Posts Tagged “Denver Broncos”

After yesterday’s NFL Draft we asked a panel of our experts to break down the draft and give their two cents about how the draft unfolded.

Biggest Winner?

Daniel Ornelas – Believe it or not, I have to say that the Rams came away the biggest winner in this draft because they did something that is very necessary for them: get more picks to fill the holes they have in their team. They may have made fans a bit disappointed, trading out of the No. 2 and 6 picks, but I think receiving all of those Washington draft picks was a huge win for them in the first place. Then they went and traded the 6th pick to move back, got more picks in the process, and still wound up with a solid player in Michael Brockers.

Kyle Williams – I really like what the Patriots did getting Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower.  The Patriots desperately needed some athleticism in their front 7 and Jones and Hightower should fit in very well in their system.  I’d also look at the Chargers who got a nice value in Melvin Ingram.  Ingram will give the Chargers some much needed pass rush ability and will be ability to play multiple positions in the 3-4.  David DeCastro was also a great value pick for a Steelers line that has had major struggles the last few years.

Dave Vinluan – New England Patriots. Bill Belichick moved up twice in the draft and picked up two defensive players that can bring the ruckus in DE Chandler Jones and LB Dont’a Hightower.

Jeff Morgan – There are a lot to choose from here.  But you gotta love what the Patriots did here.  They traded up TWICE and grabbed two playmakers on the defensive side of things.  Both LB Dont’a Hightower and DE Chandler Jones will make an immediate impact this season, and help a defense that was one of the worst in the league last season.  Don’t forget, the Patriots are coming off a Super Bowl appearance last season too!  Patriots prove once again that they’re the best-run organization in the NFL.


Biggest Loser?

Daniel Ornelas – The loser in this draft has to be the Kansas City Chiefs. They used the 11th overall pick on somebody that has had issues with motivation and pure desire. We are talking about a guy who came out of nowhere and dominated the combine test sheet, not the stat sheet, much like Stephen Hill (teams have been passing on him after he has been so hyped up). This pick reminds me of the Taylor Mays (Safety from USC) pick in 2010 where defensive-minded head coach Mike Singletary just had to have his physical guy. The 49ers and Singletary gambled and reached for Mays, and now the Chiefs and Romeo Crennel reached for Poe. Didn’t work out for the 49ers, let’s see how it plays for KC.

Kyle Williams – A lot of people will talk about the Seahawks here, but I’m going to go with the Bucs picking Mark Barron at #7.  In my eyes, for a saftey to warrent a top 10 selection they need to be an absolute stud of a prospect (i.e. Sean Taylor, LaRon Landry, and Roy Williams).  Barron is a very good player, but is not nearly the prospect that other top 10 safties were.  In my eyes his draft position was the result of a very weak saftey class.

Dave Vinluan – St. Louis Rams. They waited patiently in hopes of landing big play WR Justin Blackmon, just to get leap frogged by the Jacksonville Jaguars. There is great potential with Michael Brockers, but he can’t help their abysmal offense score any touchdowns.

Jeff Morgan – I’m going with the Broncos here.  I realize they didn’t even make a pick, but that’s the whole point.  They traded down twice out of the 1st round, and while they grabbed a few more picks, they needed to make a selection here.  They were plenty of OT’s available, or even pass rushers to help the Broncos next season.  Peyton Manning isn’t getting any younger, and a solid 1st round pick would go a long way into helping the Broncos chances.

Biggest Surprise?

Daniel Ornelas – I was most surprised by the fact that AJ Jenkins was picked ahead of Stephen Hill. As a 49ers fan, I expected to see a guard taken considering Cordy Glenn was still there. If Glenn wasn’t selected, I was thinking some other guard, TE Coby Fleener (once coached by Harbaugh), Stephen Hill, or some cornerback. When I heard Jenkins, I immediately thought Janoris Jenkins of Northern Alabama. Boy was I surprised when they said AJ.

Kyle Williams – It’s pretty hard not to go with Bruce Irvin here.  There is no doubt that Irvin is a prolific pass rusher, arguably the best in this year’s draft, but I figured Irvin’s one-dimensional game and major character concerns would push him down draft boards.

Dave Vinluan – Seattle Seahawks selecting DE/OLB Bruce Irvin. Although he shows great flashes of being a premier pass rusher, that’s all Irvin may be. At WVU he excelled on 3rd downs with his speed, but that might not be enough to get by at the next level.

