Professorial Lard 4-12-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Just when everyone was getting all riled up by our favorite egghead, a few John Clayton smackdowns have been delivered, the most effective one shockingly coming from Bill Williamson, of all people. The ESPN writers took the two sides of the draft-a-QB / start-Tim-Tebow debate, and Williamson comes off as a well-informed logician next to Clayton in stating that Tebow deserves the chance to run with the starting gig.

Then, there was Clayton's column from last week which posited that teams are suddenly adopting a general strategy of not drafting running backs in the first round because they just don't need to do so. Thankfully, Pat Kirwan and then Bucky Brooks are both here to explain that perhaps there's just nobody in this year's draft worthy of a first-rounder, save perhaps Mark Ingram of Bama. What do you suppose it's like going through life thinking there's a massive sea change involved in everything that happens and that you are the one person who knows it?

Broncos/Enemies


In his latest mailbag, Klis addresses Kyle Orton's trade value, the Broncos' chances of moving down from #2, the age of the secondary, Denver's new Teflon Don (Brain Xanders), the case for/against drafting Patrick Peterson, and the Broncos' offensive needs.

Hampton DT Kenrick Ellis visited the Broncos yesterday, while at some point Denver held a private workout with Nevada LBs Dontay Moch and Ryan Coulson.

Legwold hits up every Broncos-related meme he can think of in saying how they've arrived at their current state.

Vic and Gary were joined on the radio by Broncos legend and new CO Sports HOF inductee Jason Elam.

The Broncos' 2011 Cheerleaders have been selected.

In considering the implications of who the AFCW teams may pick relative to their squads' veterans, WIlliamson points out that the choice of a safety could put the jobs of the expensive Brian Dawkins ($6M) and Renaldo Hill ($2.4M) in jeopardy.

Jerry McDonald likes the idea of Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick going to the Raiders.

Mark Bua considers whether the Chargers need to refresh their front seven.

Mockery


More of Ron Rivera saying a whole lot of nothing regarding who Carolina is going with at #1.

Wes Bunting lists the players he deems worthy of being chosen in each of the first three rounds.

Plus, Bunting's top five underrated prospects.

Matt Bowen shares his defensive strategy against Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert.

New Era Scouting evaluates Buffs CB Jimmy Smith, Temple DT Muhammad Wilkerson and BC OT Anthony Castonzo.

Doug Farrar scouts TCU QB Andy Dalton, while Greg Gabriel evaluates Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi and Matt Waldman examines Georgia WR A.J. Green.

In Walter Football's latest mock draft, the Broncos take Bama DT Marcell Dareus at #2, with LSU CB Patrick Peterson and A&M LB Von Miller also under consideration. In the second round, Denver takes UNC DT Marvin Austin and Illinois RB Mikel Leshoure, along with Austin's teammate LB Bruce Carter in the third round. In the sixth round, they've got the Broncos going with Georgia LB Akeem Dent and Rutgers S Joe Lefeged (the mock only goes six rounds). Finally, on the team big boards (which for the #2 choice he only lists Dareus, Peterson and Miller), he says he's 99% certain the Broncos will go with Dareus.

As Kirwan did the other day, Mike Lombardi takes a revisionist shot at the top of the 2005 Draft, in which the Broncos did not have a first-rounder.

Here's a pie chart showing which conferences the drafted QBs of the past 10 years have come from; I wonder if this is much different than a chart for the whole league would look.

A guest writer for FO uses some combine and college numbers to predict sack totals for this year's draft class. Interestingly, he calls Robert Ayers a bust (along with Jarvis Moss); which would only be true if Ayers were drafted for the purpose of being a pure pass rusher (and if that's the outside perception, then so be it). Even ignoring the Ayers slight, this frankly seems a ridiculous exercise, as sacks are so dependent upon defensive schemes and how specific players are utilized within them.

Trimmings


Judge Nelson has ordered the two sides into mediation and granted the players' request to do so in Minneapolis. Plus, she made it harder for the NFL to claim that the NFLPA's decertification was a sham. Finally, she allowed NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith to join the Brady v. NFL case.

One month into the lockout, Andrew Brandt offers up another big-picture look at the CBA issues, while Alex Marvez updates the status of the dispute.

The NFL Alumni Association expressed interest in taking over bankrupt NYC hospital St. Vincent's to treat former players and the general public.

Meanwhile, the NFLPA has announced its draft week events in NYC and a list of some of the players expected to attend.

The Bucs have given GM Mark Dominik a four-year extension.

John at Advanced NFL Stats picks up his most exciting games of 2010 list with Washington/Detroit.

KSK interprets PK's MMQB, of course hitting him hard for his free trip to Augusta National.

Oh, and it's not just his own draft snub that makes Tom Brady shed tears.

Scrapple


Here's what Bill Connelly has done so far over at Football Study Hall, his new SBN site that examines college football stats.

In case any of you are feeling some sort of guilt over time spent on IAOFM each day (or are perhaps subjected to such guilt by spouses or SO's), then perhaps you'll find comfort in this column.

If we were in Egypt, perhaps Joe Ellis or Brain Xanders could get us in big trouble.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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