After converging on The Road To MetLife Stadium in Super Bowl XLVIII, the Seattle Seahawks emerged victorious over the Denver Broncos. In what can only be described as a complete and utter blowout, the Seahawks exposed the Broncos to win their first ever Super Bowl championship in franchise history. While free agency and the 2014 NFL Draft will help shape teams going into next season, the Broncos and Seahawks are expected to be heavy favorites to reach Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale in 2015. As it is, the Seahawks are the early line favorites to win it all again next season, with only the San Francisco 49ers receiving greater odds than the Broncos to capture Super Bowl XLIX next February. The talent will still be enough to keep Denver and Seattle firmly entrenched among the top contenders, but will either make a major splash and pull off a big trade in the 2014 NFL Draft to improve its chances at reaching Super Bowl XLIX? While it may be unlikely, it is not a bad idea.
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By reaching Super Bowl XLVIII in MetLife Stadium, the Broncos and Seahawks will receive the final two picks of the first round in the 2014 NFL Draft, with Denver selecting 31st and Seattle being on the clock at No. 32. Depending on which mock draft you have read recently, it is clear that these two teams could go in a multitude of different directions. The Broncos will likely go with a player on defense, while the Seahawks could go either way. Neither team will face huge holes entering the offseason, although Denver stands to lose more impact players, including Eric Decker and Knowshon Moreno. Seattle appears to have more of its top stars under contract, with the exception of Michael Bennett. Still, it may not be the worst idea for the Broncos or Seahawks to at least consider pulling off a major trade that lands them in the top 10 of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Of the two, it would be wiser for Denver to consider giving up depth for a higher pick. The window of opportunity is much smaller for the Broncos than it is the Seahawks, but there are a few players who would fit quite well with either of the Super Bowl XLVIII participants.
Clearly, neither team will select a quarterback in the first round, unless Peyton Manning announces prior to the draft that he is forced to retire. If not, Manning and Russell Wilson will lead the way for their respective teams in 2014. The same holds true in the backfield, regardless of whether or not Moreno returns to Denver. Montee Ball will lead the Broncos, with Marshawn Lynch continuing to carry the load for the Seahawks.
But, what about at wide receiver? Decker may leave. Golden Tate is a free agent. Both teams may benefit from selecting a wide receiver in the early rounds of May’s draft. If they move up into the top 10, the only wide receiver worth moving up to draft would by Sammy Watkins of the Clemson Tigers. With great hands and even better speed, Watkins has the tools to make an immediate impact on his new NFL team as soon as 2014. Whether that team is the Broncos or Seahawks or someone else, Watkins is the most gifted wide receiver in the 2014 NFL Draft, and it is not a close race.
Aside from Watkins, the Broncos could look at defensive players such as Khalil Mack of the Buffalo Bulls or Darqueze Dennard of the Michigan State Spartans. They would have to move up to draft either. The Seahawks could consider players such as Eric Ebron of the North Carolina Tar Heels or Mike Evans of the Texas A&M Aggies, but would also likely have to move up in order to have a legitimate shot at drafting either player.
All in all, there is probably very little chance that either team makes a major move in the 2014 NFL Draft. But, as the Broncos see their window become smaller and smaller with each passing month, they know that the time to win is now. The Seahawks have proven that they are not afraid to make a big splash, after acquiring Percy Harvin from the Minnesota Vikings last offseason. Only time will tell if either – or both – will make one more big move in May.
I hope that you have enjoyed the coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII as well as all of the story lines leading up to The Road To MetLife Stadium. Make sure to stay tuned to Boston Super Blog for more coverage and recaps as well as analysis of last night’s game in MetLife Stadium, as well as a look ahead to where the Broncos and Seahawks will go from here.
Finally, in case you have not yet seen the video of NFL players – both past and present – signing a collaborative version of the National Anthem, then what are you waiting for? I must admit that I went into it expecting to have some laughs, but these guys were pretty impressive. Current players such as Justin Tuck and Josh Brown of the New York Giants, Greg Jennings of the Minnesota Vikings and Nick Mangold of the New York Jets, as well as former stars including Emmitt Smith and Eddie George all got together to put out quite an impressive rendition of the National Anthem. If you have not yet seen it, make sure to check it out by clicking here.
Make sure to follow all of the latest on Twitter by using the #Road2MetLifeStadium and tag @MetLifeCentral, as well as checking back early and often to Boston Super Blog for all of the latest information regarding Super Bowl XLVIII in MetLife Stadium between the Broncos and Seahawks!