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Broncos Mailbag: Osweiler, RBs and ILBs



Another week, another Bronco Mailbag! Join Broncos Journalist Lucas Polglaze as he answers your Broncos questions.


When Manning leaves, this team will struggle. That’s all there is to it. No one is going to be able to step in immediately and perform at the level he does. You just can’t expect that.
Brock Osweiler or Zac Dysert, the other two QBs on the roster, could undoubtedly develop into the next starting QB. But they are young, untested and unproven.
Should the Broncos look to free agency? Well, recently, any QB in the league who is even slightly above average has been locked up to massive contract deals as soon as or before they hit free agency (to wit Joe Flacco, Tony Romo and Matthew Stafford). The Broncos will not be able to find their QB of the future in free agency, unless you are willing to put up with the McCowns and Vicks of the world.
So what does that leave us with? Develop a young QB on the roster (or select a QB in the draft and develop him too) or wait until Manning retires and hope to find a good QB high in the draft, none of which are entirely appealing to me.

Or we could invest in robotics and make Manning into an immortal robot football god.

https://twitter.com/AlaskanBronco/status/448660389467676672
If the right deal presents itself? Absolutely.
Osweiler is the Ryan Mallett in town, a young QB behind an all-time great who’s thrown maybe a handful of passes in the league but somehow always manages to come up in discussions of a trade to a QB-needy team. The truth is, Osweiler likely won’t see the field for the Broncos for several years, depending on when Manning retires. The Broncos are mortgaging some of their future to be able to fully attack the now. They have a limited window to win the Super Bowl and they’ll take every shot at that that they can.
This is a deep draft, too. If the Broncos are offered a third-round pick or better for Osweiler, then he’s gone. And I’m sure they’d think hard about a fourth rounder. They need players on this roster who can make solid contributions in the present and aren’t exactly thinking about the future. They want to win now.


The Broncos depth chart currently has Montee Ball as the starter and C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman as the backups/change of pace players. It’s not a question of “if” so much as “when.”
The Broncos need to go defense early and often, and so I think that they’ll start looking at RBs in the third round, if no top players fall. This is a weak class overall at running back, but I do have some favorites.
Carlos Hyde, Ohio State: Second Round
Hyde is a bruising runner with good agility and speed. He also possesses strength enough to land him in the top 15 RBs for bench presses at the combine. Hyde reminds me a lot of 2013 Offensive Rookie of the Year Eddie Lacy. He would immediately become a powerful weapon in the Manning offense. Of course, it is unlikely he falls to the Broncos at 63 and, if so, they may overlook him for pressing needs at other positions.

Andre Williams, Boston College: Fourth Round
Williams is a north-south runner who fights for every yard and seemingly always falls forward. Woe betide you if you get in his way with a head of steam, because he will make you pay. His speed is middle of the pack, with a 4.54 Pro Day 40 yard dash, but his balance is excellent and he posted excellent combine numbers: a top 4 vertical jump of 38.0, a top 3 broad jump of 10’9”, a top 2 20 yard shuttle of 4.06 and a top 3 60 yard shuttle of 11.62.
He is weak still at blocking and receiving, but at running he is among the most talented in the draft, with the physical athleticism to make you pay.

[StormJohnson], Central Florida: Fifth-Sixth Round
Johnson undoubtedly benefited from playing next to possible #1 pick Blake Bortles at UCF. But don’t ignore the skills that Johnson brings to the table. He has great instincts as a runner and manages to find the open holes in the defense. Constantly moving his feet and looking for extra yardage, runs with an effective forward lean. Storm is hard to bring down and requires more than just an arm. Also solid at receiving out of the backfield.
Johnson is more of your one-cut breakaway runner. Don’t expect him to dance around in the backfield, he’ll pick one hole and hit it with everything he’s got.

https://twitter.com/areyousty/status/448661483681873920
I firmly believe that it won’t be anyone currently on the roster. The two immediate choices just won’t be that guy. Nate Irving has developed well at strongside linebacker and Steven Johnson has had a small amount of snaps in two years despite being given every opportunity to win the job.
No, the Broncos will look to the draft to find their starting ILB. If Alabama stud C.J. Mosley drops to 31 (as he has in some drafts recently), they won’t hesitate to select him. Ohio State product Ryan Shazier could also be their first-round pick and be transitioned inside, an idea which I very much like. Shazier fits the John Fox model of smaller, faster linebackers who can make plays behind bigger defensive tackles in front.
Second-to-third round selections could include Shayne Skov, Chris Borland or Yawin Smallwood, any one of whom could be drafted and developed into the Day 1 starter. There are options in the draft. I just don’t think it will be a current Bronco who wins the spot.

