Did you hear the one about the NFL team which “reached” for a player to fill a need? That’s a no-no, picking for need. You should be drafting the best player available (hereafter BPA), regardless of need, goes the story. I reject that thought as being over-generalized, because if you have a bad team, you should be picking to fill roles that will allow you to be competitive.
If you’re the Giants, then fine - take the BPA - if there’s no massive need to fill. Some would say that Jerry Reese did that over the weekend (including Reese), but I would tell you that RB David Wilson and WR Rueben Randle filled needs, and specifically replaced Brandon Jacobs and Mario Manningham. The Draftnik groupthink didn’t have the Giants universally taking any position, so that allows Reese to say he went BPA, regardless of the reality.
Then there’s the Ravens taking Courtney Upshaw. They got the BPA and he’s a pass rusher! Huzzah for Ozzie Newsome! Except that Upshaw isn’t a dynamic pass rusher, and that he does fill a clear need, with the departure of Jarret Johnson, as an edge-setter in the running game on the strongside. If Ozzie had a slightly worse track record, you’d be reading about how as an Alabama alum, he shows too much love to Crimson Tide guys like Upshaw. (Johnson also played at Alabama, actually.)
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver waived 27-year-old wide receiver Tim Toone yesterday. Toone had been added to the practice squad in January following the injury to Eric Decker and promotion of D'Andre Goodwin to the active roster, and Denver signed him to a future contract a week after that.
Toone was made 2010's Mr. Irrelevant after the Lions drafted him 255th overall out of Weber State, although his prize package for that achievement wasn't quite what Chandler Harnish has been promised. Harnish, it turns out, had been all set to join the Chargers as an undrafted free agent before Indy selected him, and the Raiders and Chiefs had also expressed interest in the Northern Illinois QB.
But back to Toone - Tim (5-10, 185) was made expendable by Denver's addition of undrafted wideouts Eric Page (like Toone, a diminutive returner at 5-10, 190) and Gerell Robinson. So in terms of WR and KR depth, the departure of Toone won't likely be more than a blip on the transaction log. But, then there's THAT HAIR.
I walked out of the draft nonplussed. If I'd been plussed, I'd have been much happier, but some days you just can't get plussed to save your life. The draft was so different from the energy of the free agent period (which was moderately ecstatic), that several moves during the draft took me completely off guard. Rather than go to the draft board, though, I took a somewhat different approach. I went back to the team - the one the Broncos had in February, and then I looked at the one they have today and how they put those pieces in place. I'm still getting my head around all the CFAs and I'm going to be buried in film for a while, but a pattern soon occurred to me that I couldn't ignore.
I was recently asked by a reader who's also a friend to consider looking at this year's FA/draft/CFA period in terms of what the Eagles were doing last year - they were supposed to be the winners of the Offseason Olympics in 2011, and Denver was in 2012. What were the basic approaches of each team? What I found - and I'll probably publish this at some point with supportive evidence - was that they really did a little preemptive striking; getting new and upgraded players into the positions that they could handle financially when the current players were near the end of their contracts and/or underplaying, aging, or asking for too much for their performance. It wasn't what the media made it out to be - and, no shock there.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Matt Waldman thankfullly eschews giving out draft grades, instead just trying to figure out what teams tried to do. Starting with skill positions for the top of the alphabet, Waldman echoes what TJ wrote yesterday in writing that adding two undrafted wideouts while drafting none shows Denver is confident in its incumbent players. Plus, he could see Ronnie Hillman and Mario Fannin as the main backs in Denver's offense in a couple years, and he says we should keep an eye on Xavier Omon.
Just to expound upon what both TJ and Waldman wrote, trading up 20 spots in the second round to get a third-down back would be quite aggressive, to say the least. Just because Hillman is 5-9 and 200 lbs and has been described as a scatback and change-of-pace guy by the punditry doesn't mean that's the role Denver intends for him.
Naturally, we'll have to wait several months before we even begin to see what Hillman will be for Denver, but until then, we can again say - judging by their actions, the Broncos must love this guy.
Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler once said, "Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement."
