Thursday, March 31, 2011

Predicting Two Players Denver Will & Won't Draft

As we get closer and closer to the upcoming NFL Draft (in which the Denver Broncos will be selecting second overall) more and more Mock Drafts have been coming out. There have been some intriguing and some just plain uneducated guesses.

Our very own Garrett Barnes shared his (very educated) Mock Draft earlier this month. Today though, we don't really have a mock draft for you. But rather, four predictions. We're going to name two players we are willing to bet money on Denver drafting and two others that we don't think will be drafted by Denver (and who we picked could surprise you).
When I say we I really mean myself, but saying we flows better than I. Anyways, let's get down to business:

1st player they will pick: Round one, 2nd pick overall: Alabam Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (pictured above, image courtesy of Getty Images). 'Oh come on,' one might say, 'isn't he an obvious pick?' Contray to popular belief, it's not yet cut and dry that Denver will be drafting Dareus come April - he may not even be available when they are on the clock! However, if he is, we believe Denver will draft him. The team is going through a rebuilding stage -- the defense in particular -- and they are looking to upgrade the starters across the board. The best way to do that is by starting in the trenches (the line) and that's just what they'll do.

1st player they won't pick: Round one, 2nd overall (or any other selection): LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson (pictured to the left, image courtesy of Getty Images). 'But wait! He's the best player in the draft,' I can hear you screaming now, 'there's no way Denver would be dumb enough to pass up on him.' Perhaps you're right, but like Dareus, he may not even be available. Yet, that's not the main reason we don't believe Denver will draft him. Broncos Head Coach John Fox and Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen will mainly be using soft, zone coverage schemes this season and probably longer. That makes perfect sense considering All Pro Cornerback Champ Bailey has thrived in that kind of defense in the past. However, Peterson thrives in jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage and playing man-to-man coverage, something the Broncos won't have their defensive backs do much of next season. At the same time, Peterson is such a talented guy that he could easily adjust and play zone or man. In the end though, Denver has to start back on the path to success by addressing the front seven, and that's just what they'll do.

2nd player they will pick: Round two 46th overall: Miami defensive end Allen Bailey. Denver has two second round picks in this years draft (36th and 46th overall) and it wouldn't be surprising to see them continue to address the front seven with those two picks. Bailey is a very versatile player who played a lot of defensive end in college but could probably play either end or defensive tackle in Denver's 4-3 defensive scheme. Behind Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers, the Broncos don't have a whole lot of depth at defensive end, so look for them to address the position in the draft. Coming in a 6'4 and 285 pounds, Bailey is projected to go anywhere from late in the 1st to 2nd round so if he's still on the board when Denver is selecting 46th overall, don't be surprised if they snatch him.

2nd player they won't pick: Any round: Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph (pictured to the right, image courtesy of the Associated Press). The number of mock drafts I have seen that have Denver picking this kid are innumerable. Be that as it may, don't plan on seeing him in a Broncos uniform next season. Many draft experts have dubbed tight end as a "position of need" on Denver's roster, I fail to see that logic, however. Currently on the team's roster are Daniel Coats, Dan Gronkowski and Richard Quinn (who has been a bit of a disappointment since arriving in Denver but is eager to prove himself in 2011). Broncos Head Coach John Fox doesn't even use a "pass-catching tight end" in his offense, so why should the team pass up on a much-needed defensive player in the early round to draft a "pass catching tight end"? There is a possibility that the Broncos will draft a tight end somewhere in the draft, just don't get your hopes up for Rudolph or any other tight end that will go in the first few rounds.

Follow Broncos Zone on Facebook and Twitter for more daily updates!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Around the web: Broncos Schedule Several Player Visits

A quick spin around the web:
  • University of Miami cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke worked out for the Broncos today and Oregon linebacker Casey Matthews is scheduled to visit the team next week.
  • Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is also scheduled to meet with the Denver Broncos sometime in the near future.
  • Over at BroncoTalk, we just completed a series highlighting the most memorable moments of the Broncos 2010 season. Be sure to go check it out!
  • The Denver Broncos have been awarded a seventh round compensatory pick (246th overall) in the upcoming NFL Draft, the team announced last Friday.
  • Our friends over at UTBroncos have created an interactive worldwide map that Bronco fans can add themselves to, add yourself here!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bronco Fandom Goes Beyond Colorado

As seen by the map pictured above, the Denver Broncos have one of the biggest fan bases in the NFL (perhaps in part due to their geographical location). Denver's fan base out-reaches America, however; as the NFL has grown in popularity throughout the world, so have the Broncos.
Down in South America, particularly Brazil, there are many Bronco fans. "In Brazil we have a lot of NFL fans, a lot of blogs and sites talking about NFL and the teams," said Everton Fernandes, a Brazilian Broncos fan who runs UmTorcedorDoBroncos, a blog which being translated means, "A Supporter of the Broncos".


Fernades has become a good friend of Broncos Zone and says he became a fan of the Broncos in 2008 when he lived in Colorado for about six months. While the NFL -- and even the Broncos -- are very popular, he says he couldn't find a Portuguese fan site, so he created one. The site has helped international Bronco fans stay updated on their favorite team, as has Broncos Zone.


This site has readers in over thirteen countries (Brazil among them) and our facebook page has fans from nearly twenty different countries (with Brazil also among them), and though they have a lot to learn about the game, as says Fernandes, they are just as die-hard as those fans that pack the 70,000 plus seats at Invesco Field on game days.

Similarly to Everton, Bert Jan Brands, a resident of the Netherlands, become a fan in 2007 when he spent a year of High school living in Colorado among die-hard Bronco relatives. "After the overtime win against the Raiders and then the last second field goal against the Bills, I was hooked instantly," said Brands. In 2010, Bert joined Broncos Zone as a contributor and has done an excellent job on the site since then.

Broncos Zone has a large fan base from the Netherlands, with many readers of the blog and several facebook fans residing there, Brands among them. While there are many football fans in Europe and South America, it's not the same as Stateside. For that reason, Brands and Frenandes take advantage of blogs and social networking to stay in touch with fellow Bronco fans. "

Most of my contacts are from Brazil, but I'm also always researching and looking to improving my knowledge about football and the Broncos," wrote Frenandes over email. Brands expounded: "I know a few people at university here (not Broncos fans) who watch games on occasion, but not at the level that I feel like we can have in-depth conversations about the game, the players, and all the good stuff that die-hard fans like to talk about.

