Saturday, April 24, 2010

Breaking it down: Broncos 2010 NFL Draft

On Thursday morning, the Broncos didn't have any centers on their roster, and seven draft picks to work with. The Draft is finally over, and the Broncos come away with two centers and 9 drafted players. Head Coach Josh McDaniels has been wheeling and dealing all weekend. From 1995-2008 Mike Shanahan made 13 draft-day trades. In two drafts, Josh McDaniels had already made 9. Here's a quick review of the players drafted, in the order they were drafted:

With the 22nd overall pick in the Draft, Denver selected Georgia Tech wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. He is a big guy that can go up for a pass. He has the size of a Tight End, and the speed of a Wide Out. He looks to become the Broncos future #1 WR.

With the 25th overall pick in the Draft, the Broncos selected Florida QB Tim Tebow. The former Heisman trophy winner is big for his position, and very athletic. Although his throwing motion could use some work, he looks to contribute immediately in Wild Cat-type and short yardage plays. If a QB needed some tuning up, I can't think of a better environment; Josh McDaniels is one of the better QB coaches there is, and learning behind Orton and Quinn give him an opportunity to fully develop as a passer. Tebow is the Broncos future.

With the 45th overall pick in the Draft, Denver selected Utah Offensive Tackle Zane Beadles. It is clear Josh McDaniels is trying to beef up the O-line, as Beadles comes in at 310 pounds. He played Tackle in college, but can also play Guard, and that's where the Broncos will move him. He has the opportunity to contribute immediately, and adds great depth to the line.

With the 80th overall pick in the Draft, the Broncos selected J.D. Walton, a 23 year old center from Baylor. A major need coming into the draft, Denver addressed the center position in the 3rd round. Like all of the picks before him, Walton has great character, and is a solid player. He'll get a chance to start for the Broncos this season.

With the 87th overall pick in the Draft, the Broncos selected WR Eric Decker of Minnesota. One of the most underrated Wide Receivers in the draft, Decker has a Ton of potential. He has great hands, big-play potential, and a great work ethic. A foot injury prematurely ended his college career, but if he stays healthy he could become a big part of the Broncos future.

With the 137th pick in the draft, the Broncos selected Perrish Cox, a cornerback from Oklahoma State. He fell on draft boards because of character concerns, but there's no concern about his skills. He is a fantastic cover corner. He could emerge as a starter in a surprisingly short time. He also has amazing kick return abilities, and that is where it is expected Denver will use him the most this season. Starters Champ Bailey and Andre' Goodman are starting to age, so this pick adds depth to the secondary. Cox has the potential to surpass expectations this season.

With the 183rd pick in the draft, the Broncos selected Eric Olsen, a center out of Notre Dame, who protected Jimmy Clausen in college. Adding depth to the line, the Broncos got an aggressive lineman with a powerful frame. He is a solid back up - if nothing else - for the Broncos this fall.

After trading back into the seventh round, the Broncos held the 225th and 232nd picks. With the 225th, they selected Syd'Quan Thompson, a cornerback from California. He is a very tough and fiscal corner, but not too fast for his size. He'll compete for a roster spot, but doesn't look to contribute much on defense this season for the Broncos.

With the 232nd pick, the Broncos selected Jammie Kirlew, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, of Indiana. Clearly McDaniels is looking to rebuild the Broncos with class act guys, as all but one of them have great character, including Kirlew. He is not very big, or fast, but he has a good motor. He is a Defensive End, with the potential to be a 3-4 outside linebacker.

Coming into the draft, the Broncos needed depth at Wide Receiver, Linebacker, Tight End, Defensive line, and corner. Denver didn't draft a Linebacker or Tight End. But the club has signed free-agent inside linebacker Akin Ayodele. Ayodele is a 9th year linebacker who was the Miami Dolphins third-leading tackler with 71 tackles last season. He'll get a chance to start, but Mario Haggan pretty much has the 'Mike' linebacker position locked up. As far as Tight End, Josh McDaniels said Friday night the player most likely to replace Tony Scheffler at the Broncos’ “receiving” tight end position is Marquez Branson. The Broncos have also already signed undrafted free agents: Alric Arnett (WR), Chris Brown (RB), and Jaron Baston (DT). Expect many more UDFA signings by the Broncos this week.

The Broncos had a good draft, their picks show the direction the team is headed. We are really excited about seeing these rookies in training camp, and contributing this season.

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