https://twitter.com/Saggy_Monkey/status/448663529923411968
This isn’t easy. Broncos fans, I will tell you right now, get used to seeing some of your favorite players leave the team. If you thought this year was bad, the future will be worse.
The Broncos just won’t have enough cap room to re-sign players like Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, Von Miller, Chris Harris, Orlando Franklin and Terrance Knighton. Teams in the NFL dream of having that much talent on a roster at one time, but there’s no way to re-sign ALL of them.
The Broncos have already done a good job of managing the cap hits of free agent signings T.J. Ward, Aqib Talib, Demarcus Ware and Emmanuel Sanders. They have done an excellent job of keeping those reasonable and not letting them tank the cap room.
How do they do it? Team friendly deals and Peyton Manning. It’s simple. Guys will take less to play with Peyton Manning.
The reason that Julius Thomas’ name is even in the conversation is Peyton Manning. This time last season, he was an unknown, a perennially injured player. Sure, he had talent, but so what? Plenty of guys in the league have talent but can’t stay healthy. They’re a dime a dozen. And then Peyton went and turned him into a superstar overnight.
If the Broncos can re-sign those players to team-friendly deals with reasonable cap hits with a little help from Peyton Manning, consider that a huge win.

Lucas Polglaze is a Broncos Team Journalist for Pro Football Spot and is the AFC West Divisional Manager. Find him on Google +, Twitter, and Facebook.
  • Susana likes this



22 Comments

Nice job Lucas

    • Lucas Polglaze likes this
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Chad Jensen
Mar 30 2014 06:21 PM
Woe betide you. Love it. If Mosley is gone, I want Shazier. If Shazier is too, I really like Borland. He's doubted as a 3 down LB, but I disagree. I think he'll be one of the crown jewells of this draft 5 years from now
I actually like Dysert for the Broncos future.
    • Chad Jensen likes this
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Chad Jensen
Mar 30 2014 06:36 PM

I actually like Dysert for the Broncos future.


I'm higher on Dysert than Oz
    • tyler6914 likes this
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Erick Trickel
Mar 30 2014 06:40 PM

Good job on this article. 

 

About Brock I completely agree. I firmly believe Peyton will play out his contract and Brock his free agency before that happens. I dont see him willing to pass up an immediate starting job to sit another year. Elway and co could also take a QB this year, in a much better QB draft, and groom that QB over the next few years similar to what they have done with Brock. In the time that we have seen Brock in both preseason and the little bit of regular season nothing really makes me confident that he can be the future of the Broncos organization. 

 

Storm Johnson is one of my 3 favorite RBs in this draft. I think I would faint of joy if we got him. 

 

I am no fan of any of those LBs except for Shazier. Mosley has all those injury concerns which for Bama players has been a bad thing for their NFL careers. He also doesnt look like a 4-3 MLB in the NFL but a WLB. Borland struggled vs backup potential NFL OLs in shedding blocks, mainly due to his short arms. No matter how much you coach him up he will still have short arms. I dont see those struggles changing in the NFL. Shayne Skov is another I just dont think would be successful in the NFL as a 4-3 MLB. While we dont have the look of a 4-3 that is what we run. He looks like a SLB in a 4-3 or a SILB in a 3-4. Yawin Smallwood used to be my favorite LB in this draft. Then I watched more of him. Struggled vs bad competition in college both in the run and pass but seemed to do a little better vs better competition. This is something that I do not like seeing in college players. Also see him get blown up by blockers. Now I like Shazier. He is an athletic freak who really can do everything well. Has injury concerns though. A few other LBs I like Kyle Van Noy LB from BYU, many dont think of him as a MLB but more I watch him he looks like he could do any LB position in 4-3 or 3-4. Telvin Smith LB/S from FSU, he is more of a coverage LB but does well vs the run. Athletic. Vs the run all he needs is coached up. Last but not least my boy Jordan Tripp LB from Montana. Ive met this guy and he is just a cool guy. Grew up a Broncos fan and at the combine when he saw Elway he wanted to ask for an autograph so bad. Anyways he was a OLB this last year for Montana mainly due to Brook Coyle playing MLB. Tripp however has a lot of experience as a MLB in a 4-3 and he has it all to be one in the NFL. 

