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The Quest for the Lombardi – Denver Broncos

March 29, 2012 Broncos, NFLTR Features

 DENVER BRONCOS

2011 Record: 8-8 (3-3) AFC West Champions

  • Won in the AFC Wild Card Round over the Pittsburgh Steelers, 29-23 OT.
  • Lost in the AFC Divisional Finals to the New England Patriots, 45-10.

 

Passing Offense – 152.1 (31st)

QB Tim Tebow: 1,729; 12 / 6

WR Eric Decker: 44 – 612 / 8TDs

WR Demaryius Thomas: 32 – 551 / 4TDs

 

Passing Defense – 231.5 (18th)

CB Champ Bailey: 2 INTs

CB Andre Goodman: 2 INTs

OLB Von Miller: 11.5 Sacks

 

Rushing Offense – 164.5 (1st)

HB Willis McGahee: 249 – 1,199 / 4 TDs

QB Tim Tebow: 122 – 660 / 6 TDs

 

Rushing Defense – 126.3 (22nd)

OLB Wesley Woodyard: 97 Tackles

MLB D.J. Williams: 90 Tackles

 

Current Cap Space: 8,325,000$

 

Notable Arrivals:

PK Matt Prater (Franchised Tagged, Yet to sign)

WR Matt Willis (Tendered, 1 yr / 1.26$ million)

OL Chris Clark (Tendered, 1 yr / 540,000$)

P Britton Colquitt (Tendered, 1 yr / 540,000$)

RB Lance Ball (Resigned, 1 yr / 540,000$)

LB Joe Mays (Re-signed, 3 yr / 12$ million)

C/G Manny Ramirez (Re-signed, undisclosed terms)

LB Wesley Woodyard (Re-signed, 2 yr / undisclosed terms)

S Mike Adams (Browns, Signed – 2 yr / 4$ million)

WR Andre Caldwell (Bengals, Signed – 2 yr / 1.8$ million)

OG C.J. Davis (Panthers, Signed – future / reserve contract)

TE Joel Dreessen (Texans, Signed – 3 yr / 8.5$ million)

QB Caleb Hanie (Bears, Signed – 2 yr / undisclosed terms)

WR Jason Hill (Jaguars, Signed – 1 yr / 700,000$)

QB Peyton Manning (Colts, Signed – 5 yr / 96$ million)

CB Tracy Porter (Saints, Signed – 1 yr / 4$ million)

TE Jacob Tamme (Colts, Signed – 3 yr / 9$ million)

 

Notable Departures:

DT Brodrick Bunkley (Saints, Signed – 5 yr / 25$ million)

TE Daniel Fells (Patriots, Signed – 3 yr / 5.25$ million)

DE Derrick Harvey (Bengals, Signed – undisclosed terms)

FB Spencer Larsen (Patriots, Signed – 2 yr / undisclosed terms)

QB Brady Quinn (Chiefs, Signed – 1 yr / 1.5$ million)

TE Dante Rosario (Chargers, Signed – 1 yr / undisclosed terms)

WR Eddie Royal (Chargers, Signed – 3 yr / 13.5$ million)

QB Tim Tebow (Traded to Jets with a 2012 7th Rd Pick for a 4th Rd Pick and a 6th Rd Pick in the 2012 Draft)

 

Draft Order:

  • 1st  Rd Pick – 25th
  • 2nd Rd Pick – 25th
  • 3rd Rd Pick – 25th
  • 4th Rd Pick – 13th (from NYJ)
  • 4th Rd Pick – 25th
  • 5th Rd Pick – 2nd (from STL – Traded Brandon Lloyd for 2012 conditional pick (fifth round pick if Lloyd catches 30 or more passes in 2011, else sixth round)
  • 6th Rd Pick – 18th (NYJ)

 

Last Five First Round Picks:

