2016 NFL Draft Denver Broncos Scheme related positional review: OLB


2016 NFL Draft OLB class evaluation:

Top end prospects are all boom or bust that I would not touch. I don’t think that this year OLB class is very good or talented. Some gems here and there but nothing to be really excited about at all.

What the Broncos look for:

Quickness, physicality, pass rushing skills, sure tackler and speed.

Type of player the Broncos look for:

Situational pass rusher with developmental skills in pass coverage.

Best prospects related to team scheme and required skills

  1. Kamalei Correa (Boise State, Jr, 6’3’’, 245 lbs): Best prospect related to scheme and skills required.
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
2nd 1st – 2nd

General Overview: quick and fast, has some explosion in his initial steps. Plays with urgency and looks to have good awareness. Maybe lacks elite athleticism but looks to be a full effort player. Looks to have good functional strength and to be smooth enough in his pass rush to be a solid three downs player in the NFL once he will get use to the speed of the Pros. DE in the 4-3 alignment, OLB or even DE on passing downs in the 3-4 scheme. At the moment underrated, will soon raise his draft status because of the stress to find pass rusher in the NFL.

My Broncos Evaluation: I do like what I see in his videos. Off course he played in the Mountain West and he faced lesser competition than SEC prospects, but I like his first steps and his attitude, always tuned in and aware. He might soar up to 1st round discussion for some team, but I personally think that Denver should start considering if able to trade down from the 31st into the beginning of the 2nd round. He will have to develop his coverage skills and maybe he’s not the same potential than other players. For these reason I think that 2nd round is his value for the Broncos.

  1. Montese Overton (East Carolina, rSr, 6’2’’, 221 lbs): Second best prospect related to scheme and skills required.
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
7th 5th – 6th

General Overview: looks to be a very good speed rusher at collegiate level. He has also some good instincts and when anchor well could really set the corner in run defense from the 3-4 OLB position. NO evidence of his pass coverage.

My Broncos Evaluation: underrated, very underrated. He’s a football player that has great speed coming from the edge. Also does a fine job defending the run. He’s still raw and has potential. He could come in and be used in rotation as situational pass rusher. I think the Broncos could have an eye on him and, depending on how the Board will go, targeting him starting from the end of the 5th round.

  1. Kyler Fackrell (Utah State, rSr, 6’5”, 244 lbs):
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
2nd 3rd

General Overview: lacks elite athleticism but plays very well his assignment. Always looks to be on top of what he’s doing and what’s going on in the play. He’s very disruptive both against the run and the pass. He’s rarely on the ground, looks to have a very solid functional strength. He may be a better football player than a workout warrior, if I’m right on this he might slide a bit on draft day because of “combine superstars” but some smart team will thank for this.

My Broncos Evaluation: the Broncos might have to trade up at the beginning of the 3rd round if they want him. He’s already a solid football player that could be developed in a good 3-4 OLB in the NFL. He might not have the greatest potential but he’s already more polished than lots of other prospects and I expect him to be able to play some as a rookie. What he looks to lack is elite explosion to the ball; this is the main reason why I would get him with a 3rd rounder and not before. Pass rusher are, now that the Broncos won the Super Bowl, in great demand, I wonder how is that they weren’t one week ago too. He’s a really good one and one of the most solid prospects for 3-4 outside rusher in this draft.

  1. Jason Fanaika (Utah, Sr, 6’2”, 270 lbs):
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
3rd – 4th 3rd  – 4th

General Overview: interesting player that has always the motor running and looks more powerful than what shows on blocks but is also more quick than expected. He will need time to adapt to the NFL speed and Olinemen power, but has some tools to start with. My opinion is that he would fare much better as 3-4 OLB than 4-3 DE.

My Broncos Evaluation: this prospect is actually, at this point, a fair sleeper at 3-4 pass rusher OLB. He has quickness and also speed. Add to that a fair amount of lower body power and strength for an OLB and he suddenly become seriously interesting.

  1. Dadi Lhomme Nicolas (Virginia Tech, rSr, 6’3”, 235 lbs):
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
5th – 6th 6th

General Overview: super raw, energetic, quick and nasty defensive player. A bit small, right now to be used as DE in the 3-4 scheme and super raw as 3-4 OLB. Will have to be developed but shows quickness and aggressiveness with his first steps both against the run and in the pass rush. Has problems when the Olineman is able to put hands on his body, his lower body is not powerful enough to be able to shed the block and has not balance enough to be slippery. In both case developing functional strength could be the key to unravel all his potential.

My Broncos Evaluation: I took a deep look at this prospect because I know that the Broncos took an interview with him at the EW Shrine week. He needs development and I’m not sure he could make the team as a rookie, maybe practice squad for a year to develop core strength and then he might find a fit in the Broncos defensive scheme as rush OLB or DE if he’ll also be able to get better leverage in the run plays. I would be, at the moment, more comfortable spending a 6th rounder on a two years project but may be that pass rusher will be in high demand and because of that my doubt with a 5th rounder. But I see what the Broncos see in him and agree.

  1. Stephen Weatherly  (Vanderbilt, Jr, 6’4”, 267 lbs):
Projected Round My Broncos Big board
6th – 7th 6th – 7th

General Overview: interesting prospect with great size, great power and athletic skills for his size. Has some good movements and power. He’s not the flashiest player in this DE/OLB class but has interesting blend of size, power and athletic abilities.

My Broncos Evaluation: I think he could be an interesting addition because has flashes of great thinks and with maybe a better functional strength he could become even more fluid and powerful, becoming then a duel threat: OLB and inside pass rusher.

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