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View Full Version : Could Woodyard be a starter for us?


The Joker
03-09-2011, 03:24 AM
Don't really recall seeing any mention of Woodyard this offseason so thought I'd put this up and see what people thought.

The last couple of years Woodyard has been our nickel LB and been a solid special teams player for us, but I remember in his rookie year he started a few games and for a rookie UFA he certainly did pretty well. At the time we were lauding him as a guy with a bright future, but with McDaniels came a switch to the 3-4 and any chance he had of earning a starting spot pretty much disappeared due to his size.

But with Fox bringing back the 4-3 things might be taking a good turn for him. We know Fox's system likes smaller, faster LB's who can play coverage, I know he hasn't exactly lit it up as a nickel LB the last few years but who exactly has on our pathetic D?

The problem would seem to be that Woodyard is naturally a WILL linebacker, and DJ Williams would appear the obvious starter at that spot.

Could Woodyard play SAM? He would certainly seem undersized, but James Anderson in Carolina is coming off a pretty good season playing SAM in Carolina and isn't exactly a big guy himself ( 6ft2', 235lbs).

Might we consider DJ at MIKE, allowing Woodyard a shot in his natural spot?

I know we've got a real rebuild on our hands with our D, but things would be a lot easier if some of the players already on the roster could step up and earn a starting role.

Anyone else that people think might have potential to benefit a lot from the scheme changes? Be nice if we could find one or two.

eddie mac
03-09-2011, 03:53 AM
They've already talked about DJ playing MLB in the 4-3, at this point who knows what will happen.

Shananahan
03-09-2011, 04:07 AM
I hope they leave Williams alone at weakside. He's good at it, we know what we have in him and despite his flaws I think he's earned it. Woodyard will still get time in our nickel packages, most likely. I like him and want to see him on the field more, but I wasn't impressed with Williams in the middle the last time we tried it. Unless we somehow attain several massive DTs I don't know why he'd look any better this time around.

broncogary
03-09-2011, 04:56 AM
Woodyard was an undrafted FA.

The Joker
03-09-2011, 05:01 AM
I hope they leave Williams alone at weakside. He's good at it, we know what we have in him and despite his flaws I think he's earned it. Woodyard will still get time in our nickel packages, most likely. I like him and want to see him on the field more, but I wasn't impressed with Williams in the middle the last time we tried it. Unless we somehow attain several massive DTs I don't know why he'd look any better this time around.

Tend to agree with this entirely, but just wondering if the Broncos will consider it with the lack of MIKE prospects in the draft this year.

Woodyard was an undrafted FA.

Fixed.

Hope this didn't cost you too much sleep. ;)

broncogary
03-09-2011, 05:16 AM
Tend to agree with this entirely, but just wondering if the Broncos will consider it with the lack of MIKE prospects in the draft this year.



Fixed.

Hope this didn't cost you too much sleep. ;)

Nope, I'm already awake.:wave::wave:

footstepsfrom#27
03-09-2011, 06:25 AM
I posed a similar question within another thread somewhere around here a day or so ago. Woodyard is a hitter, a guy who manages to make plays despite his size and yes, I think he's starter material, but not at Sam. I prefer to see him on the weak side or possibly....POSSIBLY...in the middle. Before we can trust smaller LB's in this defense we'd need a ton of extra beef in the line though. I'm not talking about drafting one guy like Dareus, but four or five new linemen, at least one each of the next three years, and two extra this year when the pickings are deeper. This is one reason I'm making the point repeatedly that this defense will take three years to rebuild, so people need to chill out about what we think we HAVE to have NOW and consider what we SHOULD have if we're planning on being a contender in 2013, which means we should take whoever the best player available is in most cases where we're talking about the first two rounds. That needs to be our organizational philosophy the next three seasons, bulding, not trying to emerge all at once, because it's not going to happen like that. We have to many holes.