Jeff Morgan – All the trades!  I knew there would be movement in this draft, but 8 first round trades is ridiculous.  Jags and Patriots traded UP, Vikings traded back and STILL got their guy in Kahlil.  Cowboys surprised everyone by grabbing Claiborne from LSU, a great pick for them.  And then there were the questionable picks of the Seahawks and the Bears who both picked positions and players that they didn’t really need and could have drafted a better player.  All in all, it was a draft full of surprises all across the board.


Who ends up with the best career in this years 1st round?

Daniel Ornelas – I could go with the consensus and say Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin, but I have to go with Morris Claiborne. I have no doubt that Luck and Griffin will be great players in the NFL, but in a passing league I think Claiborne has a chance to shine. When you think shutdown corner, you think Jets CB Darelle Revis. I think this will changed in the future with Claiborne’s name alongside Revis. He is an excellent corner and will be playing for “America’s Team” in the Cowboys and will have high expectations that I believe he can exceed. In a league with Johnsons, Fitzgeralds, and other dominant receivers on pass-heavy offenses, Claiborne will have a chance to show his stuff.

Kyle Williams – We all know QB’s get the headlines so Andrew Luck is a safe pick here, but I think Luke Kuechly will be absolute stud alongside Jon Beason in Carolina.  Kuechly should make a lot of pro bowls before his time is done.

Dave Vinluan – David DeCastro. He will be put into a great situation at Pittsburgh playing next to Maurkice Pouncey. DeCastro was one of the top rated linemen in the draft and he will fit right in the Steelers smash mouth offense.

Jeff Morgan – There’s a loaded question.  The easy answer is Luck or RGIII, but I can see greatness from Claiborne, Blackmon, and Richardson.  It’s a deep 1st round draft, but when all is said and done I think the best player out of this draft will be Matt Kahlil.  It’s not the sexiest pick, but he’s as sure a perennial pro-bowl left tackle as it gets.  He’s going to be a cornerstone the Vikings have desperately been missing, and could go a long way in the development of Christian Ponder.  He ends up with the most Pro-Bowl selections out of any player in this draft.  Count it.


When we look back at this year’s 1st round it will be most remembered for…?

Daniel Ornelas – The day the Luck-Griffin competition started. This draft was very surprising with all the trades that happened before and during the draft, but it will be known as the day someone made a huge mistake, or the day someone scored big. Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are two top-notch quarterbacks and the fact that they were picked number 1 and 2, respectively, will draw critics toward always making comparisons between the two. The Redskins paid a high price in trading up to get Griffin so if he turns out to be a bust, they will look back on this draft as the day they gambled and it didn’t pay off. As for Luck, the Colts new GM’s biggest move was made today when he selected the new leader to fill the big shoes that Peyton Manning left Luck to fill in Indianapolis. I think both will be just fine and this draft will be looked at as one of the best drafts in recent history.

Kyle Williams – The trading frenzy in the top 10.  Every pick from 2-7 was taken by a team that was not initially slotted to draft in that spot.  I can’t remember a draft that has been this trade-happy at the top, but it certainly made this one exciting.

Dave Vinluan – The trades. Along with Melvin Ingram and Roger Goodell’s ball so hard handshake.

Jeff Morgan – Defining 4 franchises.  The Colts, Redskins, Dolphins, and Browns all selected who they think will be their franchise QB.  Very rarely do all QB’s drafted in the 1st round work out.  A few of these teams will look back at this draft and point to it as the beginning of something great, and a few will look back and remember where it all went wrong.

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With Peyton Manning signing with the Denver Broncos earlier today, we asked our “Expert” panel of bloggers to give us their take on what this means for the Mile High City in a new segment we call, “The Nickel Blitz”

Were the Broncos the best destination for Peyton to land?

Jeff Morgan: Probably not.  The 49ers or Texans made the most sense from a pure football standpoint.  You put a healthy Peyton on either of those two teams and they have to be considered instant frontrunners for the Super Bowl.  However, there are far worse places Peyton could have ended up.  The Broncos have a young, strong core on defense, and a few solid weapons in the passing game.  Signing with the Broncos may not make them instant favorites, but they are definitely in the conversation when it comes to potential Super Bowl teams.

Dave Vinluan: From a team perspective San Francisco would have been the best spot for Peyton. But from a Peyton Manning standpoint, Denver was the best fit. Miami will be running the offensive system Green Bay runs with Joe Philbin as the new Head Coach. Tennessee and San Francisco are more run first teams that don’t give too much control to the quarterback. There’s no way Jim Harbaugh gives complete control to Manning. And this leaves Denver, with John Elway doing everything he can to solidify his ridding of Tebow, I believe in John Elway’s mind he is doing a public service to Denver by getting rid of Tim Tebow. Elway would give complete control to Peyton, making it a perfect fit for him.

