Published April 20, 2012
| Sports Network
Despite bringing in a 36-year-old Peyton Manning to take over at quarterback, the Broncos' focus in this draft will predominantly be about getting younger. Age is a particular worry in the middle of the defensive line, where two prominent members of the rotation (Ty Warren, Justin Bannan) are on the down side of their careers and Warren has missed the last two seasons due to injuries, so most insiders expect Denver to use its No. 25 overall pick on the best interior tackle that's still standing. Leading rusher Willis McGahee enjoyed a career renaissance for the reigning AFC West champs last year, but the 30-year-old has considerable tread on his tires and 2009 first-rounder Knowshon Moreno seems to have fallen out of favor with the current coaching staff, which makes a running back with fresh legs a potential priority for the new Manning-led offense. The Broncos, who picked up a second fourth-round choice in the trade of popular quarterback Tim Tebow to the Jets, also seek a future building block at cornerback and are short on quality reserves on the offensive line, while a more talented alternative to backup quarterback Caleb Hanie also may be found out of the rookie ranks.
2011 Record: 8-8
Top Needs: DT, RB, OL
First Three Picks: No. 25, No. 57, No. 87
Number of Selections: 7 (1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6)
RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2011 - Von Miller (LB, Texas A&M); 2010 - Demaryius Thomas (WR, Georgia Tech), Tim Tebow (QB, Florida); 2009 - Knowshon Moreno (RB, Georgia), Robert Ayers (DE, Tennessee); 2008 - Ryan Clady (T, Boise State); 2007 - Jarvis Moss (DE, Florida); 2006 - Jay Cutler (QB, Vanderbilt); 2005 - none; 2004 - D.J. Williams (OLB, Miami-Florida); 2003 - George Foster (OT, Georgia).