The IAOFM staff discuss the Broncos' sixth- and seventh-round picks in the 2011 NFL Draft:
Douglas: WOW another LB, Mike Mohamed.
Ted: Mike Mohamed... this is a guy I've never heard of.
Emmett: According to the scouting reports about Mohamed: “is a hard-worker who will maximize his natural tools on the field. Will come into your franchise, understand your defensive system, provide some instant linebacker depth, and contribute on special teams. However, he lacks the power to be a true force in the box against the run and the speed and range to make plays on the outside or mirror explosive space players in man coverage. Probably just not enough physical tools to work with to become an NFL starter, but still a late-round prospect who will bring some impressive instincts and great character to a locker room.”
I'd never heard of him either
Ted: Well, he was a 3-4 guy at Cal, so that's a little weird.
Douglas: I guess more competition.
Emmett: He played for Cal, who I watched, but I never heard anything. Backup guy, depth.
Douglas: We are into the 6th round now, so the chances of guys even making the squad aren't that great.
TJ: He’s a Cal guy.
Ted: I think the message I'm taking from this is that the Troika didn't care much for the holdover LBs.
Emmett: Good point.
TJ: I'm guessing.
Douglas: Most certainly not.
Ted: Which - they have a point.
Douglas: Haha true
Emmett: They do. The LBs we have don't fit Fox's descriptions at all.
Ted: Those middle-of-the-field coverage breakdowns came from LB and S
Emmett: No coverage skills didn't help
Douglas: That could take Mays off the roster
Ted: I think I wouldn't take a probable camp guy in the 6th round. I don't feel super-strongly, not having seen Mohamed play, but I'm not thrilled with the thinking here.
Douglas: Figure Robinson and Veikune are gone/fodder
Emmett: Here's his upside - Mohamed is an experienced, productive, heady inside linebacker with great intangibles. Is a smart, disciplined player who won't bite on play fakes or take himself out of position too often. Reads his keys and finds the football against the run. Understands zone coverage responsibilities. Aggressive and competitive.
Ted: I think Veikune is a 4-3 DE
TJ: I have nothing on this guy, other than he’s like a lot of late round LBs. Probably makes a lot of tackles, but doesn’t have combine-type measurables.
Emmett: Agreed, Ted - and, he might stick there. We need backups at DE
TJ: He’s the proverbial “smart” linebacker that reads well.
Ted: Veikune was a DE in college, and the Browns decided he was Bruschi-like till they decided he wasn't/
TJ: Mohamed is tackle machine apparently. Special teams can use some more guys like this.
(Note: Doug and Ted had other commitments during this pick. TJ and Emmett tried to get as excited as possible for a 7th-round pick.)
Emmett: Fox said yesterday that he was disappointed with the lack of a DT -- that's not something I wanted to hear. But sometimes they just don't fall right.
TJ: I wonder what he was looking for? I mean you had your chances. A ton of em. Guys that other teams liked. What did they miss?
Emmett: You've got me. Honestly? After three drafts, it isn't McD. Xanders doesn't seem to be hot on the position, and I just see the game differently
TJ: Me too. I was in love with Paea....well, that’s a metaphor!
Emmett: Yeah, so was I
TJ: Liked Austin a lot
TJ: And got warm to Casey and Ballard. I don' t get it
Emmett: I watched Casey out here, and think that he'll be a successful player. I don't get it either - they just missed on Ballard, but after a while...
Emmett: You know, both Ted and I (and perhaps you and Doug) have talked about M. Thomas as a starting under tackle. Maybe this is his year.
TJ: He has talent
Emmett: Sure does. Versatile, too
TJ: Yeah, I forget he's been out of position
Emmett: They haven't used him well, and he's a classic 4-3 DT.
TJ: Exactly. That's a great great point. That is how he thrived at Florida
Emmett: Which made the lack of drafting for a 3-4 even stranger
TJ: Virgil green, Another TE. I think he’s a medical risk. Mayock just said he’s a medical risk as well. He's got pass catching talent, no doubt. A quick guy too. A seam stretcher certainly. I guess Richard Quinn hasn't exactly impressed, eh?
Emmett: I like Green. What this tells me that I really like is that despite Fox's background, he's more interested in using TEs as receivers. I don't see this as a knock on Quinn - more a knock on the overall balance of the three we had. Quinn really improved last year. Gronkowski is a maybe who also improved. But Coates? I'm glad to get a seam burner in Green to play against the Cover-2 that we see so often.
