Denver's MLB and SSLB Problem

Raise your hand if you miss Nate Webster and Jamie Winborn...

I didn’t think so!

One area that I think deserves a lot of attention in the off season is the importance of Denver finding a starting caliber MLB and SSLB. 

The only aspect of Denver's transformation that I am less than enthusiastic about is the apparent change from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense.  I enjoy watching the 3-4 more than the 4-3.  I also believe (I know, contrary to many people) that our personnel is better suited for a 3-4 than a 4-3.  I also think that Denver is positioned in the draft to fill many of its 3-4 needs this year.  Finally, I think the success of the Steelers, Packers, Ravens , Jets and Chargers 3-4 defenses speaks for itself.  At the same time, I have confidence in Fox, Elway and Xanders.  If we are going to change back to a 4-3, I want the Giants defense that beat the Patriots in SB in 2008!  But I think we have a long way to go to build that kind of defense, especially at the MLB and SSLB positions.

At WLB I think that we are set with DJ Williams as the starter and Woodyard as the backup. 

Other than Haggan, I don’t think we have a SSLB candidate.  DJ would be an excellent SSLB but he hates it and said a few years ago that he would refuse to play SSLB ever again.  He probably isn’t anything more than a second stringer, I don’t think that there is anyone behind him.   

At MLB we have Haggan, Mays and Larsen.  I thought that Larsen showed real potential as an MLB, but I am not a scout and the team didn’t hesitate to move him from LB to FB this year.  He has also had injury issues.  In the end, I suspect that none of these players are better than second string LB talent.

I would argue that adding a starting caliber SSLB and MLB in the draft is critical—to the point that I wouldn’t mind seeing us spend both of our second round picks on LBs.  Although, I would prefer to use one second and one third.  Ideally, we need a three down MLB who can cover (one weakness of Al Wilson).   The SSLB needs to be able to hold up in the run game, blitz and cover the likes of Dallas Clark and the league’s elite TEs. 

I am not a draftnik but Sturdivant would seem to be the best MLB candidate.  I am not really sure at SSLB, perhaps Mason Foster, Greg Jones or Martez Wilson?  Some combination of these four?  Other?

I enjoyed Sayre's 4-3 LB FA review.  Other than Ruud I am not really excited about the FAs out there, and Ruud seems to have the same problem in coverage that Al Wilson had.    

I am interested in hearing everyone’s thoughts on how to fill our critical MLB and SSLB need.  SSLB in particular would seem to be a difficult and essential hole to fill in this draft.      

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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