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Broncos made mistake ignoring DT need

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Alex Mayster
Editorial assistant

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Posted April 29, 2011 @ 8:44 p.m. ET
By Alex Mayster

A year removed from having the worst defense in the NFL (in points and yards allowed), the Broncos have failed to fill their biggest need — defensive tackle.

I was OK with the Broncos taking OLB Von Miller instead of DT Marcell Dareus with the No. 2 overall pick, because Denver was in need of an elite pass rusher. But with three picks in the next two rounds, they again failed to address their biggest need.

The Broncos' four best players in the front seven (OLBs Von Miller and D.J. Williams and DEs Elivs Dumervil and Robert Ayers) will all line up on the outside, leaving a gaping hole in the middle. Although that group has a ton of potential, it won't be able to do anything about teams running it up the gut.

With veteran safeties Brain Dawkins and Renaldo Hill past their prime, I can understand why the Broncos felt the need to add a young safety to the mix. But even though S Rahim Moore was considered the top safety in the draft, it wasn't worth ignoring such a huge need to pick him. The Broncos could have waited until the later rounds to add a safety.

Adding an offensive lineman this early in the draft doesn't make a lot of sense to me, either. Denver appears to be set with four of their five offensive linemen, excluding ORT Ryan Harris, who may or may not become an unrestricted free agent depending on how things shake out with a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Denver's O-line is already young, regardless of what happens with Harris, and the Broncos could have replaced Harris, if needed, with a veteran free agent.

The third-round pick is the most mind-boggling of them all. LB Nate Irving was a projected fourth- to fifth-round pick who will need to beat out LBs Mario Haggan and Joe Mays to earn the starting MLB job. The organization said they were looking for immediate starters coming into the draft and I'm not sure Irving fills that role.

There have been several quality DTs on the board each time the Broncos have chosen, and they have yet to select one.

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