The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

Draft eve Lard 4-27-11

Good Evening, Broncos fans! We're less than 24 hours before the 1st round begins, so I thought it worthwhile to pass along some of the latest happenings. Kara Henderson is still camped out at Dove Valley, and today she spoke with the X-Man, who said "the trade would have to be worth it" to move down from #2. We can only hope, right? Xanders told both Henderson and Gray Caldwell in a Q&A for the team's site that he expects calls will come in about trading the pick no earlier than 30 or 60 minutes before the draft is to begin.

Henderson also reported that she's hearing Denver is zeroing in on Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller; considering that she likely got that info straight from the Broncos, we can figure they are trying to stir up further interest in the pick from teams rumored to be after Miller - such as Buffalo (#3), Arizona (#5) or Houston (#11).

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The Daily Lard 4-27-11

UPDATED 9:36AM ET - Good Morning, Broncos fans! According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, the Texans are interested in moving up to draft Von Miller or Patrick Peterson, although they likely do not have enough ammo to move all the way up to #2 in a deal with Denver. Meanwhile, NFLN's Jason La Canfora writes that Shanny and the Skins are desperate to move up for a QB and are considering a jump as high as #2 in a trade with Denver to draft Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert. La Canfora writes that the Broncos may indeed be willing to drop as low as Washington's slot at #10 and covet Auburn DT Nick Fairley. However, the Redskins have only two picks in the first four rounds and would need to send future picks to Denver in such a deal. How great would a John Elway-directed bidding war for the #2 pick between Shanny and Kubes be?

No direct mention of Denver here, but PK tweeted last night that Atlanta is looking to make a move into the top 10 to nab one of two WRs - A.J. Green or Julio Jones. You know, it's funny - while the local yokels are still busy stressing the notion that nobody had called the Broncos about the #2 pick as of a week ago, the national guys are talking of plenty of trade interest. How does this happen?

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Common sense everywhere?! Lard 4-26-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! NFLN's Kara Henderson spoke with John Fox yesterday and came away thinking that Denver expects Tim Tebow will earn the starting QB job. She also noted that the Denver brass is divided between taking Alabama DT Marcell Dareus and Texas A&M LB Von Miller if they are to stay at #2. Here's her conversation with Fox. If nothing else, it's finally nice to hear some QB-related sense coming out of Dove Valley - remember all of those "Elway names Orton Starter" articles? What a waste of time...

As for the lockout injunction, the owners have already filed their appeal with the Eighth Circuit and their request for a stay with Judge Nelson. Many players across the league are expected to show up at their respective teams' headquarters today to work out, and if so they will be allowed in. Of course, be sure to read Ted's Gut Reaction to the injunction, and the first group of articles from across the web.

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The Daily Lard 4-25-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his MMQB, PK writes that he thinks he thinks that Carolina will indeed go with Auburn QB Cam Newton at #1 overall and that New England may already have a deal in place to deal off the #28 pick. Plus, he thinks Arizona will go with Mizzou QB Blaine Gabbert, LSU CB Patrick Peterson or Georgia WR A.J. Green at #5.

PK also thinks that Judge Susan Nelson's pending decision will indeed result in an injunction of the lockout, but the real question is whether she will force the league to start its new year and thus open free agency. Remember, Gary Myers reported the other day that Judge Nelson's decision is expected to come sometime today...

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The Daily Lard 4-24-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Brandon Marshall was released from a Miami hospital last night after suffering a stab wound to the stomach, with some reports stating that Marshall also suffered defensive wounds to his hands. His wife was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, although she claimed to have acted in self defense. According to Miami Herald writer Jeff Darlington, Marshall's Dolphins teammates have already grown tired of the WR's selfishness, while fellow Herald scribe Armando Seguero writes that one of them texted, “And this is supposed to surprise me how?” when told of the incident. Just last week, SI's Peter King wrote that Miami roleplayed a scenario with TCU's Andy Dalton during his pre-draft visit to see how the QB would handle a disgruntled WR upset about a lack of catches, presumably Marshall.

