Denver Broncos - AFC West
Georgia RB Knowshon Moreno
Georgia RB Knowshon Moreno
Posted Apr 27, 2009

Denver Broncos - AFC West, 2009 Draft Selections & Prospects

Denver Broncos

2009 NFL Draft Breakdown and Analysis

1st Round
| 2nd Round | 3rd Round | 4th Round | 5th Round | 6th Rd | 7th Rd

CFN 2009 Draft Central & Team-by-Team Picks and Analysis

TThe Draft Was ... Not worth losing Jay Cutler. Knowshon Moreno was a good pick, but Robert Ayers isn't a franchise quarterback. The defense got a big boost, and it needed one, and while this might not be the sexiest draft, it's a solid one all across the board.
Best Value Pick: David Bruton, 4th round, 114th pick. He's not going to make Bronco fans forget about Steve Atwater, but he'll come up with a few hits to bring up memories of the former superstar.
Biggest Reach: Seth Olsen, 4th round, 132nd pick. An average blocker in college, he might turn out to be a good fit, but in the fourth round there were other, better prospects available, including at offensive tackle.
They Should've ... Gone after a quarterback. Tom Brandstater is a chance selection in the seventh round hoping for the best. More help for the defensive line would've been prudent considering this was a deep draft for mid-level bulk.


12 12 1st Round   
Knowshon Moreno, RB Georgia 5-10, 217 (Jr.)

Moreno just has the look of a franchise back. He’s not the fastest back around, but he has enough functional speed to bust off big runs when he gets a little room. He’s not the biggest runner, but there’s no questioning his power or his toughness. There might not be any one thing he does better than anyone else at an NFL level, but he does everything well including block, catch, run with patience and hold on to the ball. Ultra-competitive, he’ll do everything he can to become a big-time back and he’ll be the type who wants the ball in his hands in every situation. The only question mark will be durability for his size. Is he a slower Clinton Portis with the ability to handle the pounding, or will he be Cadillac Williams and do big things before getting banged up? He’s worth it. He’ll carry an offense for a few years.
CFN Value Rank:
First Round    CFN Position Rank: 1
18 18 1st Round (from Chicago)
Robert Ayers, DE Tennessee  6-3, 275

The upside is enormous. Big, with the size to get a lot bigger, he could be just scratching the surface on what he can become. At least that’s the hope. He was fine in his one year as a major producer, but it took him a while to mature and he still has a long way to go. He made a name for himself with a strong Senior Bowl when he was great against the top offensive tackles in practices, but he struggled at the Combine with a bad bench and failing to show enough athleticism to become a consistent outside linebacker. A mediocre pass rusher, he needs a lot of work on his technique. Even so, with his size, he could be one of the boom players of the draft.
CFN Value Rank:
First Round    CFN Position Rank: 4
5 37 2nd Round (from Seattle)  
Alphonso Smith, CB Wake Forest  5-9, 195

The ACC’s all-time leader in interceptions, he has a knack for being around the ball and he doesn’t miss when he gets his chance to make a big play. He’s not strong and he’s not all that physical, but he tends to hold his own against the bigger receivers and he has no problems keeping with the quicker ones. Very smart, he’ll have to overcome his lack of elite athleticism by outworking everyone in the film room and taking a few educated gambles here and there. He’ll start out in nickel and dime packages and could be a team-leader in interceptions.
CFN Value Rank:
Second Round    CFN Position Rank: 3
16 48 2nd Round 
Darcel McBath, FS Texas Tech 6-1, 200

