NFC West: Brodrick Bunkley


NFC West teams do not face the Denver Broncos this season, but I could not resist one of the funnier stories from the weekend.

D.J. Williams probably faces a team fine for tweeting images from the Broncos' digital playbook. He should be embarrassed.

But to suggest Williams has put the Broncos at a strategic disadvantage would be going too far. Players switch teams every offseason. The detailed knowledge they bring with them has some value, but probably less than one might imagine. Versions of entire playbooks have shown up online without anyone seeming to care much.

Let's consider Williams and the Broncos for the sake of discussion. They face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1. The Steelers' coaches, having studied the Broncos in detail before their playoff matchup in January, know much more about Denver's defense than the formation adjustments Williams revealed in a screenshot. They might even know more about the Broncos' defense than Williams knows about it.

I doubt Arizona Cardinals coaches are worrying about the information Deuce Lutui, someone with access to Ken Whisenhunt's playbook since 2007, is taking with him to division-rival Seattle. Likewise, I doubt the San Francisco 49ers are sweating over the knowledge their former guard, Adam Snyder, is taking with him to division-rival Arizona.

Having an opponent's playbook would be nice, but it wouldn't tell an opponent anything about the game plan for a certain week, or even what calls a team might put in place for a given situation. Video study reveals what teams actually do, making it much more valuable.

In this case, Williams revealed a single page featuring six alignments. Any of the defensive players leaving Denver this offseason -- Mario Haggan, Jonathan Wilhite, Derrick Harvey and Brodrick Bunkley departed as unrestricted free agents -- could reveal much more at little risk to the Broncos.
Facebook friend Ryan asked whether I thought the 14th overall choice would be too high a price for Seattle to pay for Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall if Denver agreed to a trade. I think the price would be too high in the absence of other bidders and given the risks associated with Marshall. Seattle should also consider the potential value of a high first-round choice in what appears to be a strong draft.

"Marshall is a perfect fit for Cincinnati, Baltimore, Miami, New England or any team that is close and has a late first-round choice," Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. said when we discussed the possibilities Monday morning. "You have the quarterback in place and Marshall could get you over the hump. I know Seattle is interested, but you are going to have an old quarterback with an in-his-prime receiver who is a liability off the field. I would not take a win-now approach in Seattle."

The last 12 players drafted 14th overall: cornerback Malcolm Jenkins, tackle Chris Williams, cornerback Darrelle Revis, defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley, safety-turned-linebacker Thomas Davis, defensive tackle Tommie Harris, defensive end Michael Haynes, tight end Jeremy Shockey, tackle Kenyatta Walker, tight end Bubba Franks, tackle John Tait and tackle Jason Peter.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The Rams could stand to strengthen the middle of their defense. Adding free-agent safety James Butler was a start, but the team could use reinforcements in its front seven.

Veteran defensive tackle La'Roi Glover gutted out one final season in 2008 despite an injured knee and the team's dim prospects overall. The Rams need to get younger and stouter at the position, starting with this draft. The team has drafted three defensive tackles in the first three rounds since 2001 -- Claude Wroten, Jimmy Kennedy and Damione Lewis -- but none met expectations in St. Louis.

First-year general manager Billy Devaney, new to the Rams in 2008, can't do much worse. His teams generally have not drafted defensive tackles early. The chart shows every defensive tackle Devaney's teams have selected since he broke into scouting with the Chargers in 1990.

Draft Rd. Pick Devaney's Team Defensive Tackle
College Conference
1991
2 36 Chargers
George Thornton
Alabama
SEC
2003
2 57 49ers Anthony Adams
Penn St.
Big Ten
1995
3 93 Chargers Don Sasa
Wash. St.
Pac-10
2000 4 113
Chargers Leonardo Carson
Auburn
SEC
1999
5 139 Chargers Adrian Dingle
Clemson ACC
1992 6 147
Chargers
Reggie White
N.C. A&T
MEAC (I-AA)
1996 5 155
Chargers
Junior Soli
Arkansas
SEC
2002
5 172 49ers Josh Shaw Michigan St.
Big Ten
2007
6 185 Falcons Trey Lewis
Washburn
Mid-American (II)
1992
10 258 Chargers
Arthur Paul
Arizona St.
Pac-10

Expect first-year Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo to influence the Rams' thinking on defensive tackles. Spagnuolo was with the Eagles when Philadelphia used three first-round choices on the position between 2000 and 2006: Corey Simon (2000), Mike Patterson (2005) and Brodrick Bunkley (2006). Spagnuolo was with the Giants in 2007 when they drafted defensive tackle Jay Alford from Penn State in the third round.

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