Meet The Broncos Draft Class Of ’09


The Broncos now have ten new rookies on their roster. I’ve already introduced you to two of them (Knowshon Moreno and Robert Ayers), so let’s meet the rest. To round off their selections on Saturday, the Broncos traded up to acquire CB Alphonso Smith (Wake Forest) with the 37th pick in round 2. Then the Broncos took S Darcel McBath (Texas Tech) with the 48th pick. To end the day, they selected SE Richard Quinn (North Carolina) after trading up to get the 64th pick. To learn a few fun facts about the team’s first 5 picks, check this out.

The first day of the draft was filled with many surprises and questionable moves. Would you have selected Moreno with the 12th pick or would you have gone after someone like Brian Orakpo (Texas) to help the team on defense? Would you have traded up to acquire Alphonso Smith only to lose one of your first round picks next year to Seattle? It’s clear that Josh McDaniels’ first and foremost concern is succeeding next year. After firing Mike Shanahan and trading Jay Cutler, Pat Bowlen knows that whatever Broncos team steps onto the field next year needs to do a lot better than last year’s squad. Josh McDaniels knows that working in Denver past next season is not guaranteed. He made big moves during the draft to secure the base he’s building in Denver. However, did he make the right moves? Six of his ten selections were on offense, and he traded up four times to acquire three offensive players. That makes me nervous because our front seven still needs to be dealt with as we make the switch to the 3-4 alignment.

The second day of the draft included picking up the following players:

–  David Burton, FS, Notre Dame (114th overall): Will be able to cover tall receivers at 6’2” and a 40 inch + vertical jump.

Seth Olsen, RG, Iowa (132nd overall): Is a great run blocker which could greatly help guys like Moreno and the veteran backs.

Kenny McKinley, WR, South Carolina (141st overall): One of the fastest guys on the team with a 4.37 40-yard dash. Furture kick/punt returner a possibility.

Tom Brandstater, QB, Fresno State (174th overall): A big, smart QB (already has his Master’s degree in sports psychology) that will backup Orton and Simms. Should the injury plague strike, he’ll have to be ready to go.

Blake Schlueter, C, TCU (225th overall): Will need to learn a lot from Casey Wiegmann to become a starter one day.  

Overall, I would give the Broncos a B+ for their draft grade. There are some players such as Moreno, Ayers, and Smith that can make an immediate impact. I’m assuming Tom Brandstater has some of the same qualities that Matt Cassel has so that McD can try to sculpt him for the future while Orton and Simms duke it out now. The rest of the rookies have been credited with being smart, well-mannered players that work well with others. As McD puts it,

"“We want our guys to be like that because they’ll play together. When I say we’re going to change, I don’t think anybody knows what that means. Including some of our players. Yet, they’re going to find out. Then once they see us be successful from one week to the next, they’re going to go, ‘This works.'”"

How do you think the Broncos did in the draft? Leave a comment below.