No DTs Yet, But Broncos Still Targeted Needs

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – There were 4,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire — at least that’s what John, Paul, Ringo and George told us. But where those holes were rather small, some of the Broncos’ holes are quite gaping.

What’s more, in counting them all, it appears as if the Broncos that were handed to John Elway, John Fox and Brian Xanders had more holes than anyone realized. Not enough to fill the Albert Hall, but perhaps enough for the Coaches’ Corner lobby inside team headquarters.

“We have a lot of holes,” Fox admitted Friday night.

Before the draft began, none appeared bigger than defensive tackle. Two days later, that void remains, but it’s not as though the Broncos have drafted to positions where there was a surplus of talent. It’s actually the opposite; middle linebacker, strongside linebacker, right tackle and safety were needs, as well. ┬áThe Broncos had enough players on hand at those spots to put together a roster for the regular-season opener — but not necessarily one that was good enough to reverse the team’s five-year tailspin.

The Broncos’ holes run the gamut. They weren’t going to be filled in one day — or in one draft, or one offseason, for that matter. With more needs than high picks, they did the only sensible thing they could do: they stuck to their draft board.

Yes, Denver still needs defensive tackles for its 4-3 scheme; even Fox admitted he might have liked to have had one by now. But with holes all over the roster, the Broncos didn’t have to reach to find holes that needed plugging.

Above all, this is only the first step. In other years, it would have been the second after a free-agent signing period.

The Broncos will still have roster holes after this draft. But they’ll have fewer than they did Thursday morning. That’s a nice first step — which is all one can reasonably expect to take this weekend.

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About Andrew Mason

Andrew Mason has covered the NFL since 1999, when he worked as an editor on NFL.com when the site was managed by ESPN.com. He worked six seasons (2002-07) covering the Broncos on their official website and two (2008-09) on the Panthers' site. He began MaxDenver.com in 2010 and now contributes to CBSSports.com, The Sporting News and The New York Times.

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