After starting the 2009 season 6-0, Josh McDaniels and the Denver Broncos finished 2-8 and failed to qualify for the playoffs. Following suspect quarterback play, questionable characters and a defense that regressed over the season, the Broncos have had a busy offseason. McDaniels is trying to eliminate the nucleus of the Mike Shanahan era and rebuild the Broncos into a team that is geared toward “The Patriots Way” of football.
Is Josh McDaniels on the right track of rebuilding the Broncos franchise, or is he solidifying them as the AFC West’s cellar-dweller for the foreseeable future?
Denver Broncos 2010 NFL Draft 1st Round: Trades
The Broncos initiated four trades during the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. These trades were with the 49ers, Eagles, Patriots and Ravens. The trades can be viewed here. Overall, this is basically how the transactions netted out:
1st round – 11
2nd round – 43
4th round – 114
1st round – 22 (Demaryius Thomas)
1st round – 25 (Tim Tebow)
3rd round – 87
The Broncos made some good trades in acquiring more draft selections before trading into the first round to acquire Tim Tebow. The Broncos traded their 43rd, 70th, and 114th selections to the Ravens in exchange for the 25th pick that resulted in Tim Tebow.
Denver Broncos 2010 NFL Draft 1st Round: Demaryius Thomas
The Broncos passed up on Dez Bryant in order to acquire Demaryius Thomas from Georgia Tech University. After trading Brandon Marshall for two second round draft picks this offseason, the Broncos were wise in restricting themselves from drafting a receiver who would have given them more diva potential. Thomas could prove to be the best receiver in the 2010 NFL Draft. He should match-up perfectly with Eddie Royal on the opposite side. The biggest questions about Demaryius Thomas will be how he translates into a NFL style offense after playing in the Georgia Tech triple option offense. Will this hamper his growth as a receiver? Personally, I would bet against that.
The biggest question: Who will throw the ball to him?
Denver Broncos 2010 NFL Draft 1st Round: Tim Tebow
The biggest story of the 2010 NFL Draft may have been the Broncos drafting Tim Tebow. After trading three picks to get back into the first round, Josh McDaniels seems to think that Tebow is the low-ego, high-class individual who can run the Broncos franchise for the next decade. Tebow’s personality is reminiscent to Tom Brady in being low-key and having good composure. What makes this pick more startling is that the Broncos pass up on Jimmy Clausen, who seems to be the most NFL-ready quarterback of the 2010 draft.
With Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn and Tim Tebow, there will be a quarterback carousel in Denver for 2010. It’s hard to imagine McDaniel’s would actually start Tebow in 2010 because he is nowhere near ready to handle a starting job in the NFL. However, will fans force the Broncos into getting him on the field quicker?
Overview of the Denver Broncos 2010 NFL Draft 1st Round
The selection of Tim Tebow would suggest that Josh McDaniels is in for the long haul. Critics of McDaniel’s coaching strategies and decisions should not expect McDaniels to be removed in 2010 because, with Tebow, it would be foolish to think he would be ready so quickly. Drafting Tebow suggests that Broncos management is willing to stick with McDaniels for a long-term rebuilding plan.
I don’t think McDaniels is a bad coach, but it seems like he realizes that “The Patriot Way” revolves heavily around having a leader similar to Tom Brady running your quarterback position. After running Jay Culter out of town and having already utilized Kyle Orton, Chris Simms and Brady Quinn as quarterback options entering his second season as head coach, I question if Josh McDaniels is putting too much emphasis on character and not enough importance on the talent level at the quarterback position.
Tim Tebow is an extremely raw quarterback who didn’t play in a professional style offense at Florida. In addition, can he handle the Colorado weather and atmosphere? Colorado is a complete reversal to what he’s accustomed to in Florida. I think Tebow could be an above average to good quarterback in the NFL, but I don’t feel that Denver is a good fit for him, especially if McDaniels leaves.
Football fans from out west should be happy, however: Maybe ESPN will start paying more attention to teams outside the East Coast?
Victoria Advocate, “2010 NFL Draft Trades.” Victoria Advocate. Apr 23, 2010.
Demaryius Thomas scouting profile, CBSSportsline.com. Apr 23, 2010.
fftoolbox, “Tim Tebow Scouting Report.” fftoolbox. Apr 23, 2010.