Is that all? Lard 4-28-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans!

Denver must love these guys, and they must think they were not alone.

How else to explain away what looks to be a trio of reaches atop Denver's 2012 draft?

That's not to suggest Derek Wolfe, Brock Osweiler, and Ronnie Hillman aren't going to be any good in the NFL. They may very well be, even though neither Mike Mayock nor Gil Brandt put Hillman on their top 100 prospect lists, with Wolfe barely cracking Brandt's top 125. In case you were wondering, the Impassioned One had only the QB in his Top 100.

In the end, what matters is that you come away from a draft with players you wanted, and whom you spent time scouting. Who cares that every Joe Mock Draft had Wolfe going in the third round, and Hillman in the fourth? If these prospects make significant contributions as Broncos, we're all going to forget where they were drafted, how much lower Denver could have theoretically acquired them, and who else was on the board at those junctures.

But here's the thing: the draft and the scouting that leads up to it are all part of a remarkably flawed process, and it's not enough to trust your own evaluations and do whatever it costs to get a player, like the Broncos did when they moved up 20 spots to take Hillman.

It's not enough because no team should assume they're going to hit on all or most of their selections, or have you gone five minutes without hearing the draft called a crap shoot? There are only two panaceas to that:

  1. Having all of your picks high in the draft, where you can have more confidence in your choices
  2. Making a lot of picks

Obviously, the Broncos have done neither. They moved back from #25 to #36, and as of now they have just as many picks as they entered with. We've been charting out the chronology of Denver's picks, and this is what happened between Thursday and this moment:

  • Entered with 25, 57, 87, 108, 120, 137, 188
  • Picked at 36, 57, 67 and have 101, 108, 137, 188

Net net, Denver moved back those 11 spots at the top, turned the #87 pick into the #67, and the #120 pick into the #101 pick. It seems like a whole lot of movement for not much in the way of value.

We've beaten this horse to a number of deaths only manageable for a cat, but this game is about improving your odds at finding starters.

Yet what the Broncos have done instead is take three players higher than anyone saw them going. The theory here is they could have easily gotten all three of them at lower positions, and come away with more picks while doing so. Or, they could have caught a sliding prospect (value) like Brandon Thompson or Lamar Miller.

There are always the fallbacks of They know more than we do and Maybe they heard Baltimore wanted the same guys. How did that work out with prior reaches Tim Tebow, Rahim Moore, Zane Beadles, Alphonso Smith, Darcel McBath, and Richard Quinn, just to name those that have occurred under the watchful watering eyes of Brian Xanders?

They must love these guys.

Get used to saying that, because right now it's what we've got.


John Fox (video) met with the press last night and says the team stayed true to its draft board, praising Wolfe's pass-rush skills and motor, calling Osweiler a "prototypical" NFL QB prospect, and comparing Hillman to fellow Aztec Marshall Faulk.

Andrew Mason summarizes Friday's action for the Sporting News, plus his notes on Wolfe, Osweiler, and Hillman; he thinks the Hillman pick signals that Knowshon Moreno is a short-timer in Denver.

Mike Klis goes over the team's night and says Denver was high on Osweiler all year long. And that's the thing with Osweiler - if they truly see him as their QB of the future, and they must, then who are we to complain about where Denver picked him? If Peyton Manning gets hurt, then at least the Broncos haven't made the same mistake Indy did by not grooming an eventual replacement to the legend. And if Manning sticks around for three or four years, well then Osweiler will only be 24 or 25 when he takes over. If he doesn't play for three or four years, because Manning is still at a high level, that won't be a reason to rue the pick. Do you regret having insurance on your house, car, and life because all are still intact?

And as for whatever John Elway said leading up to the draft - about impact players, about starters? Who cares? Those are words, these are actions. The Broncos are not required to proclaim what they're about to do at any juncture, and the draft would be the worst time of all for them to begin to. Let's just judge the actions, because that's all that matters.

Dave Krieger takes the pulse of the Denver fan reaction, and he's impressed by Osweiler's vocabulary.

Notes on each of Denver's three picks via LJ and the Impassioned One, plus more notes from Captain Passion.

The PFF guys consider the case of Willis McGahee, who just missed inclusion in their Top 101 Players list.


Houston is reportedly shopping WR Jacoby Jones.

Adam Schefter says Oakland is likely to sign QB Matt Leinart.

Friday notes from Matt Bowen, plus Day 2 winners/losers according to Will Brinson and John Clayton.

Plenty of Rams and Jeff Fisher fellating by Mike Silver, Don Banks, and Alex Marvez.

Top remaining prospects according to Wes BuntingRuss Lande, and Bucky Brooks.

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

The Lard