In this year's draft, the worst-kept secret in the world was the Broncos' need to acquire a defensive tackle.
Yesterday, they finally did, signing Texas Tech lineman Colby Whitlock.
Surprisingly, he might stick around.
Whitlock played a lot of 3-4 nose tackle for Texas Tech. As you'll see from this tape, that helped him to develop a certain toughness that one doesn't see from 4-3 defensive tackles. In the 3-4, you need to be stout at the point of attack, you need to be willing to sacrifice yourself at even the slightest hint of a double team, and you'd better have a motor that never stops.
Here are the undrafted players Denver has reportedly agreed to terms with thus far:
|DT||Ronnell Brown||James Madison||NFLDS|
|WR||Mark Dell||Michigan State||NFL, CBS|
|LB||Derek Domino||South Dakota State||NFLDS|
|RB||Mario Fannin||Auburn||NFL, CBS|
|OT||Adam Grant||Arizona||NFL, CBS|
|WR||Jamel Hamler||Fresno State||NFL, CBS|
|LB||Deron Mayo||Old Dominion||NFLDS|
|OT||Curt Porter||Jacksonville State||CBS|
|DT||Colby Whitlock||Texas Tech||CBS|
I’m the kind of guy who has a large social circle that’s comprised of a roughly equal number of men and women. It’s a function of being a fraternity man, and also of relentlessly attending various networking events in the Cleveland area. I like to attend every event that I’m invited to, if possible, and when I’m there, I maximize the social opportunity. All the people I know tend to overlap in various ways, because Cleveland isn’t a very big city when you filter it down to young professional types. There are probably less than 500 or so who fit a similar profile to me. (I’d define that roughly as unmarried, younger than 40, college-educated, active, extroverted, and possessing a white collar job with an income above the median, mainly in the downtown Cleveland area.)
I realize that not everybody socializes like I do, but try to picture this. You have two friends of roughly equal stature in your loyalty hierarchy, one man and one woman. (I can think of a few of you who’d accuse me of making a political statement if I made it two people of the same gender. Yawn…)
The man and the woman (let’s call them Tom and Mary) become involved, and eventually, you and your significant other hang out with them a lot. They become your go-to friends, and you even go on vacation together. It’s funny how these things work, but the chemistry is just there, and it’s a really value-adding relationship. This goes on for years, and everything is great.
10:15pm ET - Klis says the Broncos are making a push to re-sign Marcus Thomas.
The lockout has come to an end.
I find myself filled with terror--more terror than that time I woke up in downtown Oakland with an orange and blue butterfly tattoo and wearing only a Broncos thong.
Am I going to have Roger Goodell to pick on any more?
Probably. As long as Goodell makes a ridiculous $10 million for being Jerry Jones' lapdog and imposing inconsistent fines, he'll remain a comedic gold mine. If not, I thought I'd get my licks in one last time.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! That was quite a busy night, and I won't recap everything here that we already covered a few hours ago - if you missed any of the signings or TJ's late-night UDFA Edition Gut Reactions, just head back to the earlier entries. The biggest news of the morning, if not a surprise, is Mike Klis' report that the Broncos are in fact putting Kyle Orton on the trading block. However, Klis also interestingly writes that if the FO doesn't find an offer to its liking, he thinks Orton will remain the starter in Denver.
Worth repeating here for clarity's sake, Brandon Browning was originally reported as having agreed to terms with the Broncos, but it appears he has ended up with the Rams. Plus, as IAOFM reader Snaggins astutely pointed out, "dead money" from contracts terminated before March 11, 2011 will not count against the salary cap in 2011. I will have more thoughts on this development later on, but this has major implications for the Broncos and puts the release of Justin Bannan in a new perspective.
Note: Bellore is apparently headed to the Jets instead of Denver
(Note: Browning was originally reported as agreeing with Denver, but ultimately he chose to join the St. Louis Rams)
To find a future star in the NFL among undrafted rookie free agents, you could do a lot worse than looking for three things:
3) A brother with speed, who was also Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2008.
Deron Mayo may be undersized for the NFL. He's listed at 5-11 and 220 pounds. That's why teams shied away from him in the draft. However, like his famous brother, he brings quickness and speed. Deron is actually faster than his older brother, and runs (by some accounts) a sub-4.4 forty-yard dash. He's a tweener DE/OLB, who many thought would have been a good fit as a 3-4 OLB after adding a few pounds. In fact, he had this to say recently:
People like (Denver’s) Elvis Dumervil and (Pittsburgh’s) James Harrison definitely give me hope. I’m 5-11. I look at people like that and it gives me a lot of motivation. It’s all about learning the game. I feel like I can rush the passer from the edge. It’s just a matter of a coach or a team taking a chance on me, which I know will pay off.
John Fox likes versatility in his running back combinations.
Enter Mario Fannin.
Fannin was Auburn's third-string running back last year. Despite this, he was projected by some to be drafted as high as the 5th round in this year's draft.
Why? Fannin set the building on fire at the combine with a 4.37 40-yard dash and a 37.5-inch vertical jump. Those are numbers that Knowshon Moreno would have killed for at his combine.
Fannin left little doubt that he's a world-class athlete by those measures. He's also a master of catching the ball out of the backfield and has a knack for the YAC (yards after catch).
If Fannin makes the Broncos' roster, it won't be because of his running ability. His field vision after getting the handoff has always been his weakest attribute. It will be because Denver needs a weapon on 3rd-down-and-medium.