Broncos draft: Mile high risks

Apr 30, 2007 4:39 AM

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Broncos wanted to address the defensive line.

The first two picks (17 and 56 overall) were for defensive ends. Jarvis Moss played on the national champion Florida Gators. Moss leaves the Gators a year early and at 6-foot-6½, 250 pounds, relies on quickness. He had been hurt much of his career at Florida, leaving doubts as to whether this was a wise opening round choice.

Tim Crowder also comes off a national champ at Texas. He is bulkier at 6-3½, 272 and played in all 13 games as a freshman in 2003, starting nine. Crowder went on to

become first team All Big 12. His resume is solid, having started the final 47 games in his career with the Longhorns. It would seem the choice of Crowder is more sound and done so in case the choice of Moss backfires.

The Broncos only had five picks in the 2007 draft with a long wait between round 3 (#70) and round 6 (#176).

The third pick was for 300-pound plus offensive tackle Ryan Harris from Notre Dame, who figures at first to backup Broncos starter Matt Lepsis at left tackle. Lepsis is recovering well from offseason surgery for a torn ACL.

The Broncos have needs for cornerback, runningback, defensive tackle and safety. With Mike Shanahan making an uncharacteristic number of changes to the team, it still seems Denver came away far short. At least, that’s how it looks on paper.

Travis Henry was added to the running game, but he was sent out by Buffalo when Willis MaGahee became a starter. Henry went to Tennessee, but really seems to already be a journeyman player with average skills.

Another offseason acquisition, tight end Daniel Graham from New England, has always had a big upside. Graham has had his moments and perhaps can flourish catching passes from Cutler, rather than from Tom Brady and his forte of passing to many different targets.

Defensive back Dre Bly has All-Pro talent and, unfortunately, a rap sheet to match. High risk and Dre Bly are one in the same.

One never knows in a draft. Standout running back Terrell Davis was a sixth round pick out of Georgia and many-time All Pro tight end Shannon Sharpe came in round seven.

However, it would seem Las Vegas books has the Broncos rated right. They are 17/1 at the Hilton SuperBook to win the Super Bowl and projected for between nine and 10 victories. That’s good enough to be dangerous, but in a strong AFC, may not cut it come playoff time.

In other words, Denver has a lot of work left.