2011 NFL Draft - Denver Broncos
Texas A&M LB/DE Von Miller
Texas A&M LB/DE Von Miller
Posted Apr 30, 2011

Denver Broncos - AFC West, 2011 Draft Selections & Prospects

Denver Broncos

2011 NFL Draft Analysis
1st Round (1-5) | 1st Round (6-10) | 1st Round (11-15) | 1st Round (16-20)
1st Round (21-25) | 1st Round (26-32) | 2nd Round | 3rd Round
4th Round | 5th Round | 6th Round | 7th Round | Top Free Agents

2011 NFL Draft Team Analysis - AFC
EAST Buffalo | Miami | New England | NY Jets
WEST Denver | Kansas CityOakland | San Diego
NORTH Baltimore | Cincinnati  Cleveland | Pittsburgh
SOUTH Houston | Indy | Jacksonville | Tennessee

2011 NFL Draft Team Analysis - NFC
EAST Dallas | NY Giants | Philadelphia | Washington
WEST Arizona | San Francisco | Seattle | St. Louis
NORTH Chicago | Detroit | Green Bay | Minnesota
SOUTH Atlanta | Carolina | New Orleans | Tampa Bay 

- 2010 Denver Draft Breakdown

The Draft Was ... Really, really strong. It's hard to go wrong taking Von Miller with the second all-around pick, but getting great college players like Nate Irving, Quinton Carter, Mike Mohamed, Virgil Green, and Jeremy Beal should add some instant depth from the second half of the draft. There might not be a ton of sure-thing starters, but there are plenty of good, sound prospects.
Best Value Pick: DE Jeremy Beal, Oklahoma, 7th Round, 247th Pick
Worst Value Pick: TE Julius Thomas, Portland State, 4th Round, 129th Pick
They Should've ... Taken D.J. Williams. He's short and is built more like a fullback than a tight end, but he's a pure receiving playmaker who could've been an instant starter. Taken in the fifth round by Green Bay, he was the next tight end off the board after Julius Thomas.

First Round
OLB Von Miller, Texas A&M 6-3, 246
Overall Pick No. 2 CFN Overall Ranking: 8

Basically, Denver is telling Robert Ayers to become a player. A&M fans get mad about this, but it's not really a rip; Miller is not going to be a great linebacker. He's going to be a devastating pass rusher who comes up with one or two really big plays per game, but is he going to be a leading tackler type of playmaker? No. the Broncos seem to think he's going to be a superior three-down player, but he's going to be in Honolulu on a regular basis because his sack totals will be ridiculous. Get a block on him, though, and he'll be neutralized.

CFN Analysis: He was really a defensive end in college and will have to prove he can be a full-time star in more space in a true outside linebacker role. While he won the Butkus Award as the nation's best linebacker, he didn't always look natural in workouts making the transition; too many scouts were glossing over the concerns because they're blinded by the athleticism and the pass rushing skills. Yes, he blazed through the short runs and put up great times, but he didn't always appear to move instinctively well enough in outside linebacker football drills. Not a defensive end at an NFL level, he might be faster than anyone he'll line up against, but he doesn't have the bulk to work on every down up front. He might turn out to be a very, very expensive one-trick pony, but that one-trick could be dominant enough to send him to Honolulu on a regular basis. With his speed and burst, he should be an absolute terror at getting to the quarterback and being a game-changer. Is he going to be a top-shelf, all-around outside linebacker? Probably not, and it's not always a sure-thing that some players can make the little position adjustments needed to shine – like former Wake Forest "sure-thing" Aaron Curry - but prospects with Miller's talents are rare. There's a good chance Miller can be a faster, lighter, more athletic Clay Matthews.
CFN Projection: First Round
Second Round    
FS Rahim Moore, UCLA 6-0, 202 (Jr.)
Overall Pick No. 45 CFN Overall Ranking: 49

A great need pick taken at the right time, Moore will be the replacement for Brian Dawkins in the near future, and he's going to be a ball-hawking playmaker who'll be a centerfielder to stick at safety to let him make big plays. He's not going to provide a big pop and he's not going to be a factor against the run, but he'll be a very effective, very good part of the scheme.

CFN Analysis: Not quite fast enough to be a corner, he still has the skills to hang with most receivers on the outside if needed and he's talented enough to fly around at free safety making plays. He's always around the ball and he has a knack to pick off passes with ten interceptions as a sophomore. Very quick and with a great burst, he closes on the ball in a hurry and plays faster than his timed speed. Not a big hitter though he has the body-type to unload, he's not going to be the surest of tacklers and he'll make his biggest impact against the better passing teams. While he's not soft, he's not known for being all that physical and he whiffs way too often in the open field. Even with all his issues, he's athletic enough to be the type of player who comes up with big stats with a few big plays a game, but doesn't do the little things right on a consistent basis.
CFN Projection: Second Round

Second Round
OG Orlando Franklin, Miami (OT) 6-6, 315
Overall Pick No. 46 CFN Overall Ranking: 40

The pick was made at the right time, but it's interesting that Denver didn't keep addressing the defense and didn't go after one of the great linemen still on the board. He's a versatile blocker with great size and the ability to work outside or in. Will he be protecting Tim Tebow? Wherever he plays, he's a tough prospect to rely on for the next decade.

