Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE
Which player will help get Peyton Manning and the Broncos back to the Super Bowl, if any? Perhaps a big run-stuffer out of Ohio is the answer.
The Denver Broncos made the biggest (and perhaps most successful) move of the 2012 offseason when they signed free agent quarterback Peyton Manning. They aren't likely to do anything as significant as that again, but they've got some important decisions to make. From which players they elect to retain, to which ones they elect to draft to replace the ones they didn't.
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The Broncos are going to be seeing starting defensive tackles Kevin Vickerson and Justin Bannan hit free agency and it's possible that both leave Denver. That would leave Derek Wolfe, an excellent rookie last year, all alone and in need of some help. Even if one of those tackles is brought back to pair with Wolfe, Denver will still likely need to address the position.
Would that mean taking Ohio State DT Johnathan Hankins with their first round pick? Rob Rang of CBS Sports thinks so in his latest mock draft:
The team found a good young standout in Derek Wolfe a year ago and he's played well as a rookie. The 6-3, 320-pound Hankins has the surprising movement skills to take advantage of the one on one blocks he'll face in Denver as opponents focus on the Broncos' outstanding edge rushers.
Hankins is a big old body (6'3, 320 pounds) to put in the middle of a defense. But is that defense going to be Manning's Broncos? And would he help them get past the Patriots and Ravens and every other AFC team to return to the Super Bowl?
Maybe. We'll find out the answer to the first question next month.
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