When the Broncos' pick came at #25, they decided they could move back six spots, get their guy, and pick up a fourth-rounder in the process.
When pick #31 came, they decided they could still get their guy five picks later at pick #36 and gain 25 spots in round four by trading pick #126 for #101. Throw all of this out the window. In essence, the Broncos moved back 11 spots to gain a high fourth-round draft pick. The traditional draft chart says the Broncos should have ended up with a mid-3rd-round draft pick, but as we saw tonight, the traditional draft chart doesn't account for the recent rookie salary cap. Still, I think they could have done better for themselves.
I also believe that had OT Riley Reiff or G David DeCastro not been picked at #23 and #24, the Broncos would have taken either guy. Both players had tumbled down the board. I am also shocked they didn't jump on ILB Dont'a Hightower, who went to New England with that original #25 pick. I guess the $4 million they are giving Joe Mays really does mean something in 2012.
Just who is their guy that John Elway said was there at #25 and who is still there at #36? We don't know, but let's quickly review who is still available after Round 1--these players had all been tied to the Broncos at #25:
- Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State - many mocks had Worthy going to Denver at #25
- Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford - rumored to be an Elway favorite, he's the best tight end in the draft
- Devon Still, DT, Penn State - like Worthy, many had tied Still to the Broncos at #25.
- Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech - rumored for a week or more to be on the Broncos' radar
- Rueben Randle, WR, LSU - in the same category as Hill
Other possibilities include Cordy Glenn, Peter Konz, and Jonathan Martin on the offensive line, and Lamar Miller at running back.
Throughout the night Jason La Canfora and Michelle Beisner kept saying that Worthy is the Broncos' guy. If that's the case, they've played this draft perfectly, assuming Worthy isn't drafted in the next three picks to begin the second round. The only impact player on this list--one that will pay dividends on day 1--is Miller, however. Fleener is a distant second, although Fleener would be ideal if the Broncos pair him with Robert Turbin in the 3rd round.
The Broncos claim they are a best player available team. I hope they apply this logic in round four, which is what they got for their night's work.