He’s just a nice all-around football player with good size, decent athleticism, and good ball skills. He’s not going to blow anyone up and he’s a competent tackler, if not a great one, but he’s great when the ball is in the air and will find a spot immediately on special teams. A former corner, he moves like one and could put up big-time interception numbers in the right package. A self-starter and a hard worker, he’ll make himself a long-time pro.
CFN Value Rank:
Third Round    CFN Position Rank: 6
32 64 2nd Round (from Pittsburgh)  
Richard Quinn, TE North Carolina  6-4, 260
One of the biggest question marks in the draft, he’s big, very strong, and a good blocker with refined technique; he could be thrown on a team right away and produce for a running game. Can he catch? He’s hardly a finished product and is an unknown because he was almost never used for the UNC passing attack. And then came the workouts and the post-season when he showed good catching skills, or at least good enough to get by. He needs the right offense and he isn’t going to shine if he’s part of a high-octane passing attack. Ask him to be a regular on a team that pounds away, and he could be a solid starter.
CFN Value Rank:
Third Round    CFN Position Rank: 8
14 114 4th Round
David Bruton, FS Notre Dame 6-2, 220
If it's possible to be a star for Notre Dame and be unappreciated, Bruton accomplished the feat. Very big and very fast, running a 4.4 at the Combine and leaping 41.5" in the vertical jump, he's a special athlete who also produced on the field. He was all over the place, looking like a man among boys in the Irish back seven. He needs technique work and he needs to anticipate plays better after relying purely on his athleticism at Notre Dame, but there's tremendous upside if he has his mechanics broken down and built back up again.
CFN Value Rank:
Fourth Round    CFN Position Rank: 8
32 132 4th Round (from Pittsburgh)
Seth Olsen, OT Iowa  6-5, 306
A solid, reliable all-around blocker, he has the versatility to play either guard spot and could project to be a decent right tackle. Not all that athletic, he's limited on what he can do and what he can become on the outside, but he needs to get a lot stronger to be a regular on the inside. If he makes a roster, it'll be because he's able to be a decent backup at several spots.
CFN Value Rank: Seventh Round
   CFN Position Rank: 24
5 141 5th Round (from Cleveland through Philadelphia)
Kenny McKinley, WR South Carolina  5-11, 185
Fantastic for the Gamecocks and extremely productive in SEC play, he'll have problems finding a role at an NFL level. While he's very fast and he did a good job against bigger defensive backs, he'll get beaten up if he's not always in space. He doesn't play up to his speed and he'll get shoved around, but he has good hands and he's a fighter who'll be tough to cut.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 25
1 174 6th Round (from Detroit)
Tom Brandstater, QB Fresno State 6-5, 220
It all appears to be there from the size, the mobility and a decent arm, but he doesn't have it. He didn't produce nearly as well as he should have considering his experience and the speedy receivers he had to work with. His throws are too erratic and he needs to completely overhaul his throwing motion to throw up to his size. When he was on, he had the look of a can't-miss world-beater. But those moments were few and far between.
CFN Value Rank: Free Agent
   CFN Position Rank: 19
16 225 7th Round
Blake Schlueter, C TCU 6-3, 285
The only question is whether or not he can handle the full-time rigors of the NFL at around 280 pounds. His quickness and agility are major plusses and he's strong in the weight room. He won't shove anyone around, but he won't get beaten by anyone who tries to do anything other than power rush. While there's a limit on what he'll be able to do, he's a good football player who'll break a coach's heart to cut.
CFN Value Rank: Seventh Round
   CFN Position Rank: 8


The Draft Was ... Solid, and will be better on the field than it looks on paper. ASU RB Ryan Torain was a perfect-fit selection in the first round. Kent State CB Jack Williams is a player, and O linemen Ryan Clady and Kory Lichtensteiger will be plugged in right away to protect Jay Cutler.
Best Value Pick: Josh Barrett, S Arizona State. 7th Round. The measureables are there for him to grow into a role. He had a rough senior season, but with sub-4.4 wheels and excellent size, he was certainly worth the seventh round flier.
Biggest Reach: Eddie Royal, WR Virginia Tech. 2nd Round. His return skills might have had as much to do with the pick as his receiving talent, but he's too small and he's not the speedster Denver will need him to be.
They Should've ... Taken DeSean Jackson over Royal. If you're going to go small, go with blazing warp speed. Malcolm Kelly and Limas Sweed were still on the board, too.


