Perhaps the worst part of my NFL Draft night was the fact that a fiber optic line break left me without television or internet service for the entirety of the first round. The good news is that it didn’t really matter whether or not I watched the draft as the Broncos ducked, side-stepped, and ultimately relieved themselves of a first round selection. Not that I think there’s much panic over this in Denver, but just for the record…Denver’s delay is okay.
Would it have been nice to see the Broncos pick up a little more than an additional 4th round selection, and slightly improved 4th round positioning for all their efforts? Sure. However, the Broncos storyline in Round 1 of the draft is a giant “To Be Continued…”. Come 5:00 p.m. MST, I sincerely hope my restored TV and internet service holds up because I have a hunch there will be plenty to discuss by the time night two of the draft comes to a close.
Despite Denver’s recession back into the 2nd Round, most all the names realistically mentioned as candidates for Denver’s pick at 25 are still on the board. Jerel Worthy, Devon Still, Lamar Miller…they’re all there. Also, three 4th round picks. No one outside the EFX realm can no for sure how the Broncos plan to execute this year’s draft strategy, but it seems very plausible Denver could bundle two of those picks for an additional 2nd rounder. Perhaps the Broncos could leave the 4th round entirely by bundling the remaining pick with their 6th rounder for another 3rd round selection. As it stands now the team will make three selections tonight, but Denver could very well continue its maneuvering to grab one or two more picks tonight. Hauling 4-5 picks out of the 2nd and 3rd rounds, the engine room of the draft, wouldn’t be too shabby.
For many Broncos fans who are still thinking positively about last night’s draft decisions, the only other downside to the proceedings (apart from not collecting greater value in the trades) would be the fact that the Broncos basically gave Dont’a Hightower to the Patriots. Considering the expectations this team has with the arrival of Peyton Manning, it’s somewhat disheartening to see the Patriots improve on Denver’s dime…or at least on Denver’s draft selection. Then again, the fact that the Broncos are now in the discussion as a team that could go head to head with New England is an improvement over, “just trying to keep up with the Chargers.” However, this trade also shows Denver: a) is confident in its current depth at linebacker, b) is smart enough to realize Hightower could have difficulty in its 4-3 scheme, c) believes it can find better value at the position in later rounds, or d) all of the above.
So there’s plenty to watch for tonight. Keeping up with the recent trend, the Denver Broncos always seem to find a way to make things interesting.