Denver Broncos: Stay The Course
By Matt Petrero
USA; Denver Broncos executive vice president for football operations John Elway arrives for the annual NFL meetings at the Arizona Biltmore. (Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports)
In the wake of Elvis Dumervil stepping out of character to play the part of Judas, I felt the need to to step back and assess the big picture of how the Denver Broncos should proceed in relation to personnel moves over the next few weeks in both free agency and the approaching draft. Conventional wisdom dictates to stay the course.
Sure, losing Dumervil was a setback, but in my estimation a minor one. I am honest enough to recognize that his role in a resurgent Denver defense was integral. However I think that the core of the defense is obviously Von Miller, Wesley Woodyard, and Champ Bailey. The vacated defensive end is not a plug-n-play situation but I believe that the Broncos have a plan and are committed to it. The needs which are to be addressed in the draft are unchanged: defensive line, safety, running back, and middle linebacker. There has been a slight shift from strictly a DT to include a need to look at a DE as well. Fortunately, this year’s draft happens to be deep at every position of need for Denver. Thus the plan should be to select the best player on the board in one of the aforementioned positions.
The NFL draft is like Opening Day in MLB in that you just can’t get too optimistic about what happens on that particular day. That said, I really like the potential for John Elway and the Broncos front office to pull off one of the two or three greatest drafts in franchise history.
As far as the void at DE, that is why Robert Ayers was a first round pick out of Tennessee in 2009. It is time for him to prove that the Josh McDaniels era was not a complete debacle. If Ayers reaches his draft day potential, and I believe with Jack Del Rio‘s guidance and scheme he can, Denver can draft a DE just for depth as opposed to need. Additionally there is the free agency avenue still available despite recent reports of Dwight Freeney‘s apparent inflated self worth and it’s juxtaposition to what the Broncos are willing to pay him. John Abraham is also still on the market as an option at DE if they are not overly enamored with what the draft board shows them.
Any way you slice it, the Broncos’ brass were prepared to let Elvis Dumervil go before the fax fiasco. From the outside looking in, it would appear that the plan is in place and there shall be no deviations. So I expect John Elway and Co. to stay the course…it seems to be working so far.
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