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.
Late in the draft, it's all about depth and special teams.
This tells you all you need to know about the Broncos' pick of Danny Trevathan at #188.
Trevathan will immediately impact special teams--if he makes the team. He's undersized (6-0, 237) and speedy, which means he's perfect for kickoffs and punts.
The immediate image that will come to your mind is Wesley Woodyard, another undersized Kentucky WILL linebacker. Woodyard probably has more straight-line speed than Trevathan, but the production is there. Trevathan, as they say in the biz, is a tackling machine, and did play against the best competition in the country last year. That's not to be taken lightly.
Many other players were available at this pick, and I'm surprised the Broncos didn't take a player like Boise State DT Billy Winn, who fell faster than a Tim Tebow out pass. But, as we've seen in the last few days, the Broncos completely ignored the best-player-available philosophy. That's easy to do when you're picking Von Miller; it's many times more difficult to do when you're rounding out your draft.
The IAOFM staff discuss the Broncos' selections of Arizona State cornerback Omar Bolden and Baylor offensive lineman Philip Blake in the 2012 NFL Draft
Doug: Hey Guys, get any sleep?
Ted: Happy Day 3. I slept pretty well. I just wish I didn't think this started at 10 AM today
TJ: Roger Good Vibes
Doc: I slept about 4 hours - I'm on strong Earl Grey to start the day
TJ: Sweet, Em. I stayed up all night trying to solve the Zodiac Killer crimes. Common as a street penny: pundits grading a team's draft as an "A" because they picked in the top 5 and got the blue-chip players. What the hell is this? Fans now announcing? Or is that some hick scout?
With pick #137, the Broncos drafted an undersized, but athletic and versatile DT/DE tweener in Malik Jackson from Tennessee.
The pick should make Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller happy. Jackson is the sort of guy who can rotate in on passing downs and add to the Broncos' ability to get to the quarterback.
This is a good value pick and continues the Broncos' foray into drafting another guy (like Omar Bolden) who will specialize on third down. His body type and raw athleticism remind me a little (don't go crazy, I said it's just a little) of former Bronco Trevor Pryce. Like Pryce, he'll need to add some bulk to his frame (6-4, 265, but he's reportedly above 280 now) if he wants to play on every down. He also needs to get tougher at the point of attack. The NFL will not accommodate the light-handed.