I never understood why McD was such a good spread OC, but was so poor at using the TE position.
TJ: Yeah, given that the Hoodie is now coming out with 3 at a time on occasion. From the passing standpoint, this does give the Broncos more formation flexibility if his medical stuff clears. This is a guy with a 3rd or 4th round grade.
Emmett: This is what I wrote up on him: Nevada’s Virgil Green put himself on the national radar with an outstanding Combine. At 6’3” and 249, Mayock has him at 5th in the position, but at his combine Green posted the second-best combine numbers among tight ends since 2000 in both the vertical jump (42.5 inches) and the broad jump (10 feet, 10 inches). He also posted the third-best 40-yard dash time (4.54 seconds) among tight ends who ran and put up 23 reps on the bench press. He had 35 receptions for 515 yards (14.7 YPC) and 5 TDs in 2010 - not bad for a potentially later round pick. The problems come in when you recognize that he’s got tight hips, has trouble changing direction and is mostly limited to a vertical game. Green was selected All-WAC First Team for the 2010 college football season as selected by the WAC’s nine head coaches. He knocked good scouts and coaches alike dead at Combine. Problem is, that’s not tape. He consistently has trouble changing direction, like many who have high ‘40’ times - they may be fast, but can they open their hips? If you want a TE that solely runs the seam, though, he could be your guy.
TJ: Agreed, Doc.
Emmett: One thing that stands out to me this draft is that Denver sees a lot of weaknesses and are putting good young players in a situation to help that.
(Note: TJ & Emmett attempt to maintain excitement at the end of the draft.)
TJ: We're on the clock right now actually. I'm hoping for something profound from you, Em. Haha.
Emmett: LOL - it's 247. My only comment is that it's our first CFA:-)
TJ: Love it.
Emmett: I can't believe that Lee Ziemba fell this far - a couple of more picks and I'd say to take him.
TJ: Jeremy Beal! Finally someone I had projected in one of our threads, haha
Emmett: Well, at least he's a DE - it's close
TJ: Your thoughts? Special teams fodder? I actually don't think this guy will get cut because he's a "tweener.”
Emmett: I think that he's going to be a reverse tweener - that he'll back up DE, as he did in the Big-12. He was their Defensive Player of the year, so he's not untalented. He's not fast, but he's tough to stop - 18 tackles for loss and with 8.5 sacks. In 2010, he put up 66 tackles, 18 for loss, 8.5 sacks, six pass breakups and three forced fumbles. He can back up Mike or play DE as well as STs. I like this pick!
TJ: Yeah, he works for a lot of positions. Especially SPECIAL teams! Anything, Em you want to say about this entire draft? How many starters do you think they got out of here?
Emmett: Good question - Give me a minute.
TJ: I would say they have 5 eventual starters. Miller, Franklin, Irving will start day 1. Moore and Thomas will start year 2. Green is a wild card because of injury. Mohamed and Beal are special teams guys. You?
Emmett: Ok, my question is - starting when? I make it this way - I think that both Moore and Carter will start at safety - Moore this year, Carter maybe, maybe next year. I think that Thomas will start at TE at some point, although start doesn't matter much at that position. I think that Miller and Irving are locks for this year. Franklin is a lock for this year. 5, maybe 6 starters over the next three years
TJ: Oh, make that 6 eventual. Carter as well, I agree. I missed him. I see we are in agreement there on this.
Emmett: When you look at that, rather than just the DT issue (which they could fill in FA), it's a very good draft - better than I expected, to be honest.
TJ: Yes, I like the overall draft. I will temper my DT addiction until FA ends.
Emmett: We're fellow addicts on that, TJ. I really am starting to like the Franklin pick - nasty, nasty guy. Denver really needed that
Emmett: I'm also a TE devotee - it's an under-appreciated position. I think that Thomas is a crapshoot, but with a huge upside. Green is the same - too small for every down, but a seam runner who could get the hard first down by splitting the Cover 2
TJ: I love the Miller and Thomas picks the most. I think they should have really moved up to take Christian Ballard at the beginning of the day, however. The Irving pick will end up being great in the end. We need another thumper like Al Wilson. This guy is it.
Emmett: Yes, I'm really interested to see what Irving can do for the Broncs. They really did rebuild the linebacking in one draft. And I would have taken Ballard a pick earlier, but that's just me. Free agency for DT!