The OLB position is one of the more contentious issues for Denver Broncos fans as they are either all in with D.J. Williams or they hope to see Wesley Woodyard get his crack it the starting job.
#52 / Linebacker / Denver Broncos
Jul 21, 1986
Wesley Woodyard is a classic over achiever. He works hard and gets every bit of talent and athletic ability out of himself on every play. You have to love that kind of effort and work ethic. The question is, does all of that overcome a sometimes underachieving starter ahead of you on the roster?
|2011 - Wesley Woodyard||16||0||0||0||0||0||67||30||97|
Wesley Woodyard in 2011 is a tale of two seasons really. When he stepped into the lineup when DJ Williams was injured early in the season, he was a force on the defense, getting nearly half his tackle total for the season in the years first five games. Then DJ Williams got his job back and Woodyard's numbers declined to a more respectable 5-6 tackles a game.
He had his moments though. Moments that give us fans a hard choice to make in the poll below. Moments like the game saving fumble he forces against the Chicago Bears He made the most of what few opportunities he was given after moving back down the depth chart. Then something strange happened. He become irrelevant down the stretch.
What does one make of his one tackle and one assist in the seasons final three games - one regular season and two playoff games? To resign Woodyard, the Broncos would likely need to pay him starter salary. Is Woodyard worth $3.5+ million a year?
Pros: A very athletic linebacker. Has excellent speed and instincts. A good run stopper. Can also make some plays in pursuit. Wraps well. Is very smart and coachable. Underrated linebacker with surprising tools.
Cons: A little small for the position. Isn't a particularly strong hitter (though he gets his fair share of tackles). Sometimes seems lost in coverage and gets caught out of position.
WHAT TO DO?
I like Woodyard. I could even live with him on the starting lineup. The question really comes down to whether the Broncos front office keeps DJ Williams or deals him for a draft pick. If the plan is to trade Williams, I think Woodyard gets resigned at starter money. If the plan is to keep Williams, Woodyard is likely heading to greener pastures. He has played well enough over his career to look for a team willing to give him a shot at a starting job.