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Old 04-16-2011, 08:43 PM   #1
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Default Braxton Kelley...MLB?

As the silly season of mock drafts and GM-speak ratchets up to full gear, it's easy to lose sight of the second and third columns of the depth charts. There's been plenty of chatter about the Broncos potentially drafting Von Miller out of Texas A&M to upgrade their linebacker corps. But for today, let's hop off the rumor/speculation carousel and focus on what Denver actually has in terms of young linebacking talent: Braxton Kelley.

Kelley was introduced to the Broncos as an undersized 6’0”, 226 lb. college free agent in 2009, a player many of us had hoped would turn out to be another Wesley Woodyard. He spent his rookie season on the practice squad and under strength and conditioning coach Rich Tuten’s constant tutelage (along with Tuten’s assistants, Greg Saporta and Justin Lovett). Kelley suffered an injury in June of 2010 and was placed on IR, but he's stayed with his training while recovering from his injury and has emerged from the experience as a 242-lb middle linebacker on a team that is in dire need of faster linebackers and talented depth. Kelley’s 40 time leading up to the 2009 Draft was 4.74, with a peak time of 4.65 - he was hardly a burner, but his speed was more than functional since he has an explosive first step and takes great angles to the ball. He was in a classic situation: a player who played much faster on the field than he timed in a straight line 40.

Aside from his late increase in weight, there was another reason for Denver to retain him: his background. During his stint at Kentucky, he was a four-year starter who totaled 287 tackles (175 solo), 6.5 sacks (30 yds), four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and six pass breakups in 46 career games (42 starts) as well as earning Kentucky’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award after registering a team and career-high 98 tackles (49 solo), four sacks (21 yds), two pass breakups and two forced fumbles as a 13-game starter his senior year. As Denver changes its approach to the linebacking corps, it’s good to see him back, at a better weight for his frame and ready for the 2011 season.


http://www.itsalloverfatman.com/bron...braxton-kelley
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:46 PM   #2
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I just read the article and was impressed. He may be someone to look for this pre-season if we have one.
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:50 PM   #3
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Wanted to add this paragraph:



Considering that Denver got him as a CFA (like Woodyard), they may now have gotten a second bargain out of Kentucky. Kelley had started 29 games at middle linebacker before moving over to weakside linebacker during his senior year. The move was made with his upcoming NFL career in mind: few 220-pound middle linebackers (as he was then) make the pros. Braxton struggled with the transition during the spring, but was comfortable and highly effective there over his senior season. His size was a major concern for many NFL teams, just as it had been for Wesley Woodyard.
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:58 PM   #4
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interesting, and considering we really lack options at the LB spots he would be worth a look.

what i am curious about is whether Woodyard can play SAM. he would be a very light in NFL terms SAM, but his instincts and ability are there
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:23 PM   #5
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ST potential.

No more.
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:26 PM   #6
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Yea ok..... But can we bring in guys LBs that can make ints too. I thought I saw a stat a couple of years ago that showed denver with the lowest total of ints by a LB core for a 5 or 6 year stretch. Fox zone defenses need guys that that can make plays on the ball, no?
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:45 PM   #7
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ian Gold?
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sodak View Post
ian Gold?
Ian Gold: Height: 6-0 Weight: 223 Age: 32

Braxton Kelley: Height 6-0 Weight 242 Age: 24

Nowhere near the same.
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Old 04-16-2011, 10:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheReverend View Post
ST potential.

No more.
Maybe, maybe not. We got a kid with a high motor who was a natural MLB in college but wasn't big enough to do it in the pros and lacked the pro coaching. He has bulked up and now we have a "defensive" HC that might be able to bring him along.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broncos4Life View Post
Yea ok..... But can we bring in guys LBs that can make ints too. I thought I saw a stat a couple of years ago that showed denver with the lowest total of ints by a LB core for a 5 or 6 year stretch. Fox zone defenses need guys that that can make plays on the ball, no?
i seem to remember, that prior to an INT by i think DJ we had gone something like 3 seasons without an INT by a LB
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