Von Miller - 1st Round, 2nd overall
Miller was selected with the 2nd pick in the draft and with that comes a lot of expected greatest. Which I believe Miller lived up to. He was the phenomenon and worth the 2nd pick and ever penny on his contract. I think Miller was the best player to come out of the draft this year...until he got hurt and had to wear the cast. If Miller can stay health and he continues to progress his sack numbers could be crazy high in the foreseeable future. His season totals are below:
All I want Miller to do is become a complete linebacker. Learn to play the run and drop into coverage. Then he may become one of the greatest to ever play the position. It will be interesting to note how Del Rio uses Miller on defense next year.
Rahim Moore - 2nd Round - 45th overall
I dubbed Moore as Rahim 'Miss' Moore 'Tackles'. The number one reason he was benched was because he could not tackle. He started the year off well with the big highlight hit against the Bills but soon faded after that. I do not know why really? He took poor angles and struggled wrapping up the ball carry and there was no real reason for this. For now I am putting it down to nervous, lack of confidence and Rookieness. He will need to improve if he wishes to see the field again and not be another 2nd round bust.
Like I said Moore has talent, that is why he was drafted. But to play defense in the NFL you have to tackle. Till he learns that he will ride the bench and if he doesn't work it out in a year or two Champ will be playing in his FS spot.
Orlando was taking with the very next pick after Moore in the draft. The Big O didn't start the year off great in the passing game but improved out of sight as the year progressed. There is still adjustments and improvements to be made but he really took to the coaching and took his play to the point that I am happy to keep him at RT.
Nate Irving - 3rd Round - 67th overall
As hard as it has been to find a replacement QB for Elway it has been just as hard finding a replacement MLB for Wilson. Irving was the next great hope at MLB for the Broncos. His first year was a wash though. He played mostly special teams and barley saw the field. Even though the player ahead of him struggled all year long and lead the team in missed tackles. But I still have hope for Irving for two reasons. One it is hard to play MLB in the NFL, you have to be the QB of the defense and it takes time to learn opposing offensives, what calls need to be made and in what situations, running the D. The second is I have a feeling Irving was red shirted in much the same way as JT (Julius Thomas). Coach Fox has given Irving the year to get accustomed to the game and the defense. I expect big things in Training Camp this year.
Quinton Carter - 4th Round -108th overall
For me Carter was the pick of the draft. My reasoning being when you pick second overall you are meant to hit big with that pick and we did with Miller. In the 4th round it is a bit of skill and luck. To get a player of Carters calibre in the 4th round was a great pick. Carter started the year on the bench but with Moore's struggles and Dawkins injuries he saw pretty of playing time. Which he excelled at, he is a force over the middle and he tackles correctly most of the time.
For me he is too slow to play Free Safety, I see him as more of a banger like Dawkins at strong safety. For next season I want Carter to keep improving and learning the defense. And also carry over those picks from the playoffs into the regular season would be a big plus. But number one learn not to lead with your head to tackle, I would hate to see you in a wheelchair. Hit'em hard but with the shoulder.
Julius Thomas - 4th Round - 129th overall
Going into the season Thomas was known as a player with a high ceiling but a lot of work to do. It showed, Thomas struggled greatly with the blocking aspect of his position. He caught a few balls before he sustained a high ankle sprain injury and he struggled to return to the field for the rest of the season. Fox effectively red shirted Thomas for the year to get him more use to the physicality of the NFL and to hopefully understand the nuances of his position.
Moving forward this next season could be make or break for Thomas. If he can't make it physically in the NFL then he probably never will. Some of that is mental and it will be on him to over come it. He has talent and I would like to see him succeed.
Mohamed had an interesting year. After being drafted he was released by the Broncos at the end of September. But was signed to the practice squad the following day. This is where he stayed till the end of November when he was moved to the active roster. His play was limited to that of special teams.
When you get later down in the draft it is hard for these players to make it in the NFL as most lack that raw athleticism that the NFL players have and Mohamed is one of them. If Mohamed can continue to improve and get better he may one day find himself in the starting rotation. For now he needs to continue his work and excel on special teams.
Virgil Green - 7th Round - 204th overall
Green is a little different to Mohamed in the sense he is extreme physically gifted but had a bit of an injury cloud. Green played the entire year for the Broncos and was one of their better blockers at the TE position. He only caught 3 passes on the year and will look to improve that. Green is not the biggest TE, he is in that tweener mold between WR and TE, much like Shannon Sharpe but he is more than fast enough. The saying 'too fast for LBs, too big for safeties' comes to mind with Green.
His ceiling like JT is very high and the Broncos FO I believe really likes him. Hopefully we see him get a bit more improved in the passing game this coming year.
Jeremy Beal - 7th Round - 247th overall
Beal had much the same year as Mohamed did. After being drafted he was released by the Broncos on the final cut day. The next day he was signed to the practice squad. He was the only drafted player to not make the first day roster of 53. Beal was signed to a future contract at the end of the year and will be back fighting for a position on the Broncos in 2012.
Beal going forward has a lot of work to do. He is a sack machine but has timed really slow for what ever reason. He needs a big camp and preseason to get a position otherwise he will go back on the PS or be released into obscurity.
Make sure to chill out and relax as FA is coming. ~ Aussie.