Dove Valley, CO – The first round of the 2012 NFL Draft is this Thursday evening, as teams are now finishing up their analysis of several hundred college players. John Elway, Brian Xanders, and the rest of the Denver Broncos front office and coaches undoubtedly have a few guys they are targeting with the 25th overall selection. Many fans and experts have said Denver should go defense, and shore up some leaky holes on that side of the ball. Defensive tackle is a position where the Broncos have a significant need, as is a play making linebacker. With Peyton Manning in the fold, the belief here is that Denver should add as many young players in this draft that can play right away. No projects, or players who need a few years to develop. The Broncos need to make this offense as explosive as possible while Peyton is here. With that in mind, their 2012 first round selection should be….Boise State RB, Doug Martin
The running back position is one where the average length of a players career is less than five years. However, to succeed in the NFL, you do need a good one. Or two. Or three. Running backs get beat up, and as a result most teams wait on draft day until the later rounds to pick one or two. The Denver Broncos have a unique situation though, as they are all in on winning now. As is stands right now, the team has Willis McGahee, Lance Ball, Jeremiah Johnson, and potentially Knowshon Moreno. McGahee was productive last year, but had some injury issues and is 30 years old. Ball and Johnson are decent, but more of a backup RB type. Moreno is coming off a torn ACL, and even when healthy was disappointing most of the time. Peyton Manning needs a quality back who can run tough between the tackles, and also someone who he can dump the ball off to on screens to get key first downs. Indianapolis had guys like this in Edgerrin James and Joseph Addai, who fit that mold perfectly. This draft is all about stockpiling explosive young talent who can help Manning immediately.
The Broncos NEED to find a way to make sure that RB Doug Martin is their first round pick. Why, you ask? Let’s start with his productivity at Boise State. In a little over 3 years there, he rushed for 3,431 yards, had a 5.6 YPC average, and 43 TD’s. He was also effective catching the ball out of the backfield, which so many young backs are not. Martin won a ton of games while at Boise State, so winning is something he is used to. He is a player who right off the bat can share carries with McGahee, and be a young, explosive option on any down. If Denver gets in a bind with their kick returners, he has proven he can do that as well.
The history of the draft has shown us all that more often than not, a player has a better chance of being a bust than becoming a superstar. The excitement of signing Peyton Manning has made this upcoming season one of the most anticipated in team history. Denver needs to go into the draft with the mindset of arming Peyton with as much ammo as possible in order to maximize his time here. He proved in Indianapolis that he could consistently win even when his defense was average. If all goes well…Peyton’s right arm…hurry up offense…plenty of offensive weapons…the Denver altitude…a lot of 42-24 victories would be just fine in 2012!
Denver Sports by J Simp