 

Cap situation next year is better than most realize. Denver has 40 mil in open cap next year right now. That is without the natural cap raise. Elway likes to have contracts structured with a little lower cap hits the first year. If any of those guys are gone it is because Elway and co dont want them back not because they cant afford them. Cap raise next year is expected to be at least 10 mil but I have seen numbers close to 20 mil thrown round. Have even see one say nearly 50 mil. 

    • Chad Jensen and Lucas Polglaze like this
Kyle Van Noy is the best 3-4 ILB in this draft and the 2nd best 4-3 OLB behind Mack.
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Erick Trickel
Mar 30 2014 10:29 PM

Kyle Van Noy is the best 3-4 ILB in this draft and the 2nd best 4-3 OLB behind Mack.

 

He can play any LB position in a 4-3 or 3-4. Ive been spending the last 3 days watching him and breaking him down. He can be a 4-3 MLB in the NFL. 

    • Chad Jensen likes this
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Chad Jensen
Mar 31 2014 02:13 AM
KVN is high on the Broncos' big board, you better believe
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Lucas Polglaze
Mar 31 2014 04:05 AM

Good job on this article. 

 

About Brock I completely agree. I firmly believe Peyton will play out his contract and Brock his free agency before that happens. I dont see him willing to pass up an immediate starting job to sit another year. Elway and co could also take a QB this year, in a much better QB draft, and groom that QB over the next few years similar to what they have done with Brock. In the time that we have seen Brock in both preseason and the little bit of regular season nothing really makes me confident that he can be the future of the Broncos organization. 

 

Storm Johnson is one of my 3 favorite RBs in this draft. I think I would faint of joy if we got him. 

 

I am no fan of any of those LBs except for Shazier. Mosley has all those injury concerns which for Bama players has been a bad thing for their NFL careers. He also doesnt look like a 4-3 MLB in the NFL but a WLB. Borland struggled vs backup potential NFL OLs in shedding blocks, mainly due to his short arms. No matter how much you coach him up he will still have short arms. I dont see those struggles changing in the NFL. Shayne Skov is another I just dont think would be successful in the NFL as a 4-3 MLB. While we dont have the look of a 4-3 that is what we run. He looks like a SLB in a 4-3 or a SILB in a 3-4. Yawin Smallwood used to be my favorite LB in this draft. Then I watched more of him. Struggled vs bad competition in college both in the run and pass but seemed to do a little better vs better competition. This is something that I do not like seeing in college players. Also see him get blown up by blockers. Now I like Shazier. He is an athletic freak who really can do everything well. Has injury concerns though. A few other LBs I like Kyle Van Noy LB from BYU, many dont think of him as a MLB but more I watch him he looks like he could do any LB position in 4-3 or 3-4. Telvin Smith LB/S from FSU, he is more of a coverage LB but does well vs the run. Athletic. Vs the run all he needs is coached up. Last but not least my boy Jordan Tripp LB from Montana. Ive met this guy and he is just a cool guy. Grew up a Broncos fan and at the combine when he saw Elway he wanted to ask for an autograph so bad. Anyways he was a OLB this last year for Montana mainly due to Brook Coyle playing MLB. Tripp however has a lot of experience as a MLB in a 4-3 and he has it all to be one in the NFL. 

 

Cap situation next year is better than most realize. Denver has 40 mil in open cap next year right now. That is without the natural cap raise. Elway likes to have contracts structured with a little lower cap hits the first year. If any of those guys are gone it is because Elway and co dont want them back not because they cant afford them. Cap raise next year is expected to be at least 10 mil but I have seen numbers close to 20 mil thrown round. Have even see one say nearly 50 mil. 

 

Thanks for the comment, AlaskanBronco. Great stuff.

Yeah, agreed. I don't think Brock will really be around when that day comes. UNLESS he retired before his contract ran out, which I suppose is always possible.

As far as QBs in this draft, I really like Keith Wenning out of Ball State (actually addressed this in a previous mailbag, ironically). Could be a good late-round pick.

 

Yep, love me some Storm.

 

I'm iffy on Borland as well. I like the physicality that Skov brings although he reminds me a lot of Joe Mays. If we really transitioned to a 3-4, I think he'd be fine. Smallwood has his ups and downs for me. Too inconsistent, which does worry me.

 

 

Kyle Van Noy is the best 3-4 ILB in this draft and the 2nd best 4-3 OLB behind Mack.

 

He can play any LB position in a 4-3 or 3-4. Ive been spending the last 3 days watching him and breaking him down. He can be a 4-3 MLB in the NFL. 

 

I love Kyle Van Noy. LOVE him. He can be anything in the NFL.

