NFL Draft 2014: Denver Broncos
The best possible draft moves for the Super Bowl XLVIII runner-up.
With their crushing defeat at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks at the Super Bowl XLVIII, Denver Broncos now look forward to the off-season and the upcoming NFL Draft to beef up their roster and win the Vince Lombardi trophy. While the draft is still 3 months away, the Broncos aren’t taking any chances of losing the Super Bowl again and are now scouting for prospects come May. Fresh from their stint at the Super Bowl, what lessons can be drawn from the previous season in drafting the right people for the Broncos?
Fortifying the offense
While current MVP Peyton Manning is already a strong presence on the field, Denver still has to reinforce their offense in the off-season. In their 4 defeats last season, the Broncos were tackled easily on the turnover battle when they lost ball possession 12 times. Their 16 lost fumbles were also the most within the NFL last season. Before the Super Bowl, Betfair's betting news commentator Neil Harvey already predicted that Denver would struggle again to hold on to the ball – which the team did versus the Seahawks at the MetLife Stadium.
More importantly, Denver is facing the possibility of losing receiver Eric Decker and running back Knowshon Moreno as free agents, in addition to the imminent retirement of Manning within the next 5 years. The Broncos should, therefore, fortify its offense line-up if it still intends to remain the best offensive team in the pro leagues come September.
Manning up the defense
The biggest needs of Denver, however, is in the team’s poor and porous defense. Problems in this department became evident early into the last season, when the NFL suspended outside linebacker Von Miller and the remaining defense failed to compensate for his loss. While the linebackers gradually improved their coverage in the run-up to the playoffs (and eventually to the Super Bowl), being the best team in the NFL wouldn't necessarily entail being well-rounded in offensive but also on the defensive side. The Broncos need fresh blood, be it a cornerback, a defensive tackler or any other position, to protect Peyton Manning and his arsenal of receivers.
With their runner-up finish at this year’s Super Bowl, Denver Broncos will be the 31st team to pick in the NFL Draft. Whoever John Fox selects from May 8 to 10 will ultimately seal the team’s fate not only in the upcoming season, but also over the next couple of years.