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View Poll Results: Going into this draft, what do you believe should be the Broncos TOP priority
Nose Tackle 40 54.05%
Defensive Tackle 11 14.86%
Linebacker 9 12.16%
Defensive End 10 13.51%
Cornerback 0 0%
Safety 0 0%
Quarterback 3 4.05%
Runningback 0 0%
Tight End 0 0%
Wide Receiver 0 0%
Kicker 0 0%
Punter/Kicker 0 0%
Long Snapper 1 1.35%
Return Specialist 0 0%
Field Goal Ball Holder 0 0%
Voters: 74. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-10-2009, 10:32 AM   #1
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:43 AM   #2
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We have a guy who can Rush the Passer. We have no guys who can rush or Cover. If we are going to be successful that is the guy we need.
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:46 AM   #3
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If we want to run the 3-4 with any success, we need to get our NT in place.
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:47 AM   #4
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I wish you would have been a little less specific with the poll, but I would rank priorities as:

- Defensive Line (stopping the run without selling out and getting a "push" on passing downs)
- Outside Linebackers (generating a pass rush from the edge)

I picked Nose Tackle, as this is "symbolic" of getting more stout up front to stop the run. However, I believe that this may be served by someone like Tyson Jackson, especially if they see any value to him moving inside on passing downs.

Good Lord, I hope we make the most of this draft....
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:50 AM   #5
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I think we need a Sam Linebacker .
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:04 AM   #6
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NT is our greatest need, but I agree that we also need a top caliber SOLB to make this thing work. There are at least three first round choices for SOLB in this year's draft.

NT just doesn't look like a first round value this year. It can be addressed in the second through fifth rounds. Almost anyone picked for NT will take a couple years to become "great," even Raji. Draft any DT based on their upside, not their NFL readiness this year.

I like athletic D-end converts the best for SOLB. There is first round talent here. So, i would look for Connor Barwin, Larry English, Or Brian Orakpo as being great picks for a first round SOLB at the 18 spot (12 for Orakpo).

That means that the BPA at 12 might just be offense. I wouldn't be pissed at all if the 12 pick ended up being Maclin or Moreno.
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:18 PM   #7
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I like athletic D-end converts the best for SOLB. There is first round talent here. So, i would look for Connor Barwin, Larry English, Or Brian Orakpo as being great picks for a first round SOLB at the 18 spot (12 for Orakpo).
An SOLB needs to be able to cover as much as pass rush, probably more. Asking English or Orakpo to cover TEs down the field or even a moderately deep zone that might get attacked by a slot WR is just asking for failure.

Barwin could do it, given a couple years of coaching. He's incredibly raw.

SOLB is best answered in this draft with Aaron Curry and Brian Cushing. Maybe Clay Matthews, but that'd be a tough sell for me. Anything after that you're betting on someone either learning on the job real fast, or somehow making up for another deficiency.

We won't be able to get Curry without selling out our picks hard on a move up, and thats even still only if he slides down within some reasonable reach.

Our best bet at SOLB might just be DJ Williams. He isn't a great natural pass rusher, but he was showing some good results there in limited opportunities last year before getting hurt, he can cover, and he's got great range. His experience across the field at LB should also help ease the transition.

That frees up an ILB spot for Woodyard to compete for, which if he can push his weight to the high 230's/low 240's he should be able to handle.

At WOLB we've got a plethora of options, Dumervil most notably, but Moss might see his career saved by the 3-4 front, and Crowder could find a home as a stand-up LB as well. Darrell Reid is likely to get some play here as well. On obvious passing downs we could optionally move any of them over to SOLB and DJ into the middle for a 3-3 front in our nickel package, which would really be more like a 5-1 pass rush nickel.

Our biggest needs on defense that I see are as follows:

1. NT - Raji would be a good answer in a hybrid front, but in a straight up 3-4 he's not going to be fully utilized and is probably at best an average to above average 3-4 NT. If so then we're better off waiting on Brace or Dorrell Scott in the 2nd or 3rd rounds respectively, or a later round dark horse like Hill or Knighton. On the roster right now we have Fields and maybe Powell for this role. It'd be best for neither of them to be viewed as "the guy" at NT, since neither is likely capable of handling it.

