The Denver Broncos 2011 season is still fresh, so let’s take a quick look at the positions that they might attend to this offseason.
Keep in mind that the key free agents this year are WR Eddie Royal, K Matt Prater, LB Joe Mays, DT Brodrick Bunkley, DT Marcus Thomas, ILB Mario Haggan, ILB Wesley Woodyard, and DE Jason Hunter.
The Broncos will go through their offseason evaluations, and then make the decision as to which positions they will stock up on.
In no particular order, here are the positions that will likely be targeted.
Yes Tim Tebow was named the Broncos starting quarterback going into training camp, but that doesn’t mean the area doesn’t need additional attention. Brady Quinn is a free agent and will likely depart Denver after not getting one regular season snap during his two year stint in the Mile High. The only other QB on the Broncos roster is Adam Weber. The Broncos need an experienced backup. Consider the possibility of Tebow getting hurt. The Broncos need to bring someone in during free agency.
Willis Mcgahee was a beast this season finishing as a top 10 back, but he’s over 30 years old. John Fox worked wonders with a dual-back system in Carolina, and McGahee needs a partner in crime who can help shoulder the load. Knowshon Moreno is too injury prone to put that responsibility on him.
Age can be a blessing or a curse. Towards the end of the Broncos season, it was the ultimate curse. Brian Dawkins missed the last three games of the season with a neck injury. Rookie Quentin Carter was a bright spot at safety (2 INTs in playoffs), but rookie Rahim Moore took such a beating that the 2nd round draft pick thoroughly warmed his seat on the Broncos bench. Moore needs to step up or step out. His missed tackles and missed assignments were the thing that put him on the bench.
Again age reared it’s ugly head. Champ Bailey is still a shutdown corner, so when passes are ripped, they’re more than likely going in the direction of Andre Goodman. Goodman got beat time and time again against the Patriots. Rookie Chris Harris looks promising, but Bailey needs additional help at the other corner. One shutdown corner isn’t enough because a team will simply look in the other direction.
The return of Ty Warren (placed on the IR prior to 2011 season) should help the line bulk up. Brodrick Bunkley was a nice offseason addition, and he will likely return. Marcus Thomas played well also, but the team needs a standout here.
Wide Receiver/Tight end
The Broncos struggled toward the end of the season with dropped passes. They also didn’t utilize their tight ends much in the receiving game here. It would have been nice to have a guaranteed set of hands like Brandon Lloyd out there for the Broncos. Demaryius Thomas had that giant breakout game against the Steelers with 204 receiving yards, but it’s still uncertain if he’s capable of being the team’s go-to receiver.
Those are where the red flags sit in my book. Feel free to add to the Broncos list of positional needs.