Posted by Uncle Rico 11:58 AM ET
The most current version of the Broncos depth chart has tight end Dan Gronkowski behind stalwart Daniel Graham but ahead of sophomore Richard Quinn. So, let’s get this straight Broncos fans:
• In April 2009, Josh McDaniels traded Denver’s 2010 1st round pick (14th overall) to Seattle to select diminutive Wake Forest cornerback Alphonso Smith in the top of the 2nd round (37th overall). With the ink barely fresh on the draft day deal for Smith, McDaniels shipped Denver’s 3rd round pick (79th overall) and the 3rd round pick (84th overall) Denver received in the Jay Cutler trade from Chicago to Pittsburgh to select one-dimensional, blocking tight end Richard Quinn in the 2nd round (64th overall).
• Earlier this week McDaniels pulled the plug on the Alphonso Smith experiment, trading the cornerback to Detroit for tight end Dan Gronkowski.
• Gronkowski was Detroit’s 7th round (255th overall) pick in 2009.
• While Quinn was the second tight end drafted in 2009, an astounding 16 players at the position were selected before Detroit drafted Gronkowski with the second to last pick in the draft (191 spots after Denver picked Quinn).
Now, heading into the 2010 regular season Gronkowski is running with the Broncos second team while Quinn is taking repetitions with the third team.
Given that Quinn showed little promise of developing into a significant contributor during his rookie season, coupled with the fact that he has now lost his job to a player that was recently the Lions 4th string tight end (behind Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler and Will Heller), it’s safe to assume that Quinn is not long for Denver.
Effectively the Broncos used two 2009 3rd round draft picks and the team’s 2010 first round draft pick to acquire Gronkowski, a player the Broncos could have drafted with any of its original picks in 2009, including No. 225 overall (7th round) which was used on TCU center Blake Schlueter (not surprisingly Schlueter was cut in training camp last year). Instead, Josh McDaniels foolishly squandered several top draft selections proving once again that the head coach’s sense of draft board value and ability to evaluate talent must be called into question. The only plausible explanation for this latest McDaniels misstep is that he believed the Broncos were acquiring Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, the younger brother of Dan.