From Sporting News to CBS Sports, everyone seems to have an opinion on the Denver Broncos off-season acquisitions. Broncos Update has studied both the 2004 NFL Draft and the off-season acquisitions and given Denver a grade of B-.
BEST PICK: Second round pick Tatum Bell, Oklahoma State, has the ability to make everyone forget the name Clinton Portis. When training camp opens in July, expect Bell to be the talk of the offense, quite similar to the way Portis took the media by storm during his rookie season. Bell is widely known to be a very good inside runner, with a straight line burst of speed. He has also shown outstanding strength for his position, performing well at the Combine, completing 25 repetitions on the bench then running a pair of forties that averaged 4.42.
TFY DRAFT PREVIEW
considers Bell - A hard working prospect and solid athlete, Bell
has the skills which translate well to the next level. Known as a player that
does the extras to become better on the football field, Bell possesses the
skills to be a primary ball carrier in the NFL.
BEST OFF-SEASON PICK UP: Champ Bailey is expected to be the savior for a defensive backfield which took the brunt of criticism during last season's playoff run. The sixth-year cornerback started 16 games for the Washington Redskins last season, registering 72 tackles with 2 interceptions. His $63 million contract will be under heavy media scrutiny but talent should override the criticism. Expect Bailey's contribution to equal or exceed the loss of Clinton Portis. Throw in the additions of Raylee Johnson (DE), Marco Coleman (DE) and John Lynch (S), and the Broncos should have one of the top defensive units in the AFC.
BIGGEST LOSS DURING OFF-SEASON: Losing both Shannon Sharpe and Ed McCaffrey will obviously take it's toll on offense. Not only were both players fan favorites, their offensive production goes without question.
BIGGEST SURPRISE: Look for former
Colorado State Ram QB Bradley Van Pelt to make quite an impact, most notably in
the locker room. His young rock and roll attitude will endear him with
both players and fans alike. His contributions may not be recognized in official
stat sheets but the fact that he's widely considered a home-town hero plays well
in local markets looking for a quick story line.
|Blake Brockermeyer, OT||Unrestricted|
|Steve Herndon, G||Not tendered offer|
|Ryan McNeil, DB||Unrestricted|
|Reuben Droughns, RB||(3/19)|
|Ben Hamilton, G||(4/26)|
|Patrick Hape, TE||(4/15)|
|Reggie Hayward, DE||(4/8)|
|Mike Leach, TE||(3/11)|
|Johnny Rutledge, LB||(5/11)|
|Jimmy Spencer, DB||(3/15)|
|Donnie Spragan, LB||(4/22)|
|Scott Turner, DB||(3/10)|
|Al Wilson, LB||(3/3)|
|Champ Bailey, CB||From WAS - Trade (3/3)|
|Marco Coleman, DE||From PHI - Free Agency (3/11)|
|Luther Elliss, DT||From DET - Free Agency (3/23)|
|Cornell Green, OT||From TB - Free Agency (3/26)|
|Raylee Johnson, DE||From SD (3/21)|
|John Lynch, S||From TB - Free Agency (3/17)|
|Mike Quinn, QB||From HOU - Free Agency (3/10)|
|O.J. Santiago, TE||From OAK - Free Agency (4/15)|
|Reggie Stephens, CB||From NYG - Free Agency (3/16)|
|Jed Weaver, TE||From SF - Free Agency (3/19)|
|Bert Berry, DE||ARI - Free Agency (3/8)|
|Keith Burns, LB||TB - Free Agency (3/8)|
|Chris Cole, WR||OAK - Free Agency (4/7)|
|Ian Gold, LB||TB - Free Agency (4/28)|
|Deltha O'Neal, CB||CIN - Trade (4/9)|
|Clinton Portis, RB||WAS - Trade (3/3)|
|Ephraim Salaam, OT||Released (3/3) (3/8)|
|Ed McCafrey, WR||Retired|
|Shannon Sharpe, TE||Retired|