We have basically about 3 guys on defense who will probably be here in three years, and that's not including Woodyard, so 4 if we include him. Unless we want more over the hill FA and has beens, we need to draft 8 starters in the next 3 drafts on defense. BTW, Spencer Larson played well at LB as well when he was in there his rookie year. Remember when he started at MLB and won rookie of the week his first start? We need to give him another shot at the LB spot. I think those two and Mays are wild cards and at least one will emerge as a starter.

I wouldn't be surprised if it's Woodyard. As for DJ, they need to either leave him at Will or trade him. This guy's career has basically been ruined because of moving him all over the place. What was once a promising start as a rookie, has turned into nothing but another run of the mill career where the guy makes tackles but not many plays.

Good thread topic btw...

Beantown Bronco
03-09-2011, 06:31 AM
Depending on how the CBA negotiations flush out, a guy like Aubrayo Franklin of the 9ers might become a FA. He would be target #1 for me if they wanted to go with the mini-me group at DE and LB, which seems to be the way they might be going. Get Peterson with the #1 pick, package one of their existing 2nds along with Orton and/or a later pick to move back into the late first and grab Paea, who could learn under Franklin and possibly spell him or play alongside him when needed. We clearly need some real beef at DT.

cmhargrove
03-09-2011, 06:46 AM
I love what Woodyard brings to the team, and hope he is readying himself to compete to Fox's specifications. I kind of agree that we should use DJ at his best possible position, which is WILL. Let's not just mix the pieces around on the team again, let's use the best possible players at their natural positions (thereby creating mismatches).

DJ has earned his spot at WILL, Woodyard will have to find his place. Woodyard is a great player to have for depth and ST, but he will have to "take" the starting role from another player - that part is up to him.

Is this also the thread where we can ask for Spencer Larsen to get another shot at MLB? I never understood why we rewarded his "Rookie of the Week" performance by taking away his spot.

Oh well, this should be an interesting draft.

footstepsfrom#27
03-09-2011, 07:07 AM
Depending on how the CBA negotiations flush out, a guy like Aubrayo Franklin of the 9ers might become a FA. He would be target #1 for me if they wanted to go with the mini-me group at DE and LB, which seems to be the way they might be going. Get Peterson with the #1 pick, package one of their existing 2nds along with Orton and/or a later pick to move back into the late first and grab Paea, who could learn under Franklin and possibly spell him or play alongside him when needed. We clearly need some real beef at DT.
Agree on this...and beef is available, observe:

2011
1) #2-Peterson
2) #36 + #67= move up for one of; Paea/Taylor/Austin/Bailey, mid to late 1st rnd.
3) #46- draft whoever is left of Paea/Taylor/Austin/Bailey OR if all are gone, then take Kenrick Ellis (Hampton), DT/NT- 6'5", 346 or Jerrell Powe (Ole Miss), DT/NT- 6'2", 335 lbs

Following this, we come out with Peterson and two large and solid D-line guys...and I didn't even factor a possible Orton trade into this. We could actually add as many as four if we don't trade up. In other words, an entirely new D-line.

Smiling Assassin27
03-09-2011, 07:24 AM
Woodyard's too small to be an every down, productive LB. He reminds me of Ian Gold in that respect--tough, smart, a special teams ace, and able to make plays in spot duty but overall, not an every down LB in the NFL.

schaaf
03-09-2011, 07:35 AM
I think we'll see Woodyard starting at WLB and Williams at MLB, unless we are able to pick up a MLB in the free agency.

But I don't see a MLB that would be able to beat out DJ in this draft

Rugby7
03-09-2011, 09:02 AM
Yes he could...but not for anybody else.

misturanderson
03-09-2011, 09:44 AM
Is this also the thread where we can ask for Spencer Larsen to get another shot at MLB? I never understood why we rewarded his "Rookie of the Week" performance by taking away his spot.

Because Shanny needed to give Webster his spot back since he was playing sooooo well when he was starting. Just another example of Shanny outsmarting himself.

bronco militia
03-09-2011, 09:48 AM
sure he could start...I just don't think he could stay healthy for most of the season.

meangene
03-09-2011, 01:35 PM
I think we'll see Woodyard starting at WLB and Williams at MLB, unless we are able to pick up a MLB in the free agency.

