Denver Broncos Countdown to Kickoff: Wesley Woodyard - 11 Days

Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

The Mile High Report staff each ranked their top 20 most important players on the Denver Broncos roster. We averaged the rankings and compiled them into a final list that best represented the overall choices. Next man up is Wesley Woodyard.

The Rankings

Overall rank (1-20)

Kyle Montgomery

Bronco Mike

Tim Lynch

Ian

Henson

Scotty

Payne

Topher Doll

Big Pete

Mr. East

Brain Shrout

Jon Heath

11th

10th

14th 12th 16th
12th
4th

17th

N/A
9th N/A

From The Horses' Mouth

Ian Henson

I had Woodyard as my 16th most important player on Denver's roster. One of the most tenured players on the Broncos roster, he can tell you what it was like back in the Mike Shanahan days, it was often made a point to say how many defensive coordinators Champ Bailey has existed through in Denver, well Woodyard has been there for a good amount of them as well. Last night was the first time he has ever played middle linebacker and he returned the Broncos request by leading the team in tackles, in limited time. The risk he takes in moving to middle linebacker is great, because he faces a situation similar to the one that he placed D.J. Williams in last season, Danny Trevathan steps up at weak side, Nate Irving steps on for Von Miller and Woodyard steps in for Irving. By the time Von Miller comes back, Trevathan may have made such a case for being the starter, that it is impossible to replace him with Woodyard.

That's Woodyard though, whether it was playing strong safety in the early Shanahan days, captaining the special teams or sitting behind Williams for years, he's willing to do whatever it takes for the team.

Big Pete aka "CJ Anderson and Steven Johnson are HOFers"

I had Woodyard as the 17th most important player, and his play last night definitely fortified his position. Woodyard is a playmaker, plain and simple. While he might be undersized for a linebacker, he is a high motor guy who plays each down like it's his last. Those are the guys I want on my team. I want the guys like Rod Smith and Wesley Woodyard, you know, guys who fight for their spot on the roster each and every day, regardless of their status as a starter or not! I've liked Woody ever since his rookie year, and I've been clamoring for him to start (against other's saying I'm crazy) for years and years now. One thing is for sure, and that's that Woodyard is a great player, and that he's going to be with us for a long long time. I look forward to his stellar play for years to come. He's a playmaker. Hopefully he wont be a Pro-Bowl snub again like he was last year!

Kyle Montgomery

Wesley Woodyard has put an exclamation point on his importance to this team just in the last week. Moving from weakside linebacker to middle linebacker isn't an easy transition this late into the offseason, but he looked the part Saturday night. His 2012 season was incredibly underrated, and perhaps at Mike he'll be given the chance to truly shine in the national spotlight.

Bronco Mike

Wesley Woodyard in a contract year is looking to extend the impact of athleticism to the MIKE backer spot in the Denver Broncos front 7.  Woodyard is quickly becoming one of my favorite Broncos and it's because he's a worker.  Woodyard has quietly bided his time, waiting for his opportunity to shine, and he sure got it last year.  After Von Miller, nobody affected the game in a positive way at the LB position like he did becoming only the 3rd guy since 1980 to record more than 100 tackles, 5 sacks, and 3 INT's in a single season.  I am thrilled to see him get a shot at the MIKE because this is a win for both he and the Broncos.  If he can become the man in the middle, the Broncos do not have to address that position next year.  It also allows Danny Trevathan an opportunity to become the starter. Pay the man, Broncos!

Did I mention he also has a sense of humor? NOM HO RENGUE QUO AAAGH AAAAAAGH!!!!


Notable Broncos to wear #11

Luke Prestridge 1979-1983

Steve Beuerlein 2001-2003

Current Broncos wearing #11

Trindon Holliday

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