2017 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 12
2016 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 11
NFL Free Agents
NFL Picks - Feb. 7
2016 NBA Mock Draft - Feb. 2
Fantasy Football Rankings - Jan. 15
2012 NFL Offseason Pages
More 2011 NFL Offseason Pages:
DAL / NYG / PHI / WAS /
CHI / DET / GB / MIN /
ATL / CAR / NO / TB /
ARZ / SEA / SF / STL /
BUF / MIA / NE / NYJ /
BAL / CIN / CLE / PIT /
HOU / IND / JAX / TEN /
DEN / KC / OAK / SD /
Divisional Rival History:
Kansas City Chiefs: The home team always wins. Well, it used to anyway. The host claimed 16 of the previous 20 matchups prior to 2011. The road team captured both victories last season.
Oakland Raiders: The Raiders swept the Broncos in 2010, winning the two matchups by a combined score of 98-37. Oakland triumphed again in the opener this year, but Tebow Time did them in later on.
San Diego Chargers: The Chargers have won nine of 12, but Tebow Time got them late in 2011.
Features to be Posted This Offseason:
- 2012 NFL Draft Grades (Pick-by-Pick NFL Draft Grades as well - Live on Draft Day!)
- Detailed season preview
- Fantasy football projections
- Positional rankings
- Daily updates on free-agent signings
2012 NFL Free Agent Rankings Coming Soon
2012 NFL Free Agent Signings:
Peyton Manning, QB, Colts. Age: 36.
Signed with Broncos (5 years, $96 million)
It's still hard to believe that Peyton Manning is a free agent. Manning would be a five-star player if it weren't for his neck injury, so I'm docking him half a star. Knowing Manning though, it's hard to imagine him not playing like an All-Pro next year in an attempt to prove that he can still perform at the highest level.
Tracy Porter, CB, Saints. Age: 26.
Signed with Broncos (1 year, $4 million)
Tracy Porter is coming off a down year, but he's still an effective starting cornerback. He'd look much better with a consistent pass rush in front of him.
Mike Adams, FS, Browns. Age: 31.
Signed with Broncos
Mike Adams is a serviceable free safety. The Browns could upgrade him, but they have way too many other things to focus on this offseason.
Jacob Tamme, H-Back, Colts. Age: 27.
Signed with Broncos (3 years, $9 million; $3.5 million guaranteed)
I know quarterbacking was a major issue, but it still bothers me that Jacob Tamme didn't step up when Dallas Clark went down this year. Tamme did nothing to prove that he wasn't a system product manufactured by Peyton Manning in 2010.
Justin Bannan, DE/DT, Rams. Age: 33.
Signed with Broncos (1 year)
Justin Bannan is very effective versus the rush, but he can't get to the quarterback whatsoever. He can play in any scheme.
- Drayton Florence, CB, Bills. Age: 31. -- Signed with Broncos (2 years, $4.5 million)
- Joel Dreessen, TE, Texans. Age: 30. -- Signed with Broncos
- Andre Caldwell, WR, Bengals. Age: 27. -- Signed with Broncos
- Brandon Stokley, WR, None. Age: 36. -- Signed with Broncos
- Caleb Hanie, QB, Bears. Age: 27. -- Signed with Broncos
Denver Broncos Free Agents:
Salary Cap: TBA.
Matt Prater, K, Broncos. Age: 28.
Franchised by Broncos
Matt Prater is unbelievably clutch, which is exactly what you want out of a kicker. He was also 3-of-4 from 50-plus. Prater deserves a relatively large contract this offseason.
Brodrick Bunkley, DT, Broncos. Age: 28.
Signed with Saints (5 years, $25 million; $9 million guaranteed)
Brodrick Bunkley had a great year as a run-stuffer, but he offers nothing in the pass-rushing department.
Eddie Royal, WR/PR, Broncos. Age: 26.
Signed with Chargers (3 years)
Eddie Royal has inexplicably completely regressed as a receiver, but he's a pretty dynamic punt-returner.
Marcus Thomas, DT, Broncos. Age: 26.
Marcus Thomas is good in run support, but doesn't have a prayer of ever getting to the quarterback.
Wesley Woodyard, OLB, Broncos. Age: 26.
Re-signed with Broncos (2 years)
Wesley Woodyard could be a starting weakside linebacker somewhere, but didn't get the opportunity to play at that position this past year because of D.J. Williams.
Joe Mays, ILB, Broncos. Age: 27.
Re-signed with Broncos
Joe Mays is usable as a two-down thumper in run support, but he is completely clueless in coverage.
- Mario Haggan, OLB, Broncos. Age: 32. -- Signed with Rams
- Ryan McBean, DT, Broncos. Age: 28. -- Signed with Ravens
- Andre Goodman, CB, Broncos. Age: 34.
