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Mile High Salute w/ Mike Koele: Making Sense of the Draft

June 1, 2009

Picture 5EDITORS NOTE: Mike Koele will be gone the next few weeks from being able to write his weekly column so we invited Broncos fan Olivia Walker to fill in for him the next two weeks or so… Enjoy!

Hi Bronco Maniacs! My name is Olivia J. Walker and I am a life long Broncos fan and frequent reader of Bronco Madness so getting post for them is really exciting for me! These next weeks I will try to dissect what Mickey D is trying to do with the team for all of you. Today, I will try to make sense of well… a senseless draft.

I am the first to admit that when the draft was finished I was throughly disappointed and I just didn’t understand what Josh McDaniels was thinking. Honestly, I still don’t understand the later rounds at all. But, overtime most of the first day made sense to me especially the Alphonso Smith pick which I was totally opposed to.

How about we start with that, Alphonso Smith: The Broncos basically traded around their own first round pick next year to get a short, slow, Cornerback. Good work guys! Not. But like I said, if you really look into it, it does begin to make sense.

The Broncos have made it clear, the one big change they want to make to their defense is force turnovers. I hate to admit it, but a Defensive Tackle isn’t going to do that. If that is in fact their ideology on how this team should be run, this is actually a very good pick. Look at his stats the last four years:

Career Statistics
2004 RS
2005 11 59 9 3 32
2006 14 48 8 3 23
2007 13 44 10 8 166
2008 13 37 13 7 33
Totals 51 188 40 21 254

It is unbelievable how many turnovers he has forced. Besides, it is not like short Cornerbacks can never be stars in the NFL. Antoine Winfield is also 5-9 and is considered to be one of the best in the NFL. Smith is instinctive and no matter where we put him, he will have turnovers. Lots of them. But besides turnovers, there is other reasoning for drafting him.

Look ahead next year, and you will see in my opinion one of the best draft classes in a long time. But it is missing something, and that is an impact Cornerback. Trevard Lindley is probably the best, and in this years class he would be a second rounder. We all knew, if we covered Defensive Tackle or Defensive End this year, Cornerback would be our biggest need next year on defense. So why not get a first rounder, at a second rounds cost when we wouldn’t be able to get a great one next year?

This was actually a great move, with the future in mind.

So let’s move on to another pick that was not short of controversy in Denver. Knowshon Moreno, a Running back from Georgia was by far the best Running Back in the draft, and was heavily opposed by most Broncos fans.

It is well known, that we were hoping for a great Defensive Linemen with that 12th overall pick and the Broncos were throughly disappointed when both B.J Raji and Tyson Jackson were off the board.

Left on the board were about 4 or so Defensive players worth drafting though. They included Brian Cushing who was probably best for a 4-3 but could also work in a 3-4. We probably passed him over though, because we felt he was too risky of a pick. Then we had Brian Orakpo who everyone thought we were going to draft. In a 4-3 he would have made an excellent, very safe, Defensive End but in the 3-4 he made a risky Hybrid. We by no means wanted another Vernon Gholston.

There was also Malcom Jenkins, the consensus number 1 Defensive Back. The Broncos felt pretty safe though at Safety in the earlier rounds and the same with Cornerback. There was really no point in drafting a player at a position that we were very content. We could have also gotten Robert Ayers, but it was much to early and we did get him later.

The Broncos therefore looked at the future and saw no one in next years draft at Running back who they truly wanted. That is why they accepted all the controversy and drafted Knowshon Moreno.

As for Darcel McBath, I don’t see why anyone would oppose this pick. Maybe he wasn’t second round caliber but he certainly is a good player. Just look at his stats:

Career Statistics
2004 RS
2005 6 1 0 0 0
2006 13 75 5 3 66
2007 12 72 8 2 10
2008 12 70 7 6 52
Totals 43 218 20 11 128

Yes, getting William Moore would probably have been better, but McBath did have an excellent career in a prolific conference. 6 picks in one year with 70 tackles is a very good season and definitely worth drafting this high. I think he will have a great career despite not being nearly physical enough. Still, it fits the Broncos want for more turnovers.

As for Richard Quinn I am still very much opposed to this pick. I understand that we wanted him and he will be very effective in a couple of years, but I still don’t think that the Steelers would have actually gone through with drafting him.

Really, I think it was a ploy to get some picks like ours and we fell for it. Even if they would have taken him, if I was the G.M I wouldn’t have cared because he really wasn’t worth how high we drafted him. It was really just a foolish decision by McDaniels.

One Comment
  1. Lacy permalink
    June 2, 2009 8:58 AM

    Moreno was a very controversal pick, but Herschel Walker was in the same position before, and he turned out very well. I heard Walker is playing in the Sports Legends Challenge this fall...does anyone know how you can enter into the game to compete against Walker?

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