But I don't see a MLB that would be able to beat out DJ in this draft

I think this is where we are heading. But, we would still need to find a SAM in that situation. Don't see anyone on our roster that fits there in a Fox defense. And, we better really beef up at DT to keep DJ free to run and chase.

Cmac821
03-09-2011, 02:17 PM
Didn't Woodyard play safety for us at some point also?

cutthemdown
03-09-2011, 02:55 PM
Neither DJ or Woodyard make a good SAM.

Drek
03-09-2011, 03:08 PM
Woodyard's too small to be an every down, productive LB. He reminds me of Ian Gold in that respect--tough, smart, a special teams ace, and able to make plays in spot duty but overall, not an every down LB in the NFL.

Ian Gold was a good starting WOLB until he tore his ACL. Even when we brought him back and moved DJ over to SOLB Gold was still a quality OLB for a few more years. Not as good as DJ was, sure, but still better than league average when initially brought back.

Woodyard seems like a more powerful player to me who does a better job finishing his tackles.

Woodyard at WOLB and DJ at MLB is the best path to get a quality trio of linebackers on the field for next year. It requires us to only fill SOLB in the draft or FA. Put a legit pair of DTs in front of them and get some CB youth in behind them, the LBs won't be the problem.

Swedish Extrovert
03-09-2011, 04:10 PM
SS in a 4-4 setup.

oubronco
03-09-2011, 04:28 PM
Ian Gold was a good starting WOLB until he tore his ACL. Even when we brought him back and moved DJ over to SOLB Gold was still a quality OLB for a few more years. Not as good as DJ was, sure, but still better than league average when initially brought back.

Woodyard seems like a more powerful player to me who does a better job finishing his tackles.

Woodyard at WOLB and DJ at MLB is the best path to get a quality trio of linebackers on the field for next year. It requires us to only fill SOLB in the draft or FA. Put a legit pair of DTs in front of them and get some CB youth in behind them, the LBs won't be the problem.

I wouldnt count out Mays

missingnumber7
03-09-2011, 06:43 PM
I wouldnt count out Mays

I can't believe people have completely forgotten about Joe. Everyone was so high on him after the Chefs game. He fits the 4-3 was a natural at Middle at North Dakota St. They played a Tampa 2 system similar to what Fox used in Carolina. I think Mays and Woodyard split time at Mike. If they don't move DJ he plays Sam and Haggan goes to Will. JMHO.

broncogary
03-09-2011, 07:04 PM
I can't believe people have completely forgotten about Joe. Everyone was so high on him after the Chefs game. He fits the 4-3 was a natural at Middle at North Dakota St. They played a Tampa 2 system similar to what Fox used in Carolina. I think Mays and Woodyard split time at Mike. If they don't move DJ he plays Sam and Haggan goes to Will. JMHO.

Yep, Mays is a very smart and instinctive player. I like having him on the field.

Popps
03-09-2011, 07:12 PM
They've already talked about DJ playing MLB in the 4-3, at this point who knows what will happen.

Where's the dude barfing GIF?


DJ is a joke in the middle. Beyond that, he's probably facing a suspension, no?

If we're stuck with him, I at least hope we move him to his natural position. He's a total disaster on the inside. Just useless.

Drek
03-09-2011, 07:32 PM
I wouldnt count out Mays

We got him from the Eagles for JJ Arrington of all people. They're a very well ran 4-3 defense that seems to pull new starters for it from out of thin air yet they gave up on him for Arrington.

SILB in a 3-4 would probably fit him well. In a 4-3 I just don't see him having the lateral mobility or range to hold up.

Broncos_OTM
03-09-2011, 07:42 PM
I think he maybe succesful at it as log as he has a guy that can stop the run and keep guys off of him in front of him say bowers.its pretty important taht the WLB be able to play in space. if we can do that and i do not advocate rafting bowers he could be succesful