Review of Denver Free Agency and Draft

By PFC Broncos Writer Lon Anderson

Now that the draft is in the books and most big free agent moves have been made, here is my review of the Broncos’ offseason so far.

Free Agency

Most pundits will say that the signing of Wes Welker was the most important move Denver made in free agency this year. And while it is a double whammy (strengthening the Denver offense, weakening its main rival), I would argue the most important signing was Louis Vasquez.

The signing of Vasquez was also a double whammy because it bolstered Denver’s o-line while weakening the Chargers’ already porous o-line. More importantly, it shores up an area of weakness for the Broncos. When Chris Kuper was out injured, the Broncos gave up an alarming number of sacks. Keeping Manning and his surgically repaired neck off the turf is the highest priority, certainly higher than adding yet another weapon for him to target.

This is not to say the Welker addition is not important. I expect him to quickly get on the same page with Peyton and expect him to catch at least 95 passes.

On the defensive side, I love the one year deals for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (CB) and Shaun Phillips (LB). They will add depth until Chris Harris, Omar Bolden and Derek Wolfe are ready to step up. After fax-gate cost Denver the services of Dumervil, many thought Denver would sign Dwight Freeney or John Abraham but the team is hoping that Wolfe and Robert Ayers step it up opposite of Von Miller. I have seen flashes out of both so I share that hope.

Draft

It was a typical Elway / Fox draft – no reaches, waiting for talent to fall to them, no sacrificing the future for the present.

Some pundits had Sylvester Williams as high as the 13th or 14th pick in the 1st round so grabbing him 28th should be considered a steal. If Wolfe is going to move outside on passing downs to replace Dumervil, then Williams will be an important cog in the defensive alignment.

I will admit to being surprised that Denver passed on Eddie Lacy in the 2nd round and instead chose Wisconsin RB Montee Ball. Quite frankly I was surprised when Denver passed on Lacy in the 1st round. However, it is apparent that Lacy’s medical report scared off many teams including the Broncos. The Packers eventually drafted Lacy but then traded up with Denver into the 4th round to take Johnathan Franklin as insurance so even Green Bay has concern about the health of Lacy.

The remaining picks – Kayvon Webster (CB), Quanterus Smith (DE), Tavarres King (WR), Vinston Painter (OT) and Zac Dysert (QB) – were all solid and are all likely to make the 53-man roster.

Overall Offseason

When a team is coming off a 13-3 season, the goal is to keep as many existing players as you can and add the complimentary pieces in order to get the team to the next level. In Denver’s case is the next level is the Super Bowl.

While the loss of Dumervil hurts, between Wolfe, Ayers and rookies Williams and Smith, someone will step up and make up for that lost production across from Von Miller. I expect the offense will be even better than last year, which is saying something because it was virtually unstoppable.

While it is way too early to make predictions for next season, with the exception of the loss of Dumervil, the Broncos have added significant pieces to an already loaded team. The season opener is four months from yesterday and I already cannot wait for kickoff.

Lon Anderson
Denver Broncos Fan since 1977
Twitter handle: @landers07