2. 5-tech DEs - Marcus Thomas, Kenny Peterson, and maybe Crowder and/or Powell, but we need a lot more depth, and a legit 3 down guy would be great. I hate the idea of taking a 5-tech who can't generate serious pass rush himself in the first, but we so desperately need a solid player at this position that we might want to splurge and overpay on Tyson Jackson. Jarron Gilbert looks like a stud in shorts but I got big questions about how quickly he'll produce up to his raw talents at the NFL level. We can't afford to wait. After those two I'd rather see us hit a lot of later round 5-tech prospies like Will Johnson from Michigan, Zach Potter out of Nebraska, etc..

3. Difference making ILB. Who knows, maybe Woodyard, DJ, or Larsen fills this role. But I wouldn't shy away from taking Laurinaitis in the 2nd round if he slides to us.

4. youth in the secondary. Both corner and safety need some young talent. If Malcolm Jenkins slid to #18 I'd love to add him as a CB/S dual purpose guy a la Antrel Rolle. The rest of this CB class is pretty weak though. Moore, Delmas, and Chung would make solid 2nd round options, and Sean Smith might be worth the overpick, and definitely if he's there in the 3rd, but other than that not much that impresses me.
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:27 PM   #8
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I voted Nose Tackle, Only because you forgot the water boy option
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:26 PM   #9
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An SOLB needs to be able to cover as much as pass rush, probably more. Asking English or Orakpo to cover TEs down the field or even a moderately deep zone that might get attacked by a slot WR is just asking for failure.

Barwin could do it, given a couple years of coaching. He's incredibly raw.

SOLB is best answered in this draft with Aaron Curry and Brian Cushing. Maybe Clay Matthews, but that'd be a tough sell for me. Anything after that you're betting on someone either learning on the job real fast, or somehow making up for another deficiency.

We won't be able to get Curry without selling out our picks hard on a move up, and thats even still only if he slides down within some reasonable reach.

Our best bet at SOLB might just be DJ Williams. He isn't a great natural pass rusher, but he was showing some good results there in limited opportunities last year before getting hurt, he can cover, and he's got great range. His experience across the field at LB should also help ease the transition.

That frees up an ILB spot for Woodyard to compete for, which if he can push his weight to the high 230's/low 240's he should be able to handle.

At WOLB we've got a plethora of options, Dumervil most notably, but Moss might see his career saved by the 3-4 front, and Crowder could find a home as a stand-up LB as well. Darrell Reid is likely to get some play here as well. On obvious passing downs we could optionally move any of them over to SOLB and DJ into the middle for a 3-3 front in our nickel package, which would really be more like a 5-1 pass rush nickel.

Our biggest needs on defense that I see are as follows:

1. NT - Raji would be a good answer in a hybrid front, but in a straight up 3-4 he's not going to be fully utilized and is probably at best an average to above average 3-4 NT. If so then we're better off waiting on Brace or Dorrell Scott in the 2nd or 3rd rounds respectively, or a later round dark horse like Hill or Knighton. On the roster right now we have Fields and maybe Powell for this role. It'd be best for neither of them to be viewed as "the guy" at NT, since neither is likely capable of handling it.

2. 5-tech DEs - Marcus Thomas, Kenny Peterson, and maybe Crowder and/or Powell, but we need a lot more depth, and a legit 3 down guy would be great. I hate the idea of taking a 5-tech who can't generate serious pass rush himself in the first, but we so desperately need a solid player at this position that we might want to splurge and overpay on Tyson Jackson. Jarron Gilbert looks like a stud in shorts but I got big questions about how quickly he'll produce up to his raw talents at the NFL level. We can't afford to wait. After those two I'd rather see us hit a lot of later round 5-tech prospies like Will Johnson from Michigan, Zach Potter out of Nebraska, etc..

