The eleventh pick in the inaugural edition of the Cincy Jungle Mock Draft is brought to us by member BlitzAway, selecting for the Denver Broncos. His explanation for the pick is after the jump. Thank you for your participation BlitzAway.
With the eleventh pick in the 2010 Cincy Jungle Mock Draft, the Denver Broncos select...
The Broncos had a great start to 2009 going 6-0 before imploding after the bye week and ending up at 8-8. One of their biggest problem was the rushing game - both on the offensive and defensive sides. If we break down their averages for rushing & passing games for wins vs.. losses, it looks like this:
The eye popping difference from the table? The passing offense or defense didn't perform too differently in wins vs. losses, but the rushing offense started to stall just as the defense started giving up a ton of yards.
Here are the Broncos biggest positions of need
1. Center/Guard: In 2009, the Broncos suffered from poor play by the interior linemen and didn't get a lot done on short yardage situations. This off season, the Broncos committed themselves to having a power blocking offense and one of their first moves in that regard was to cut starting center Casey Wiegmann who was 36 and struggled last season even though he had a Pro Bowl season in 2008. Backup Brandon Gorin is 31 and is not starting material which leaves Seth Olson - who was a 4th round pick last year - as possible starter. LG Ben Hamilton also played poorly and was benched during the course of the season and that combined with the injury to OT Ryan Harris meant that the running game even with Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter never quite took off.
However, # 11 is too high a position to draft a Center/Guard and drafting a starting OT and moving either of their existing bookend tackles - Ryan Clady and Ryan Harris - inside is probably not something they want to do. Given that they could get someone like Vladimir Ducasse from Massachusetts in the 2nd round, it is unlikely that the Broncos will be addressing their interior OL with this pick.
2. WR: Given the uncertain future of Brandon Marshall as a part of this team, a WR is a need that the Broncos have to address and Dez Bryant is still on the board. The good news for the Broncos is with Bryant, they almost get another Brandon Marshall talent-wise and the thought of the two of them lining up together (at least in 2010) should give opposing DCs nightmares. However, the problem is that while Bryant has talent, he also comes with some baggage that the Broncos would do well to avoid - especially after their experience last off season with Cutler and Marshall.
With the signing of Jamal Williams from the Chargers, the Broncos now have a starting NT that should instantly help their very poor run defense which finished 26th last year. The additional signing of Justin Bannan from the Ravens provides depth and should give Chris Baker - a 2nd year player - time to learn and eventually take over at NT.
What the Broncos are now missing is an ILB that can play against the run and the pass. Andra Davis was signed as a FA from the Browns before last season but only lasted 1 year mostly because he was seen as a liability in the passing game and the Broncos can fix that with the best ILB in this years draft - Alabama's Roland McClain. Considered a leader, his exceptional athletic ability is an asset in pass defense while his size, strength and ability to take on lead blockers make him an excellent run defender as well. The biggest issue with McClain that may give the Broncos pause is the recent revelation that he suffers from Crohn's disease. However, what should give them hope is that he's had it from the time he's been in high school and it hasn't slowed him down. Also, Jaguars QB David Garrard was also diagnosed with the same disease in 2003 and he continues to play.
Rolando McClain Highlights: