(Sports Network) - Peyton Manning's debut season in the Rockies produced a
sterling 13-3 record for the Denver Broncos before a disappointing home
playoff loss against the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.
Manning should continue to play at a high level considering the Broncos added
star slot receiver Wes Welker as well as guard Louis Vasquez in free agency.
That said, Manning is 37 and the only other quarterback on Denver's roster is
Brock Osweiler so it's probably a good idea for John Elway to grab a potential
heir apparent at some point.
The Broncos could also use a true bell cow back also. Willis McGahee is under
contract for 2013, but his status is shaky and a Knowshon Moreno/Ronnie
Hillman duo wouldn't have many linebackers itching to bite on play action.
On defense Denver improved by signing defensive tackle Terrance Knighton as
well as talented but underachieving cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie but
the Elvis Dumervil fax fiasco will have the Broncos searching for an edge pass
rusher to team with All-Pro linebacker Von Miller.
The 6-foot-8, 280-pound Margus Hunt is the type of raw talent you gamble with
late in the first round and the Broncos have the 28th overall selection. Most
project Hunt as a 3-4 end, but he certainly has the size and frame to hold up
as a base end in a 4-3 also.
Other options could be Florida State defensive end Tank Carradine, a very
gifted prospect on the mend from an ACL injury, or Denver could cure its
running woes quickly by selecting Alabama's Eddie Lacy.
2012 Record: 13-3
Top Needs: DE, LB, QB
First Three Picks: No. 28, No. 58, No. 90
Number of Selections: 6 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7)
RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2012 - none; 2011 - Von Miller (LB, Texas A&M);
2010 - Demaryius Thomas (WR, Georgia Tech), Tim Tebow (QB, Florida); 2009 -
Knowshon Moreno (RB, Georgia), Robert Ayers (DE, Tennessee); 2008 - Ryan Clady
(T, Boise State); 2007 - Jarvis Moss (DE, Florida); 2006 - Jay Cutler (QB,
Vanderbilt); 2005 - none; 2004 - D.J. Williams (OLB, Miami-Florida); 2003 -
George Foster (OT, Georgia).
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