"I know quite a few people here who probably think: 'Oh there you have him again, with his football stuff' whenever I'm reading a book on football or look up articles on websites, but it really doesn't bother me. It's my passion, and I enjoy it. So whenever I want to talk about the Broncos or the sport in general, it's great to have Twitter and such websites as Broncos Zone to talk with fellow fans."

Although both bloggers grew up in soccer-loving countries, neither were drawn to it like they are to football. "I love football because it's a strategy team game," said Fernandes. "Every player knows what he need to to do and what the others players need to do too. And yes, after I watched football, I prefer football over soccer."

Brands complied: "I've never been a big fan of soccer like most boys here in Europe grow up to be. I''ll pay attention to the scores on occasion whenever the local team is doing good, but I really can't be bothered to watch it. I love football because every time the ball is snapped there is a chance for a big play for either team, offense or defense. It really is one of the very few sports where if not all 11 guys on the field do their assigned job at the same exact time, things will go wrong."


Both international Bronco fans love quarterback Tim Tebow, "He brings to us some hope again," said Fernandes, who also notes that Tebow is his favorite Bronco. Brands wrote that though he is a big fan of Tebow, his favorite player is wide receiver Eddie Royal. "I met Royal at a practice in London this past October, and he was friendly enough to stop for a picture and gave me his receiving gloves. Great player and even better person. Despite the fact that he has not been as dominant these past two years as during his rookie season, I'll hope he'll be a Bronco for a long time. All around class act."

Both fans have played a little football, "just for fun" and enjoy expanding their knowledge of the game. You can follow them on Twitter, @BertJabB (Brands) and @UTBroncos (Fernandes). We would like to thank both for stopping by, GB²!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Fans: Fox and Elway Are Doing Just Fine

;Broncos owner Pat Bowlen with his newly appointed leaders in Denver. (Image courtesy of Getty Images)

On Sunday evening, we asked Bronco fans on our facebook page how they thought new Head Coach John Fox and Vice President of Football Operations John Elway were doing.

"Given the conditions they're working with," said Marc LaDoucier, "I think they're conducting business with top notch professionalism."

Taylor Starr summed up the general consensus; "If all that QB talk was just a smokescreen, then well done Elway and Fox! If we do draft a QB in the 1st or 2nd, then they get a below average grade. Love what they've done so far."

Many fans agreed with Starr, Darius Thomas even went as far as to say he may be a Broncos fan anymore if they drafted a quarterback. "If they draft a quarterback that just may do it for me. I've had enough of all the dumb trades and releases these past few years. [Coach Fox needs to] just give Tebow a good defense -- it doesn't have to be an All-Star cast -- and he will win games in bunches."

While an overwhelmingly majority of the fans are Pro-Tebow, some are glad the Broncos are keeping their options open, among them is Susan Quint. "So glad they are not drinking Woody Paige's 'Tebow Koolaid' and are keeping an open mind about the QB situation."

While others, like Kelly Peterson, trust Denver's management, particularly John Elway. will do what's best for the team. "I trust John Elway to do the right thing. I personally do not know much about Coach Fox. Actions speak louder than words though. There is no doubt they have alot of work ahead of them due to McDaniels trashing the Broncos. It will take years to rebuild the Broncos. In the mean time I will continue to support the Broncos. All I can say is I'm happy Elway is part of management... He was and is the heart of the Denver Broncos!"

Everyone agreed that the best move Fox and Elway made since arriving was signing All Pro cornerback Champ Bailey to a new contract. As Travis Weber pointed out, "The major thing was being able to keep Champ," that move alone gives them an extremely high grade.

Now fans will have to wait and see if the new management can continue to please the fans while doing what's best for the franchise.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Say Farewell To Kickoff Returns

On Tuesday, the NFL adopted a new rule that will move kickoff up to the 35-yard line. Touchbacks however will still come out to the 20-yard line. The League said it has made the change to try and avoid so many collisions. Yet, football is a contact sport, so the ruling has not been received well by the fans.

Last season, the Broncos place kicker, Matt Prater, booted nearly everyone of his kickoffs into or out of the endzone (in fact, over thirty-five percent of his kickoffs were touchbacks). Now with an extra five yards to start with, Prater could be sailing kickoffs through the uprights (something he has done in the past, starting five yards farther away). With that the case, it is unlikely many, if any, kickoffs at Invesco Field @ Mile High will be returned next season, or whenever the next football season is.

In a time where kickoff returns for touchdowns were being less and less rare, it now looks as if they may go extinct. Last year, there were 23 kickoff returns for touchdowns. In 1993, the last time kickoffs took place from the 35-yard line, there were only four. And in 1992, there were six.

Broncos second year safety and special teams player Kyle McCarthy weighed in on the subject, saying the ruling will cause more collisions, rather than less. "Does the NFL know by changing the kickoff spot to the 35 yard line," asked McCarthy, "Kickers are just going to kick it higher causing more collisions?" That is a interesting point, but it is more likely however that teams will just boot it out of the endzone every time, not giving the opposing team a chance to return.

There have also been several other happens in Dove Valley today, of which include;

Monday, March 21, 2011

Denver Shows Continued Interest in Quarterbacks

Earlier this month, news broke that the Denver Broncos were going to conduct private workouts with top quarterback Draft prospects Baine Gabbert of Missouri and Washington quarterback Jake Locker.

The initial reaction among most Bronco fans was that of confusion. The team already has veteran quarterback Kyle Orton, up and coming quarterback Tim Tebow and still-thinks-he-could-be-a-starter Brady Quinn on the roster. Add in the fact that Denver's defense is in shambles, and it makes no sense for the team to select an offensive player 2nd overall and especially a quarterback.

