On day 2 of the draft I was really hoping that Denver would address the defensive line. Actually I was hoping for it yesterday but we know how that went. Once again, the Broncos basically focused on offense and traded around some picks to move up today. I am still pretty unsure of the whole weekend, but I guess I have no choice but to have faith in the front office that they know what they are doing. I will say that now that I have had some time to calm down a little, I suppose I can see the logic in some of these choices. I may not like some of them, but I guess I don’t get paid to make football decisions do I? I am going to stop being so damned negative also…nothing will change me being a fan of the team so I may as well buck up. In any case, here is how day 2 of the 2009 NFL draft for the Denver Broncos went down.
4th Round, pick #114 overall: David Bruton, Free Safety out of Notre Dame
Bruton is a big kid who will probably do very well playing in the box and against the run. He has decent speed and should do well learning from veterans like Dawkins and Hill. It is pretty apparent to me that the Broncos are looking to groom some guys to eventually take over for the aforementioned veterans and they made a good choice here.
4th Round, pick #132 overall (from Pittsburgh): Seth Olsen, Offensive Guard out of Iowa
I love this pick. Denver needed some depth on the line with the aging Ben Hamilton and Olsen should fit the bull nicely. I am a loyal Hawkeye fan so this is a bit of a homer opinion but you cannot go wrong in general with an Iowa lineman on either side of the ball. Coach Ferentz in Iowa starts his teams from the line(s) out and he prepares these kids with the tool they need. Olsen is a strong kid with solid fundamentals and should help an already dominant offensive line in Denver become that much stronger. Can you tell I like this one?
5th Round, pick #141 overall (from Cleveland through Philadelphia through New England and Baltimore): Kenny McKinley, Wide Receiver out of South Carolina
Denver moved up to get this young man, which might be the only thing I am not happy with. He is a very talented receiver with good hands and sharp route running skills. The only thing negative here is that he is a natural slot receiver and Denver is heavy at that position. That said, he will be a great option in the spread formation Denver is likely to utilize this year and will be a dynamic weapon overall. I like the pick, you can never have enough talent catching the ball.
6th Round, pick #174 overall (from Detroit): Tom Brandstater, Quarterback out of Fresno State
We all saw it coming, Denver was bound to draft a quarterback for coach McDaniels to mold and work with. This young man might be a great option later for sure. He is a very big kid with great strength and overall athleticism to get the job done. I like the pick and I am glad we did not go for a quarterback in the first round instead.
7th Round, pick #225 overall: Blake Schlueter, Center out of TCU
This is another late-round gem for the offensive line in Denver. Schlueter is very quick and will be a nice future replacement for veteran Casey Wiegmann. I like this choice, great value for the caliber of player this late in the draft.
That about sums up day 2 of the Broncos 2009 NFL draft.
Two things became pretty clear to me after this weekend’s choices. First, that the front office is working towards developing young men with great football skills and desire as well as character into the future of the team with the help of the veterans. Second is that it seems that new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan believes that he may have the pieces to run a hybrid 3-4 / 4-3 system this year with the players they have on the roster. Let’s hope it truly is the system and not the players in that case. Anything has to be better than the 10 yard cushions Slowik was giving up last year right?
Round 4: Solid B, the secondary last year was arguably as bad as the front 7 on defense and adding another solid option at safety will help that for the future. Depth on the offensive line is always a plus as well and they made a great choice here.
Round 5: C, I like the player but don’t like that once again we gave picks up to get him. I would have rather seen a defensive lineman here.
Round 6: B, coach McDaniels now has his project quarterback and he is a solid choice. Plus his name is almost Tom Brady.
Round 7: Solid B, with Wiegmann aging and Lichtensteiger a question mark Denver had to have an option at center. Again, depth on the line is a good thing.
I will follow the undrafted free-agent signings and give an overall team evaluation after that. There is a lot of undrafted talent to be had, and Denver would do well to snatch some of it up.