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Nate Irving Could Be Denver's Starter At MLB In 2011

Well, assuming the league and the players get this lockout business sorted out, anyway. The Broncos liked Nate so much that they had him at the top of their MLB rankings. As GM Brian Xanders told Mile High Report:

Some of these guys were first or second ranked guys overall at their own position, so we are excited about it - like (Nate) Irving was the #1 MIKE linebacker on our board and we got him.  It's exciting to see that and we are always going to stay true to our board.

Bill Parcells, FWIW, likes Irving a lot, too. Irving was the only inside linebacker that Parcells gave a first round grade.

From the Denver Post:

Instead of Fairley, the Broncos got two likely starters from the second round in safety Rahim Moore and right tackle Orlando Franklin. The plan is for third-round pick Nate Irving to start at middle linebacker. Plus, the Broncos were able to add fourth- and fifth-round picks.

Prevailing opinion appears to be that Irving will beat out Joe Mays in camp and start for the Broncos as a rookie, though John Fox indicated that Mays is his starter as of right now.

Elsewhere, the Texans are moving Mario Williams to LB in their new 3-4 scheme, apparently intent on creating some sort of terrifying super linebacker.