  • * 2007 Jarvis Moss DE (17th Overall) – Coming out of university, he had the size, speed, and athleticism to thrive in the NFl, but combined with the lack of production they envisioned him being and suffereing setback injuries in his progression the Broncos released him and then headed to Oakland, but only lasted one season and now is a free agent.
  • 2008 Ryan Clady OT (12th Overall) – Considered the one of the premier tackles in the NFL, since joining the Broncos, Clady has done nothing but improve and demonstrate his ability in the ground attack and pass protection that he is the cornerstone of the offensive line. Finishing third in the Offensive Rookie of the Year behind Matt Ryan and Chris Johnson, set a record of 20 games without giving up a sack, and has been elected to the Pro Bowl twice already.
  • 2009 Knowshon Moreno HB (12th Overall) – After being selected as the first running back in the Draft, he might be the first one in the first two rounds to drop out of the NFl, since his rookie season of 947 yards rushing with 7TDs, he has regressed and last season he tore his ACL, and will have to battle Willis McGahee and a running back most likely be added through the draft this season.
  • **2009 Robert Ayers DE (18th Overall) – In college he was a hand in the dirt pass-rusher, once he was drafted the Broncos moved him to outside linebacker, which he never made the impact they thought he would. Then again last season they moved him back to his original position DE and played much better and more consistent, but still lacks the pass rushing ability they need in the Mile High State.
  • *** 2010 Demariyus Thomas WR (22nd Overall) – It took him a while to get going in the NFL, but from December this past season on, he showed why he was selected in the first round by Josh McDaniels. Brought a big play ability to an offense that had been lacking it since Brandon Marshall left (OT Touchdown against the Steelers in the Wild Card game), and he will only get better with Peyton Manning.
  • **** 2010 Tim Tebow QB (25th Overall) -  Taking a gamble on a quarterback early in the draft, which many people thought should have been a 3rd-4th round pick. He played on occasions his rookie season and then after Kyle Orton was injured he took over and brought the Broncos to the playoffs. Even knocking off the Steelers in OT, but Tebowmania quickly came to a halt when they faced the eventual AFC Champs in New England. Then the off-season came with speculation and the eventual signing of Peyton Manning meant the end of Tebow and was shipped to the Jets for draft picks.
  • 2011 Von Miller OLB (2nd Overall) – Came out as the first player selected in the draft after Cam Newton and quickly established himself as a fierce competitor and racked up 11.5 sacks en route to his Pro Bowl election and Defensive Rookie of the Year. He has the ability, smarts and athleticism to be a gem for the Broncos defense with D.J. Williams.

 

* The Broncos traded their #21 overall pick (S Reggie Nelson) along with a third (later Traded to BAL, T Marshal Yanda) and sixth-round picks (later traded to ATL, C Doug Datish) to the Jaguars for the #17 overall pick (DE Jarvis Moss).

** The Broncos traded quarterback Jay Cutler and a fifth-round pick (WR Johnny Knox) in the 2009 Draft to the Bears for the #18 overall pick (DE Robert Ayers) in the 2009 Draft along with a third-round pick (Later traded to PIT, WR Mike Wallace) in the 2009 Draft and a first-round pick (Traded to SF, T Anthony Davis) in the 2010 Draft..

*** The Patriots traded this selection to the Broncos for a first-round selection (24th overall; traded to Dallas, who selected Dez Bryant) and a fourth-round selection it acquired from the 49ers (113th overall; Patriots selected Aaron Hernandez).

**** The Ravens traded this selection to the Broncos for a second-round selection it acquired from Miami (43rd overall; Baltimore selected Sergio Kindle), a third-round selection it acquired from Philadelphia (70th overall; Baltimore selected Ed Dickson), and a fourth-round selection (114th overall; Baltimore selected Dennis Pitta).

 

TEAM NEEDS:

DT – Constantly gave up big plays to teams and didn’t get much of a pass-rush from anyone other than Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller. The Broncos weren’t able to re-sign free-agent Brodrick Bunkley who bolted for the Saints, and Marcus Thomas is a free agent, which combined for no sacks together. This is a part of the defence that needs an injection of youth and a presence of pass rushing, which this year’s draft class is deep with defensive tackles who can generate pressure.

  • Possible Pick – Flecther Cox, Mississippi State – A quick, versatile and scheme diverse tackle that has the athleticism and size to help the linebackers on the Broncos roam with more freedom. A Randy Starks clone.

 

HB – The leagues best ground game brought power and more power to each game with the balance of Willis McGahee, Tim Tebow and others. But now with Tebow in New York and McGahee turning 30 and battled late-season injuries, John Fox has expressed a preference for a “stable” of running backs going forward. By drafting a young bull to take some wear off of McGahee could help increase his effectiveness.

  • Possible Pick – Lamar Miller, Miami (Fla) – Draws comparisons to Clinton Portis another former Hurricane. He possesses a dynamic runner with the ability to break long runs as well as grind it out inside.

 

OL – The Broncos offensive line paved the way for a tempo setting ground attack and of the starting five, three have been drafted in 2010 or 2011 and their average age is just a little over 25 years old. Now with Peyton under center, can this group continue improving and keep him upright? It’s a good start that Ryan Clady is protecting his backside, but the interior line could use some depth and even have someone come in to push LG Zane Beadles and C J.D. Walton, who have been inconsistent, but effective since joining the Broncos.

  • Possible Pick – Cordy Glenn, Georgia – A big, powerful, versatile and experienced player against the nation’s best competition in the SEC. Glenn is precisely what the Broncos are looking for to help push their ground game forward in 2012.

 

 

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