Denver Broncos Blueprint for a Dream Draft


Around this time of year, I like many fans am as giddy as can be. We are less than two weeks away from the 2011 NFL Draft, believe it or not, and I absolutely cannot wait. As many of you know, I grew up in South Dakota with grandparents in Estes Park, CO. When I was a kid, John Elway and Terrell Davis were a pretty big deal, and as a kid, you like to follow teams–and players–that win.

Thus, I became a Denver Broncos fan.

Through the power of Madden video games, I have also become a self-proclaimed elite builder of dynasties, mainly through the draft and trades. If I were Brian Xanders, the general manager of the Denver Broncos, this is what a “dream” NFL Draft and offseason would look like…

**Broncos trade their first round pick (2nd overall) to the Cincinnati Bengals for their first round pick (4th overall), 2nd round pick (35th overall), and 4th round pick (101st overall), and a future pick**

In all honesty, I think the Broncos really ARE trying to trade out of the second overall pick, not because they are unhappy with the talent that will be there, but because they absolutely NEED the extra draft picks. This is a team that needs help on multiple levels, and with such a rich draft defensively (mainly on the line) I think this is a year when Denver could really re-tool for the future.

The top three picks would then go as follows:

1. Cam Newton

2. Blaine Gabbert

3. Marcell Dareus

The Broncos miss out on Marcell Dareus, but they get the next best thing…

“With the 4th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select…Nick Fairley, Defensive Tackle, Auburn”

This pick might surprise some people, as I have been all over Fairley for the wrong reasons this offseason. However, I think what the Broncos need up front is someone who is going to consistently try to dominate the opposition, and both Fairley/Dareus have the capability of doing that. If the Broncos are able to obtain some extra draft picks, which they want to do, and STILL draft an elite defensive tackle prospect–consider me sold.

“With the 35th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select…Mikel LeShoure, Running Back, Illinois”

Mikel LeShoure might be my favorite running back prospect in the draft, so it’s no secret that when I heard the Broncos were having him for a private visit, I was elated. LeShoure is a top of the line combination of size, speed, and vision, and he has a ton of power to boot. Not only that, but LeShoure is also an excellent receiver out of the backfield, and fits the mold of what the Broncos are looking for perfectly. He is the ideal selection to pair with Knowshon Moreno in the backfield.

“With the 36th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select…Marvin Austin, Defensive Tackle, North Carolina”

With our first pick, we got Nick Fairley, a top five graded prospect in the draft. Austin–prior to being suspended before the season–was heralded as a top five selection himself. Austin is a rare combination of size and athleticism, and has excellent strength. He could be a real value with the 36th pick in the draft, and is a guy I would love to see wearing orange in the nearby future.

“With the 46th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select…Mason Foster, Linebacker, Washington”

Mason Foster is one of the most underrated players in the draft. He has great instincts, pass rush ability, size, the ability to wrap up–the whole nine yards. To me, Foster is the best pure linebacker in the draft, and he will be an excellent addition for the Broncos as the sam linebacker, and fantastic value at this junction in the draft.

“With the 67th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select…Casey Matthews, Linebacker, Oregon”

I know, I know–Matthews is receiving a lot of hype because of his brother, I get that–but the same was said about his brother when he was drafted, only then they were comparing him to daddy and their uncle Bruce.

Casey Matthews is instinctive, and Dennis Allen and John Fox’s scheme, he is going to be the middle linebacker for a long time with his work ethic and character. The Broncos’ linebacker corps has been theoretically finalized here with D.J. Williams, Mason Foster, and Matthews in the fold.

“With the 101st pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select…Jaiquawn Jarrett, Safety, Temple.”

Jarrett isn’t the top safety in the class (this is a very weak class) but he is definitely a guy that some are sleeping on. He’s a big hitter with playmaking ability, and he’s a guy who has been a leader for a revamped Temple program. I think at this juncture of the draft, he offers quite a bit of upside.

“With the 186th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select…Julius Thomas, Tight End, Portland State”

Julius Thomas is a guy that I personally really like, and maybe it’s because I have a soft spot for former basketball players. However, the Broncos need a guy in the later rounds who can come into camp and make plays at this position. There will be a battle between whoever is drafted/signed, Richard Quinn, and Dan Gronkowski, but the Broncos desperately need somebody talented at the tight end position. Thomas could be that guy at a bargain price.

“With the 189th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select…Courtney Smith, Wide Receiver, South Alabama”

The Broncos have injury concerns all over the board at receiver, even though it’s arguably their best position as a team. I think at this point in the draft, you are looking for guys who can come in and compete, and show you something in camp. You aren’t looking for a starter here, but a gem who could surprise you. Smith could be that guy, and the Broncos have been paying attention to him.

“With the 246th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select…Jay Finley, Running Back, Baylor”

The Broncos continue to look for depth and possibly for a guy that could come into camp and surprise. Finley is definitely that type of guy, a speedster with some pop and size who could come into camp and compete for a roster spot and special teams time. What more could you ask for at this point?

This is how my Denver Broncos dream draft would go, including the trade. I think adding an extra pick in the 2nd or 3rd round is almost a necessity, and as you can see, it really pays off for the Broncos.

1. Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
2. Mikel LeShoure, RB, Illinois
3. Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina
4. Mason Foster, LB, Washington
5. Casey Matthews, LB, Oregon
6. Jaiquawn Jarrett, S, Temple
7. Julius Thomas, TE, Portland St.
8. Courtney Smith, WR, Alabama St.
9. Jay Finley, RB, Baylor

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