- Brian Dawkins, SS, Broncos. Age: 38. -- Announced retirement
- Brady Quinn, QB, Broncos. Age: 27. -- Signed with Chiefs
- Jason Hunter, DE, Broncos. Age: 29. -- Re-signed with Broncos
- Daniel Fells, TE, Broncos. Age: 28. -- Signed with Patriots
- Spencer Larsen, FB, Broncos. Age: 28. -- Signed with Patriots (2 years)
- Derrick Harvey, DE, Broncos. Age: 25. -- Signed with Bengals
- Russ Hochstein, G, Broncos. Age: 34.
- Dante Rosario, TE, Broncos. Age: 27. -- Signed with Chargers
- Matt Willis (RFA), WR, Broncos. Age: 28. -- Re-signed with Broncos (1 year, $1.26 million)
- Jonathan Wilhite, CB, Broncos. Age: 28. -- Signed with Bears
- Manuel Ramirez, G, Broncos. Age: 29. -- Re-signed with Broncos
2012 NFL Draft Grade: C-
Goals Entering the 2012 NFL Draft:
There are three things the Broncos must do. First, they have to provide some support for Peyton Manning. They have nothing at receiver outside of Demaryius Thomas. The running back position is also a mess, with Willis McGahee in decline and Knowshon Moreno always injured. Second, Denver must address defensive tackle because there's nothing there. And third, the secondary has to be upgraded because all of the corners are old, save for Tracy Porter.
2012 NFL Draft Accomplishments:
Did the Broncos do those three things? Well, they didn't find a receiver for Manning, but they did select Ronnie Hillman early in the third round. Hillman is not an every-down back, however, so they'll have to rely on an aging Willis McGahee to carry the load. Denver did add a defensive tackle in Derek Wolfe, but he was a slight reach at No. 36, as explained below. And cornerback? Omar Bolden was added in the fourth round. That was a quality selection.
I really didn't like Denver's draft overall, however. John Elway spent nearly $100 million acquiring Manning. Manning is 36, so his window is almost closed. Elway had to acquire players who would help him win now. He didn't do that, opting to trade down twice. He even wasted a second-round selection on Brock Osweiler. How will Osweiler help Manning win a Super Bowl?
Manning has to feel betrayed. He went to Denver because Elway knew how to win a ring in the latter stages in his career. Well, the earliest the Broncos drafted a quarterback in Elway's final seasons was No. 91; much later than No. 57. Was Elway paying attention to Denver's draft plans back then?
At the risk of Woody Paige calling me a buffoon in the Denver Post again, I'm giving the Broncos a bad grade. They just don't seem to have any sort of plan.
2012 NFL Draft Individual Grades:
36. Derek Wolfe, DT, Cincinnati: B- Grade
Didn't nail that pick. Derek Wolfe fills a need for the Broncos, but it's a bit of a reach. Aside from Mel Kiper, no major big board had him higher than No. 51. He was a one-year wonder at Cincinnati, so there were probably better defensive tackle prospects available like Devon Still, Kendall Reyes and Jerel Worthy.
57. Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State: D Grade
Umm... don't the Broncos want to win now? Why did they pay big bucks to Peyton Manning if they're unwilling to build around him for a 2012 and 2013 Super Bowl run? I had Denver picking Brock Osweiler - but in the third round. This selection should have been used on someone who could help the team win now. I don't understand what John Elway is doing.
67. Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State: C Grade
You mean the Broncos took a player to help them win now? What a concept. Ronnie Hillman fills a need at running back behind Willis McGahee, but he's a reach; no major big board had him in the top 100.
101. Omar Bolden, CB, Arizona State: B+ Grade
Omar Bolden fits the range and fills a need; the Broncos signed Tracy Porter, but they still need to get younger at corner. He missed all of 2011 with a torn ACL, so there's some risk here. However, he was considered as a second-round prospect prior to the injury.
108. Philip Blake, C, Baylor: B+ Grade
The Broncos wanted to sign Jeff Saturday, but he went to the Packers. This makes sense. Philip Blake fits the range and could eventually take over as the starting center.
137. Malik Jackson, DE, Tennessee: B Grade
This is the right range for Malik Jackson. The Broncos had to find defensive end depth behind Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers.
188. Danny Trevathan, OLB, Kentucky: B- Grade
Charlie had Danny Trevathan at No. 132, so this is a good value selection for the Broncos in that regard. I don't really understand the fit though because there's currently a log jam at weakside linebacker in Denver.
Love him or hate him, Tim Tebow gave us quite an entertaining ride with his late-game heroics and improbable upsets. He'll need to improve in some areas this offseason to contend with elite teams like the Patriots, but given his work ethic, there's no doubt that we'll see a better product in 2012.
