Now through the end of August, we will continue our 90-in-90 player series. If you missed the previous player breakdowns, you can check them out here.
Name: Bradley Roby
Height: 5'11" Weight: 194
Age: 24 Experience: 3
College: Ohio State
Two years ago, the Denver Broncos gave birth to the No Fly Zone, the most feared secondary unit in the NFL.
The team had recently extended undrafted free agent Chris Harris Jr. to a five-year contract worth $42.5 million dollars and acquired highly-touted free agent cornerback Aqib Talib with a lucrative six-year deal totaling $57 million dollars. With those moves, the Broncos had their shutdown corners for seasons to come. Who would have ever thought that the NFL's best cornerback tandem would have hailed from the University of Kansas? Nobody. The team also added to their defensive backfield and signed T.J. Ward to man down their strong safety position.
Yet, the Broncos weren't done addressing the back-end of their defense and had another rising star waiting in the wings when they drafted Bradley Roby in the first-round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Character and off the field concerns dropped Roby to the bottom portion of first-round in the draft, but according to the Broncos he was one of the most physically gifted corners in the entire draft and were thrilled when he was on board when they made their first selection.
Roby left Ohio State early, a move that some draft analysts and college football guru's questioned. He had an up and down junior campaign, highlighted with a terrible performance against Wisconsin and current Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jared Abbrederis. Many believed he was best suited to go back to school and refine his technique and improve his mental understanding of the game. Roby didn't and spread his wings and began to fly and made an immediate impact for the Broncos in his first season in the NFL.
He continued to improve into his second year and made a handful of game changing plays and cemented himself as one of the top young corners in the NFL. The future is bright for Roby, who enters his third season with the club and may be in for an expanded role in 2016 if Talib does receive discipline from the NFL in regard to his offseason incident.
The Good: Good size and length for the position. Explosive athlete with top-tier speed and the extra gear required to stay with receivers deep. Possess exceptional agility, fluid hips and outstanding balance. Proficient in man, off-man and zone coverage. Aggressive and willing tackler in run support. Also has versatility and was and has been an impact special teams performer for the Broncos.
The Bad: Still learning the nuances of the position in regard to technique and the mental aspect of the game. Can sometimes get outmatched when going up against larger, more physical receivers. Alas, he is undoubtedly on his way to becoming an elite player in the NFL.
Quotable: "I think I’m a way better player than I was my rookie year. I am way better technique-wise, understand the game better and am more confident. I look forward to this year to see how I develop and to show the work that I’ve been putting in."
Status: It is very hard to ignore the immense amount of progress Roby has made since entering the NFL. Since day one, he has dedicated himself to perfecting his craft and approached his career with the diligence and integrity necessary to become the best player possible. If Roby continues his ascent, the Broncos will have no choice but to open up their checkbook and sign him to a big time contract before his rookie deal expires. Expect Roby to play an important role in the teams' overall success in 2016 and to finally make his name known as one of the best at his position in the entire league.