Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 4/8/13
The Denver Broncos defense will look to the 2013 NFL Draft to address some gaping holes in their pass coverage packages. The team needs help in nickel packages covering tight end that ran wild over the defense in 2012. According to Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post, VP John Elway has his work cut out identifying players that can help cover the new breed of tight ends. Big, fast, and strong, the new hybrid tight end that can be an inline or flexed out gives the Broncos fits. Legwold writes: ‘Opposing tight ends and running backs caught 153 passes for 1,407 yards and 14 touchdowns combined against the Broncos defense this past season. Those totals accounted for 47.7 percent of the receptions the team allowed, 39.5 percent of the passing yardage and 56 percent of the passing touchdowns. • The opposing tight ends alone accounted for 81 receptions for 948 yards and 11 touchdowns. • And in the end, opposing pass catchers had six 100-yard games against the Broncos this past regular season. Three of those were by opposing tight ends — the Bengals' Jermaine Gresham, the Panthers' Greg Olsen and the Ravens' Dennis Pitta. Four players also had two receiving touchdowns in a game against the Broncos during the regular season in 2012 — three of those were tight ends (the Chargers' Antonio Gates, Olsen and Pitta). And in terms of adjustments, the Broncos surrendered at least one of the 100-yard games or two-touchdown games to opposing tight ends in October, November and December.’ The Broncos will look for some athletic linebackers and safeties in the draft that can cover in the nickel package. Legwold continues: ‘The Broncos figure to look hard at linebackers in the draft as their picks roll around and it's why cornerbacks and safeties won't be passed over if the grades fall right as well. The pass rush still needs more than a little juice, however, with Elvis Dumervil's departure and if they can't keep the heat on opposing passers, it won't matter who's in coverage anyway, especially if the Broncos can't get there when Del Rio sends the extra rushers.’  
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