As the NFL Draft is just days away, NFL teams are racking their brains trying to come up with the picks that will best complement their team. The powers to be on each team are considering possible draft day trades to move up to draft the player or players they want or trade down and receive more overall picks in the draft.
One such team is the defending AFC Champions Denver Broncos.
The Broncos lost Eric Decker, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Knowshon Moreno, Shaun Phillips, Champ Bailey and others to free agency.
Denver was able to sign free agents Aqib Talib, TJ Ward, DeMarcus Ware, Will Montgomery and Emmanuel Sanders.
Denver’s strengths last season were many on offense thanks to Peyton Manning and his receiving corps. Many records were set offensively during the season.
However, on defense the team was weak against the pass and was ranked No. 25 in red zone efficiency on defense.
Thanks to the lack of a tough schedule the Broncos’ mediocre defense and its league leading offense were able to win the AFC West and reach the Super Bowl.
This season the Broncos however have non-division games that include Arizona, the New York Jets, Cincinnati, San Francisco, and Seattle.
Offensively according to data pulled from Bovada, topbet, betonline and sportsbook.com, the Broncos were No. 1 in the league averaging 8.9 yards per pass on first down. Denver converted 82% of their second and short plays into first downs, which was third best in the league.
One criticism of the offense was the team did not run the ball more often, but that criticism cannot be too harsh since they were so successful through the air.
The Broncos averaged -10 as a favorite in every game regardless if it was home or away. According to Bovada, Denver covered the double-digit point spread better than single digit ones. When the Broncos were favored by 10 points or more they were 6-0 SU while 5-1 ATS. When they were favored by 9 points or less they were just 1-3 both SU and ATS.
In the 2014 draft, the Broncos will need help in the secondary as Chris Harris their No. 2 man at corner tore an ACL last January. Free agent signing Aqib Talib will fill the shoes of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie but he can be injury prone.
Manning played exceptional last season, but if he had, had Ryan Clady he would have played even better. Clady returns this season from injury but the team needs another talented tackle and guard to complement what they already have.
Manning’s time is running out for another Super Bowl and the better the team can sure up their offensive line and defensive secondary will give Manning and his teammates a better chance of returning to the Super Bowl and having a more positive result.