12 12 1st Round   Ryan Clady, OT Boise State
A little thought about recruit, Clady turned into pure gold for Boise State as he was a dominant all-around blocker from the start. He proved in the Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma that he could produce at the highest level with a fantastic performance, and he was consistently fantastic his entire career. Arguably the best pass blocker in the draft, he's quick on his feet and can pound away when needed. Already a great prospect, he could be a perennial Pro Bowl performer if he becomes a bit more physical.
CFN Value Rank: First Round    CFN Position Rank:
11 42 2nd Round   Eddie Royal, WR Virginia Tech
An attractive prospect because of his return ability as much as his receiving skills, he never really blew up as a college target, but that was because Virginia Tech wasn't exactly Texas Tech when it came to throwing the ball. He has good speed, but not elite wheels, and he's not big enough to take any sort of a pounding across the middle. He'll bust his tail to find a role somewhere and could eventually become a nice option in the slot. He'll be an underwhelming No. 2 but a great No. 3
CFN Value Rank: Mid-Third to Fourth Round    CFN Position Rank:
20 119 4th Round    Jack Williams, CB Kent State
While he's not huge, at just 5-9 and 186 pounds, he throws his body around well and makes a ton of tackles. An ultra-productive four-year starter, he closed out with a brilliant 93-tackle campaign as he did more than ever for the run defense despite being hurt and playing through some big problems. Speed is hardly a problem with 4.44 wheels, and he has improved when the ball was in the air.
CFN Value Rank: Fourth Round   CFN Position Rank:
4 139 5th Round  Ryan Torain, RB Arizona State
Patience is a virtue. Torain could be a fantastic mid-round investment with a big payoff down the road. At 6-0 and 213 pounds with nice speed, he has the measurables. They might not be first round skills, but they're more than good enough to be an NFL starter. He's a hard runner who can catch the ball and will do whatever is asked of him. But he's hurt. A foot injury, needing to undergo Lisfranc surgery in the middle of last season, he likely won't be the player he should become by 2009 at the earliest. When he's right, he'll be an excellent No. 2 back.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round      
CFN Position Rank: 13
13 148 5th Round  Carlton Powell, DT Virginia Tech
He was fine over the last few years, but he didn't dominate like he should've. At 6-2 and 288 pounds he doesn't have the space-eater body to be a must-have prospect, and he's not in good enough shape to be the type of athlete who'll make a push into the backfield. He might be good in short bursts, but he can't be used for more than a few plays in a row.
CFN Value Rank:
Late Sixth Round to Early Seventh     
CFN Position Rank: 20
17 183 6th Round    Spencer Larsen, ILB Arizona
An ultra-productive overachiever with nice size, good toughness, and the smarts and leadership to be someone's main man in the middle for a long time if he gets help around him. Not the best of athletes and not the biggest of hitters, he struggles in pass coverage and can get blown up at times, but he makes up for his deficiencies with his drive and effort. He's the type of guy you want on your team.
CFN Value Rank: Fourth Round  
CFN Position Rank: 16
13 220 7th Round  Josh Barrett, SS Arizona State
4.36. Barrett was a decent prospect at 6-2 and 223 pounds with strong run stopping skills, and he showed the versatility to play either safety spot, and then he ripped off a 4.36 40 and his stock jumped through the roof. Now he has to play up to his measurables. He had a weird senior season as he didn't play well at times, disappeared for long stretches in games, and then came up with just enough big moments to leave everyone wanting more. On athleticism alone he'll be a great pickup, but he'll need a kick in the pants from time to time.
CFN Value Rank: Second Round 
 CFN Position Rank: 4
20 227 7th Round  Peyton Hillis, FB Arkansas
His money will be made as a receiver. A decent blocker, but not a special one, and not an NFL power runner, he'll find a role as a receiver out of the backfield.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round  
CFN Position Rank: 2