CFN Analysis: With the versatility to play tackle as well as guard, he can play just about any position. While he's not quite athletic enough to be a stud on the outside, he's a tall, tough option for the interior where he can best use his run blocking skills. Tough as nails, he's always going to fight through the little problems, but a coaching staff is going to have to deal with a bit of an attitude. If he can be coached up, and if he can work on being a star, he could be one of the most complete interior blockers in the draft. However, he has to want to be coached.
CFN Projection: Second Round

Third Round   
OLB Nate Irving, NC State (ILB) 6-1, 240
Overall Pick No. 69 CFN Overall Ranking: 90

Is he going to be an inside or outside defender for the Broncos? He's a good leader who'll play a big role right away, even it he's a special teamer, but he'll be a starter very, very soon. The third defensive player taken by the Broncos, they're solidifying the base with playmakers. Irving might not be an ideal fit for any one spot, but he's a player.

CFN Analysis: On his way to becoming a Butkus Award-level, he suffered several major injuries after falling asleep at the wheel and getting into a bad car accident. He managed to come back to become an ultra-productive leader and playmaker for the NC State defense, and he has gotten stronger from the adversity. A pure football player who acts the part and has the fire needed to be a top run stopper, but he's not the surest of tacklers and he doesn't have the elite athleticism to be an NFL pass rusher. While he's versatile enough to play inside or out, he's a big of a tweener without the makeup to be a middle linebacker and lacking the wheels to fly into the backfield from the outside.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

Fourth Round   
SS Quinton Carter, Oklahoma 6-1, 208
Overall Pick No. 108 CFN Overall Ranking: 87  

CFN Analysis: Thick and tough, he's a terrific tacklers who's always around the ball and always coming up with the play needed. On a defense full of terrific players, he still managed to stand out and showed the versatility to play either safety spot. A far better football player than an athlete, he's not all that quick and he doesn't move all that easily. Not good enough in coverage, he's limited in coverage and will end up making most of his noise against the run. There might not be anything special about his game, but he'll have to be surrounded by quicker defenders to hide his shortcomings. In a perfect world he'll be like a smallish linebacker, but he'll be exposed in passing situations.
CFN Projection: Third Round  
Fourth Round   
TE Julius Thomas, Portland State 6-5, 246
Overall Pick No. 129 CFN Overall Ranking: 200

CFN Analysis: Is he the next Antonio Gates? No, but the former college basketball player is a terrific athlete who could become a good pro pass catcher if he can hit the weights. The 16 reps on the bench at the Combine was a big problem, but he'll make it by being a speedy target more than a blocker. He gets down the field in a hurry and pops out of his cuts, and he's just scratching the surface, but he could be worth the wait and the development.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

Sixth Round   
ILB Mike Mohamed, California 6-3, 239
Overall Pick No. 189 CFN Overall Ranking: 216

CFN Analysis: A pure baller, Mohamed made a ton of good tackles for the Bears with smarts, toughness, and the instincts to always be around the ball. However, he's never going to come up with the big pop, and he's not really an impact performer. While he's not an elite athlete, he moves well enough to get by, and he makes up for any lack of quickness by being in the right spot at the right time. He doesn't have the high-end skills to be great and isn't going to be much of a factor against the pass.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

Seventh Round   
TE Virgil Green, Nevada 6-3, 249
Overall Pick No. 204 CFN Overall Ranking: 133  

CFN Analysis: The tight end star of the Combine, he made jaws drop with his special athleticism highlighted by a 42" vertical and a 10'10" broad jump. The 4.56 40 wasn't bad, either. While he's not all that big and he's not going to beat anyone up, he's such a great athlete and he's such a strong pass catcher that he could be the focal point of a passing game. He could be scratching the surface on what he can become now that he'll be a part of a pro-style attack, but he's more of an H-Back than a true tight end. He won't be for anyone.
CFN Projection: Third Round

Seventh Round
OLB Jeremy Beal, Oklahoma (DE) 6-3, 262
Overall Pick No. 247 CFN Overall Ranking: 135

CFN Analysis: With excellent size and a great ability to get into the backfield, he was an elite pass rusher at the collegiate level and was tremendously productive on a consistent basis over three years. His future could be as a 4-3 defensive end and a possible pass rushing specialist, but he's a good enough all-around football player who doesn't take too many wasted steps and makes up for his shortcomings by always being in the right spot. The problem is his painful lack of speed and athleticism, registering a jaw-dropping 5.16 in the 40, and his other Combine numbers were awful. There's a limit on what he can do and what he can become, but he was so productive at such a high level that he's worth a long look at a starting spot somewhere.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round