3. Difference making ILB. Who knows, maybe Woodyard, DJ, or Larsen fills this role. But I wouldn't shy away from taking Laurinaitis in the 2nd round if he slides to us.

4. youth in the secondary. Both corner and safety need some young talent. If Malcolm Jenkins slid to #18 I'd love to add him as a CB/S dual purpose guy a la Antrel Rolle. The rest of this CB class is pretty weak though. Moore, Delmas, and Chung would make solid 2nd round options, and Sean Smith might be worth the overpick, and definitely if he's there in the 3rd, but other than that not much that impresses me.
This is it. Right here.
I dont care what order, just get them with the top 5 or 6 picks and then get all the other players DEN wants.
Address:
NT
OLB (SAM/JACK)
DE
in this draft its becoming very apparent that the order is irrelevant. The bulk of the really solid players for DEN would be with picks from 20 through 85.
Thats why i am for the USC guys so much. yes i like them cause they play for SC, whoopie, but they also just HAPPEN to fill roles on the DEN defense that need to be desperately addressed. Bad, REAL BAD.
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:30 PM   #10
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I personally believe this draft will be a failure if we don't come away with a NT on day one. I guess I should say through round three since they shortened day one to two days...
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:31 PM   #11
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I still want a legitimate pass rusher.
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:04 PM   #12
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I personally believe this draft will be a failure if we don't come away with a NT on day one. I guess I should say through round three since they shortened day one to two days...
If you've learned anything from McDaniels' short tenure thus far it's the fact he's all about value across the team as a whole.

Just look at free agency. He never went near any of the Defensive Line prospects bar the bargain isle because they were all overpaid. The 3 defensive backs he brought in got value for money deals.

So IMHO he wont sell the house for Raji nor will he reach for a rising Brace or Baker in Rd2 if he doesn't feel the value's there.

Furthermore, I was always under the impression that Mike Nolan's defense was all about stud LB's and not so many stars on the line. Maybe I'm wrong but we'll see in 2 weeks time.
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:06 PM   #13
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field goal ball holder?...

that sounds like one of those "Real men of Genius" jingle commercials...
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:12 PM   #14
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We dont have any DE's on this team worth a crap. At least Fields can attempt to play NT.

That and a SAM is a must. (unless for some wild reason Boss becomes healthy)
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:15 PM   #15
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If somehow Raji lasts until #12 and we don't draft him, I will be livid.
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:29 PM   #16
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It's nose tackle specifically, but it's front seven generally. We could also use help at RB and safety. The problem is this is one of the worst classes for defensive tackles. There's slim pickens and it's unlikely to expect much from what is available.
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:44 PM   #17
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An SOLB needs to be able to cover as much as pass rush, probably more. Asking English or Orakpo to cover TEs down the field or even a moderately deep zone that might get attacked by a slot WR is just asking for failure.
I usually agree with you Drek, but not here. Most of the ass kicking SOLB's I have been watching will get dusted by a pass catching TE after 5 yards. It's important that they can cover lanes and zones, but they will never be able to provide man coverage for more than 5 yards.

I watched some replays with Calvin Pace for the Jets. I think he's a pretty good SOLB. Stout against the run, good pressure on the passer. However, if there is a pass play more than 5-10 yards down the field, there better be safety help because he'll get burned.

Stop the run first. Pass rush on third down. Soft zone coverage last. These are the strengths of the SOLB - especially in Nolan's version of the 3-4.

