On the Clock: Denver Broncos

April, 5, 2009
4/05/09
9:30
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Team needs: Defensive line, linebacker, quarterback, safety

 
  Gary A. Vasquez/US Presswire
  Might the Broncos package their No. 1 picks to trade up for former USC quarterback Mark Sanchez?

Dream scenario: The Broncos have two first-round picks -- No. 12 and No. 18 -- after the huge trade that sent Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears. Ideally, the Broncos would get a quarterback and a defensive lineman in the first round if they keep the two picks. Here's a perfect scenario: USC quarterback Mark Sanchez with the No. 12 pick and LSU defensive lineman Tyson Jackson at No. 18. Sanchez may not get past Jacksonville at No. 8 or San Francisco at No. 10. San Diego could take Jackson at No. 16.

Plan B: Even if Sanchez is on the board at No. 12, the Broncos may opt to let quarterbacks Kyle Orton (acquired in the Cutler deal) and Chris Simms compete for the starting job and try to draft a young signal-caller in the later rounds. New Denver coach Josh McDaniels is used to developing late-round  quarterbacks from his days with the Patriots. Also, Denver could decide to package the two picks into the top five to take an ace defensive player such as Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry or Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji. If Denver keeps the No. 12 and No. 18 picks and a quarterback is not in the mix, it will likely look at defense and Jackson will be a target. Then, there's this scenario: Denver tries to become a running team with Cutler gone and goes after Ohio State running back Chris "Beanie" Wells. Don't ignore this possibility. Wells is visiting Denver and the team has also held a private workout with him. The team would be thrilled with a Wells-Jackson combination in the first round.

Scouts Inc. take: "The Broncos are going to be interesting to watch in the draft after the Cutler trade. They need all kinds of help on defense, but I could see them trying to package a way up to draft Mark Sanchez. I think he'd fit Josh McDaniels' system very well. There are similarities to another USC guy, Matt Cassel. I think that would be a great fit. But Denver could also keep the two picks and work on the front seven. I think Denver is going to dedicate most of its draft on front-seven players who can play the 3-4. Tyson Jackson wouldn't be a bad fit there." -- Matt Williamson, Scouts Inc.

Who has final say: McDaniels enters his first draft as the Broncos' head coach.

Now On the Clock: Buffalo Bills, April 6.

Previous On the Clock: Washington Redskins. The team-by-team series.

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