Later (1987 to be exact), the philosophical musings of glam-metal poets Def Leppard went like this: "Action, not words."
Put most directly: "You can shut up now, cuz I saw what you did."
Last night, John Elway told us the 2012 draft was awesome, saying, "When we look at it, it's probably as good as it could have gone."
This statement may or may not be true (even those that drafted Ryan Leaf said, "For the next 15 years, he's our man."), but one thing is not in doubt--the Broncos' actions in the draft said more than any contrived and trite soundbite ever could. Like an after school special, the lessons are there for us to see, standing in plain view - as long as we stay off drugs, close our ears, open our eyes, and stick around until the end.
The IAOFM staff discuss the Broncos' selections of Tennessee DE Malik Jackson and Kentucky LB Danny Trevathan in the 2012 NFL Draft, plus more talk about ASU CB Omar Bolden
Doug: 11 more picks til us. Anyone like Zebrie Sanders?
Ted: I do. As a 5th-rounder, he'd be great value. He's a LT
Doug: Kick Franklin inside to replace Beadles, and Blake takes over for Walton? Winn still available too
TJ: yeah, I would be shocked if he can' beat out JD and rather soon
Ted: I like Winn
Good Morning, Broncos fans! On Friday evening, after the Broncos selected Derek Wolfe with their first pick, TJ noted the defensive tackle's remarkable enthusiasm while being interviewed on Denver radio. It was amusing, almost vexing, the level of zeal Wolfe expressed about becoming a Bronco.
But after reading the young man's story, it's beyond easy to understand why Friday meant so much to Denver's new DT. It turns out Wolfe is essentially another Michael Oher - homeless as a child and never having known his father's name, Wolfe grew up in the homes of friends, molded by the goodwill of folks to whom he had no blood relations.
Even a year ago, he was nearly broke and strongly considered entering the 2011 Draft, a choice he says would have been "the worst decision of my life." Now a second-round draft pick and potential NFL starter, it appears he ended up making the proper call - certainly for himself, and hopefully for Denver's sake as well.
Per multiple reports (linked by name below), the Broncos have agreed to terms with 13 free agents. Here's the most up-to-the minute list:
|Player||Pos - School||Notes||Links|
|Anthony Miller||TE - California||Here's a cliched interview with Miller.||PFW, NFP|
|Austin Wuebbels||G - Missouri||Check out Wuebbels putting up 225 a total of 43 reps.||PFW, DS, MU|
|Duke Ihenacho||S - San Jose St||Here's how Duke trains, which resulted in this tape.||NFL, PFW, CBS, NFP|
|Steven Johnson||LB - Kansas||Johnson has an intense method to increase speed.||NFL, PFW, CBS, NFP|
|Gerell Robinson||WR - Arizona St||Here's tape of Robinson and Osweiler.||NFL, PFW, CBS, NFP|
|Elliot Coffey||LB - Baylor||Coffey asks RG3 questions while RG3 wears a Jason Voorhees mask.||DS, Baylor|
|Jamie Blatnick||DE - Oklahoma St||Watch Blatnick crush Andrew Luck.||NFL, PFW, CBS, NFP|
|Coryell Judie||CB - Texas A&M||Some highlights here.||NFL, PFW, CBS, NFP|
|Aaron Brewer||LS - SDSU||I've got nothing.||SDSU|
|Jerry Franklin||LB - Arkansas||Here's some tape.||PFW, CBS, NFP|
|Mike Remmers||T - Oregon St||Here's an interview with Remmers (2:00 mark).||PFW, DS, OSU|
|Wayne Tribue||G - Temple||Here's a presser where Tribue handles himself well.||NFP, DS, TU|
|Eric Page||WR - Toledo||Freshman year highlights (2009) and a highlights package on the Patriots' site, plus game tape against Northern Illinois and Ball State||NFL, PFW, CBS, NFP|
We thought you'd appreciate this recent footage from the NFL combine with new Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman, in which he discusses how he bulked up to 200 lbs. without sacrificing any speed. The secret? No candy for dinner.
Can Hillman be an every-down back in the NFL? At 5-10, 200 lbs., and running a 4.45 40-yard dash, it's looking more likely.