Taylor Benson: I honestly thought Peyton would end up with the Titans; it really seemed like the best fit for him. With the 49ers in the final race this week, things got exciting. All the talk about Peyton joining the recent offensive additions the 49ers just made, while also working under Jim Harbaugh sounded like a surefire trip to the Super Bowl. Maybe the Broncos is what Peyton really wanted. We’ll have to wait and find out what he says…

Evan Rowley: No, The Browns are dying in the AFC north, and since I’m an Ohio native I don’t like the two consequences that came from this move: One, the Browns still need a QB.  And Two, the Broncos have another good one.

Jason Fawcett: I don’t believe so.  I think they have one of the best offensive lines in the game, a great defense and a team filled with some young stars in the making.  However, I still think the best place Peyton could have landed was San Francisco with the 49ers.  Their team is built to win a championship right now.  While Denver has a nice defense, the 49ers have the best defense in the NFL.  Peyton has never been a great outdoors quarterback, and while the 49ers also play outdoors, I think they’re weather is much more suitable for Peyton.  Furthermore, the Broncos have an absolutely brutal schedule this year.  While the AFC West is a pretty weak division, the NFC West is the weakest division in football.  Two years ago a team made the playoffs with a 7-9 record and last year the 49ers had basically wrapped up the division by Thanksgiving.  On the other hand, the Broncos have the 2nd hardest schedule in the NFL and the only game they play indoors this year will be in Atlanta, which isn’t an easy place to play.  Outside of the division, they also have to play the Houston Texans, Pittsburg Steelers, New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, the New England Patriots, and a Cam Newton improved Carolina Panthers.  That is just plain scary.

Does Manning still have the “it” factor?

Jeff Morgan: That’s the $100,000 question isn’t it?  The fact remains that everyone, included the Broncos will have to be in wait and see mode.  We just don’t know how fully recovered Peyton is from his neck injury.  Let’s not forget that he hasn’t played contact football in well over a year.  How he responds to that first big hit might be the most important question in determining if Peyton still has “It.”

Dave Vinluan: As far as I’m concerned, Peyton hadn’t lost it prior to surgery, and I don’t expect him to lose “it” anytime soon. Manning is a great football mind, always studying, and finding out weak areas in opposing defenses. What needs to be seen is if his surgery affects the way he throws or how he reacts after being hit. I haven’t heard of any problems with his throwing mechanics so far, so I don’t expect there to be dramatic changes in his deliver or velocity. The timing with new receivers may take time, but I’m sure Peyton will make adjustments just like he always does. I still believe Peyton has what it takes to compete at the highest levels.

Taylor Benson: Only time will tell. We’ve heard reports that he’s rehabbing great, while others say that his throwing motion is just not the same and his strength is nowhere near 100%. If Peyton really spent the last few weeks making the best decision for himself, then we could very well see him back and looking as fresh as ever. As long as that Broncos’ defense does their job, we won’t be seeing “Manning Face” down on the field.

Evan Rowley: Yes.  Next question

Jason Fawcett: Peyton definitely still has the “it” factor.  The Peyton Manning sweepstakes has dominated the news cycle for the last couple of weeks.  He’s a sure fire future hall of famer and could possibly be the greatest quarterback of all time.  Even with March Madness in full swing and crazy upsets happening over the weekend, Manning was still the top story.  He’s a meticulous worker and will no doubt do everything in his power to be as successful as possible.  With the severity of his neck injury, I’m always worried that he might be one hit away from retirement.  However, I don’t think Elway would have signed off on acquiring him if he wasn’t given the assurances from his doctors on his overall health.  He also personally witnessed Peyton throw at Duke and I believe he can assess a quarterback’s arm with the best of them.  Peyton still has to have “it” if he was willing to make such an aggressive push for him.

Is it Super bowl or bust in order for this move to be considered a successful one?

Jeff Morgan: This one will depend of the terms of his contract, but I have a feeling the Broncos are going to give him a pretty massive deal here.  If that’s the case, you got to think that the Broncos will have to win the “big one” in the next 3 years or so for this signing to be considered a true success.  Anything short of a Super Bowl title, and you can look back at this move as a failed experiment

Dave Vinluan: Yes, after what Denver accomplished in a very weak AFC West division and being one game away from the AFC Conference Championship, expectations should be high. Although every team’s mindset should be Super bowl or bust, after this move I wouldn’t be surprised if the front office and fans in Denver are thinking Super bowl(s) or bust.

