When the Broncos decided to tender Brandon Marshall at the first-round value, speculation started to begin that the WR is open for the taking.
The question for clubs with a first-round pick (which they would have to give up in return for Marshall) is what type of value, or what type of grade, do they give the Broncos wideout?
Is he worth a first-round pick if you sign him to an offer sheet? And how high of a first-round pick are you willing to give up to bring in a WR who has multiple off-the-field issues, but might be the best option in the league versus man coverage?
I do believe that Marshall has first-round value, because after WR Dez Bryant from Oklahoma State — who has his own red flags — is there a WR that can produce at the level of Marshall?
And, that is how we have to view his situation. Whenever draft picks are involved, clubs have to think in terms of what they are giving up in return in terms of value. Is the value they will get in the first round bigger and better than Marshall?
I don’t see the Broncos WR as having top-ten value, nor do I see any WR worth a top-ten pick in the draft. But, once we get past No. 15 and into the latter stages of the first round, you can’t match the talent of Brandon Marshall with a rookie. And, I am saying that taking all of the red flags that are in his back pocket into account.
Look at a team like the Baltimore Ravens. A club who just recently signed Donte’ Stallworth — another player with question marks. Can they find equal or better talent than Marshall at pick No. 26? No chance. Or, could the Jets—as the NFP’s Michael Lombardi wrote this morning—also be involved?
Yes, there is going to be a new contract that Marshall will want, and we all understand that. But, getting him on your roster is the first move. And, in reality, it is a win-win for the Broncos. They get to keep him for another season if no one comes calling, and if he goes, head coach Josh McDaniels gets yet another first-round pick in return to build his roster for an AFC West run.
Plus, there is always the chance that a trade in involved–which could lead to multiple picks for Denver in return for Marshall.
However, it always comes down to talent and value. I see Marshall as a top-five WR in this league, and when we are talking about matching up against NFL corners in the pressure schemes that are quickly taking over defensive play calling at this level, these players are hard to come by. Marshall can run the 3-step game, can stretch the field and will score TDs in the red zone.
If you have a mid-to-late first-round pick and need a WR, Marshall is your guy.