Good Morning, Broncos fans! When asked why a team chose to draft or sign one player over another, it's not often that an executive gives a reason beyond we liked him better, or he was the top guy on our board.
There's a dual purpose served there - of covering one's ass, while also not wanting to malign the unsigned/unchosen player, especially since one might want to sign him at a later point.
So although we didn't think much of it earlier, John Elway's public statement that Denver preferred Montee Ball over Eddie Lacy due to medical reports was actually somewhat notable.
This is especially true as more information begins to leak out regarding Lacy.
According to Ed Bouchette of the Post-Gazette, the Steelers and several other teams passed on the Alabama running back because what had been termed turf toe in the past is actually a fused toe in Lacy's case.
Sounds scary, especially for a running back, right?
But I'm not a doctor, so I'm not going to make a Montee Ball jump-cut to any conclusions, here. The scuttlebutt is what it is, and we'll leave the true analysis of that to the medical types.
As for what Jason La Canfora is hearing about Lacy...
When I asked people about Eddie Lacy's drop, the thing that I heard the most was simply not pushing himself hard enough in training leading up the combine and the draft. The buzz around the Alabama program was that he wasn't taking that side of it seriously enough, it was reflected in poor times and a muscle injury that set him back, and he never quite recovered.
...it's closer to, if less harsh than, what Dan Pompei wrote yesterday morning:
Numerous front office men say there were not surprised to see Eddie Lacy fall to the Packers at the end of the second round. The more NFL teams looked at him, the more faults they saw. Lacy was knocked for poor work habits, lack of speed, durability concerns, a limited body of work and running style.
Of course, there is a bunch of ass-covering going on in as many as 31 NFL cities at this point, so let's not take it so far as to assume that Lacy is a lazy, injury-riddled player who'll never amount to anything in the NFL. As La Canfora went on to write, and he mentions nothing about the toe...
He's a good kid, isn't into partying or any of that stuff, but needs to stay motivated. Should be a wake-up call for him, and that, coupled with the Packers drafting plenty of competition at his position, should keep him pushed as well. Could turn out to be a total steal there, because some on the Alabama staff believe he has more talent than Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson -- former Alabama backs who recently went in the first round (and in Richardson's case, near the top of the first round).
Then again, Mark Kiszla is hearing a completely different tune out of Tuscaloosa:
Whispers were Bama was not exactly upset Lacy decided to forgo his senior season, because the Crimson Tide has a more talented running back in T.J. Yeldon.
We'll see how it all shakes out, but we at least have a more-specific-than-usual glimpse at what Denver - and others - were thinking on Lacy.
Denver's third week of workouts kicks of today, with on-field walkthroughs commencing.
Peyton Manning was back in Indy this weekend to do some charity work and faced inevitable questions about his Week 2 visit to brother Eli, and Week 7 return to face the Colts.
Tom Nalen, who is used to helping sixth-round picks run for gobs of yards, understandably thinks the Broncos shouldn't have used a second-rounder on one this year.
Stuart Zaas rounds up analysis of the Broncos' Day 3 picks.
Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland suggests that a potential trade for Chiefs T Branden Albert isn't completely dead, and they also remain interested in Eric Winston.
The LOLJets reportedly plan to keep Buttfumble around for a while, and they're moving William Campbell from the defensive to offensive line. Meanwhile, it now appears the report that the Ultimate Teammate™ had dropped 15 lbs., had cleaned up his throwing mechanics (LOLZ), and was endearing himself to people in the organization was just propaganda (go figure) to drum up interest in trading a pick (any pick) for him. Word now is that Timmy is not long for New Jersey.
Peter King sees loads of risk in Oakland's selection of D.J. Hayden and Arizona's drafting of Tyrann Mathieu, and he thinks Buttfumble should ask for his release (I can think of $8.25M reasons why that won't happen on Sanchez's timeline).
Chase Stuart and Matt Brown offer their thoughts on the draft, while Richard Deitsch assesses the television coverage of it; like us, Mike Tanier thinks this whole notion of preserving the allure of the draft by having reporters stop doing their jobs is just silly.
Draft grades: Rob Rang (loves Ball, and the Day 3 picks), Nate Davis, and Jeff Legwold each give Denver a B, while Pete Prisco and Jason Cole each give them a C+; Bucky Brooks eschews letter grades, with an honorable mention for Denver instead.
Champ Bailey ranks #98 on PFF's annual list of the top 101 players in the league.
Andy Benoit loves the Steelers' selection of Georgia LB Jarvis Jones.