One of BTSCs newer readers TShaff brings the goods with the Denver Broncos selection at #12. Despite the somewhat obvious nature of the selection (at least in terms of taking a linemen here), this is fantastic work and lots of effort from him. I look forward to having him around the discussions as we move forward through the offseason, into training camp, and on to the regular season. Many thanks. With that, the Carolina Panthers and maryrose are on the clock.
With the 12th pick my job here has been made easy and at this point in the draft I think this will be one of the most agreed upon picks. And if I'm Mike Shanahan I'm thrilled because this pick will not be up for debate by the fans, which could have caused even more turmoil for a franchise on the verge of self destruction.
Number of Selections: 9 (Rounds: 1, 2, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 7, 7)
Broncos needs in order of importance are: OT, DT, WR, LB, S (Almost everywhere but QB and CB)
With no 3rd round draft pick the Broncos MUST find players in rounds 1 and 2 that will be able to make an immediate impact. The two positions of need that they did not address in free agency were DT and OT.
The Broncos need at DT comes from years of trying to bring in NFL re-treads that have not worked out, yet still there has been a lot of talk about the Broncos making a trade for DT - DeWayne Robertson (Jets). With Dorsey and Ellis gone there are no other DT's worthy of a #12 overall pick. Besides, I think the Robertson trade is a deal that happens on draft day for a couple of day two picks. This minimizes the need to draft an impact DT in the first two rounds.
When Matt Lepsis (10 year NFL vet with 133 starts for the Broncos) decided to hang 'em up after suffering 2nd season-ending injury in a row the LT position became an immediate need. Currently, the Broncos only have two Offensive Tackles on the roster (Erik Pears - RT, and Ryan Harris - RT/LT). This is a position that needs an influx of talent and depth. Pears is the starting Right Tackle and will continue to play in this role next year. Ryan Harris, a 3rd round draft pick in 2007 from Notre Dame, played sparingly in 2007 getting his first appearance against the Steelers on Sunday Night Football and only getting one game at LT on the final game of the year.
The Broncos will get a major upgrade in talent, an immediate starter, and arguably the best pass-blocking lineman in the draft when they pick Ryan Clady with the 12th pick in the draft. Clady is a prototypical LT with size at 6'6, 310lbs. Other measurables are: 24 reps with 225lbs, 5.18 in the 40 yard dash, vertical jump of 31 inches, and broad jump of 9 feet. He will fit well in the Broncos zone blocking scheme with his ability to move laterally and handle edge speed rushers. Clady at the 12th pick makes perfect sense because it is a player at a position of need for the Broncos and a great value at this point in the draft. Most mock drafts have Clady going in the top 10. Not to mention it will throw the next two picks into a scrambling frenzy because both the Panthers and Bears have a need on the offensive line and have shown a great deal of interest in Clady.
The only other wild card I could see coming up here is the possibility of the Broncos drafting Brandon Albert and converting him from Guard to Tackle. Albert has been shooting up draft boards and many pundits consider him a top 10 talent at either guard or tackle. I must admit, the highlight videos I've seen of Albert are absolutely impressive. I hope he lasts until pick 23.
#1 - Miami Dolphins, Darren Mcfadden
#2 - St. Louis Rams, Chris Long
#3 - Atlanta Falcons, Sedrick Ellis
#4 - Oakland Raiders, Vernon Gholston
#5 - Kansas City Chiefs, Jake Long
#6 - New York Jets, Glen Dorsey
#7 - New England Patriots, Dominique Rodger-Cromartie
#8 - Baltimore Ravens, Jerod Mayo
#9 - Cincinnati Bengals, Keith Rivers
#10 - New Orleans Saints, Aqib Talib
#11 - Buffalo Bills, Malcom Kelly