Using the above mentioned reasons as examples, many have brushed off the workouts and interviews as smokescreens. After all, last year then-Head Coach Josh McDaniels praised Oklahoma's Dez Bryant from his head to his toes before passing up on him in the draft and selecting fellow wide receiver Demaryius Thomas of Georgia Tech. Of course, that was McDaniels, not John Fox -- but it is still a legitimate example.

Expanding on the smokescreen theory, others have noted that the Broncos could be trying to position themselves to trade down by rubbing elbows with the coveted top quarterbacks in the draft (like Auburn's Cam Newton who is scheduled to visit with the team). In 2007, Denver offered two first-round picks, a second-rounder and two third-rounders, plus veteran linebacker Al Wilson to the Detriot Lions for their 2nd overall pick. Detroit declined and drafted the player the Broncos were in love with, wide receiver Calvin Johnson.

This year, the Broncos hold all the cards. If a team is in love with a quarterback that they think Denver may select second overall, they might be willing to make an offer similar to that of the one Denver made to Detroit four years ago. If the plan in Dove Valley is to trade down, they are executing it perfectly.

Today, it was reported that the team is also planning to visit with Nevada's Colin Kaepernick and Florida State's Christian Ponder, two other quarterbacks who are among the top 10 entering the draft this year and are expected to be available in the second round. With Denver showing so much interest in so many quarterback prospects (five by our count), the smokescreen theory is starting to look a little shaky.

There is only one reasonable conclusion, the Denver Broncos are planning to draft a quarterback this April. The team has already received at least one offer for quarterback Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn is not a realistic starting prospect, and quarterback Tim Tebow hasn't yet gotten a chance to win over the likes of Vice President John Elway and Head Coach John Fox.

With their first pick the team is expected to select a defensive player, "Our goal with that second pick is to find a player who is going to start for the next 10 years with us," said team General Manager Brian Xanders. After that though, who knows? Legendary former quarterback Elway knows quarterbacks, so it's no surprise he's exploring those who will be top picks in the draft this year.

Denver is going through a rebuilding process and currently they are figuring out who will and who won't be a part of the solution. Because they can't afford a bust, they'll pick a player that will be able to contribute immediately and help the team win games. "With that second pick, we have to look at everything," said Elway. "Because by no means do we plan on going back there. So we are literally looking at every position inside the draft." (Yes, that includes the quarterback position).

But make no mistake, the team has not given up on Tebow and he will get a chance to compete for the Broncos starting quarterback position this season (or whenever the next season is). The question is; with whom will he be competing?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What Are the Players Doing During the Lockout?

With the NFL lockout in full swing, the players and fans are faced with something rarely seen in pro football; a real offseason. If the Brady vs NFL lawsuit drags out, the 2011 season could be in jeopardy and the offseason already is.

There is a possibility that teams won't even be able to hold Training Camps this year, and that could prove to be detrimental to the Broncos younger players that need time to develop and practice together. One might then wonder, if the players are banned from team facilities until the lockout has ended, what are they up to these days?

Even if one might not wonder that, we did. So we caught up with some of the players to see what they've been up to.

Broncos staring offensive guard Zane Beadles said he is trying to approach the offseason as he would any other, even though that is not the case. "Even though this is clearly not a regular offseason I'm trying to approach it as it is a regular offseason," Beadles said on Tuesday. "This thing could end at anytime and when it does I want to be ready so I am training on my own just like I would always prepare." He went on to note he's had some time off, but it's now time to get back to the grind. "I've been able to get out of town a little bit and see some family and friends but now I'm ready to get back to work."

Broncos third year offensive tackle Ryan Clady, who has started 48 straight games since his rookie season, is quite the business man off the field. Clady is the Chief Executive Officer of Urban Legend Stadium, an athletic shoe store established to dress and empower the minority communities of Los Angeles. Clady is also a big fan of the defending NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers who are currently 48-20 and ranked first in the Pacific; defending his team on twitter has become a bit of a hobby for him.

Entering his second season in the NFL, Broncos 24 year-old wide receiver Britt Davis was offered a manger position with Abercrombie & Fitch, a popular clothing store. Presumably, he'll be accepting the offer.

Broncos second year quarterback Tim Tebow has certainly stayed busy. Tebow, who is a Jockey spokesperson, endorses FRS Healthy Energy, and works out three times a day (lifting, throwing and cardio) for a total of about 7 to 8 hours daily, still finds some time for his fans on occasion via twitter and spends time with his family, playing some paintball with his brother and some friends on Monday.

Two Broncos wide receivers that are especially hurting due to the lockout (quite literally) are Demaryius Thomas and Eddie Royal, who are recovering from a torn Achilles tendon and hip surgery respectively. Because of the lockout, neither player is able to utilize the team's rehab center or professional trainers. With that said, Thomas said on Friday that he is getting better every day. Meanwhile, Royal says he is "feeling stronger and stronger every day."

Broncos cornerback Perrish Cox has been back and forth from Texas and Denver doing some charity events in his home state, among other things. "I've been working out, never know when the season is going to start.... Other then that, I've just been chilling, going to movies, playing games, and doing other outgoing things."

Quarterback Brady Quinn is participating in a noble cause. He says he's growing his hair out, although "It's taking longer than I anticipated it to though," to donate to the Wigs for Kids Organization. Brady's hair has always been fairly long, so it shouldn't take too long for it to grow out. He's a classy guy and this is just another example of that.

"I'm just using this extra time off to get extra buff," said Broncos offensive lineman Stanley Daniels before adding, "You always have to find a positive in bad situations! Stay positive." Meanwhile, Broncos second year running back Lance Ball has taken up yoga and says he has been enjoying it.

Working out is as big a part of these players lives as eating is, that's why tight end Dan Gronkowski has been doing just that -- with his two brothers, Chris and Rob who play for the Cowboys and Patriots respectively.

Off the field, Broncos offensive tackle Ryan Harris is also the CEO & President of Harris Home Health, a corporation that offers medical and non-medical services to a variety of care seekers. Next Wednesday, Harris will be joined by several teammates at Heather Gardens hosting a Resource Fair and signing autographs. For full details, go here.

