Hey everyone, allow me to introduce myself. My name is John, but you can call me Enigma if you want. I've been a Bronco fan my entire life. Here's some thoughts on the problems with the team and what needs to be done this offseason.
First of all I believe Javon Walker will be back next season. Some Bronco fans think or want him to be gone next year, but I don't think so. From what I know about the NFL salary cap it will cost Denver more to cut him then it will to keep him, so he'll most likely stay a Bronco unless he is traded but he doesn't have much trade value right now. I would prefer to keep him unless we can get a first day pick for him which is very unlikely considering the injuries he had this year.
The Broncos biggest weakness last year was they couldn't stop the run, this ment the defence was on the field for a long time and they got tired out (it showed at the end of some games). The only possible quick fix I can think of to fix the running game is to sign a big DT, somebody who can occupy multiple blockers on running plays and collapse the pocket on passing plays. The only two free agent DTs like this that I can think of are Albert Haynesworth and Corey Williams. Haynesworth will get the franchise tag if he doesn't resign with the Titans so Williams is our only choice. If Williams doesn't sign then the Broncos number one priority should be spending a first day pick on a DT like Frank Okam. Okam is currently a 2nd round pick, but he could move up depending on his workouts.
As far as DEs go I think we are set, we have three young, talented DEs in Elvis Dumervil, Jarvis Moss and Tim Crowder. The only thing that we need to add here is an experienced DE to mentor them (that is if we don't resign Ebenezer Ekuban who is a free agent).
At linebacker, DJ Williams needs to stay in the middle. He has played three different positions in the last three years and he doesn't need to change again. If he doesn't see some sort of stability here in Denver he will likely leave through free agency. Williams led the AFC in tackles, so he must have been doing something right. As far as the other two linebackers go, they were average at best last year. I would like to see new players brought in either through free agency or the draft, but it isn't anywhere close to the teams most pressing need.
The Broncos need to resign Sam Brandon! He was a great coverage safety, and that's what our secondary was lacking last year. If you can remember the last few years when he was healthy, Antonio Gates never had good games against us. That's because he was being covered by Brandon. With Brandon gone we have been forced to use a corner to cover Gates and other teams TEs, which has helped make those teams' average WRs get open. I believe John Lynch will be back next year, so he and Hamza Abdullah can take care of one safety spot, while Sam Brandon starts at the other. I like Nick Ferguson, and he has been really good to the fans in Denver, but I don't see much of a future with him in Denver.
We are set at QB, obviously. Jay Cutler is only going to get better.
I would love to see the Broncos draft Felix Jones, but the team has more pressing needs and I don't think they will be drafting a HB on the first day. The only way this happens is if we get rid of Travis Henry. I think we need a new FB though, I wasn't happy with Cecil Sapp last year, and I think he might be a free agent this year, but I'm not sure.
If Walker comes back healthy, which I think he will, we're pretty much set at WR. Although I would like to see a second day pick used on a WR just to add depth (this could include trading for a guy like Troy Williams from the Vikings).
The offensive line was horrible last year. We saw two of the units best players go down to injury early in the season, so we were forced to keep Danial Graham back as a blocker on most plays. Matt Lepsis has retired, so our current starting tackles are Eric Peers and Ryan Harris (who missed the entire season due to injury so he's still practically a rookie). That's why I've been calling for the Broncos to draft a tackle in the first round. Hopefully Tom Nalen and Ben Hamilton will be back next year healthy, otherwise we will continue to have problems protecting Jay Cutler.
Our special teams was horrible last year. We obviously need a new punter because we started three different ones in the final three games. We also need to improve on our special teams blocking, the reason Hixon has been doing good in New York is because the Giants special teams actually know how to form a wedge and block. The Broncos haven't done this all year, I don't know why but they haven't and that needs to be changed.
Here's a mock of Denver's draft this year.
Round 1 (12)-Sam Baker-USC-OT-Denver could fill other team needs here by drafting Kenny Phillips or Keith Rivers, but instead they'll replace the retired Matt Lepsis in an attempt to improve an offensive line that couldn't protect Jay Cutler after Danial Graham was injured. Also Denver could probably trade down in the first round and still pick this guy up.
Round 2 (43)-Frank Okam-DT-Texas-Okam is one of the best nose tackles in the league, something that the Broncos really didn't even have last year after they cut Sam Adams. Okam can occupy multiple blockers on running plays to create holes for the linebackers and collapse the pocket.
Round 4 (99)-Earl Bennett-Vanderbilt-WR-If Jay Cutler has his way the Broncos will draft Bennett. The Broncos QB has already been lobying for his fellow Commedor to join him in Denver. Bennett doesn't have the greatest 40 time, but he's a great route runner and burned plenty of SEC CBs while at Vandy.
Round 4 (107)-Peyton Hillis-Arkansas-FB-Hillis is the best FB in the draft, and is a good receiver which is something that Shanny likes to have in his FBs.
Round 5 (131)-Tashard Choice-Georgia Tech-HB-Has very good vision and hits the hole hard, should be a good fit in the zone blocking scheme.
Round 5 (139)-Wesley Woodyard-Kentucky-LB-A very good coverage linebacker, and a good tackler. He needs to gain weight and improve against the run.
Round 7 (203)-Quintin Demps-UTEP-S-A good coverage safety and a good playmaker. Needs to improve his tackling and play against the run. Is a very good special teams player.
Round 7 (212)-Jordy Nelson-Kansas State-WR--Very good hands and quickness, but he lacks speed and is not a deep threat. Is a good kick returner.