Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his Sunday column, Dan Pompei focuses in on the Patriots' brilliant yearly stockpiling of draft picks. This year, New England has two picks in each of the first three rounds, giving them the flexibility to do basically anything they want, moving up to nab an elite talent inclusive. But before you start wishing the Broncos would do the same thing, know that they have already done so in recent seasons; the trades of Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall (and their brilliant maneuvering down and up the board in 2010) have enabled Denver to select four first-rounders and four second-rounders over the past two years, with two second-rounders in hand for the 2011 Draft. Of course, the jury is still out on how well they actually fared in utilizing those choices.
And while Brain Xanders has attempted to disavow himself of every move made during Josh McDaniels' time in Denver, we can only hope that he was the integral part of these draft-related deals that we assume he was, and that at least this facet of the so-called Patriot Way has stuck with him. For as important as the upcoming draft is for the Broncos' future, the 2012 one will be no less crucial - whether it's via more trades downward in April or a potential deal of Kyle Orton for a future pick, one of the best things Xanders can do for Denver and his own legacy is to keep extending Denver's draft flexibility. Hopefully he's already been working the phones in pursuit of such a stratagem...
Klis thinks Denver's brain trust is actually quite fond of Tim Tebow and is simply doing its homework on the draft's QB prospects, whether it's to draft one on the cheap or for future reference.
Darin Gantt considers the dilemma Carolina faces at #1 - whether to draft a QB or trade back to some other team who may want one more badly. Gantt speaks with Dan Reeves, who was involved in two of the biggest QB-related #1 pick trades ever - John Elway in 1983 and Michael Vick in 2001.
Mike Detillier of The Houma Courier in Louisiana provides an interesting look at how the NFL Draft has evolved over the past forty years, including the story of Denver's 1972 pick - DT Ronnie Estay.
Williamson doesn't foresee Zach Miller leaving Oakland via free agency.
Another fascinating point from Pompei's column is that Matt Cassel actually performed better from under center than under the gun; this is a remarkable reversal from his one season starting in New England following Tom Brady's injury. Pompei also goes over all of the draft prospects who have potential medical issues which could affect their stock.
Farrar chimes in on the correspondences, pointing out that the owners are quite detached from facts and reality.
Judy Battista on the latest back and forth.
More of Chris Kluwe's excellent whiteboard work.
Thanks to the lockout (and the Wisco labor issues) Packers fans haven't been able to truly celebrate their team's latest title.
Former Oilers WR Drew Hill passed away at age 54 after suffering a pair of strokes on a golf course.
NFL Films boss Steve Sabol has a brain tumor.
Cowboys CB Brian McCann is the latest player to "take advantage" of the lack of a conduct code.
Michael Vick went back to prison, this time as a visitor with Tony Dungy and his outreach program to speak with inmates.
One-liners via PFT.
Wes Bunting shares some of the latest talk he's hearing on draft prospects, including the growing doubts relating to the character of Nick Fairley and Cam Newton. Plus, it sounds like Blaine Gabbert may be the next Jay Cutler.
Farrar on Carolina DT Marvin Austin.