So while it is anything but a normal offseason, the players are trying to treat it like one. Finding time for family and friends, the players have been working hard preparing for the season -- the Broncos brass has said there will be one -- and the players will be ready.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Harris To Host Heather Gardens Resource Fair

Denver Broncos offensive tackle Ryan Harris also happens to be the CEO & President of Harris Home Health (HHH), a corporation that offers medical and non-medical services to a variety of care seekers.

Next Wednesday, March the 23rd, Harris Home Health will be participating in a Resource Fair at Heather Gardens from ten o'clock in the morning until two o'clock in the afternoon. Located at 2888 S Heather Gardens Way # 3 Aurora, CO 80014-3665, the event at Heather Gardens is free and open to all.

Harris will be attending, joined by teammates Lance Ball (running back), fellow offensive lineman Eric Olsen and safety Kyle McCarthy. The four players will all be available for autographs.

For more information on Heather Gardens, visit HeatherGardens.org, to learn more about HHH, visit HarrisHomeHealth.com. You can also contact Ryan Harris on twitter for more information: @RyanHarris74.

The Jake Locker Conundrum

Calm yourself, Broncos fans. Please. Yes, Jason La Canfora tweeted earlier this afternoon that Jake Locker, the highly regarded Quarterback out of Washington will be visiting the Broncos in a private workout, and yes it is surprising. That said, before you go out and assume the worst: That John Fox will ignore the Defense in the second round and draft a Quarterback, there are some more reasonable explanations on why Locker will be visiting Denver, which you should consider, uncluding:

1. The Broncos like him: Yeah, we have bigger needs at this point, but what's wrong with the Broncos being interested in him? If they think he has the potential to be a good Quarterback, then they should talk to him. For all we know he is the next John Elway. Do I doubt it? Yes. But is it completely unreasonable? No.

2. It's a smokescreen: This may be the most obvious answer. If lots of teams are interested in him, that raises his draft stock. The Broncos happen to be in a prime position to draft him, and if the Vikings or the Titans really want him, they might be willing to trade up. The Broncos have the ability to contribute to his hype by showing interest in him. By raising his stock, that raises the Broncos second round picks' value, opening opportunities for a trade to happen.

3. The Broncos long term interests: One common misconception is that draft scouts are only there to scout players the Broncos might draft. That's not entirely true. Often times, scouts will go out and scout a player to be more prepared for them when he enters the NFL. It's best to have as much background on a player as humanly possible, and this private workout could improve their knowledge of him when he goes pro.

There are many possible techniques that I may not even be able to imagine, but the Broncos might be using. John Fox is a smart, experienced coach who I am sure has a plan. Therefore, I wouldn't get too worried just yet. That said, if you are interested in more on Jake Locker, here my scouting report for the Quarterback:

Strengths: Strong, athletic build made for an NFL QB ... Excellent arm strength ... Can throw passes into the tightest windows ... Quick release ... Has decent mechanics ... Very athletic, definitely capable of running ... Outstanding competitor.

Weaknesses: Horrible field vision, definitely needs work ... Only okay accuracy ... Doesn't have a nice touch to his throws ... Doesn't put a nice spiral on his balls ... Gets anxious in the pocket ... Often makes poor decisions.

Overview: I read the list of strengths and I go "wow! Franchise QB!" Then I read the weaknesses and go "wow! Not good!" My overview is a little bit of each. Jake Locker has all of physical attributes, all of the leadership attributes and has very good mechanics. Every imaginable intangible besides leadership needs work, though. There is no way that he can start immediately and would need to be seriously coached up. That said, he does remind me a little bit of a John Elway type of player.

For more Broncos draft commentary, follow Garrett on twitter at @BroncoMadness.

Broncos Private Workouts List & What It Means

Let me set the scene for you here: The combine is finished, the pro days are scouted, and April 28 is well on its' way. That leaves the Denver Broncos with one key player interview, and that is the private workouts.

Private workouts, sometimes called "pre-draft workouts", are one of the most key parts of the scouting process. Every team is allotted a total of 16 private workouts where they run a player through drills, health tests, interviews and usually a dinner that night. It is commonly considered to be one of the most telling signs that a team is interested in a player, if they are invited to a private workout.

That is why I have compiled a list of the known private workouts that will be going down in Dove Valley this next month and a half. The list includes Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M ; DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma ; Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU ; Julius Thomas, TE, Portland State ; Danny Watkins, G, Baylor.

As you can see there are some big names, and some not so big names on the list here. Either way, expect many more to join them. So for the rest of this article, I have gathered some information to share with you on the invited players.

Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M:
There aren't many players in this draft that I am more excited about than Von Miller of Texas A&M. In my mind, I see no player on the board with more raw potential than Miller and he could very well be the next great pass-rushing Outside Linebacker. Seriously, I could go on for hours describing just how good he could be.

I guess if I had to start somewhere, I would have to rave about his ability to pursue the Quarterback. His ability to go after the QB puts names like Clay Matthews on the same level of Vernon Gholston. He's just that intimidating. Part of the reason he is so good in pursuit is his quickness, which rivals the great Derrick Thomas. Simply put, there may be no player I would rather see in orange and blue than Von Miller.

The only problem is, he is not #2 overall value. The Broncos would likely have to trade back to justify drafting him, and I'm not sure whether there will be any trade inquiries with no rookie salary cap. It shouldn't take away though, from just how good he is.

DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma:

DeMarco Murray is one of those players whose stock was really hot on the heels of his 2009 campaign, but his draft status cooled considerably in his Senior year. At this point his stock is around a late 3rd, early 4th round pick, but the Broncos would have to reach for him with their third round pick if they really wanted him.

Potential reach or not, Murray is a good player. His combination of size and speed is enough to raise any scouts eyebrow, and he is a very good receiver that caught a lot of passes in college. He would translate very well into a 3rd down-type back in the NFL. The problem is his laundry list of injuries which I can't help but shy away from after dealing with plenty of those at the running back position.

Nonetheless, I like Murray and he could be a great complimentary back for the Broncos... If he can stay healthy.

Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU:
I have an article in the works on Patrick Peterson, so I don't want to give to much away, but let me say this much: Great player, not as great as people are letting on. Prince Amukamara in my opinion is a FAR better value at a lower cost. Does that mean I necessarily dislike Peterson? Not at all. I love what he brings to the table.

