When looking at the Denver Broncos’ draft picks it’s very easy to assume they had a poor draft. They took a wide receiver out of Indiana to add on to what was already the NFL’s best wide receiving corps and they probably reached in the third round when there was potential to trade up to snag a better lineman in round one.
However, I was very impressed with the Broncos’ draft this year. It isn’t easy to add on to a team that went to the Super Bowl last year but I think John Elway and company did a good job. They addressed both defensive and offensive depth by picking Bradley Roby and Cody Latimer and they were able to add to a questionable linebacking corps with the addition of Lamin Barrow.
As far as the offensive line goes, the Broncos attempted to fill a need by picking Michael Schofield out of Michigan. Yes, the line did pretty well last year especially in light of the Ryan Clady injury. Manny Ramirez held down the center position (something he hadn’t done since high school) and Chris Clark was able to backup Clady reasonable well. In fact, it can be argued that Peyton Manning’s perfection last year can be somewhat attributed to the stellar protection up front.
But it’s always good to have a strong backup when it comes to the offensive line. Schofield bludgeoned people in college, and while it is true that the third round was considered pretty high for him, I think that he will provide valuable line depth in the coming years. It seems like every season Clady’s going down with something, and with Peyton Manning entering his final years it’s incredibly important to keep the defense out of the backfield.
Moving on, in my opinion, the best draft pick by the Broncos this year was definitely Bradley Roby.
It could be argued that Barrow and Schofield fill bigger needs on the team, but Roby is by far the best player. Even still, I would argue that in today’s game having a solid secondary is paramount in order to win the Super Bowl. Look at Seattle, they probably had the greatest secondary ever to play the game last year and they blew through basically everyone on their way to the Super Bowl.
I say this every time I talk about Roby but I feel the need to mention it, he does have some concerns with discipline. He very recently was charged with an OVI (operating a vehicle while intoxicated) and he was dogged by suspension his last year in college.
That notwithstanding, Roby has the ability to be a game changer. He can rush the passer and blow up running plays, something that will be critical to opening up the Ware/Miller pass rush next year.
He didn’t run that well at the combine, but he does have pretty good speed. He blocked two punts last year and had two interception returns for touchdowns in his college career. In terms of overall athleticism Roby was probably the top of the lower first round draft picks and I couldn’t be more excited to see him in blue and orange.
The draft as a whole is a gamble. You never know if your first round pick is a bust or if your sixth round draft pick will be in the hall of fame. Roby could easily end next year on the bench and Matt Paradis could be the next Jeff Saturday, but for right now, Roby was definitely the Broncos’ best pick in the draft.