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McDaniels Pre-Draft Presser Reaction

By Cory Whitmer

Coach McDaniels held his pre-Draft press conference at Dove Valley this past Friday and discussed the Broncos approach to this years upcoming NFL Draft on Thursday. He was asked a lot of questions about the difference in approach from last years draft, which was panned locally and nationally as a disappointment and left many people scratching their heads (me included) by drafting Georgia RB Knowshon Moreno with their first pick, and then trading away a first round pick for second rounder CB Alphonso Smith.

McDaniels said this upcoming draft has been approached differently, and that he has had an entire season and pre-draft season to coordinate with scouts on his “grading system” in regards to evaluating the draft class of 2010. When he came in last year in January he didn’t have much time to turnover from Shanahan’s scouting to his Patriot-headed system. I’m fine with the head coach doing things his way and not doing it the way of the old guard, and nobody should feel differently. You organize and arrange your refrigerator the way you like it and what works for you, it’s your house, period. His philosophy for evaluating draftees is that they are graded on the needs of the team on a two-year scale. This means that they are projected on their ability to possibly integrate into the Broncos system and be impactful in whatever role they fill be it with O, D, Special Teams, etc. All of this based on how fast they learn and where they could be at in the process by the two-year mark.

The Broncos had 30 draftees at Dove Valley for work-outs and interviews, and McDaniels discussed plenty about his philosophy about the Broncos evaluation of those that visited. Coach stated that he did not bring in anyone who the team was not sincerely interested in, which is good if he means what he says. Most fans who follow this know that there is a lot of smoke screening going on leading up to the draft to try to fool other teams and create confusion to preserve coveted picks, etc. Totally understandable, I doubt that Tim Tebow (who has been talked to by the Broncos) is actually going to end up on the team though. The Broncos all ready have Kyle Orton (not going anywhere), Brady Quinn (just got here, not going anywhere) and Tom Brandstater. I doubt Brandstater is going to be moved, but maybe if the draft cards fall right and there is something McDaniels sees that would be worth moving Brandstater off, or out (he only signed a contract of about $1.5 mil).

Questions were asked about Brandon Marshall and Dez Bryant. McDaniels said he was happy with what the team received for Marshall. Really? Two first round picks (one this year and another next year)? Yeah, that actually was a pretty good deal, as long as you don’t blow those picks like we may have with the Cutler trade. Discussing Bryant, McDaniels said that he has been to Dove Valley, he is on Denver’s draft board and that his character issues are being exaggerated (I will agree, he has no police involvement, and that is the reason why Marshall got his suspensions and a ton of negative press). With regards to Marshall and Bryant, I have to agree with many that it is a risk trading a proven, play making “beast” in Marshall, in hopes to get Bryant or hope for improvement from our current wideout corps of Royal, Gaffney, Stockley, and Lloyd. I’m not going to harp on this so much because everything that has been said has been said, but I was ok with letting Cutler go (I did lose out on the money I paid for his jersey though), but Marshall I think his loss will be more immediately felt.

As for other prospects, McDaniels said he wants to add more competition at all positions. He addressed the need for a Center and said that while it doesn’t mean they will draft a Center, they wouldn’t pass on any talent that could help the team (this is his feeling about any position). He would love to add more competition at Guard, he is happy with our current Offensive Tackles, but wouldn’t pass on a good one, so long as it wasn’t an early pick. There is no need for another Running Back, and that JJ Arrington (who was with the Broncos last year, didn’t pass his physical, was cut and now back) is working hard and looks good. QB is fine and deep where it is at, but he won’t say no chance of drafting another QB.

After watching the long presser, I will state: I AM NOT A McDANIELS HONK, that being said though, the Broncos are my team, I will support them, and while I may not agree with all their decisions, McDaniels was hired to run a football team, not to run it into the ground. His draft last year wasn’t good and I excuse him for that given the time he had to prepare. He got rid of Cutler which wasn’t the worst thing in the world. I think with Cutler we would’ve either won an extra game, or lost an extra game because of his poor choices he can make with his arm and over confidence. Marshall being traded will be regretted I think, losing Hillis wasn’t too bad because he wasn’t used and wasn’t going to be, better for him to go somewhere he can be utilized for his ability to bulldoze and truck guys on his way to the house.

Broncos fans, I implore you to hang in there and cut the coach a break, he isn’t going anywhere and barring a apocalyptic meltdown at Invesco this year, he is going to get his full three years to try. Shanahan is gone, Cutler is gone, Marshall, Scheffler and Hillis are gone and that’s the bottom line. As fans you have to suck it up and place some faith in the guy who was CHOSEN to be the head coach and hope he gets the job done and I advise everyone to get behind him and the team to some degree and be supportive. The NFL Christmas…sorry, DRAFT is this week, so let’s hope Coach knows what he is doing this year and pray for good presents.


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