My issue with him is a mixture of mechanics and stiff hips, which now that I think about it falls under the category of mechanics. Frankly, I find him to be far better suited at the Safety position in the NFL, and if the Broncos were to draft them, I would hope that is the position they would put him at.
Is Cornerback the Broncos biggest need? Of course not. But for all extensive circumstances, Peterson would be a good pick for the orange and blue.

Julius Thomas, TE, Portland State:
In the interests of full disclosure, I have done very little research on Julius Thomas and don't know much about him. I plan on watching some film of his this week when I get the chance. I have talked to some fellow draftniks though, and I do know one thing: He's an absolute physical monster who excelled at the combine. I can't wait to watch some game-film.

Danny Watkins, G, Baylor:
I like Danny Watkins as a player, but he isn't the right pick for the Broncos at this stage in the rebuilding process. Why, you ask? He's 27. The truth is, if I'm running the show in Denver, I'm not drafting players who may have only five good years left in them when I am the second worst team in the NFL. You just don't do that.

All of his game film is excellent, and he has superb footwork as well as great physical attributes on top of that. Maybe if had a lower draft status he'd be worth the pick, but right now I have him rated as a 3rd to 2nd round pick. Why not take the far superior Marcus Cannon or Rodney Hudson who happen to be of a reasonable age?

Or at least that's what I think. If he impresses the Broncos in their private workout though, don't be surprised if he is on their radar come draft day.

Update: The Broncos have also scheduled a private workout with Washington Jake Locker. For more on that story, go here.

That about wraps it up, but expect more private workouts to be announced as the month goes on. Keep an especially wide eye open for Marcell Dareus's workout, and remember for more Broncos draft updates to follow me on twitter: @BroncoMadness

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Understanding the NFL Draft Part 2: Mock Draft UPDATE

I don't have a fancy little article for you this time, with statistics and all that junk. But I think you'll be fine with that because I have what you are all truly craving: A mock draft.

Mock Drafts are all the rage these days, and it seems just about everyone is doing them. What isn't all the rage these days are good mock drafts. There is a difference between what you wish would happen and what will happen. So for you all today I have a mock draft that reflects what I think the Broncos plan to do with their draft, with all seven rounds.

I also have The Little Big Board, which I am happy to say has grown to 40 now, as well as some new scouting reports and a two round mock draft including all of the teams. Enjoy!

NFL MOCK DRAFT (2 ROUNDS):

1st Round:

1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

2. Denver Broncos: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

3. Buffalo Bills: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

4. Cincinnati Bengals: A.J Green, WR, Georgia

5. Arizona Cardinals: Von Miller, DE/OLB, Texas A&M

6. Cleveland Browns: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

7. San Francisco 49ers: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

8. Tennessee Titans: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Mizzou

9. Dallas Cowboys: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

10. Washington Redskins: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

11. Houston Texans: Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina

12. Minnesota Vikings: J.J Watt, DE, Wisconsin

13. Detroit Lions: Tyron Smith, OT, USC

14. St. Louis Rams: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

15. Miami Dolphins: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

17. New England Patriots: Nate Soldier, OT, Colorado

18. San Diego Chargers: Cameron Jordan, DE/DT, Cal

19. New York Giants: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Aldon Smith, DE, Mizzou

21. Kansas City Chiefs: Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor

22. Indianapolis Colts: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

23. Philadelphia Eagles: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

24. New Orleans Saints: Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA

25. Seattle Seahawks: Mike Pouncey, G, Florida

26. Baltimore Ravens: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami

27. Atlanta Falcons: Jon Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh

28. New England Patriots: Justin Houston, DE/OLB, Georgia

29. Chicago Bears: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas

30. New York Jets: Muhammad Wilkinson, DE/DT, Temple

31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Martez Wilson, ILB, Illinois

32. Green Bay Packers: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

2nd Round:

33. New England Patriots: Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech

34. Buffalo Bills: Jake Locker, QB, Washington

35. Cincinnati Bengals: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas

36. Denver Broncos: Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA

37. Cleveland Browns: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio St.

38. Arizona Cardinals: Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona

39. Tennessee Titans: Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville

40. Dallas Cowboys: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi St.

41. Washington Redskins: Sam Acho, DE/OLB, Texas

42. Houston Texans: Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia

43. Minnesota Vikings: Christian Ponder, QB, Florida St.

44. Detroit Lions: Kelvin Sheppard, ILB, LSU

45. San Francisco 49ers: Andy Dalton, QB, TCU

46. Denver Broncos: Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame

47. St. Louis Rams: Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

48. Oakland Raiders: Brandon Fusco, C, Slippery Rock

49. Jacksonville Jaguars: Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon St.

50. San Diego Chargers: Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami

51. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Benjamin Ijalana, G, Villanova

52. New York Giants: Mikel LeShoure, RB, Illinois

53. Indianapolis Colts: Tyler Sash, SS, Iowa

54. Philadelphia Eagles: Rodney Hudson, G/C, Florida St.

55. Kansas City Chiefs: Marcus Cannon, G, TCU

56. New Orleans Saints: Drake Nevis, DT, LSU

57. Seattle Seahawks: Curtis Brown, CB, Texas

58. Baltimore Ravens: Titus Young, WR, Boise St.

59. Atlanta Falcons: Lance Kendricks, TE, Wisconsin

60. New England Patriots: Tandon Doss, WR, Indiana

61. San Diego Chargers: Jabaal Sheard, DE/OLB, Pittsburgh

62. Chicago Bears: Clint Boling, G, Georgia

63. Pittsburgh Steelers: Brandon Burton, CB, Utah

64. Green Bay Packers: Daniel Thomas, RB, Kansas St.

Broncos Mock Draft:

2nd overall pick: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama (pictured to the left, photo(s) courtesy of Getty Images). I’m beginning to lean to the Panthers picking Da’Quan Bowers of Clemson, first overall, which for all extensive purposes is good news for the Broncos. Bowers is a great player. Don’t get me wrong. But, I feel at this point for the Broncos drafting a number one defensive tackle would be better than drafting a number one defensive end.

