The Road To MetLife Stadium taught us many things leading up to and following Super Bowl XLVIII. We learned that the best defense will still generally get the better of the best offense, as the Seahawks stifled the Broncos in MetLife Stadium one week ago today. Beyond that, we learned that while spending money on the right free agents is important, teams can build Super Bowl winners by succeeding in the NFL Draft. If you have the right people in place who know the best players to select, the NFL Draft can be key to your success going forward. The Seahawks and Broncos both proved that theory to be true, especially if you look at what they have done dating back to the 2010 NFL Draft.
In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’m working as part of the Road to MetLife Stadium Preferred Blogger Program. Throughout the year I’ll be receiving special access to MetLife events and be conducting reader giveaways, with prizes provided by MetLife and Sony Electronics. However, no payment was given or expected for posting about the program, and as always, all opinions given here are fully my own.
They say that to be the champs, you must first beat the champs, so we will start with the Super Bowl XLVIII champions, the Seattle Seahawks. In the 2010 NFL Draft, the Seahawks selected Russell Okung and Earl Thomas in the first round, but their success went beyond Round 1. In that same draft, the Seahawks picked up Golden Tate, Walter Thurmond and Kam Chancellor. They followed that up in 2011 with the selections of James Carpenter in the first round, but they did much better later on, drafting the likes of K.J. Wright, Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell and Malcolm Smith. How crucial of a role did many of those players play during the Seahawks’ path to Super Bowl XLVIII in MetLife Stadium? The 2012 NFL Draft was also very kind to Seattle, who chose Bruce Irvin in the first round, which came with a chorus of question marks. Later in that same draft, the Seahawks selected Bobby Wagner and Russell Wilson. Some of the players from 2013 will still need time to grow, but the potential is there with picks such as Jordan Hill and Luke Wilson. Expect the champs to do quite well once again when it comes time for the 2014 NFL Draft.
The Broncos are no slouches either when it comes to hitting a home run in the NFL Draft. Dating back to the 2010 draft, Denver selected Demaryius Thomas in the first round. We’ll give them a pass for taking that kid from Florida with their other pick. In that same draft, the Broncos selected Zane Beadles and Eric Decker. In 2011, Denver took Von Miller in the first round, followed by Nate Irving and Julius Thomas. The 2012 NFL Draft did not include a first round selection for the Broncos, but drafting Danny Trevathan in the sixth round was a complete steal, and Derek Wolfe looks like a very high value second round selection. Last year’s draft brought the likes of Sylvester Williams and Montee Ball to Denver, and they could both play a key role going forward.
In today’s NFL, teams do have to use free agency to help them build a winner. They also have to make a few trades. The Seahawks traded for Marshawn Lynch. The Broncos signed Peyton Manning. But, in the end, success in the NFL Draft is critical to a team’s bright future.
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!