Feeling Drafty #2: Denver Broncos

March 28, 2011 at 6:00 pm (Sports) (, , , , , , , , )

Brandon Lloyd shocked the world by leading the NFL in receiving yards and earning Denver Team MVP.

With all of the big events happening to the Denver Broncos this year, you wouldn’t think that they would have the #2 overall pick.  But, inconsistency and the inability to close out games had the Broncos staring down the barrel of a 4-12 season and the midseason release of head coach/mad scientist Josh McDaniels.  But they did have their high points.

First of all, who would’ve thought that the combination of Kyle Orton and Brandon Lloyd would be as amazing as it was.  Orton had career games against Indianapolis (476 yards) and Kansas City (four touchdowns).  For a good portion of the season, he led the league in passing yards.  As for Lloyd, he had a turnaround that would make Michael Vick blush.  After seven seasons of ineptitude with four different teams, Lloyd shocked the world by going for 77 receptions, 1,448 yards, 11 touchdowns, six 100+ yard games (including two games with 169 yards each), and his first Pro Bowl appearance.  Even more shocking is that he nearly doubled his previous career high in yardage.

And then, there’s Tim Tebow.  The former Heisman Trophy winner was controversially picked with one of Denver’s two first-round picks.  He was on the bench for the first 14 weeks, getting sporadic playing time and an occasional rushing touchdown.  He finally got to start in Week 15 with mixed but generally positive results:  four passing TDs, three rushing TDs, three interceptions, one fumble, and one come-from-behind victory against Houston in the last three games of the season.

But, the big problem for the Broncos was the fact that they were completely one-dimensional.  Knowshon Moreno was utterly ineffectual through the first half of the season.  He only rushed for 252 yards and two touchdowns in the first eight games.  Laurence Maroney was brought in from New England to try to jumpstart the rushing game, but not only didn’t it work (124 total yards, zero touchdowns), but Maroney was later arrested on drugs and weapons charges.  However, the running game isn’t main focus that Denver needs to address.  Moreno had a pretty good second half, so the running game is OK at the moment.

Marcell Dareus is the best defensive lineman in what may be the best defensive line draft class in recent memory. Denver would love to have him at #2.

The big problem is at defensive tackle.  With John Fox coming in, the Broncos will be switching to a 4-3 defense.  That means that they need someone to plug up the middle.  And the biggest plug is still on the board, Alabama DT Marcell Dareus.  He was the main component in Alabama’s National Championship winning defense.  He racked up 6.5 sacks in two fewer games than his teammates.  He’ll be ready to play right away.  Paired with Elvis Dumervil, the Broncos defensive line, will be monstrous.

I’ve heard some people say Cam Newton for Denver, to which I would ask, why would you say this terrible, terrible thing?  Tim Tebow may not perfect, but give him a year as a starter, and I will bet you that someone big will say that he is the best mobile QB in the NFL. (Yes, better than Michael Vick.  That’s right, I said it.)

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