Some supporters of Patrick Peterson here will preach about how the Broncos need help on all three levels of the Defense. That is true. Then they will tell you that because of it, the Broncos need to draft the best player available. That is false. Honestly, and I know this is hard to deal with: The Broncos are bad. Not just bad, but REALLY bad. So bad, that you need to fill your biggest need. And while we have lots of needs on Defense, Cornerback definitely is the least of them. If/when the Broncos begin to win again, then they can use the best player available route, but for now they need to fill their biggest need, which is Defensive Tackle.

Marcell Dareus is the most polished Defensive Line prospect to come out in recent years, and his elite versatility and run-blocking skills have sent him to the top of many draft boards and number 3 on my own. He is a very technically sound tackler, and carries around surprising foot quickness for his size. By the time you’ve seen his pursuit for the Quarterback, it is almost impossible to resist him as he plays with one of the highest, most non-stop motors I have ever seen.

The only real knock on him is his pass rushing ability, but I think those concerns are horribly misplaced. He does not get enough credit for the job he does hunting down the QB. He bursts off of the line, and shows a deadly rip and swim move. It should not turn anybody away from drafting him.

Dareus isn’t the same guaranteed slam-dunk pick that Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy were last year, but unlike those two picks, he has an experienced, proven coach on the team. Fox excels in coaching the Defensive Line and knows how to develop and use players to the best of their abilities. Dareus has always to me seemed like a player that with the right coaching could be elite. I think the Broncos can bring him that coaching and mold him into a star. VALUE: -1

Other options: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M ; Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU ; Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

36th overall pick: Rahim Moore, S, UCLA (pictured to the right, photo(s) courtesy of Getty Images). This is a pretty popular pick right now among draftniks and Broncos fans alike. The Broncos are picking towards the beginning of the second round and will probably continue to fix the defensive side of the ball. With them needing help at all three levels, don’t be surprised if they take the best player available route and try to salvage what is left of their defense. Therefore, it is logical that if the best Safety in the entire draft is available when they pick they will not hesitate to pull the trigger on him.

I could probably win my case for him with saying only one thing: He models his game after Ed Reed, and is good at it too. He’s a student of the game and works hard on gameday and in practices beforehand. Moore is your classic ball-hawk Safety. He fights for the ball in the air, has reliable hands and elite hand-eye coordination. I can’t wait to see how high he can jump in the combine, but from what I’ve seen on the field, it could be one of the highest in the class.

Moore’s mechanics are solid for the most part, as he displays a good backpedal and knows how to use his range in zone. He’s your perfect centerfielder. That said, his man coverage needs work, and will probably need some time to work on that when he reaches the NFL. He will also need to work on his tackling mechanics, because he has been unreliable in that department at times.

Brian Dawkins is getting old and it’s not a stretch to say he might not be in Denver next season, but if he is, it should only be on a rotational basis. In fact, I would love to have Dawkins stay simply to tutor Moore.

Our Defensive Backs clearly need help and Dawkins opposite Hill is just not going to cut it at the Safety position. I firmly believe that Safety can be one of the most important positions on the field and if you are not sound there, than everything else falls apart. They are your teams’ last line of defense and hopefully John Fox recognizes he must address them with this pick. VALUE: +13

Other options: Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State. ; Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame ; Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville

48th overall pick: Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame (pictured to the left, image(s) courtesy of the Associated Press). This years’ Tight End class isn’t exactly star-studded and at this point I don’t see any of them being taken in the first round. That said though, there are some good picks to be had in this class, if these players are not overvalued.

My favorite, and the consensus best Tight End in the draft is Kyle Rudolph, a Tight End out of Notre Dame. Rudolph displays exceptional ball skills, with confident albeit aggressive pass catching. He needs to show a better release off of the line of scrimmage but has the athletic capabilities to learn how to do so at the next level. What most impresses me most though is his toughness. He constantly fights for the extra yard and his known among his peers for being a fantastic competitor.

While Tight End definitely isn’t the Broncos biggest need, we don’t have a pass-catching one at all, and John Fox utilizes the pass-catching Tight End far more than Josh McDaniels did. Daniel Graham is aging and if he is on the roster next season, I would be surprised if he was the year after that. Thus, you see the reasoning for drafting Rudolph.
Also, consider yet again positional value: We would be drafting the best Tight End in the entire class with only a mid-second round pick. When ever does a team get to draft the best players at three different positions? It would be incredible. While for the most part I would encourage John Fox to stick with mainly defensive players, if you can get a value like Rudolph this far down the stretch, it would be hard, if not impossible to pass him up.

If not Rudolph, because he may very well not be available, the Broncos will definitely continue to draft on the defensive side of the ball. VALUE: +16

Other options: Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon St. ; Quan Sturdivant, ILB, North Carolina ; Marcus Cannon, G, TCU.

66th overall pick: Greg Jones, ILB, Michigan St (pictured to the left, image(s) courtesy of the Associated Press). What immediately grabs my attention about Greg Jones is that he is a very sound pick. His durability is remarkable, as he hasn’t missed a single game in his three-year college football career due to injury. He also has some of the best intangibles in this years Linebacker class.

While Jones can often be run over by running backs (one of the reasons’ his stock has dropped), it is not so much a question of toughness, but instead it is the skill-set he uses as a Linebacker. He is definitely more of a pass-covering Linebacker, and I think he has the versatility to play the SAM as well as the MIKE position.

He is extremely instinctive and also has top-tier speed, and quickness he can use to get to the Quarterback. Coaches will love to use him in stunts, as he excelled at them while playing for Michigan St. Finally, you can’t help but love his expert technique at tackling. While he isn’t a hard hitter, rarely do you see him miss a tackle. Again, he is a great pick because he is so sound.

Greg Jones represents a big need for the Broncos by adding depth to a Linebacker core that is severely lacking it. While I don’t foresee him becoming a great starter, he is a solid player who could end up being a “jack of all trades but master of none” kind of pick. I like him here as a rotational linebacker.