Taylor Benson: For this move to be considered successful, The Broncos would have advance to the Super Bowl. Will it actually happen? Who knows. It’s too early to tell, and die-hard Bronco fans are probably trying to order their Super Bowl apparel already. It could be the year for the Broncos though, and we’ll have to stay tuned to see how Peyton does in the Mile High City.

Evan Rowley: Absolutely.  I can’t help but notice the underlying similarity between the Bronco’s new GM (Elway) and Manning’s current situation.  Much like Manning, Elway was at the end of his career in Denver and hadn’t been to the Super Bowl in years when he won back-to-back Championships before retiring.  I’m sure Elway made this a well-known fact in courting Manning to come take the reigns from Tebow. (Who Elway loves to hate).  If Manning doesn’t make the Super Bowl AND win it….this move was unsuccessful.

Jason Fawcett: That all still depends on the final numbers of the contract.  I know they had a lot of cap room, so as long as they don’t completely limit their future’s financial abilities I think this can be considered a successful move without a super bowl.  With Tim Tebow playing the quarterback position, I don’t think that they were going to win many more playoff games, much less the Super Bowl.  Tebow was a great leader, who inspired his teammates greatly last year and did some amazing things.  With that being said, I think teams were going to be ready for Tebow with a full off-season to prepare for him.  The same thing happened with Michael Vick last year and the Dolphin’s Wildcat offense a few years ago.  If Manning can provide stability at the position and make the Broncos a contender in the AFC West and playoffs I think this will be a successful move.  He’ll bring excitement to Denver, and as long as the Bronco’s don’t sacrifice their future by giving him too crazy of a contract this will be remembered as a great day in the Denver Bronco’s history.

How will the Bronco fan base react? Embrace him? Or boo him because Tim Tebow is likely out the door?

Jeff Morgan: This will be an interesting scenario that plays out.  Remember, Bronco fans will turn on you in a second, just ask Kyle Orton.  And they didn’t just like Tebow, they practically worshiped they guy.  It will NOT be an easy feat for Peyton to step in and be beloved by Bronco fans, especially if he struggles in the early going.  Ultimately though, while Peyton may not bring the kind of excitement and pizzazz that Tebow did, he will bring more of one thing…wins.  And at the end of the day, that’s all any fan base needs to cheer for.

Dave Vinluan: I truly believe winning cures everything, and if Peyton is winning they won’t care that Tebow is gone. But if that’s not the case there will be those fans in Denver showing up with their #15 “Jesus” jerseys saying “I told you so”. I’m sure fans are stoked to have a proven all time great quarterback under center after so long. But there will be no shortage of Peyton Manning Denver Bronco Jerseys at Mile High Stadium this season.

Taylor Benson: Bronco fans seem ecstatic…I mean any team would be lucky to get Peyton. Where does Tebow go now? He was the Broncos’ savior last season, so will we see Bronco fans wishing him a fond farewell, or mourning his departure? I think any true Bronco fan would be faithful to Tebow, who carried their team so far last season. Even in the post-season, all the talk about Tebow being the starting QB got everyone fired up. However, we’ll see Bronco fans embrace Peyton, as they want a Super Bowl ring.

Evan Rowley: Hopefully by watching a season of Tebow, the fans now realize that Tebow’s best attributes are a will to win and a competitive spirit.  Neither of these need to be done from the QB position to help the team out, and neither of them beat out Peyton Manning for a starting position.

Jason Fawcett: The fan base will definitely embrace him.  Peyton is one of the few quarterbacks that could go to Denver and supplant Tebow without enraging the fan base.  The true Broncos fans will be thrilled to have a future Hall of Famer “prototypical” quarterback.  Tebow was a great story and is an overall great guy.  He was great for the Denver community, but Manning is also a stand up guy.  The Tebow fans will definitely be upset, but they will also follow Tebow wherever he goes…

What happens to Tim Tebow? Where does he land?

Jeff Morgan: I know the popular answer here is Jacksonville given Tebow’s Florida ties, but I’d be real surprised if he ends up in North Florida again.  I think he would actually fit great in Miami, who could get two guys that would run the “wildcat” to it’s full potential (Bush and Tebow).  But he probably ends up in a backup role on a team that isn’t quite content with their starting QB’s.  Look for him to be wined and dined by teams like Cleveland, Tennessee, and Kansas City.  Tebowmania however, is probably dead for good.

