8. Drafting Knowshon Moreno instead of Brian Orakpo. When McDaniels was hired, we were aghast
, since McD had a reputation -- one that now doesn't seem well-deserved -- as an offensive expert, and everyone with functioning corneas realized that the Broncos' most glaring weaknesses were on the defensive side of the ball. McDaniels tried to defuse such criticism by talking up the need to fix the D -- but then he spent the top pick in his first Broncos draft on a running back, Knowshon Moreno, passing up stud defender Brian Orakpo along the way. Since then, Moreno has underperformed, while Orakpo is in the midst of blossoming into the sort of force capable of boosting the Redskins -- yep, coached by Mike Shanahan -- for years to come. Nice move, McD.
7. Not getting the most out of those Jay Cutler draft picks.
The aforementioned Jay Cutler trade brought the Broncos Kyle Orton, who's probably at least as good as Cutler, and certainly less irritating, plus a bunch of draft picks. Among the players McDaniels obtained thanks to the Bears' beneficence was tight end Richard Quinn, a baller who was on few other teams' radar. But by last September, he certainly got the attention of the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, which booked Quinn for domestic violence
and other alleged offenses. That's a nice payoff.