English and Orakpo could do this pretty well. In a draft year with "honest talent," I would say a developmental guy like Barwin should be a low second rounder. However, this draft will cause some guys to get picked too early, that's why i'm think Barwin could end up in the mid first round to the right team. I'd love for us to snag him in the second round.
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Old 04-10-2009, 05:17 PM   #18
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It's nose tackle specifically, but it's front seven generally. We could also use help at RB and safety. The problem is this is one of the worst classes for defensive tackles. There's slim pickens and it's unlikely to expect much from what is available.
That's the truth. The best plan is to make do with what you can this season (grab Dorrell Scott in the fourth for depth) and use the two firsts to go after Mount Cody next year. There are excellent LBs and a couple of good safeties in this draft. Take the good, don't reach on the bad.
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Old 04-10-2009, 05:46 PM   #19
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An SOLB needs to be able to cover as much as pass rush, probably more. Asking English or Orakpo to cover TEs down the field or even a moderately deep zone that might get attacked by a slot WR is just asking for failure.

Barwin could do it, given a couple years of coaching. He's incredibly raw.

SOLB is best answered in this draft with Aaron Curry and Brian Cushing. Maybe Clay Matthews, but that'd be a tough sell for me. Anything after that you're betting on someone either learning on the job real fast, or somehow making up for another deficiency.

We won't be able to get Curry without selling out our picks hard on a move up, and thats even still only if he slides down within some reasonable reach.

Our best bet at SOLB might just be DJ Williams. He isn't a great natural pass rusher, but he was showing some good results there in limited opportunities last year before getting hurt, he can cover, and he's got great range. His experience across the field at LB should also help ease the transition.

That frees up an ILB spot for Woodyard to compete for, which if he can push his weight to the high 230's/low 240's he should be able to handle.

At WOLB we've got a plethora of options, Dumervil most notably, but Moss might see his career saved by the 3-4 front, and Crowder could find a home as a stand-up LB as well. Darrell Reid is likely to get some play here as well. On obvious passing downs we could optionally move any of them over to SOLB and DJ into the middle for a 3-3 front in our nickel package, which would really be more like a 5-1 pass rush nickel.

Our biggest needs on defense that I see are as follows:

1. NT - Raji would be a good answer in a hybrid front, but in a straight up 3-4 he's not going to be fully utilized and is probably at best an average to above average 3-4 NT. If so then we're better off waiting on Brace or Dorrell Scott in the 2nd or 3rd rounds respectively, or a later round dark horse like Hill or Knighton. On the roster right now we have Fields and maybe Powell for this role. It'd be best for neither of them to be viewed as "the guy" at NT, since neither is likely capable of handling it.

2. 5-tech DEs - Marcus Thomas, Kenny Peterson, and maybe Crowder and/or Powell, but we need a lot more depth, and a legit 3 down guy would be great. I hate the idea of taking a 5-tech who can't generate serious pass rush himself in the first, but we so desperately need a solid player at this position that we might want to splurge and overpay on Tyson Jackson. Jarron Gilbert looks like a stud in shorts but I got big questions about how quickly he'll produce up to his raw talents at the NFL level. We can't afford to wait. After those two I'd rather see us hit a lot of later round 5-tech prospies like Will Johnson from Michigan, Zach Potter out of Nebraska, etc..

3. Difference making ILB. Who knows, maybe Woodyard, DJ, or Larsen fills this role. But I wouldn't shy away from taking Laurinaitis in the 2nd round if he slides to us.

4. youth in the secondary. Both corner and safety need some young talent. If Malcolm Jenkins slid to #18 I'd love to add him as a CB/S dual purpose guy a la Antrel Rolle. The rest of this CB class is pretty weak though. Moore, Delmas, and Chung would make solid 2nd round options, and Sean Smith might be worth the overpick, and definitely if he's there in the 3rd, but other than that not much that impresses me.
This is a great post. That said, I really don't like Laurinaitis in a 3-4.
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Old 04-10-2009, 06:03 PM   #20
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If you've learned anything from McDaniels' short tenure thus far it's the fact he's all about value across the team as a whole.

Just look at free agency. He never went near any of the Defensive Line prospects bar the bargain isle because they were all overpaid. The 3 defensive backs he brought in got value for money deals.

So IMHO he wont sell the house for Raji nor will he reach for a rising Brace or Baker in Rd2 if he doesn't feel the value's there.

Furthermore, I was always under the impression that Mike Nolan's defense was all about stud LB's and not so many stars on the line. Maybe I'm wrong but we'll see in 2 weeks time.