184th overall pick: Marcus Gilchrist, CB, Clemson (pictured to the left, photo courtesy of Getty Images). I liked the small bits of what I saw from Marcus Gilchrist at the Senior Bowl. Gilchrist is just not a big playmaker, which is a shame, but there is some upside in drafting him.

Gilchrist is among the better run-supporters in this years’ Cornerback class, and I love the way that he uses his strong upper body in wrapping up and taking down Wide Receivers. From a physical standpoint, he is a mismatch for anybody on the field.

The reason he drops this far is his pass-coverage, which is very raw and definitely needs some work in the NFL. He plays with stiff-hips takes a lot of false steps resulting in a weak back-pedal. That said, he is a solid zone player who simply struggles in man to man.

He may be better fit for Safety at the NFL level, but that would be the coaches’ call. Either way, he is a good late round pick for any team looking for help in their secondary.

194th overall pick: Markus White, DE, Florida St (pictured to the left, image(s) courtesy of the Associated Press). Markus White is one of those pure physical monsters that I would love to see on the Broncos. His 4.67-projected 40 time on top of 261 pounds is absolutely ridiculous and would make him the perfect fit for a Denver Broncos team looking for some talent in their front seven.

There is no doubt whatsoever, that White can get it done physically at the Defensive End position but he is extremely raw as a player. It will take some serious coaching up to get him to the level where he needs to be, but I think John Fox can do it.

Besides, up until now the Broncos have failed to address the depth problem at the Defensive End position.

The Little Big Board:

1. A.J Green, WR, Georgia

2. Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

3. Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

4. Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

5. Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

6. Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

7. Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

8. Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

9. Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

10. Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

11. Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

12. Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA

13. Aldon Smith, OLB, Missouri

14. Nate Soldier, OT, Colorado

15. J.J Watt, DE, Wisconsin

16. Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

17. Brandon Harris, CB, Miami

18. Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

19. Tyron Smith, OT, USC

20. Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

21. Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

22. Jon Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh

23. Rahim Moore, S, UCLA

24. Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi St.

25. Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon St.

26. Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

27. Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

28. Mike Pouncey, OL, Florida

29. Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

30. Allen Bailey, DE, Miami

31. Drake Nevis, DT, LSU

32. Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame

33. Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas

34. Aaron Williams, CB, Texas

35. Jake Locker, QB, Washington

36. Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia

37. Christian Ballard, DT, Iowa

38. Marcus Cannon, OG, TCU

39. Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio St.

40. Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia

Scouting Reports:

Brooks Reed, DE/OLB, Arizona

Strengths: Very athletic, displays great agility ... A very reliable tackler who rarely misses ... Uses proper pad level and good leverage ... Terrific instincts ... Plays fast, with a high motor ... Unstoppable in pursuit ... Versatile ... High football IQ.

Weaknesses: A little bit small for his position ... Not very impressive run defending skills ... Can he play in coverage? ... Durability concerns ... A definite 'tweener.

Overview: I can't say that I dislike Brooks Reed at all, he has a lot of upside and may be a good player at the next level, but I simply feel that he will fall into the classic 'tweener category. He isn't big enough to play defensive end and may not have the skill set to play Outside Linebacker. Does that mean that a team shouldn't take a chance at him? No. A lot of people labeled Elvis Dumervil a 'tweener, but he sure did well for himself. If he falls into the right scheme, Reed could be an effective player at the next level. GRADE: 71/100

Noel Devine, RB, West Virginia (Pictured, photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Strengths: One of the quickest running backs in this years' class ... Explodes out of the backfield ... Shows a true second gear ... Changes direction smoothly, confidently ... Displays good vision ... A good receiver out of the backfield ... Lots of experience.

Weaknesses: Undersized at only 5'7 ... Struggles running through the tackles ... Will have troubles breaking tackles in the pros ... His size could lead to durability problems in the pros ... Character concerns.

Overview: I like Noel Devine as a situational back in a West Coast offense more than anything, and don't be surprised if he lands in Green Bay. He is an extremely explosive back, but since he can't run through the inside, I highly doubt that he will be able to be a feature back for a team. Luckily for Devine, this is a two running back league, and he certainly has a future in the NFL. GRADE: 68/100

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Look at What's Ahead for Broncos Zone

Dating back to September of 2009, Broncos Zone has hosted 49,119 readers (36,105 of those hits unique) and is expected by the end of this month, to have surpassed 50,000 hits! Since last May, 42,244 readers have stumbled across us; the 50K mark is a huge milestone for the blog that we are excited about.

With readers from over nine different countries, the blog is rapidly starting to grow. Begun in June of 2008, social networking sites have helped Broncos Zone grow in popularity among Bronco fans across the country and the world. Our facebook page (that currently has over 1,650 fans from 19 different countries) is the blog's second most popular referring site (second only to Google). Another social networking site, Twitter, which we have been using since 2010, is our forth most popular referring site, directing over 1,000 readers to the site since May of 2010.

As we continue to grow, we have big plans for the future; we are again going to bring you extensive coverage of the Broncos 2011 NFL Draft this April, and shorty thereafter the blog will go under construction for a whole new look. We are also planning on attending the first week of the Broncos Training Camp again this August, bringing you coverage of practice complete with photographs and video highlights. Of course, unless a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the League Owners and Players Union is agreed upon tomorrow, there may not be a Training Camp or NFL season this fall. If a new CBA is reached, we'll be ready to bring you coverage of both the Broncos offseason and season.

The blog will be getting bigger and better over the next few months so stay tuned! All of us here at Broncos Zone, myself, Photographer/General Editor Krystal Heath and Contributors Bert Jan Brands and Garrert Barnes, sincerely appreciate your readership and support of Broncos Zone. We look forward to what the future holds, GB²!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Around the Web: Fox Says Broncos Will Win, Soon

On Wednesday, Denver Broncos Head Coach John Fox said his goal is to get Denver back to a Championship.

"My job is to win games. That, I will promise you will happen. I can't put a number on it this first season, but I will promise you we'll be in the championship at some level very soon," Fox, in his first public address since he was hired in January, said at the annual breakfast to benefit the Boy Scouts of America.

NFL Draft prospect and LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson would like to help them get there.

