The biggest move by the Broncos so far this off-season has been acquiring QB Brady Quinn. The former first round pick fell out of favor in Cleveland due to his inaccuracy, but he will now get a fresh start in Denver. The Browns received FB Peyton Hillis and two conditional draft picks in exchange for Quinn, who will have to beat out Tom Brandstater to win the back-up job with the Broncos. Regardless of where he lands on the depth chart, he will have an opportunity to develop under the watchful eye of quarterback guru Josh McDaniels.
The team has also been rumored to be discussing a possible trade with the Seattle Seahawks that would send WR Brandon Marshall to the NFC West. Despite rampant speculation, the trade has not materialized as of yet. If Denver were to select a wide receiver with their first selection in the draft, they may be more amenable to dealing the number one receiver on their depth chart. Be sure to vote in our poll concerning a possible Denver-Seattle trade involving Brandon Marshall, and let us know in the comments what you would want in return for Marshall.
However, they may be forced to select a center to replace the departed Casey Wiegmann. The Broncos could target a physical center capable of fitting into their new power running scheme in the first round of the draft. They have been rumored to have interest in C Kevin Mawae, but the aging Mawae is best suited for a back up role at this point in his career.
Incumbent right guard Chris Kuper will be back with the club in 2010, after a signing a 1-year $2.5 million contract. Kuper has started at right guard since the 2007 season. He could be in line for a long term contract extension if he continues his solid play in 2009.
Mocking the Draft has pegged NT Dan Williams as the Broncos number one pick. Denver holds the 11th selection in the draft, and Williams would be a good value at that point in the first round. The addition of such a talented nose tackle would certainly help ensure the team's continued success on defense.
Team needs and 2009 Draft results after the jump...
- Center: Wiegmann was stretched as a starting center, and with him no longer on the roster the Broncos must find a replacement. With the free agent options limited at best, this is going to be a high priority heading into the draft.
- Nose Tackle: Denver's transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense went remarkably well a season ago. The addition of a dominating nose tackle would help ensure that the unit does not regress in 2010.
- Defensive End: Improving the defensive end position would help the Broncos' mediocre run defense. This is an area that can be addressed via free agency if a suitable fit is not found in the draft.
- Inside Linebacker: The team has been solid but unspectacular at middle linebacker. If they can find a player with good value in the middle rounds of the draft, this could be an area they decide to address.
2009 Draft Results
- RB Knowshon Moreno (Georgia)
- LB Robert Ayers (Tennessee)
- CB Alphonso Smith (Wake Forest)
- CB Darcel McBath (Texas Tech)
- TE Richard Quinn (North Carolina)
- FS David Bruton (Notre Dame)
- OG Seth Olsen (Iowa)
- WR Kenny McKinley (South Carolina)
- QB Tom Brandstater (Fresno State)
- C Black Schlueter (TCU)