I can't remember ever seeing an effective 3-4 defense that didn't have a capable NT. Value or not, if we don't get one in the draft, all we're doing is spinning our wheels this year and putting whatever linebackers we do have at greater risk of injury.

I'd hate to move up for Raji, but with the extra first round pick, I'd think about taking Brace (unless they think he's going to be there in the second - which I doubt given the fact that Green Bay is looking for a NT).

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Old 04-10-2009, 07:02 PM   #21
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I usually agree with you Drek, but not here. Most of the ass kicking SOLB's I have been watching will get dusted by a pass catching TE after 5 yards. It's important that they can cover lanes and zones, but they will never be able to provide man coverage for more than 5 yards.

I watched some replays with Calvin Pace for the Jets. I think he's a pretty good SOLB. Stout against the run, good pressure on the passer. However, if there is a pass play more than 5-10 yards down the field, there better be safety help because he'll get burned.

Stop the run first. Pass rush on third down. Soft zone coverage last. These are the strengths of the SOLB - especially in Nolan's version of the 3-4.

English and Orakpo could do this pretty well. In a draft year with "honest talent," I would say a developmental guy like Barwin should be a low second rounder. However, this draft will cause some guys to get picked too early, that's why i'm think Barwin could end up in the mid first round to the right team. I'd love for us to snag him in the second round.
Calvin Pace plays primarily the WOLB, pass rusher role for the Jets. Bryan Thomas takes on the SOLB role, mixing assignments between rushing and covering as needed.

Pace in fact played DE before being a hybrid with AZ, then signing with the Jets. He's a specialist and not a good example of how a SOLB should play in most 3-4 schemes.

The Chargers and Cowboys play a 3-4 scheme that is really more like a 5-2, where both OLBs rush like DEs quite often. But Nolan, the Pat's 3-4 coaching tree, etc. typically don't. They want a setup more like a 4-3 but where the LB shift towards the strong side, the weak side DE takes his hand off the ground, and they super size the remaining DL so they can all two gap and run stuff.

Adalius Thomas is a good example of what Nolan likes in the SOLB position, the guy he lined up opposite Suggs. He's played literally every position on the defensive side of the ball, from DT to CB. He can cover as well as he can pass rush, and he can definitely play the run. He's a jack of all trades. That is the kind of SOLB we'll be gunning for, especially since I think Nolan is going to run more of a 3-4/4-3/5-2 hybrid deal.
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:38 PM   #22
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Here's a few things to remember about defensive tackles.
  1. There aren't really any 3-4 nose tackles in this draft. Raji is really more a 4-3 guy that some think could play nose in a 3-4. Not everyone agrees he could.
  2. The quality of defensive tackles in general in this draft are pretty low. It's a poor year for them.
  3. Defensive tackles take as long as QB's to develop (about 3 years). This means that even if we land the guy we need, we won't know for several years if he's legit.

So expecting anything to save our front line in this draft, especially at DT, is misplaced hope. This is a good case where BPA is optimum choice. Fortunately for us there are a lot of other areas besides NT that need upgrading and youth.
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Old 04-11-2009, 08:22 AM   #23
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I don't care where, exactly, but I want a dominant guy on defense, somewhere. LB, NT, DE, wherever......i want the guy that is most likely to dominate on the field, and not draft based by position.
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Old 04-11-2009, 08:43 AM   #24
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I personally believe this draft will be a failure if we don't come away with a NT on day one. I guess I should say through round three since they shortened day one to two days...
It will be more of failure if Denver over reaches to fill NT spot in first day of the draft. I would prefer Scott and Hill in the 3rd and 4th to fit that need.
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:52 AM   #25
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It will be more of failure if Denver over reaches to fill NT spot in first day of the draft. I would prefer Scott and Hill in the 3rd and 4th to fit that need.
I'm reminded of how Lex declared our draft last year a failure when we didn't take a RB in the first three rounds.
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