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2011 NFL Draft: Denver Broncos Closing In On Top Two Pick

With only two weeks remaining on the NFL schedule, the order of the NFL draft is entering its final form. The Carolina Panthers and their two victories currently hold the No. 1 selection. The Denver Broncos and the Cincinnati Bengals are tied with the second worst record in the league at 3-11; however, the Broncos have a lower strength of schedule, giving them the No. 2 draft selection.

This will be the highest draft selection the Broncos have had since 1991 when they took Nebraska linebacker Mike Croel with the fourth overall pick. Croel went on to play four seasons with the Broncos, accumulating 20.0 sacks and 320 tackles in 58 games. Though he won the 1991 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award, his four-year career is not what one wants out of the fourth overall pick.

He left after the 1994 season and spent the next two seasons with the New York Giants and the Baltimore Ravens. He did not play in 1997, but rejoined the league in 1998 with the Seattle Seahawks. It was his last season in the NFL. He did play in the XFL in 2001 before finally calling his playing days over.

Sunday's loss to the Raiders reinforced the Broncos' need for defensive help, and the Denver Post's Mike Klis is calling for a defensive player with the pick. There's really no reason to take an offensive player this year, with quarterback Tim Tebow, receiver Demaryius Thomas and running back Knowshon Moreno all being recent picks. Having numerous offensive weapons doesn't help the defense if the defense lacks playmakers. The Broncos need serious help on the defensive line.

The Broncos organization better not whiff on this selection. . . .