By Jacob King
“With the second pick in the 2011 NFL draft, the Denver Broncos select…” Well that’s just the thing isn’t it? WHO do the Broncos take with the pick? Or do they trade down a few spots, wait a few picks to make it easier on themselves, and assess the remaining players? Well, let’s be honest here, that second option is just foolish even though it is even more realistic.
There is only one option here – take the BEST player. Once you get past about the 5th overall pick, then a team can start filling in so called “needs”. But until then, you take the best there is. In the Broncos’ case that is more than likely going to be one Patrick Peterson (assuming of course the Panthers don’t take him first overall). This may seem like a ludicrous move to some seeing as you have arguably one of the best corners in the game (still) in Champ Bailey, but he isn’t getting any younger. Nor is safety Brian Dawkins, whom Peterson has the size and natural instinct to replace for the time being if at all necessary. With Peterson in the secondary, I see no way that this defense DOES NOT improve in some way.
An alternative path, assuming that Carolina ends up taking Peterson first overall, could be that of Alabama’s Marcellus Darius or Clemson’s De’Quan Bowers. Darius is no Suh, but he is a presence much needed on the inside to a defense that was ranked 31st in rush defense last year and was last in sacks. Darius would not only provide penetration and fill some holes, but he would also take away from the attention that Elvis Dumerville will be getting on his return, because you just know that Elvis is going to come out feet on fire after being injured for all of last season. Bowers may have not run the best 40 time, but how often does a defensive lineman need to run 40 yards in a straight line? Not very often – only during the occasional scoop-n-score but that’s about it. The knee injury and recovery is viewed as a concern, but he would have the whole offseason and possibly a whole year depending on the lockout situation to get that knee back to where it needs to be. Leading the nation in sacks is no fluke, regardless of conference. This kid clearly knows what it takes to track down the QB and with him and Dumervil gunning for the passer. I can’t help but worry for the safety of the man under center.
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