Shazier and Van Noy are my two favorites. I like Mosley and think he could play MLB, but is better fitted for WLB. I love Shazier's attitude and Van Noy's versatility. Haven't watched a lot of Telvin Smith. And based on your recommendation, I'll have to watch some Jordan Tripp...

 

Yeah, we're alright for cap space. Honestly, Thank You John Elway. He has made some ridiculous moves while maintaining cap flexibility.

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Erick Trickel
Mar 31 2014 04:26 AM

One of my favorite QBs is David Fales but he just doesnt seem to have the talent for an NFL QB but has all the intangibles. Another one I like is Brett Smith. I didnt know much about him but a friend from twitter told me about him and got me to watch him. I dont know much about Wenning. Actually I never heard of him till I read your bit about him. 

 

Yes if we switched to a real 3-4 then Skov would be fine. But if we stick in the 4-3 I dont think he would be. Smallwood like I said used to be my favorite and after a horrible combine showing I went back and looked more in depth and was extremely disappointed. If Borlands arms were just a bit longer I would love the pick. But they arnt and there is no way to rectify that. 

 

I love Van Noy as well. He is such fun to watch and a true all around guy. He does have concerns in coverage but looks fine in a zone. Also isnt hard to coach up coverage. 

 

Yes Mosley could play MLB but I just dont think he will be worth a high pick if that is what the plans are. He is best for a WLB. The injury concerns are still major for me. 

 

Smith I just really love because he played a S/LB role and reminds me some of Chancellor. 

 

Tripp just may be my personal bias as I have met him and talk to him every once in a while still. 

 

Yes Elway is a genius with how he and his team work the contracts. Every time I read about how bad of a situation Denver has put themselves in just makes me laugh and I tend to come out swinging. Got one writer for B/R to admit he did no research into the situation before writing the article he did. 

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Lucas Polglaze
Mar 31 2014 04:43 AM

Last but not least my boy Jordan Tripp LB from Montana. Ive met this guy and he is just a cool guy. Grew up a Broncos fan and at the combine when he saw Elway he wanted to ask for an autograph so bad. Anyways he was a OLB this last year for Montana mainly due to Brook Coyle playing MLB. Tripp however has a lot of experience as a MLB in a 4-3 and he has it all to be one in the NFL. 

 

And based on your recommendation, I'll have to watch some Jordan Tripp...

 

Just watched some tape. Very impressed.

TREMENDOUS blitzer and great closing speed. Excellent in coverage. Tackling technique questionable at times (too inclined to just throw the carrier to the ground), needs to wrap up and tackle through the player. Slight frame so not much strength/power, needs to stack and shed better. Great football instincts and IQ. Good reaction time.

 

I definitely like him as a late round pick, 5-6th.

    • Erick Trickel likes this
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Erick Trickel
Mar 31 2014 05:04 AM

Just watched some tape. Very impressed.

TREMENDOUS blitzer and great closing speed. Excellent in coverage. Tackling technique questionable at times (too inclined to just throw the carrier to the ground), needs to wrap up and tackle through the player. Slight frame so not much strength/power, needs to stack and shed better. Great football instincts and IQ. Good reaction time.

 

I definitely like him as a late round pick, 5-6th.

 

I agree. Highest I would go is 4th in drafting him. He needs a lot of coaching up. Part of the issue is the LBs coach for Montana was always changing and each one would ignore those issues and just work to better what he does well. 

 

There is another LB from Montana I would love to see targeted as a CFA and that is Coyle. He isnt as cool as Tripp though lol 

    • Lucas Polglaze likes this
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Mooncamping
Mar 31 2014 07:27 AM
He won't start for the next few years? The Browns will take Osweiler then. Next to Geno Smith, the best young stay in the pocket QB in the league!
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Lucas Polglaze
Mar 31 2014 01:03 PM

One of my favorite QBs is David Fales but he just doesnt seem to have the talent for an NFL QB but has all the intangibles. Another one I like is Brett Smith. I didnt know much about him but a friend from twitter told me about him and got me to watch him. I dont know much about Wenning. Actually I never heard of him till I read your bit about him.

Yes if we switched to a real 3-4 then Skov would be fine. But if we stick in the 4-3 I dont think he would be. Smallwood like I said used to be my favorite and after a horrible combine showing I went back and looked more in depth and was extremely disappointed. If Borlands arms were just a bit longer I would love the pick. But they arnt and there is no way to rectify that.

I love Van Noy as well. He is such fun to watch and a true all around guy. He does have concerns in coverage but looks fine in a zone. Also isnt hard to coach up coverage.

