Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Denver Broncos. [full archive here].
Season Recap – Denver’s season suffered greatly from Josh McDaniels and his questionable player trades, namely shipping off stud running back Peyton Hillis for third string quarterback Brady Quinn. McDaniels did select Tim Tebow in the draft last season, and there were glimpses of greatness from the league-leading jersey seller. This offseason, Denver must add protection for Tebow and pieces to its defense, as they transition back into the 4-3 under John Fox.
1. Defensive Tackle - The past two seasons, Denver brought in defensive lineman for the 3-4, but now they must find true defensive tackles for the 4-3 alignment they plan to run. As of now, Denver has one of the worst front sevens in football and adding a tackle atop the draft will help the entire unit improve. Look for either Marcel Dareus or Nick Fairley to fill the void this offseason.
2. Cornerback – What once was a position of strength for this team is now a weakness. Champ Bailey, 33, is an upcoming free agent and there has been no word whether he will resign or leave. The other starter, Perish Cox, has shown some talent, but might be spending his time in prison as he currently faces rape charges. Denver needs to find a lockdown corner and could potentially grab one in Patrick Peterson at #2 overall.
3. Right Tackle – Ryan Harris is scheduled to become a free agent and new Executive Vice President, John Elway, already said he would not be returning. Adding a right tackle opposite all-pro Ryan Clady is a key need in attempts to protect left-handed QB Tim Tebow’s blind side.
4. Strong Safety – Brian Dawkins will be 38 next season and finding his replacement at SS is a priority. Look for Denver to add a safety in the middle rounds to pair with FS Darcel McBath for the next 5-6 years.
5. Middle Linebacker – Star linebacker, DJ Williams, is more than capable of playing the mike, but is much more effective on the outside. If Denver can obtain a MLB, then they can essentially improve at two LB positions.