When they drafted linebacker Von Miller with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos left a huge hole in their defensive line. Can they fix that once league business picks up? That's what Gregg Rosenthal of Pro Football Talk leads off with in his checklist for moves the Broncos need to cover after a new CBA is agreed upon. He goes on to make seven on-field issues and one off-field issue.
Aside from the defensive tackle issue, another major issue Rosenthal finds is that of safety Brian Dawkins. Yes, the team did draft Rahim Moore and Quinton Carter, but they'll need to learn from Dawkins for at least a season before the Dawkins era ends.
Most of the other concerns are well-tread ground: running back (DeAngelo Williams to pair with Knowshon Moreno, right?), make the defense run smoothly in a 4-3 base. Rosenthal wants the wide receivers healthy with Demaryius Thomas out for several months and Eddie Royal coming back from hip surgery, but the emergent Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney and Eric Decker as well as rookie tight ends Julius Thomas and Virgil Green actually give that group some depth.
And we can't be left without a mention of the Kyle Orton-Tim Tebow debate. Rosenthal falls on the side of "Don't trade Orton unless you are getting a 'decent' draft pick." He thinks a third-rounder will get it done, but other indications are that the Broncos want to start at a second-rounder and go higher.
He closes with the suggestion that John Elway needs to be out in front of whatever happens this season, but I doubt we'll hear more blame pushed onto Josh McDaniels should this team struggle in 2011.