My favourite non-Bronco is the amazingly talented and undoubtedly the best linebacker in football, Seattle Seahawks’ middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. At 6 foot and 245 pounds he’s undersized compared to college players in his position, but if you ever wanted to start a new franchise, Wagner would always be my choice.
With a draft full of stars in the making, as well as diamonds in the rough, I’ll go through players I feel will improve the Broncos along with sleepers to keep an eye on.
If I was John Elway and looking at the Broncos roster, I’d circle and double underline inside linebacker as my top priority in the draft. There is a clear 3 player 1st round talent tip before the drop off and I see the Broncos pulling the trigger with pick 5.
PROSPECT 1 – Tremaine Edmunds Virginia Tech LB
Tremaine Edmunds is an absolute stud in my opinion. Fast, reactive and above all athletic. He has covered running backs, tight ends and slot receivers in his college career and played all 3 positions along the linebacking core. His massive frame of 6 foot 5 and 250 pounds is carried with ease as an edge rusher with destructive spin moves and rangy tackles. Edmunds is let down by his instincts on occasion with over pursuit or lapse in judgement in man coverage. He may require more muscle in both upper and lower muscle groups. He tends to bite on play-action and rely too much on athletic talent to get himself out of trouble.
NFL comparison – Anthony Barr
Draft – Top – 10 talent
PROSPECT 2 – Roquan Smith – Georgia LB
Roquan Smith is an animal. He covers every blade of grass, hits like a Mack truck and looks a born leader. He will cover any player stride for stride and he looks like he loves getting dirty in the trenches on run support. Slightly undersized in today’s NFL at 6 foot 1 and 230 pounds, the former wideout has fantastic focus, instincts and discipline. Smith also has the speed and smarts to matchup in zone coverage. Whilst being undersized, his speed allows him to recover from poor positioning or from getting engulfed by taller blockers allowing him to still make the play.
NFL Comparison – Deion Jones, Jonathan Vilma
Draft – Top – 10 talent
PROSPECT 3 – Rashaan Evans – Alabama LB
Evans is a very interesting player. He has the prototypical size, strength and range in his 6 foot 3 236 pounds frame. Can easily cover sideline to sideline and is an effective and willing blitzer. Add to his resume elite speed and agility and no lineman is able to stop him on shifty delayed blitzes or moving down the line covering shifty backs. Played behind and alongside Reuben Foster for 3 years, so he’s been taught a lot of good traits to possess. Evans is however injury prone. Evans had a niggling groin injury most of last season that plagued his productivity. Evans flows with the D line and picks off scraps but that makes him susceptible to a cut back or a roll out play action pass.
NFL Comparison – Lawrence Timmons
All are 1st round picks.