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NFL Draft Day 2: Looking for Intelligence?

April 23, 2010

I had a little bit of trouble stringing together one theme for the entire day 2 of the draft. The picks were safe, but after such a risky day yesterday, I felt that saying that would reflect on the entire draft, which it will not. Two of the picks were spent on the Offensive Line, but Eric Decker ruined that theme. That sent me into thinking about how they were offense, but that wasn’t exciting enough. So, I was left with a troubling question, how can I link together all of the picks today?

Then it hit me. Intelligence. That was what Josh McDaniels was trying to do today. All three of the players he drafted are among the most intelligent players available. Zane Beadles first and foremost, is by far one of the most intelligent Offensive Linemen in the class. He scored a wonderlic test score of 36, which is very high for a Lineman, and he is known for his ability to absorb the playbook.

J.D Walton is in the same category. While his wonderlic score is not nearly as high as Beadles, his on-field intelligence and awareness of the game is very impressive. He stays aware and knows exactly what is going on on the field at all times. This skill has helped him hold his own against top 5 picks Gerald McCoy, and Ndamukong Suh. If he can translate that to the NFL, we could have just drafted a star.

Finally, there is Eric Decker, whose intelligence has been raved about by scouts. While his concentration has been known to lapse on times, he is very smart and can really get into the playbook. His intelligence can only improve is play, and I heard that his wonderlic score, while I am unsure what it is exactly, was the highest of any player in the class. I doubt this common trait is any coincidence.

Now, intelligent, hardworking, squeaky-clean players aren’t going to win championships. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you can go into the NFL with no physical skills but if you are smart and you work hard you can be a star. That’s not true. But all three of these players do have great physical ability.

Decker is a natural athlete who has great hands. J.D is a tough, physical Center, who is strong and plays with an awfully nasty demeanor. Zane Beadles is an amazing run blocker with the strength to simply push defenders to the side and be done with them. All three of these players were drafted because of those skills, but don’t think when McDaniels made these picks, their intelligence wasn’t a factor.

Day 2 in my opinion may have been even better than day 1. Unlike day 1 where I was blown away by the poor drafting of Demaryius Thomas, the Broncos had amazing picks all around today. Rounds 2 and 3 have definitely been successful and might have even more of an immediate impact than day 1 will. I am excited to see what these players bring.

  1. Dustin M. permalink
    April 24, 2010 4:32 AM

    I am excited as well! I do like what Mcd us doing, he is getting players that are more concerned about winning then individual stats. I was a little confused at the picking of Demaryius Thomas, but then i started to think about it and i realized that he actually fits the mold of players that Mcd wants in his locker room; like you said, all of these guys are very intelligent. This has been a great draft so far! The future is definately looking bright in 2010! Mile High Fever is in the air!…can you feel it!

  2. YoungBroncosFan20 permalink
    April 24, 2010 6:44 AM

    I like where the offense is going i still think one more need is at linebacker do you think larsen or mario will be our new ILB or maybe robert will be to any thing you can tell us

    • April 24, 2010 6:58 AM

      My personal opinion would be to move Mario over, but from what I hear, they think Larsen can do it. We’ll see though…

  3. April 25, 2010 5:31 PM

    Thanks for all these draft articles Garrett.

    As an FYI, I believe Decker’s Wonderlic was a 43. I loved the pick. As a Hawkeye fan I watched him tear up the Big 10 often…he was really the only decent player the Gophers had on offense.

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