Seguero says Miami is not yet considering cutting ties with Marshall, whom they acquired from the Broncos last year for second-rounders in each of the 2010 and 2011 drafts. The 2010 pick was packaged in the deal with Baltimore that allowed Denver to draft QB Tim Tebow, while this year's pick is the 46th-overall choice.Following the trade, the Dolphins gave Marshall $12.5 million in guarantees as part of a five-year deal but included the stipulation that the $6 million guaranteed portion of his 2012 salary was dependent upon him not being suspended over the first three years of the contract.

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The Daily Lard 4-23-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Tim Tebow spoke with an Atlanta radio station the other day; he said it's a bit weird that there's now a statue of him in Gainesville, that throughout his high school career he'd planned on going to Alabama, and he's been working solely from under center (rather than out of the shotgun) all offseason long. Tebow also said he believes college athletes should receive bigger stipends, has a great relationship with John Elway, and believes he is working a lot harder than other players this offseason. Here's the podcast of Tebow's interview on 790 The Zone, along with a partial transcription.

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The Daily Lard 4-22-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Apologies for the late Lard, but I'm off from work today and slept in a bit. As soon as I post this, I will get to work on posting a list of all the players Denver reportedly met with or worked out privately leading up to the draft. Best news of the day? Big Play Shay will be announcing both of the Broncos' second-round picks next week. Plus, be sure to read Jeffri Chadiha's excellent profile of Alabama's Marcell Dareus and this Sport Science video on Dareus that FiE shared with us yesterday.

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Pre-draft presser Lard 4-21-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! John Elway and Brain Xanders hosted a pre-draft presser yesterday, covering all the usual topics from whether they want to trade down from #2 to whether there's a franchise QB on the roster. A few things that stood out: Xanders said the team's board included 190 players, almost double the 100 or so favored by ex-coach Josh McDaniels (and Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, Scott Pioli, Tom Dimitroff - but what do those guys know about draft strategy?), which will surely spark a few this way is much better and McHoodie was an arrogant jerk columns in coming days. Xanders chalked up the bigger board to the possibility that this year's talent depth is greater, and that moving to a 4-3 defense presents more options (both ridiculous, perhaps he's learned to not totally throw people under the bus at his pressers?). Also, Elway mentioned that there are four or five players they're considering at #2 - figure they're Bama's DT Marcell Dareus, Auburn DT Nick Fairley, A&M LB Von Miller and LSU CB Patrick Peterson? Finally, Xanders mentioned that Steve Antonopulos will be in the war room - so Greek sat in on all the HC interviews, and now he's going to provide input during the draft? Interesting...

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The Daily Lard 4-20-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! It's nearly eight months away, but who's not looking forward to the return of Pouty Pants on December 11? Don BanksJason Cole and Joe Fortenbaugh all included that Week 14 tilt among their most notable meetings of the year. Granted, we're talking here about a matchup between a team that went 4-12 last year and another that lost to the eventual SB winners by a single score in the NFC title game - so it may not actually be much in the way of competition. But when considering the prospects of a 4-12 team for whom we don't even know who the QB will be, these are the things we have to look forward to, right? Man, if that doesn't call for an official Orange Sunday, then I don't know what does...

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The Daily Lard 4-19-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! It's defensive tackle day over at NFL.com, where Pat Kirwan writes that Alabama's Marcell Dareus has the best chance to dominate in the pros, pointing out his youth (he's just 21 - almost two years younger than Nick Fairley) and remarkable 10-yard split time (1.66s). Meanwhile, Kirwan is among the crowd that thinks Fairley is a boom-or-bust prospect, citing the player's lack of dedication in the weight room and the perceived tendency to disappear in some games. Then again, Kirwan writes that Fairley sometimes looks like the next Warren Sapp.

Meanwhile, Bucky Brooks lauds the versatility of Dareus in terms of the various defensive fronts he can fit into and his pass-rushing abilities. As for Fairley, Brooks says the Auburn star looks on film like the most dominant defender in the draft, calling him an impact player and a tone-setter. Brooks is hearing the same knocks everyone else is regarding Fairley; questions of character, technique, motor, work ethic and attitude.

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