide receiver Eddie Royal with their first two picks; and 2006, when they selected five starters among their seven choices in Cutler, wide receiver Brandon Marshall, pass rusher Elvis Dumervil, tight end Tony Scheffler and guard Chris Kuper (although this class loses its luster when you consider Cutler is gone, Scheffler could soon follow, and Marshall recently underwent hip surgery).

My issue with Denver is that only four of the 50 selections it made from 2000 to 2005 are still on the team. That translates to eight percent. These are the draft classes that should be the core of the team; veterans who are on their second contracts and understand what the game and the league is about. The Broncos' ineptitude in the draft under Shanahan further underlines how difficult it can be for franchises to get it right in April.

Will McDaniels, 32, and Xanders, 37, do better than their predecessor, who had total control over football operations? Perhaps. But former Atlanta executive Ken Herock sounded a trumpet of caution earlier this year in an interview with Jeff Legwold, then of the Rocky Mountain News.

While with the Falcons in 1994, Herock hired Xanders primarily to work with the salary cap. When asked about Xanders in his new position, Herock praised his football background but added: "Brian's never scouted on the road. He doesn't have those experiences going on the road, being at the practices, getting in there and getting to know guys. That's his challenge. He knows the cap, he understands the cap and he knows the technology that's used now to get the job done. His big thing will be to make the call on whether a guy can play or not and that now he has to know it all.

"He has to be on target, and he's got to know everything -- free agency, the draft, the top player in Canada, what you're going to do with the developmental squad, all of it. You have to know what the hell is going on, and just being astute, just knowing the technology can't save you. You have to find players, it's that simple."

Perhaps Xanders will prove to be more than ready for the role. Again, Herock spoke highly of him. But there are no guarantees in the NFL, and the draft is the biggest crapshoot going.

The Broncos have gone out of their way to say the draft will be a collaboration between Xanders and McDaniels, but at the owners meetings last week, McDaniels intimated on multiple occasions that all personnel decisions will run through him. Part of the reason McDaniels got the job (and so much authority) was his stint in New England, where most recently he was the offensive coordinator under Bill Belichick.

Because Belichick won three Super Bowls in four years this decade, seemingly every owner in need of a new head coach has tried to pick from his tree of assistants. However, it should be noted that none of Belichick's recent protégés has succeeded as head coaches -- not Romeo Crennel with the Browns, Eric Mangini with the Jets, nor Charlie Weis with Notre Dame. And Belichick didn't get it right until his second coaching stint, after bombing in Cleveland.

The feeling among many around the league is McDaniels tried to handle the Cutler situation as if he were Belichick. The problem, at this point, is he lacks the résumé. Maybe Cutler was a pain in his backside, a player with a strong arm and stronger will for wanting things his way. But he also was a proven commodity. When I asked Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha on Thursday about Cutler, whom he calls a buddy, he told me: "He was arguably the top QB in the [AFC] West, so I'm not upset to see him leave. He should bring success to the Bears. [He's a] top eight QB."

If the Broncos don't get it right with the draft picks they acquired, the trade could rival the Rams debacle with Dickerson as one of the worst in league history.
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:43 PM   #2
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Wow, what a load of bull**** that entire article is.
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:44 PM   #3
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scouting is alot better nowdays not nearly as many first round busts. Also, didn't Dickerson suck with the Colts?
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:44 PM   #4
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scouting is alot better nowdays not nearly as many first round busts. Also, didn't Dickerson suck with the Colts?
he was good in tecmo bowl "Dickerso"
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:45 PM   #5
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Wow, what a load of bull**** that entire article is.
So if we don't draft well, then it was ok to trade Jay C for Kyle Orton. I see your point......
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:07 PM   #6
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This is a real real concern. This was a concern _before_ Jay left, when we fired the Goodmans. It's a even worse situation now.
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:10 PM   #7
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So if we don't draft well, then it was ok to trade Jay C for Kyle Orton. I see your point......
No, a-hole, its stupid to suggest they won't draft well because a team in a similar situation 20 years ago didn't. Its talk for talk
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:13 PM   #8
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Leave it to SI to bust the stupid meter. Maybe they should look at Nolan's record of drafting D in SF?
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:15 PM   #9
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So if we don't draft well, then it was ok to trade Jay C for Kyle Orton. I see your point......
His point is if you speed down highway 18 20 years ago and get hit by a semi doesnt mean if I speed down highway 18 20 years later I will be too.
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:19 PM   #10
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No, a-hole, its stupid to suggest they won't draft well because a team in a similar situation 20 years ago didn't. Its talk for talk
Did you even read it?

He is suggesting that we may not draft well since none of our front office guys have any experience, which is true. Mcdaniels was never involved with scouting or evaluations in New England and Xanders was a cap guy for the Falcons.

Some positions have as high a success rate as 70% when drafted in the 1st round, others are down around 30% with the current hit/miss ratio being about a little better than 1 hit per miss. Of the 2 first rounders we got, odds are that only 1 will become a starter in the long term, and we are down to about 33% chance that the 3rd rounder will be a starter. This is assuming that 2 rookies can draft at the league average, if they go below average we could be looking at Kyle Orton and 3 backups in return for Cutler.
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:21 PM   #11
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trash
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:28 PM   #12
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His point is if you speed down highway 18 20 years ago and get hit by a semi doesnt mean if I speed down highway 18 20 years later I will be too.
This offseason feels like getting hit by a semi.
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:34 PM   #13
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Did you even read it?

He is suggesting that we may not draft well since none of our front office guys have any experience, which is true. Mcdaniels was never involved with scouting or evaluations in New England and Xanders was a cap guy for the Falcons.

