Schon: Are You Kidding?

With their number one pick in the 2006 NFL Draft the Denver Broncos elect to build for the future? Are you kidding?

Coming out of left field is nothing new for Mike Shanahan, but today's move up to the eleventh spot to select Vanderbilt quarterback Jay Cutler took even the most knowledgeable draft gurus by surprise.

Sure, Cutler was probably the best player on the board at the time, and most GM's run safe with their ‘best available' philosophy, but was he the best player available for the Broncos - given their glaring need for a receiver?

Prior to this morning Cutler wasn't even on the radar screen for Denver. He wasn't brought in for any private workouts, he wasn't highly touted by team officials and, truth be told, was only an afterthought for Broncos scouts at the NFL Combine.

Consider this – nobody within the Broncos organization has made so much as a phone call to Cutler over the last two months, and suddenly he's Denver's number one pick?

One step removed from last year's Super Bowl and the Broncos decide to use their top pick to start laying the groundwork for the future?

Are you kidding?

MAYBE – the Broncos REALLY have secured the Javon Walker trade and feel the need for a wide receiver has been addressed.

MAYBE – the selection is set for trade bait and the Broncos are currently shopping a team willing dish out their top stud in a Cutler/Ashley Lelie package.

Or just MAYBE....

Sometime over morning coffee Shanahan's confidence in Jake Plummer dropped faster than the cast of 24.

Who knows - I just can't help but question the wisdom of dropping your wallet on a number one pick unable to make an immediate impact.

Then again, I guess I felt the same way in 1992 when Denver elected to use its top selection on a highly talented quarterback out of UCLA named Tommy Maddox.

And we all know how well that one turned out.


Santonio Holmes – Ohio State
Chad Johnson – Florida
Sinorice Moss – Miami Fl.
Greg Jennings – Western Michigan
Maurice Stoval – Notre Dame

Michael John Schon has covered the National Football League and the Denver Broncos for the past nine years. As a member of the Pro Football Writers Association he has published and syndicated columns to both newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and Canada. His syndicated radio broadcast: "Schon Live" airs weekly on various radio stations around the country.

Schon can be reached at

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