In coordination with the draft previews, we continue breaking down position groups and what the Broncos might do as the NFL draft approaches.
There is little doubt that the Broncos have some work to do to bolster this area. Ryan Clady is a fixture at tackle but Ryan Harris looks like he will not be back. Chris Kuper is solid at one guard spot but then…? You get the picture.
J.D. Walton appeared overwhelmed at times in his rookie season but I don’t think the Broncos are anywhere close to giving up on him. He seems like he’ll be just fine as he continues to gain experience.
Zane Beadles is more of a question mark to me. He struggled when he played tackle so it would appear that he is more suited to the guard position. Again, most rookies, especially along the offensive line, have some struggles. At the same time, I wonder if the Broncos view him as a player who can develop into an outstanding lineman. Time will tell.
The rest of the offensive linemen on the roster have not, to this point, distinguished themselves in the NFL. I’m not suggesting these guys can’t play and I’m not suggesting they couldn’t help the team. It would, however, be at least a mild surprise if any of them made enough strides to be an impact player this year.
Thus, I can easily see the Broncos selecting at least one offensive lineman. If Denver trades down in the first round and acquires at least one additional draft pick, I could see that pick being used on an offensive lineman.
BOTTOM LINE: The Broncos should draft at least one offensive lineman. A team can never have enough talent and at this position.
Currently, the Broncos have three tights ends on the roster: Richard Quinn, Dan Gronkowski and Daniel Coats. If the forward pass were not part of the NFL, I think the Broncos would be alright at this position. Clearly, however, they do not have an established offensive threat at this position.
We all know that a big-play threat at the tight end position is a huge asset to an offense but I do not see the Broncos making a pass-catching tight end an immediate priority in the draft. Quinn can probably do what Daniel Graham did for the Broncos but at a much lower price. Coach Fox wants to beef up the running game and I think in the short term, the tight end position will be used more to do that than to provide an explosive threat in the passing game.
BOTTOM LINE: I do not see them acquiring one through the draft. This is a need the Broncos can fill through free agency or trade.
I know many of you have been posting draft thoughts but feel free to share what is on your mind about the offensive line and tight end positions.
Thanks for reading,
Tags: 2011 NFL Draft