Yes Mosley could play MLB but I just dont think he will be worth a high pick if that is what the plans are. He is best for a WLB. The injury concerns are still major for me.

Smith I just really love because he played a S/LB role and reminds me some of Chancellor.

Tripp just may be my personal bias as I have met him and talk to him every once in a while still.

Yes Elway is a genius with how he and his team work the contracts. Every time I read about how bad of a situation Denver has put themselves in just makes me laugh and I tend to come out swinging. Got one writer for B/R to admit he did no research into the situation before writing the article he did.


I like Smith but I haven't watched much of Fales. Wenning is a good solid late-round pick, though. Can definitely be developed.

Good points on the LBs. Agreed. I'm going to have to go watch some Telvin Smith tape today and see. Sounds like an intriguing prospect.

Right. For as big as these contracts may appear, the Broncos have done a great job of setting them up to be team-friendly.
For example, Talib basically only has a one-year deal with a team option for the rest.
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Chad Jensen
Mar 31 2014 02:12 PM

I agree. Highest I would go is 4th in drafting him. He needs a lot of coaching up. Part of the issue is the LBs coach for Montana was always changing and each one would ignore those issues and just work to better what he does well. 

 

There is another LB from Montana I would love to see targeted as a CFA and that is Coyle. He isnt as cool as Tripp though lol 

Hey, man. Thanks for being a part of the conversation here. Really diggin' your insight. 

    • Lucas Polglaze likes this
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Erick Trickel
Mar 31 2014 09:56 PM

I like Smith but I haven't watched much of Fales. Wenning is a good solid late-round pick, though. Can definitely be developed.

Good points on the LBs. Agreed. I'm going to have to go watch some Telvin Smith tape today and see. Sounds like an intriguing prospect.

Right. For as big as these contracts may appear, the Broncos have done a great job of setting them up to be team-friendly.
For example, Talib basically only has a one-year deal with a team option for the rest.

 

Like I said he just doesnt seem to have the talent. He would be an excellent QB coach. To many times he seems to be lofting the ball to its target instead of throwing with zip. He also seems to struggle making all the throws like you want your QB to do. At best I think he could end up like an Alex Smith but with Mannings intangibles/smarts. 

 

Feel free to let me know what you think of Telvin Smith. There are many who think he is better replicating a Chancellor role or as a WLB.

 

Not just Talibs contract but all of them are basically 1 year option deals. With the low dead money after this year they are safe to cut if they dont perform. 

 

Hey, man. Thanks for being a part of the conversation here. Really diggin' your insight. 

 

Thanks! I always enjoy a good conversation about football especially Broncos football. Im glad to have been pointed to this site! 

    • Chad Jensen and Lucas Polglaze like this
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Lucas Polglaze
Apr 01 2014 03:12 AM

Feel free to let me know what you think of Telvin Smith. There are many who think he is better replicating a Chancellor role or as a WLB.

 

Not just Talibs contract but all of them are basically 1 year option deals. With the low dead money after this year they are safe to cut if they dont perform. 

 

OK, I'll definitely watch some of his stuff. I'm involved in the #Mock1v2 draft on Twitter (hint hint: everybody should go check it out) and I will watch some Telvin when I'm not otherwise suchly occupied.

 

Yep. Thank You John Elway.

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Erick Trickel
Apr 01 2014 03:46 AM

OK, I'll definitely watch some of his stuff. I'm involved in the #Mock1v2 draft on Twitter (hint hint: everybody should go check it out) and I will watch some Telvin when I'm not otherwise suchly occupied.

 

Yep. Thank You John Elway.

 

I am actually keeping my eye on it as well as voicing my thoughts lol. Couple surprising picks in it. I am hoping the community mock draft I am trying to put together get enough people and goes as well as this one seems to be. 

    • Lucas Polglaze likes this
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Lucas Polglaze
Apr 01 2014 03:55 AM

I am actually keeping my eye on it as well as voicing my thoughts lol. Couple surprising picks in it. I am hoping the community mock draft I am trying to put together get enough people and goes as well as this one seems to be. 

 

Indeed. Haha Clinton-Dix at six? REACH.

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Erick Trickel
Apr 01 2014 04:47 AM

Indeed. Haha Clinton-Dix at six? REACH.

 

Very much so. Would take Pryor over HHCD any day of the week 

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Lucas Polglaze
Apr 01 2014 05:02 AM

Very much so. Would take Pryor over HHCD any day of the week


I might even take Jimmie Ward over the both of them.
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Erick Trickel
Apr 01 2014 06:33 PM

I probably would as well. I really like what I saw from Ward. 

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