“That would be wonderful to go there and help a veteran get over the hump and get a championship," said Peterson. "Champ has been in the game a long time and he's thirsty to win a championship. I would be more than happy to line up beside him and achieve that goal that he wants and that I want as well.”

Former New York Giants Running Back Tiki Barber has filed papers with the NFL to officially come out of retirement. The Giants still hold the rights to the 35-year old, but they are expected to let him go. ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter speculates that Denver could be a potential landing spot for Barber. That is pure specuation however, and it is more likely that Barber will sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (the team with his twin brother Ronde).

The Denver Broncos are one of the winningest franchises in the history of Professional Football. Yet, they are one of the least represented teams in the Pro Football Hall of Fame among the more successful teams. You can help get more into the Hall of Fame by emailing the HOF voters; for more, visit GetThemInTheHall.com.
Broncos Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Lloyd follows us on twitter (@BroncosZone) and former Broncos wide receiver and three-time Super Bowl champion Ed McCaffrey follows us on facebook (Facebook.com/BroncosZone), do you?

Denver Looks to Address Front Four

One of the Broncos biggest faults on the defensive side of the ball last season was over pursuing, and that falls mainly on the shoulders of the defensive linemen and linebackers. The Broncos have already started to clean house, releasing defensive linemen Jamal Williams and Justin Bannan last week, hoping to upgrade the front seven starters across the board.

There are some players left over from the Josh McDaniels era that will be retained however, for now, we'll touch on the defensive linemen. Currently, the Broncos have four projected defensive ends on their roster in Robert Ayers, Jason Hunter, David Veikune, and Elvis Dumervil.

Broncos outside linebackers Robert Ayers and Jason Hunter did an excellent job of setting the edge in 2010, there's no better example than when they helped Denver's defense contain the Titans star running back Chris Johnson to 53 yards on 19 carries in week four of last season.

Containing the edge is a vital job at defensive end in a 4-3 defense, as well as being able to help in run support, an area Dumervil has struggled. A dominating pass rusher, Dumervil's weak spot has been against the run. Denver may opt to make Hunter a situational player, having him replace Dumervil short yardage plays.

Last season, Denver's base defense was a 3-4 in which Ayers played outside linebacker. The team did have variations in that formation however, and often played a 5-2 defense in which Ayers played defensive end. When you consider that, and the fact that he played defensive end his entire collegiate career, it's safe to assume Ayers transition to end will be a smooth one.

Hunter is a similar case. Having played the same position as Ayers last season, Hunter was a defensive end with the Lions before joining the Broncos. Another former defensive end, Pro Bowl outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil, played his first three NFL seasons as an end and recorded 26 sacks during that time period.

With three experienced ends, the Broncos won't have to focus on upgrading on the outside of the line (but that's not to say they might), it's more likely however, that their attention will be focused on the middle of the line. Defensive tackle Marcus Thomas isn't expected to return as he has chosen to explore free agency (once a new collective bargaining agreement is reached) and fellow tackle Ryan McBean was not tendered, making it unlikely that he will be returning. That leaves recently re-signed Kevin Vickerson, Louis Leonard, who previously played for coach John Fox in Carolina, and Mitch Unrein as the only other remaining defensive tackles on the roster, with Ronald Fields set to become a free agent.

With little depth behind Vickerson, the Broncos look to upgrade the position through the draft. Denver is in a great position to pick up a top lineman in Auburn's Nick Fairley, Clemson's Da’Quan Bowers or Alabama's Marcel Dareus at the top of the draft, but also could opt to use their second round picks on players such as Marvin Austin or Stephen Paea -- who both impressed at the NFL Combine -- if they choose to pursue LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson or Texas A&M linebacker Vonn Miller in the first round.

Until a new CBA is reached, the team cannot trade for any players or sign any free agents, but there will be a Draft regardless. Expect Denver to address the front four come April.

Elway, Fox and Xanders head to Auburn's Pro Day

On Wednesday, Denver Broncos Head Coach John Fox and Vice President John Elway attended the Boy Scouts of America annual sports breakfast at the Pepsi Center (Fox was the keynote speaker). After the event, Elway, Fox and Broncos General Manager Brian Xanders flew to Alabama for Auburn's Pro Day.

Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairly (pictured to the left seen at the NFL Scouting Combine, image courtesy of Getty Images) will get a chance to workout for Denver and is predicted in many mock drafts to be selected second overall this April. Two other potential candidates Denver could be targeting, Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and Texas A&M linebacker Vonn Miller, will also be visited by the Broncos brass later this week.

On a different note, Broncos Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Lloyd is one of six wide receiver finalists finalists for the PFT Heroes of 2010 Awards. Statistically, Lloyd was one of the top receivers in the NFL last season. Yet, he is lagging in votes. You can vote for him by clicking here.

You can help get more Denver Broncos into the Pro Football Hall of Fame! Visit GetThemInTheHall.com to learn more.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Broncos Awaiting New CBA

Until the league owners and players union can agree upon a new collective bargaining agreement, the Denver Broncos will be in lock-down mode. Along with every other team in the NFL, Denver cannot make any roster transactions before at least March 11th, the new deadline for the CBA.

That means the team won't be able to acquire any new players (outside the NFL Draft) or part ways with any on the current roster. With or without a new CBA however, there will be a draft and Marcell Dareus, a defensive tackle out of Alabama, has emerged as a favorite to be selected 2nd overall this April.

They'll be no trades, however, and if the players union and league owners would have agreed to a new deal already, it's highly likely some would have gone down in Denver. Reportedly, the Minnesota Vikings tried to trade for Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton, but have since backed off. Expect many free agent signings and possibly several trades to go through as soon as a deal is reached.

Two Broncos that were fortunate to sign before league business effectively shut down were cornerback Champ Bailey and defensive lineman Kevin Vickerson. Bailey received a four year, $43 million deal while Vickerson signed a two-year $4.75 million contract with a $1 million bonus, regarless of a league lockout. As soon as the CBA is worked out, the Broncos will be able to explore free agency and re-sign more players.

The only problem is, some sources close to the situation say this will go on until September. For now, the Broncos and their fans will just have to wait and see.