It is safe to assume that Denver Broncos Executive Vice President of Player Personnel John Elway knows what he is doing when building a competitive team. It is also a foregone conclusion that the Broncos do not necessarily have a ton of needs in this off-season after going 13-3, winning the AFC West, and garnering the number one seed in the conference.
Their salary cap situation is better than most NFL teams, and the core of players on the roster remind us that they will be a contender for some time. On Sunday, Elway met with the Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o to gauge the scenario of his “catfish” scheme he was involved with recently, but more importantly to find out about the football player more for future reference.
The Broncos are fortunate to have two linebackers that are young, athletic, and now have a year under their belt and have impressed coaches at the position. After LB Joe Mays suffered a season ending injury, veteran Keith Brooking stepped up and played well in 2012, but the Broncos know they need to get younger at the position. That is where they hope third year player Nate Irving and second year player Steven Johnson take the opportunity to prove their worth.
Coaches are evidently happy with the progression of both of these players and would rather one, or both of them to become the force in the middle of Von Miller and Wesley Woodyard that they need. So what about Te’o?
Te’o is expected to go somewhere around the twentieth pick in the first round to the a high second round selection, so he very well might be there when the Broncos pick 28th. With the 2013 NFL Draft heavy with defensive players and lineman, Elway might decide to keep away from Te’o for now, and just pocket the information on Te’o until a later date, such as he did when taking KR Trindon Holliday after he was released by the Houston Texans early in the 2012 season.
The combine and these interviews are nothing more than a process for teams to scout and file while getting ready to put together a draft board. Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio would love to get a hold of a player of Te’o’s talent, but if Elway is secure enough with Irving and Johnson playing the part, then that would be a better option, as they can use that 28th pick to secure a defensive tackle, lineman or a cornerback: all needs that the Broncos may feel would be better choices.
Everyone knows that the ‘mike’ linebacker position is one of the more important positions on the field, as they are the quarterback of the defense. Elway understands that importance, and his meeting with Te’o will most definitely prove to not be a hoax.