Broncos hope for bust to boon

August, 1, 2011
8/01/11
12:50
PM ET
Former Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan was famous for signing former first-round busts in a desperate attempt to upgrade his defensive line.

Three years after Shanahan’s firing and the Broncos are still employing that tactic.

The Denver Post is reporting Denver is signing 2008 Jacksonville No. 8 overall pick Derrick Harvey. The team is also trying to sign 2007 Atlanta No. 8 overall pick Jamaal Anderson. Harvey is an end and Anderson would likely play defensive tackle. He was a decent rotational player for the Falcons at tackle after transitioning from end. Denver general manager Brian Xanders was in Atlanta when they took Anderson.

It’s always worth giving former high picks a second chance if the price is right, but it is difficult to rely on those type of players.

Still, Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. likes the idea of Denver adding Harvey.

“He’s a very good run stuffer,” Williamson said. “I know that isn't all that glamorous, but I think between Harvey, (Jeremy) Jarmon, (Robert) Ayers and (Elvis) Dumervil, they have a real nice rotation of defensive ends that have different skill sets. Plus, Harvey still has ability to further develop as a pass rusher.”

Taking chances on former first-round picks didn’t always work for Shanahan. Perhaps fortunes will change for the new Denver regime.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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