Dave Vinluan: Now the curious case of Tim Tebow is a tough one. There are still teams on the hunt for a QB, one that sticks out is Miami after losing out on both Manning and Matt Flynn. There was only one head coach who loved what they saw out of Tebow when they drafted him and that was Josh McDaniels who is now with the New England Patriots. Maybe a draft day deal could be done with New England having a plethora of high draft picks once again. With Tebow struggling to move an offense that was dumbed down to his ability, the interest other teams have in him could be very minimal. But with the McDaniels connection, I could see him in Foxboro.

Taylor Benson: Two weeks ago, I didn’t even envision Peyton joining the Broncos and Tim Tebow being on the trading block! I guess when you get a chance at Peyton, you better take it. Tebow won the hearts of Denver fans last year and was on his way to becoming the starter for the Broncos next season. One thing I know for sure is wherever Tebow ends up, he will not be a starter week one of the 2012 season. I see Jacksonville and Miami as the top 2 front runners for Tebow. Both of these organizations want to win championships and they each need to sell tickets; they need Tebow in order to sell tickets. These two teams should be drooling over the possibility of what could come if Tebow comes to town. Since the Broncos still retain the ability to do whatever they want with Tebow, I would expect them to place Tebow with the team and city that works best for him and the league’s best interests.

Evan Rowley: Tight End for the Dallas Cowboys.  Or possibly even Fullback for somebody.  I mean it’s perfect! He’ll run most of the time, and every ONCE in awhile he could throw the ball! It’s really perfect for him.  I don’t think he will stay in Denver…Wait I got it, fullback for the New England Patriots.  Write that down.

Jason Fawcett: Tim Tebow will land in the AFC East. The Miami Dolphins have had a horrendous offseason.  Not only did they strike out on the Manning sweepstakes, but they also whiffed on the much lesser Matt Flynn sweepstakes.  They also traded away their best offensive weapon in Brandon Marshall.  There are rumblings that this once proud franchise is just a joke now and being ruined by its owner and GM.  One way the Dolphins could excite their restless and disappointed fan base is to bring back hometown hero Tim Tebow.  The Tebow folklore developed from his time at Florida when he was winning two national championships.  They love him in that state and Miami has been a team that is willing to change up their offensive philosophy in the past to help tailor to their strengths.  If he doesn’t end up in Miami then I could see Tebow landing in New England.  Josh McDaniels is their offensive coordinator and was the man who drafted Tim Tebow.  Tebow could sit behind Brady and try to learn the quarterback position.  Bill Belichick is also a genius at working with players and could plug him into all of the right packages.  Bringing Tebow in 3 TE wildcat formation would be awfully tough to defend in the red zone.  If he doesn’t end up with either of those team, both the Jets and Bills could also use a creative backup that brings a change of style to the game.  Both teams could use some competition for their incumbent starters.

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Is Jeremy Lin the Tim Tebow of the NBA? Right now, he is. How does a virtual nobody (an undrafted free agent from Harvard with no athletic scholarship and no athletic awards) suddenly take the league by storm? Lin was sleeping on his teammate Landry Fields’ couch just a week ago; he is now living in David Lee’s (former Knick) apartment, which is the same plush apartment once occupied by Amar’e Stoudemire before he moved to Manhattan. When Lin finally got the chance to perform due to teammate injuries, superstar egos, and a poor team record, he showed he was a true superstar. More importantly, he has rallied the Knicks to a seven game winning streak!

The excitement surrounding Lin’s clutch game-winning shots and record-breaking points has captured the world’s attention. In Asia, he is the most searched item on various Chinese search engines. Lin’s Twitter followers erupted from just 25,000 to 300,000 in less than two weeks. Quite the popular guy, considering just two weeks ago Lin was about to get cut by his third NBA team.

Tim Tebow also took the nation by storm during the NFL season. Tebow was EVERYWHERE, and his hard work and determination in the face of critics only seemed to make him more successful. It is easy to point out the similarities between Tebow and Lin. For one, they both started on the bench at the beginning of their seasons. Each have been the force leading their losing teams on unexpected winning streaks. Both Tebow and Lin have used their sport as a platform for their belief in God; they are both Christians, and appear to live wholesome lifestyles.

Tebow had high expectations placed on him (recruited out of high school, Heisman trophy winner as a junior, and first round draft pick), while Lin had no expectations placed on him. Both are underdogs, but I see Lin as more of an underdog and Tebow as unorthodox in the way he plays football. Together, they have both given people a reason to believe. They both speak about their teams first, and appear to be very humble. Aside from also saving two coaches whose jobs were in jeopardy, these two athletes have captivated the world and will continue to do so.

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