Matt will be reviewing each team's pre-draft analysis by talking about the draft range of targeted players.
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Denver Broncos (Last Year: 7-9)
The Chargers look like they have control of the AFC West, but not if Mike Shanhan has anything to say about it. He is fearless and aggressive in the draft, and very confident in his scouting department. The Broncos are a true wild card in the top half of the first round, so let's get right to their draft range at No. 12:
Ryan Clady/Chris Williams:
I think there is something to be said for spending a mid-round pick on Ryan Harris. He has a good attitude (as evidenced to his appearance on MTV's True Life
) and I think he fits the zone-blocking scheme very well at left tackle. Can he develop there? I think so. Shanhan could go with a pure left tackle here, but it wouldn't be addressing a need in my opinion.
Likely not to be on the board when nearly every team picking from 7-10 needs a linebacker, but the Broncos sure wouldn't mind his athletic ability and leadership on their defense to compensate for the loss outside when they moved D.J. Williams to middle linebacker.
DeSean Jackson/Devin Thomas:
Brandon Marshall's recent freak injury certainly complicates things at receiver, and I think if Denver was to go receiver that they would go with a deep threat. Both these players are exactly that, and they certainly aren't perfect prospects. I consider them to be in the No. 12 pick range.
He is the prototypical ZBS lineman. He can play four positions on the offensive line, and has elite athletic ability for a guard/tackle in this scheme, yet he is extremely powerful and can only get stronger. His versatility, upside, and scheme fit make him one of the front runners at No. 12.
Mendenhall is a one-cut-and-go type back with great vision, thus being a perfect fit (like Albert) in the ZBS. He can see lanes and accelerate on a dime. He is simply on a different level than Selvin Young and Travis Henry.
Albert and Mendenhall are the favorites at No. 12, but because of a semi-wide draft range here for the Broncos, I feel like there are a few potential shocker picks.
The Broncos' next selection is at No. 42 in the second round. There are certainly a number of directions they can go in with this pick, if they choose not to trade it (as high second-round picks are very shoppable).
If they want to look at weakside linebacker this is certainly a great place to consider it. Erin Henderson, Xavier Adibi, Wesley Woodyard, and Tavares Gooden are in their range here.
They could look at a zone-blocking lineman here as well if they pass up on Albert. Jeremy Zuttah and Sam Baker would be excellent fits in this offense providing more power and talent at guard. Baker can play tackle as well in the ZBS.
If they pass on Mendenhall, they could look for a running back later in the draft. Jamaal Charles, Ray Rice, and Felix Jones are options in the second or third rounds. Allen Patrick, Rafael Little, Yvenson Bernard, and Justin Forsett could be in the 6-7 round range.
They could look at defensive tackle in the middle of the draft as well. Dre Moore, Red Bryant, Pat Sims, and Trevor Laws would all be solid options in the second round. I think if they were to spend a less costly pick on the position, DeMario Pressley, Letroy Guion, Andre Fluellen, and Marcus Harrison are options in Rounds 3-5.
The emphasis here is to stop the run, and run the football in this draft for the Broncos, which is the very basis of winning football games.
Denver Broncos 2008 Offseason Needs
Back to Matt's 2008 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis Page