Happy Friday, Broncos fans! As anticlimactic as last night was for us all, tonight and tomorrow should be quite active for Denver, and there is plenty of talent still available.
In effect, Denver moved back 11 spots from #25 to #36, and all they got in return for that was the fourth pick in the fourth round, #101 overall. Outdated draft chart aside, it doesn't feel like the Broncos got appropriate value for their move. But ultimately, it's not just about getting proper compensation - it's about what players were on the board, which ones came off between 25 and 36, and how Denver values the remaining available talent.
It sounds like the Broncos were hoping that Fletcher Cox, Michael Brockers, or Dontari Poe would fall to #25, and for a while, it seemed a possibility. Once those three guys went off between 11 and 14, the best values looked to be David DeCastro and Riley Reiff, and we were hoping they'd get to 25. Of course, we have no idea if Denver was eyeing those two offensive linemen, but once they went in the 23 (Reiff) and 24 (DeCastro) slots, there just didn't appear to be an obvious pick for Denver at 25.
When the Broncos' pick came at #25, they decided they could move back six spots, get their guy, and pick up a fourth-rounder in the process.
When pick #31 came, they decided they could still get their guy five picks later at pick #36 and gain 25 spots in round four by trading pick #126 for #101. Throw all of this out the window. In essence, the Broncos moved back 11 spots to gain a high fourth-round draft pick. The traditional draft chart says the Broncos should have ended up with a mid-3rd-round draft pick, but as we saw tonight, the traditional draft chart doesn't account for the recent rookie salary cap. Still, I think they could have done better for themselves.
I also believe that had OT Riley Reiff or G David DeCastro not been picked at #23 and #24, the Broncos would have taken either guy. Both players had tumbled down the board. I am also shocked they didn't jump on ILB Dont'a Hightower, who went to New England with that original #25 pick. I guess the $4 million they are giving Joe Mays really does mean something in 2012.
Discuss the opening round of the draft with fellow IAOFM readers
Ted Bartlett evaluates draft-eligible prospects in his spare time, among a number of activities he pursues, including golf, MBA classes, and smirking about how much he's outkicked his coverage on the girlfriend front. When his kindergarten teacher told him that he was advanced, what she was saying was that, with minimal effort, he'd be able to do better than "really passionate" people who try their hardest. He also focuses on the NFL's business and legal environment, offensive and defensive schemes, going off on unrelated tangents, and all 32 teams in the NFL. Follow along as he offers his instant analysis of tonight's NFL Draft.
7:59 pm - Mike Klis says the Broncos have Doug Martin rated as the #2 RB behind Richardson
7:40 pm - Adam Schefter says the Jags are still trying to move up for Justin Blackmon
7:10 pm - Cleveland has moved up one spot to #3 overall, and they reportedly gave up a fourth-, fifth-, and seventh-rounder to do so. Speculation on NFLN is that they've done so with the intention of drafting Trent Richardson there.
You never know what choices you’ll have in the draft when you’re at #25 - or wherever Denver ends up making their first pick. I expect some movement - GM Brian Xanders has moved around a good deal in all three drafts he's run for Denver, and likely will again, so the first pick could be one other than 25.
I’m a bit DT-centric in general at times, but a bit more so at the moment. I’ve made no secret of my feelings about the trenches, and DTs often take a few years to develop. Denver hasn’t made the move to deal with that in a long time, and the people they've wanted haven’t dropped to them. I understand that. Even so - each year you can’t find the right one, you are another year away from having one developed and in place. It puts more emphasis on free agency.
In the short term, that’s fine. I have no problems with the FA approach as long as it’s intentional, planned and generally fairly brief. However, it’s not a great approach long term to stick guys into holes because time is running out, and that’s shown for a long time with Denver. I’ve said this before - I think Denver should take two DTs in this draft. There are likely to be good RBs available in most rounds. The better DTs, though, are at the top. Like Willie Sutton, the famous old bank robber, said when asked why he robbed banks, "because that’s where the money is." That’s true of DTs, too, and it’s an unusual and deep year. Denver needs to fill their slots with the kind of talent that’s available this time. Claiming that this or that guy doesn’t fit your scheme has been overplayed. There are plenty of good guys this year that do.
Pro Bowl game likely to be shelved
Many players who will be selected during this week’s NFL draft are regarded as future Pro Bowl selections, but the game itself likely will be suspended this season and beyond, according to league sources.
Sources say that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who has previously voiced his displeasure with the lack of competitiveness in recent Pro Bowl games, is strongly considering suspending this year’s game, sources say.
Beyond 2013, another league source believes the Pro Bowl is “DOA (dead on arrival).”
If the game is suspended, the league still would have a Pro Bowl balloting process to identify the season’s top players and would direct teams to negotiate Pro Bowl clauses into player contracts and to honor Pro Bowl incentive clauses to avoid any serious conflict with the players association. Those players also likely would be honored in some fashion during Super Bowl week.
But wait, there's a draft to talk about - Klis figures the team would be happy to take either of defensive tackles Dontari Poe from Memphis or Michael Brockers of LSU if they're still on the board, and GT WR Stephen Hill if not.
In the absence of those three prospects, Klis reports the team would consider Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick, MSU DT Jerel Worthy, and UConn DT Kendall Reyes. He says the team is finally "almost certain" to finally take a defensive tackle (finally!) in the first three rounds, and he floats BSU RB Doug Martin, Washington RB Chris Polk, Baylor RB Terrance Ganaway, Arizona QB Nick Foles and ASU QB Brock Osweiler as other Day 2 possibilities, with a cornerback and kick returner thrown in for good measure.
|Rd||Pick||Player||Position - School||Notes|
|2||4 (36)||Derek Wolfe||DT - Cincinnati||via TB (w/ #101 for #31 and #126)|
|2||25 (57)||Brock Osweiler||QB - Arizona State|
|3||4 (67)||Ronnie Hillman||RB - San Diego State||via CLE (for #87 and #120)|
|4||6 (101)||Omar Bolden||DB - Arizona State||via TB (w/ #36 for #31 and #126)|
|4||13 (108)||Philip Blake||OL - Baylor||via NYJ (Tim Tebow)|
|5||2 (137)||Malik Jackson||DE - Tennessee||via STL (Brandon Lloyd)|
|6||18 (188)||Danny Trevathan||LB - Kentucky||via NYJ (Tebow)|
There's a report out there saying the Broncos have talked about trading up to Jacksonville's No. 7 spot for CB Stephon Gilmore. Absurd. The Broncos have just one second-round pick (end of round at No. 57) and one third-round pick (end of round at No. 87). You can't get there from here. Broncos may move up a spot or three from No. 25, but even that is unlikely. Broncos wouldn't mind moving back, but they go to bed tonight expecting to make their pick at No. 25.
By this time tomorrow, one of these guys will be wrong.