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Denver Broncos Waive Former First Round Pick Jarvis Moss, Sign OLB David Veikune

The Denver Broncos have waived 2007 first round pick and reserve outside linebacker Jarvis Moss, Josh McDaniels announced on Wednesday.

Moss was the 17th overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, and while he showed flashes of his ability, they were few and far in between. Moss was playing special teams with the Broncos.

It has been a steep fall for Moss, whose career has been riddled with injuries. After an injury sidelined top pass rusher Elvis Dumervil for the entire 2010 season, Moss was penciled in as the starter at outside linebacker. After a solid pre-season, it was expected that Moss would finally show some signs of why the Broncos selected him in the first round.

He did not.

Moss combined a very rare 6'7" 260 pound frame with elite athleticism, but he was never able to translate that to the football field. He contemplated retirement in 2009 before returning to the team, and Josh McDaniels has kept him around longer than he did even some of his own high draft picks.

It's unfortunate that it had to end this way with Moss, who joins Tim Crowder as two of Denver's 2007 draft picks who didn't end up making a significant impact for the team.

The former Florida standout finished his Broncos career with 29 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and a forced fumble.

Josh McDaniels had this to say on Moss:

"He’s been a great kid for us, done everything we asked him to do. It just hasn’t been a perfect fit," McDaniels said. "Hopefully he can find a place that will be a better fit and suits what can do."

To replace Moss' spot on the roster, the Broncos signed former Cleveland Browns pass rush project David Veikune, a 2nd round pick in 2009. 

A 6'3" 260 pound hybrid player from Hawaii, Veikune joins the Broncos having appeared in only ten games for the Browns before being released.

Veikune was a guy I really liked coming out of college.  He had a breakout season in 2008 with the warriors where he tortured opposing quarterbacks. 

In bigger news, this finally gives the Broncos a much needed Samoan/Tongan player, and we all know what they do.

**UPDATE** Veikune is TONGAN, not Samoan, and apparently the two races of people do not take fondly to being confused for one another. Veikune is of Tongan descent.

In all seriousness, Veikune is an interesting prospect, and it would be nice to see him tap into the potential he has as a pass rusher for the Broncos. This team has struggled all year to generate a pass rush in the absence of Dumervil, so any and every source of help is welcome.

More info on Veikune from NFL Draft Scout:

Despite giving up as much as 80 pounds to opposing offensive tackles, Veikune, with his relentless motor, collected 16 sacks and 25 tackles behind the line of scrimmage during his final two seasons with the Warriors.

Veikune is part of a military family, and has lived everywhere from Anchorage, Alaska, to Winslow, Ariz., to Las Cruces, N.M., and Hawaii. Several members of his family (mostly uncles) are nobles from the Tongan Islands.

A cousin, Tony Fulilangi, was the fourth-ranked light heavyweight boxer in the world at one point. After fighting George Foreman, he went on to train Paea Wolfaram, who won a silver medal for the Tongan Islands at the 1996 Olympics Games in Atlanta. A cousin, Mapa Malupo, was a running back at College of the Canyons in California.

Veikune's fierce warrior nature was evident even during his prep football career. At Campbell High School, he was rated one of the top defensive tackles in the country by He added first-team All-State and All-Hawaii Red West honors from the Honolulu Star Bulletin and Honolulu Advertiser after his senior year, where he competed as a defensive end.

During his senior and junior years, Veikune was named to the Larry Prince All-Katoosh Team, which is a list of the state's "11 hardest hitters." He was also an All-State honorable mention selection his junior season. That year, he made 85 tackles (20 solo), five sacks and 12 stops for loss, as he also forced five fumbles, deflected eight passes, picked off another, blocked three kicks and registered 45 pressures.

As a senior, Veikune posted 92 tackles (21 solo), 26 stops for losses and 16.5 sacks. He recovered three fumbles, had 56 pressures, deflected three passes and blocked three blocked kicks. He also competed as a tight end.

Veikune also lettered in track (throws) at Campbell High, participating in both the discus and shot put, as well as also playing for the school's baseball team. As a freshman and sophomore, he lettered in football at Onate High School in Las Cruces.

In 2004, Veikune enrolled as a 230-pound defensive end at the University of Colorado, spending the season on the scout team. He never played for the Buffaloes, transferring to Fresno City College in 2005, where he earned All-Northern California Conference honor-able mention.

Veikune was again on the move in 2006, enrolling at the University of Hawaii. He spent the 2006 campaign playing behind Melila Purcell at left defensive end. The 235-pounder had a pair of sacks to go with 11 tackles (nine solos), as he also returned two kickoffs for 25 yards.

As a junior, he started just one of 13 games, but shared left end duties with Amari Purcell. He tallied 34 tackles (22 solo), as he led the team with seven sacks and finished third on the squad with 8.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, including one that resulted in a safety.

Veikune was a second-team All-Western Athletic Conference choice as a senior. The Lombardi Award Watch List member ranked third on the team with 73 tackles (47 solo). He again paced the Warriors with nine sacks, the fourth-best total in the league. He also led Hawaii and ranked fifth in the WAC with 16.5 stops for losses. He chipped in eleven pressures while breaking up three passes and causing four fumbles.


Scouting Report

Positives: High-motor power defensive end. Hustles down the line and chases downfield. Sheds blocks using strong, violent hands when he's fresh. Uses his stout frame to split double-teams and move to the ball while engaged. Has the explosiveness to get the edge by dropping his shoulder or using an over-arm move. Stands up on some plays and is able to contain bootlegs or cover backs or receivers in the flat on zone blitzes.

Negatives: Not likely to out-quick NFL tackles to get an immediate pass rush off the edge. A bit shorter than scouts prefer, although he can get his hands up to deflect passes. Will get engulfed by larger tackles as he wears down. Has an inside spin move, but needs to be more consistent maintaining his balance to finish. Lacks elite athleticism.

Compares To: TEDY BRUSCHI, New England -- Coming out of Arizona, Bruschi was the same type of player that Veikune is in that he made up for a lack of blazing speed with a relentless motor. With his ability to explode into bigger offensive linemen and make plays vs. action in front of him, Veikune could be a "poor man's" Bruschi in a 3-4 alignment. What better place for him to hone his skills than learning from the master himself in New England?

Character: Veikune comes from a military family, so adhering to structure will never be a problem. He is well liked by his teammates and the coaching staff. He is well-mannered, getting good family support and has no known off-field issues. He is even-tempered off the field and accountable for his actions on it. He has good leadership skills and will gladly mentor the younger players. He is a good role model for the Hawaii program. GRADE: 6.3

For more (much more) on Veikune, visit this link from NFL Draft Scout, undoubtedly the most in-depth prospect rating site on the internet.