Team Needs: Denver Broncos
NEEDS RATING KEY
5.0 - High priority. This is a position that is a glaring weakness and there is the likelihood that this team cannot compete next year without making a major addition here.
4.0 - Medium Priority. This is an area that is an obvious weakness, but the team isn't quite desperate to make a major move here possibly because they have some young potential. But this is an area that if the team cannot fix via free agency, will definitely use one of their picks in the first three or four rounds to supplement.
3.0 - Upgrade Potential. This is a position that isn't a weakness per se, but there is significant room for an upgrade. If the right player comes along they will certainly snag him, but if they don't fix this position with a major free agent addition or early round pick, then it's not the end of the world.
2.0 - Depth Need. An area where there is a need to add depth. Perhaps there is an aging veteran and they might want to start to look at grooming his heir apparent or replacement. Not likely to be a high priority and a position that more than likely will be address in the middle and late rounds rather than with a top pick.
1.0 - Future Need. This is an area that is not a priority, and doesn't initially appear as a need. But there is some room to develop some depth for perhaps two or more years down the line. This is usually an area that a team will look at in the late rounds if at all.
0.0 - Non-need. This is a position that is a strength of their team, they have a solid starter, capable depth, and/or a young player at the position that they like and want to develop. Very little possibility this area is addressed and would be the equivalent of a wasted draft pick.
Top 10 Needs
1. DT - 4.0
2. TE - 4.0
3. CB - 4.0
4. QB - 3.0
5. RET - 3.0
6. OG - 2.5
7. LB - 2.0
8. WR - 2.0
9. RB - 2.0
10. S - 2.0
Quarterbacks - The Broncos have affirmed that they are committed to Tim Tebow as their starter through OTAs and into training camp. Presumably Tebow will be given enough leash to remain the starter for the entirety of 2012. But if GM John Elway has his way, he can find a good, young pocket passer that he can sit for a year, and then plug into the starting lineup in 2013 and be their franchise QB for years to come. But the Broncos will also seek to add a veteran in free agency, to replace Brady Quinn. NEED: 3.0
Running Back - McGahee had a resurgent year, but he'll be 31 in October and the need to start looking for an heir apparent, Knowshon Moreno has had his moments, but is coming off ACL surgery and had a recent off-field run-in which could get him booted out of Denver. NEED: 2.0
Fullback - Spencer Larsen is a free agent and is a solid lead blocker but is coming off a knee injury. But it would seem smart to bring him because of his ability to play on special teams and on defense. But they might look to add some depth and competition here since the position was eliminated from the lineup once Larsen went down. NEED: 2.0
WIde Receiver - Eddie Royal is a free agent and is not expected back. That will leave Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker as their two main options on the outside. They would love to upgrade this position, but they'll be hard-pressed to find a veteran option since Tebow's questionable passing abilities. So instead, they will probably add another depth option in the draft. NEED: 2.0
Tight End - Daniel Fells was effective down the stretch, but he's not the sort of dynamic receiving option that they would love to get. This position will likely have even more value to them over a wide receiver because it can help their passing game, as well as their running game with blocking. NEED: 4.0
Offensive Tackle - Ryan Clady is the one rock-solid player they have up front and is entering the final year of his contract, and probably inline to get a big extension in the next 12 months. Orlando Franklin had a nice rookie season, and should solidify this spot. They might add some depth, but it won't be a huge need. NEED: 1.5
Offensive Guard - Chris Kuper isn't great at right guard, but solid. Zane Beadles is proabbly the most vulnerable among their five starters to be supplanted. Bolstering depth here should be on the Broncos radar, if they don't try to upgrade the position entirely in free agency. NEED: 2.5
Center - J.D. Walton has been a capable young center, that they seem to feel fairly confident with going forward. Their major issue here will be dealing with depth if free agent Russ Hochstein departs. NEED: 1.5
Defensive Tackle - This will be a priority to upgrade. While Brodrick Bunkley beefed up their run defense, and Marcus Thomas made some strides to live up to his potential, they want to get more pressure from this position. It's not good when Ryan McBean is your most disruptive presence in the middle. Bunkley and Thomas are both free agents, that they seem open to bringing back. But either way, they need an upgrade. NEED: 4.0
Defensive End - Robert Ayers wasn't great, but he was better playing his natural defensive end spot than he was in past years. And Dumervil and Von Miller were very good pass rushers on the edge. Jason Hunter and Derrick Harvey add depth, but both are free agents and expendable. They should try and bolster their rotation with some free agent pickups. NEED: 2.0
Linebacker - Miller was a standout as a rookie. Re-signing Wesley Woodyard will be key to provide some insurance behind the underachieving D.J. Williams on the outside. They will likely give Nate Irving a chance to man the middle since Joe Mays was marginal. Mario Haggan is also a free agent, and provides only depth at this point. They could try and find a veteran on the free agent market to keep the middle warm until Irving is ready. NEED: 2.0
Cornerback - Champ Bailey still showed there is something left in the tank at age 33 this past year, but they need to find someone that can man the spot across from him and take over when the tank runs dry. Andre Goodman at this point in his career is nothing more than a nickel corner, and rookie Chris Harris looks poised to continue to fill that spot. NEED: 4.0
Safety - Brian Dawkins might be at the end of the line. He's a free agent, and his age and neck problems might force him to retire. The young duo of Rahim Moore and Quinton Carter didn't have the desired results. Moore was benched early in the year due to poor play, and will have to work harder to get back into the coach's good graces. In the meantime, it would be smart for them to add a veteran in free agency to provide depth and insurance. NEED: 2.0
Kicker - Matt Prater is an excellent kickoff guy, but a bit lackluster on field goals. But they like his upside and slapping him with the franchise tag will assure he's back for another year. NEED: 0.0
Punter - Britton Colquitt is one of the bright, young punters in the league. NEED: 0.0
Return Specialist - Quan Cosby was serviceable until they cut him at the end of the year, leaving nothing much here since Eddie Royal is unlikely to return. This is a position that they likely will try to address with their needs at CB or WR. NEED: 3.0<< Previous Team
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