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Offseason/ Lock-out Thought Pt. II

By Cory Whitmer

Well the CBA deadline has came and almost was past. They gave it another 24 hours, then another 7 days after that. The current CBA will expire this coming Friday (March 11th), even though most clubs have already begun the lock-out phase since it was too close to "doomsday". Hopefully talks this week prove fruitful, or just get extended. Either which way it seems more positive than it feels negative if both sides elect to keep talking and trying to figure out how to split up this one billion of highly contested dollars.

As for the Broncos, the front office and staff is deep in the trenches battle planning and scheming on the 2011 NFL Draft. This week saw VP of Football Ops., John Elway and the other important John, over at Auburn checking out the two players I am going to discuss in this post: Cam Newton and Nick Fairley.

I'm not as concerned about Cam Newton other than that The Johns showing interest in him is surely to drum up interest in other teams to want to go get him at #2. The Broncos should and most likely are going to turn the #2 Pick into multiple picks by trading down in the draft. We don't NEED Cam Newton at #2. The team has three serviceable quarterbacks in Orton, Tebow and Quinn. Will any of those three take us to a Super Bowl? I don't know other than "Not right now". Can Cam Newton take this team to a Super Bowl? Don't know. Leave that question to be answered within Dove Valley than in this year's draft.

Nick Fairley though, would be worthwhile to take at #2 based on current needs of the team, defensively. Fairley is coming out of Auburn as a would-be Senior, forgoing his final year. He showed up at the combine weighing 291 lbs at 6'4". He is a big boy, but NFL linemen are just as big and bigger. His stats in college all-around are pretty good. Last season he had 32 solo tackles and 24 assists. The solo tackles are a good showing and assists I think get overlooked by the casual observer. Granted, NCAA players aren't all NFL caliber, but he took down plenty of guys and helped take down just eight less. Assists are big in hockey and basketball and for good reason. You may not be going solo, but helping others do the job is just as commendable as those who did it alone. Assisting on tackles is a GOOD thing and having relatively even stats in solo and assist is what this team needs: team players. Picking him out of Auburn wouldn't be too bad of an idea, just not at #2.

The Broncos need to trade out of the #2 spot and make sure they grab someone they are sure of to start this upcoming season and be a quantifiable impact on the field. This team has burned too many first round picks and first round money on guys who aren't doing the team a ton of favors: Robert Ayers, Knowshon Moreno, Damarius Thomas and Tim Tebow. These guys all need to be first round type guys, especially for the money that past regime entrusted them with. Their jobs are now a whole hell of a lot less safe without Josh McDaniel's around. I think the Broncos should trade out Kyle Orton for some picks, make Tebow the starter (I'm sure he can beat Quinn in everything except age and drinking games) and see what the guy can do with a full year on the field. He is fiery and hungry, give him the green light. The Broncos have nothing to lose. He does well, good. He does bad, ok now we know what we have to work on, or move him. We all know Orton isn't the guy at QB, so move him now while their is worth, high interest and give him a chance to be the #1 guy somewhere else. He would be good with a better supporting cast elsewhere.

The Draft should be interesting and I think less bothersome because I believe the Broncos this year will make better picks resulting in less head scratching by everyone watching to see where the Broncos go with their picks. Be wise.


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