Some positions have as high a success rate as 70% when drafted in the 1st round, others are down around 30% with the current hit/miss ratio being about a little better than 1 hit per miss. Of the 2 first rounders we got, odds are that only 1 will become a starter in the long term, and we are down to about 33% chance that the 3rd rounder will be a starter. This is assuming that 2 rookies can draft at the league average, if they go below average we could be looking at Kyle Orton and 3 backups in return for Cutler.
I have no doubt that son -of LELO -lang read the article--he simply is incapable of grasping that facts about the article that you wrote above. Good take.
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:37 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Rohirrim View Post
Leave it to SI to bust the stupid meter. Maybe they should look at Nolan's record of drafting D in SF?
That not a pretty picture either. I bet if we ask SF fans what they thought of his drafting ability it would be on par or worse the what we thought of Shanahan's. Beside Willis there has been a lot of great draft choices by SF under Nolan leadership.
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:37 PM   #15
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Did you even read it?

He is suggesting that we may not draft well since none of our front office guys have any experience, which is true. Mcdaniels was never involved with scouting or evaluations in New England and Xanders was a cap guy for the Falcons.
Some positions have as high a success rate as 70% when drafted in the 1st round, others are down around 30% with the current hit/miss ratio being about a little better than 1 hit per miss. Of the 2 first rounders we got, odds are that only 1 will become a starter in the long term, and we are down to about 33% chance that the 3rd rounder will be a starter. This is assuming that 2 rookies can draft at the league average, if they go below average we could be looking at Kyle Orton and 3 backups in return for Cutler.
Didnt McDaniels start out doing defensive scouting for the Pats?
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:45 PM   #16
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In summary, for all of the Dolts who need to be spoon fed--draft picks are a gamble, no matter who is doing the drafting--and that is ESPECIALLY TRUE when the people orchestrating our team's draft are VERY inexperienced relative to the other 31 NFL teams.

This writer provided the Rams as an example of when a plethora of draft picks don't pan out--and that was with FO execs who were experienced relative to ours!. How some cannot comprehend this is beyond me.....
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:48 PM   #17
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Where have you gone Jim Goodman?!

That Josh has really cut a wide swath through this organization. I hope the kid knows what he's doing.
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:51 PM   #18
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That not a pretty picture either. I bet if we ask SF fans what they thought of his drafting ability it would be on par or worse the what we thought of Shanahan's. Beside Willis there has been a lot of great draft choices by SF under Nolan leadership.

Patrick Willis, Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, and Manny Lawson and he brought in Nate Clements. That's not too shabby. Nolan actually has a pretty good record (other than the Alex Smith/Rodgers deal).
http://mvn.com/miningthegoldrush/200...t-history.html
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:52 PM   #19
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Didnt McDaniels start out doing defensive scouting for the Pats?
If I remember correctly it was pro scouting and not that long. I strongly expect that we are going to struggle as the McDick and Flanders are the decision makers due to the lack of experience.
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:52 PM   #20
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Leave it to SI to bust the stupid meter. Maybe they should look at Nolan's record of drafting D in SF?
Maybe, but Patrick Willis was a no-brainer, Slap and I and half of this board - half the football world were all over that.

But Roh, be honest ... deep down inside, don't you wish Goodman was in charge of this draft?
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:53 PM   #21
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Where have you gone Jim Goodman?!

That Josh has really cut a wide swath through this organization. I hope the kid knows what he's doing.
Why do you keep making judgments about this coach when you don't know the background on any of his actions? You make it sound like he arbitrarily just walked in and canned everybody. Do you really believe that's what happened?
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:57 PM   #22
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Maybe, but Patrick Willis was a no-brainer, Slap and I and half of this board - half the football world were all over that.

But Roh, be honest ... deep down inside, don't you wish Goodman was in charge of this draft?
I'm not Roh and I say HELL YES !!!
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:57 PM   #23
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Maybe, but Patrick Willis was a no-brainer, Slap and I and half of this board - half the football world were all over that.

But Roh, be honest ... deep down inside, don't you wish Goodman was in charge of this draft?
It was a pick between Carriker and Willis. Some might have taken Carriker. As far as Goodman goes, ask me after the draft.
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:59 PM   #24
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Why do you keep making judgments about this coach when you don't know the background on any of his actions? You make it sound like he arbitrarily just walked in and canned everybody. Do you really believe that's what happened?
He still practically refused to call Cutler by his name--using the same phrase that Parcell's used towards TO, 'The Player' , when referring to Jay. That lends a little light onto this newbies personality....no skins on the wall as a HC and he comes off as incredibly arrogant beacuse he was Billy B's O-coordinator. He'll be the headcoaching equivalent of that douche, QB Jimmy Clausen of ND---all hype and ego--average to below average in production. Book it. 6-10 or 5-11 next year. Feel free to ask me if I want to wager with you on that.......
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Old 04-03-2009, 05:13 PM   #25
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Did you even read it?

He is suggesting that we may not draft well since none of our front office guys have any experience, which is true. Mcdaniels was never involved with scouting or evaluations in New England and Xanders was a cap guy for the Falcons.

Some positions have as high a success rate as 70% when drafted in the 1st round, others are down around 30% with the current hit/miss ratio being about a little better than 1 hit per miss. Of the 2 first rounders we got, odds are that only 1 will become a starter in the long term, and we are down to about 33% chance that the 3rd rounder will be a starter. This is assuming that 2 rookies can draft at the league average, if they go below average we could be looking at Kyle Orton and 3 backups in return for Cutler.
Yes, i read it and the example he brought up was from 20 years ago. If there was one team that ALWAYS got it right, then there might be something there. Mostly, the draft is an educated crapshoot.
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