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Old 03-18-2009, 01:17 PM   #1
montrose
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Default What do you think of our LBers heading into the draft?

Obviously linebacker has been a position linked to the Broncos early and often in mock drafts. With the switch to a 3-4, what do you guys think about the current state of our linebackers? Here's my brief take:

* Andra Davis, ILB - Davis is a natural ILB and has plenty of experience in the 3-4 that is great. He's a smart player who'll generally be in the correct position which immediately makes him an upgrade over Nate Webster in my book. Also, he has some leadership qualities. He was a captain for the Browns and in an interview with Sirius, Willie McGinest spoke glowingly of his leadership abilities. With that, I believe that Leon Williams was beginning to replace him in defensive packages and I doubt he's a long-term answer. I think he's a stop-gap guy who can also contribute on special teams.
* DJ Williams, ILB - Ah the great enigma. I'm hopeful that he'll excel in Mike Nolan's scheme. I think the Broncos are too seeing McDaniels publicly praised him and the team restructured his deal in a manner that leads one to believe they want him around. We all know he's talented, but it'll be interesting to see how he fits with better coaching from Nolan and Don Martindale.
* Boss Bailey, OLB - First things first, he can't stay healthy. We all know it, so it's pointless to actually count on him for anything. With that, in the short times he is healthy Boss has some talent and has a lot of qualities Nolan will like. He's a decent tackler, pretty solid in coverage and I think an underrated blitzer. I'm interested to see how he'd do in a reserve role.
* Wesley Woodyard, OLB/ILB - No clue where he fits in because he is not a natural fit in a 3-4 scheme. While he's raw, he demonstrated a lot of talent last year and should be a great special teamer again this season. I suppose he best slots in as a reserve, but if he can bulk up maybe Nolan finds a role for him.
* Spencer Larsen, ILB - I really like him, especially in a 3-4. I think if given a fair shake he could push Davis for time as a 2-down ILB. Regardless, he'll be a quality reserve and a beast on special teams. I'm also glad that he'll be practicing as a LB every day opposed to that FB nonsense.
* Mario Haggan, ILB - I thought Haggan played better than Webster in the time he got late last season. I'm not quite sure how he'll fit into a 3-4 but he has a reputation as a good special teams guy. I think he'll have a tough time making the roster but it's interesting they've kept him around this long.
* Louis Green, OLB - He's stayed with the Broncos through the years because he was an okay special teams guy and could play multiple positions on defense. I think he'll get a look but in all honesty, I'd be disappointed if we can't upgrade here with a youngster.
* Jarvis Moss, OLB - First off, just for the sake of this post, forget that he was ever a 1st round bust under Mike Shanahan. Okay, now looking objectively, Jarvis is an athletic guy who I think could play well as a Joker. The Joker isn't one who is your best pass rusher, but versatile enough to be moved around and create opportunities for others. I'm actually intrigued for Jarvis to get a look there. If he doesn't look the part, I'd expect him to be gone.
* Elvis Dumervil, OLB - The great X-factor. From what I've seen of Doom, I just don't think he's a good fit as an OLB. I'm sure they'll give him a try there during camp but because he was so poorly used the last two years by being run-against on 1st and 2nd downs, I'm hopeful the Broncos will realize the best way to use him is exclusively on 3rd downs as a hand-in-the-ground pass rusher. And in case you were wondering, Nolan almost exclusively used a 4-man line in passing situations with the 49ers.

Obviously the next step is the draft. They're are plenty of OLB prospects like Brian Orakpo, Everette Brown, Aaron Maybin, Larry English and Clay Matthews that could go high. In addition, Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing are possible ILB prospects (Cushing could go inside or out I believe). I'm sure we'll address LB in the draft, but does it need to take top priority? If a rookie-starter isn't landed in the draft, would you feel comfortable with the corps as it is now?

Last edited by montrose; 03-18-2009 at 01:21 PM..
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:25 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by montrose View Post
* Elvis Dumervil, OLB - The great X-factor. From what I've seen of Doom, I just don't think he's a good fit as an OLB. I'm sure they'll give him a try there during camp but because he was so poorly used the last two years by being run-against on 1st and 2nd downs, I'm hopeful the Broncos will realize the best way to use him is exclusively on 3rd downs as a hand-in-the-ground pass rusher. And in case you were wondering, Nolan almost exclusively used a 4-man line in passing situations with the 49ers.
I am hoping he is used this way too. Nickle defenses will probably be on the field quite a bit and a well rested Doom only worrying about rushing the passer is probably the most effective way to use him.
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:25 PM   #3
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DEN needs
CUSHING and CMATHEWS/CBARWIN for the outside spots and let DAVIS, DJ and LARSEN play the inside spots.
There. problem solved. I guess keep DOOM/WOODYARD and see what they can do, the rest..........


well, BYE

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Old 03-18-2009, 01:27 PM   #4
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Woodyard,Larsen,Davis,Williams
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:27 PM   #5
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I think the Broncos have good enough talent in the ILB spots currently on the roster, but the OLB I'm not sold they really have one guy there who will thrive in a 3-4. I think they need a pass rushing stud type at OLB that teams need to worry about. Without that, in a 3-4, they especially would have to give many different looks to try to confuse the OL on who is coming. You do that anyway in a 3-4, but even more so without at least one guy that can get pressure on the QB consistently.

It would be great if guys like Dumervil, Moss, and Crowder could fill such roles, but that's a big question mark.
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:58 PM   #6
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I am hoping he is used this way too. Nickle defenses will probably be on the field quite a bit and a well rested Doom only worrying about rushing the passer is probably the most effective way to use him.
i agree that would be the best way to use him, but there is still a part of me thinking if coached right and given a real shot that he could become a beast OLB for us
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Old 03-18-2009, 02:42 PM   #7
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I would really like a SLB who can help agains the run and cover the TE. I am not sold on Boss Bailey playing that position all year and I am not sure if Woodyard is solid enough in coverage, he is definitely solid against the run so he might fit.
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Old 03-18-2009, 02:44 PM   #8
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I would really like a SLB who can help agains the run and cover the TE. I am not sold on Boss Bailey playing that position all year and I am not sure if Woodyard is solid enough in coverage, he is definitely solid against the run so he might fit.
CUSHING. Can play SAM or ILB. And hes a field general.
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