It’s day two of the 2014 NFL Draft, and the Broncos are looking into ways they can supplement their first round selection of Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby as we speak.
With Roby added to the secondary, the Denver Broncos’ defense is looking pretty sick right now, as well as talented across the board at all positions.
The one spot that people keep banging the table for is inside linebacker. I don’t think the Broncos should reach in this draft for a player with any one of the following negative traits:
- Clear 2-down only abilities
- Lack of top flight athleticism
- Injury history
When you are picking in the 2nd round for a team with the kind of depth the Broncos have, you have to keep in mind the broader scope. Sometimes when you are as good as Denver, you can afford to make some flashier picks which is precisely what I am proposing they do with their 2nd and 3rd round selections on Friday as opposed to taking an inside linebacker who will contribute just two downs or an offensive lineman who might not start this season.
Let’s take a look at the 2nd round options.
1. Wide Receiver
This class is STRONG. Not only that, but many of the best players in it are still on the board. Here are some names you might recognize:
- Marqise Lee, USC
- Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
- Davante Adams, Fresno State
- Allen Robinson, Penn State
- Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss
- Bruce Ellington, South Carolina
- Cody Latimer, Indiana
- Paul Richardson, Colorado
- Martavis Bryant, Clemson
- Kevin Norwood, Alabama
- Jarvis Landry, LSU
This is a remarkable list. The Broncos and John Elway have specifically pointed out that the strength of this draft is at wide receiver, and looking ahead to the 2015 season it’s hard to see a scenario where Wes Welker is back unless at a reduced rate. With Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, the Broncos have a shot to replace the size and ability after the catch left by Eric Decker with a player in this draft class who could come in and learn for a year, and step up in case of injury as well.
That’s another thing, the Broncos were pretty lucky last year to not suffer any major injuries at the skill positions. Can they bank on that again?
2. Inside Linebacker
It’s an option, anyway. Chris Borland is the guy whose name has been thrown out more than most, but I have my hesitations with him for a couple of reasons.
He’s not overly athletic, he’s got short arms, shoulder issues (injury-wise), and isn’t a true three-down ‘backer.
If the Broncos want to upgrade the inside linebacker position, I honestly don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t just wait until the middle-late rounds to take a guy with some athletic ability and more upside.
Nate Irving will start and be better than the guys they could take at this point.
3. Offensive Line
With Zane Beadles gone, the Broncos will probably look to add an offensive lineman that can either play guard or tackle, or maybe both with their second round pick. They could also wait until the third round, but there are plenty of players with starting capabilities that could come in and potentially play right away.
Still, you have to wonder whether or not a guy that would come in this year would be a better option than Chris Clark or Orlando Franklin.
Since John Elway has been drafting for the Broncos, they have used all of their top picks on a defensive player. After those defensive picks, the Broncos wound up going offense either with the next pick or in the following round.
2011: Von Miller (1st round) — Rahim Moore (2nd round) — Orlando Franklin (2nd round)
2012: Derek Wolfe (2nd round) — Brock Osweiler (2nd round)
2013: Sylvester Williams (1st round) — Montee Ball (2nd round)
2014: Bradley Roby (1st round ) — ???