Denver Broncos 2012 Draft Analysis part 2 – 3rd day of the Draft

In the third day of the 2012 NFL draft, with the 101st overall pick, Denver selected CB Omar Bolden from Arizona State (the same of Osweiler). This pick surprised me not for the position selected, but because I tough that Boykin (from Georgia) and Minniefield were (and are) good prospects and would have had great value in the 4th round (off course Boykin went little bit later meanwhile Minniefield went undrafted). I liked the video of 2010 I saw on Bolden before the draft and, since in that moment (it was before the combine) he was projected to go undrafted, I remember thinking that the plays I saw from him were no worse than the ones I saw from Gilmore. Because of this comparison, I downgraded Gilmore videos, instead of re – evaluate Bolden ones. Anyhow he didn’t play a snap in 2011 and has injury issues. Denver FO was really high on him and picked him here because they think he could develop and be a really good starter in the NFL. I liked his videos and I hope he won’t re-injure himself any soon. If then he would develop even only in a good nº2 corners it would be more tan enough for me as expectations for a 4th rounder.

With the 108th overall pick (4th round) Denver selected Offensive Lineman Philip Blake from Baylor. I immediately felt that this was, as all the previous Broncos selections, not a sexy pick (there were many big names still on the Board) but a really good one. It’s possible to see quite a lot of video of Blake since he played Center in the Robert Griffith Baylor team. What I didn’t get is that he played all three OLine positions at Baylor. This particular is what makes his selection a brilliant one for Denver roster. From his video at Center, is possible to see that he his a good player, he is strong and has range to reach the second level of defenders and he is a finisher (he likes to finish his blocks and he’s not quitting on his block until the play is completely over and possible his guy is grasping on the ground). I love this pickup because I felt that better competition was a major need in the interior of Broncos offensive line. The competition that he brings, especially at Guard and Center positions, will increase Walton and Beadles level of productivity and will let the Broncos have good depth in case that one of the two starter gets injured. I don’t foresee Blake beating out this next training camp either Walton or Beadles because he is just a rookie and has a lot to learn to be really effective in the NFL, but could be that next year or so he will replace one of the two incumbent starter or at least would make one of them expendable in the free agent market.

With the 137th overall pick (5th round) Denver selected one of my favorite prospects in Malik Jackson. Jackson is a hybrid DE/DT from Tennessee. When I watched his videos on the web I immediately felt that he was one of the few prospects in this draft that could have the skills that Denver needed to add talent and depth to the defensive end position in the Broncos roster. The 2012 NFL draft was full of big DEs with great measurement that were not translated into their videos, IMO. Professional analysts were saying about the high productivity of these players and I was thinking that either I could not see their good videos, or they were clearly misjudging. Chandler Jones videos didn’t impress me a bit, Melvin Igram ones neither (even more he is a prototypical 3-4 OLB developmental player). The same I could say about Andre Branch from Clemson and Vinny Curry from Marshall. They have big bodies and all are powerful players. Mercilus was portrayed as some kind of one year wonder and is generally not a good thing, meanwhile McClellin is IMO a 3-4 OLB because I did not see in his video enough rush power to line up as DE in the 4-3 scheme (good look to Chicago). I like Upshaw really more than the DEs – OLBs drafted ahead of him, I think he is a big effort guy and he’s ready to play in the NFL, even tough he’s a better fit for the 3-4 defense. It is really possible that I’m completely wrong and, off course, professional scouts and FOs knows what to look on a prospect to understands if he fits the team scheme, and neither I’m suggesting that these guys won’t have a long and productive career. I’m saying that Malik Jackson has the straight forward speed and enough power to be an effective defensive end in the Broncos scheme. He is somebody that could be plugged in if Dumervil goes down with an injury and still could do a similar job coming from the edge. Plus He will provide competition to Ayers, Hunter, Beal and could be used in the nickel package situations as interior pass rusher (as Wolfe) since he had experience at DT. Overall I felt that during the 2012 offseason DE was one area of depth that needed to be upgraded with better talent. The Broncos used the draft to do it and, IMO grabbed one of the few players that has the skills to flourish in the Broncos scheme.


With its last selection, Denver FO used the 188th overall pick (6th round) to add Danny Trevathan, linebacker from Kentucky, to the roster. He could play both Will outside linebacker and Middle linebacker. I liked the videos I could see on him more than professional analysts. He’s another, like all Denver 2012 draftees, big effort guy that tackles hard and makes few mistakes on the field. IMO, he has to gain more strength and get bigger to compete with NFL big running backs and tight ends, but from his videos it’s quite clear to me that he has instincts and knows how to tackle. He is undersized but was, like Jackson and several other prospects, very underrated Barring injuries, will make the team being really productive on special team at the beginning of 2012.


This 3rd Draft day was used by Denver FO to bring more quality depth to some positions that were truly in need of it. All the position that, in one of mine pre-draft posts, I pointed out as depth need have been assessed (the only exception could be the Strong Outside Linebacker depth behind Von Miller but I guess that player with lower but similar capability to the ones of Von are usually 1st rounder’s and are starting from day one for a number of teams…..).


Saw in perspective, Denver FO selected very well in terms of positions of need in this draft. I was really angry for the Osweiler selection in the 2nd round because I was thinking that OLB/ILB Levonte David and CB Jamell Fleming were still on the board and could have been used right away in a  number of packages that nowadays are part of any team game plan. Then Denver came up picking Bolden and Trevathan in the 3rd day getting player that has some less hype now but could be the same effective in Denver scheme.


Looking back at it now, it really looks that Denver FO was always executing a plan during the three days of the 2012 Draft and this is what really is making me feel good and optimist for the future.


I will add, in the next post, my thoughts about the thirteen players that joined the Broncos family through college free agency, because even in their selections is possible to see how Denver FO planned to use the draft to provide more competition to a lot of positions in order to get more productivity from whoever will end up being starter and also providing better quality depth.


If I would have to gibe a grade to Denver draft I would give a high grade, because, on paper, the team is deeper and has more quality and weapons than before the draft both on offense and on defense.


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