2011 NFL Draft Wrap-Up: Denver Broncos
NFL’s Future is breaking down all 32 teams drafts in 32 days. Today we analyze the Denver Broncos:
Denver needed to come out of this draft with defensive talent to make the transition to the 4-3 base defense. The most obvious need for Denver was to address the defensive tackle spot as they were horrid against the run in 2010. Aside from DT, they needed to add secondary help, offensive line, and a formidable tight end.
Denver, for months, were a lock to select Marcell Dareus, the big DT from Alabama. Well that lock became unlocked when days before the draft speculation grew that John Elway and Co. were seriously considering Von Miller. Then on Thursday night they announced Von Miller as the 2nd overall pick. Von Miller is a talented player and definitely deserving of the 2nd overall pick but WOW. Denver has a gaping hole at DT and Marcell Dareus could go a long way to filling that need. Denver’s affinity for Miller may have gotten in their way of making the smart pick.
Overall, Denver did a good job of filling needs and adding defensive talent. Their failure to address the DT position may come back to haunt them if they aren’t able to get help in free agency.
1. Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
Von Miller is one of my favorite players in the draft and I think he could be a star in the league. However, Denver needed to address their run defense high in this draft and they failed to do so with this pick or any of the subsequent picks.
45. Rahim Moore, S, UCLA
Denver needed help at the FS position and they wisely traded down and were still able to get their man in Moore. Moore should make an immediate impact on their defense.
46. Orlando Franklin, T/G, Miami
Denver addressed need with Franklin but I am not a big fan of his game. I question whether he will be able to play tackle in the NFL and he has some injury concerns.
67. Nate Irving, ILB, N.C. State
Most everyone thought Irving was a reach at 67 but anyone who follows me on Twitter knows I am a huge fan of Irving. He could wind up being the best value of the draft for the Broncos and a key piece of their rebuilding defensive effort.
108. Quinton Carter, S, Oklahoma
Yes, the Broncos need this much safety help. My only question is they probably could have got help at DT at this point. Probably not a starter but someone that could provide depth at the position.
129. Julius Thomas, TE, Portland St.
Thomas is a pick for the future and they will keep him in their back pocket. Thomas is loaded with upside and I really like him at pick 129.
189. Mike Mohamed, ILB, California
Mohamed could provide quality depth at the LB position and play special teams.
204. Virgil Green, TE, Nevada
I don’t know if Denver had intentions of selecting two TE’s but with Green on the board at 204, they couldn’t pass. I like Green more than some others and think he was a great value at 204.
247. Jeremy Beal, DE, Oklahoma
I can’t say I’m surprised Beal fell this far but the Broncos reap the rewards of his slide after an abysmal showing at the Senior Bowl, Combine, and frankly 2010 season. Beal was once considered a second round pick, so he is still a good value at the end of round 7.
As a whole Denver got good value with most of their picks. My only criticism of their draft (and it’s a big one) is why no DT? I think they got 3 starters out of this draft and quality reserves in Franklin, Beal, and Carter. They added talent at TE in Thomas and Green and special teams help with Mohamed. Overall, good value just wish they would have gone DT.
BEST VALUE: Virgil Green
POTENTIAL SLEEPER: Nate Irving
IMMEDIATE STARTER: Rahim Moore (Von Miller is too obvious)