Broncos acquire FB Chris Gronkowski from Colts for CB Cassius Vaughn
Rams sign OLB Mario Haggan
Broncos sign CB Drayton Florence
Ravens sign DE/DT Ryan McBean
Broncos announce retirement of S Brian Dawkins
Broncos sign WR Brandon Stokley
Broncos re-sign WR Matt Willis
Broncos cut DE Ryan McBean
Broncos cut CB Andre Goodman
Broncos sign DT Justin Bannan
Bears sign CB Jonathan Wilhite
Broncos sign QB Caleb Hanie
Broncos re-sign DE Jason Hunter
Broncos sign TE Jacob Tamme
Bengals sign DE Derrick Harvey
Broncos sign TE Joel Dreessen
Broncos sign CB Tracy Porter
Patriots sign FB Spencer Larsen
Broncos sign WR Andre Caldwell
Saints sign DT Brodrick Bunkley
Jets acquire QB Tim Tebow and 7th-rounder from Broncos for 4th- and 6th-rounders
Broncos sign QB Peyton Manning
Broncos re-sign OLB Wesley Woodyard
Chargers sign TE Dante Rosario
Broncos re-sign G Manuel Ramirez
Patriots sign TE Daniel Fells
Broncos re-sign ILB Joe Mays
Chiefs sign QB Brady Quinn
Chargers sign WR/KR Eddie Royal
Broncos sign S Mike Adams
Broncos franchise K Matt Prater
Broncos sign WR Jason Hill
- Left Guard or Right Tackle: Josh McDaniels is getting credit for the Tim Tebow and Demaryius Thomas selections, but he made a number of dumb picks in the NFL Draft, including Zane Beadles, who was guilty of seven sacks and seven penalties in 2011. The Broncos may want to move right tackle Orlando Franklin into his position, so Denver will need help at one of these areas.
- Cornerback: Champ Bailey is still getting the job done, but the other starter, Andre' Goodman, is pretty much finished. Goodman, 34 this offseason, will need to be replaced. Signed Tracy Porter and Drayton Florence; drafted Omar Bolden
- Center: Another poor McDaniels selection was center J.D. Walton, who looked completely lost most weeks. He couldn't block anyone in the two New England losses. Drafted Philip Blake
- Defensive Tackle: Brodrick Bunkley had a great 2011 campaign as a run-stuffer, but neither he nor fellow starting defensive tackle Marcus Thomas offered much in terms of getting to the quarterback. The Broncos will need to invest in an interior pass-rusher, perhaps Jerel Worthy or Fletcher Cox with the 25th pick this April. Keep in mind that Bunkley is a free agent, so Denver will need two defensive tackles if he departs. Drafted Derek Wolfe; signed Justin Bannan
- Wide Receiver: How stupid was that Brandon Lloyd trade? Denver will need a new starting wideout. Tebow has developed great chemistry with Demaryius Thomas, but he doesn't have anyone else to throw to, unless you want to count the mediocre Eric Decker and free agent Eddie Royal. Signed Jason Hill, Andre Caldwell and Brandon Stokley
- Inside Linebacker: Joe Mays was exposed as a huge liability in the playoffs. Another upgrade is needed in the middle of Denver's defense. Re-signed Joe Mays
- Running Back: Willis McGahee predictably wore down the stretch. Knowshon Moreno can't stay healthy. The Broncos really need a reliable running back. They may take one in the first two rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft. Drafted Ronnie Hillman
- Kicker: Matt Prater proved himself to be an extremely clutch kicker. He'll be seeking a big contract as a free agent this offseason. Franchised Matt Prater
- Strong Safety: It's unfortunate, but Brian Dawkins will have to retire because of a neck injury. Unless Denver wants to start 2011 fourth-rounder Quinton Carter next year, it'll need to bring in a veteran to hold down the fort. Signed Mike Adams
- Backup Quarterback: Brady Quinn is, well, Brady Quinn. He's also a free agent. Look for John Elway to spend a Round 3-5 selection on a signal-caller. Signed Caleb Hanie; drafted Brock Osweiler
2012 Denver Broncos Analysis: The Broncos made it to the second round of the playoffs with Tim Tebow, so how can they not advance further with Peyton Manning? Well, if Manning isn't who he once was, Denver will undoubtedly be worse. As discussed, Manning is unlikely to be anywhere near 100 percent. The combination of multiple neck procedures, an already regressing skill set, a new supporting cast, a taxing schedule and the fact that he has to play the majority of his games outdoors for the first time in his career spells trouble.
There are also big expectations in Denver. Big expectations usually mean big failure, as the 2011 offseason-darling Philadelphia Eagles' "Dream Team" discovered. There's a very good chance the 2012 Broncos will struggle, leaving many in Denver wondering where this team would be if Tebow were still the starting quarterback.
Projection: 8-8 (Tied 2nd in AFC West)
2012 Fantasy Football Rankings
More 2012 NFL Season Previews
*** 2012 NFL DRAFT GRADES, OFFSEASON NEEDS BELOW COMMENT BOARD ***