clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Comparing the Broncos outside linebacker position group

Here’s how the Denver Broncos outside linebackers compared to each other coming out of college.

NFL: Denver Broncos-Minicamp Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Apparently the position designations on the Denver Broncos are somewhat fluid between LB, OLB and DE. When I took my roster “snapshot” back in May, Deon Hollins was listed as an OLB. He is currently listed as “LB”. Kasim Edebali was listed as a DE. He is currently listed as an OLB. Since Edebali already showed up with the DE’s and Hollins has not shown up yet (in my position group reviews) Hollins will be with this group while Edebali will not. We have 6 OLBs currently on the roster (counting Edebali) and we kept 5 on the 53-man roster last season.

Here are their numbers - note that only three of these guys got combine invites - Von Miller, Shane Ray and Ken Ekanem. The data on the others is from their pro-days.

NAME POS. HT. WT. Arm Hand 40 Bench Vert Broad 3-cone 20-yd ss CoD Quix Explosion #
Miller, Von OLB 6/3 250 33.5 9.3 4.53 21 37.0 126 6.70 4.06 10.76 130.6 68.5
Barrett, Shaquil OLB 6/2 250 32.3 9.3 4.73 16 29.0 113 6.90 4.42 11.32 106.6 54.4
Ekanem, Ken OLB 6/3 260 32.0 10.5 4.88 20 30.5 115 7.38 4.58 11.96 89.0 60.1
Dora, Vontarrius OLB 6/4 256 33.5 10.3 5.11 19 32.0 112 7.53 4.64 12.17 81.7 60.3
Ray, Shane OLB 6/3 245 33.1 9.0 4.68 21 33.0 120 7.60 4.58 12.18 77.9 64.0
Hollins, Deon OLB 6/1 230 4.63 14 29.5 117 7.38 4.65 12.03 76.9 53.3

What does this data tell us?

Von Miller is a freakish athlete. In other news, water is wet; the sun is a star and Josh McDaniels is still a [insert your favorite insult here]. Von is supremely quick for a man of his size. In fact only two players on the team have better CoD scores than him - Justin Simmons (10.43) and Emmanuel Sanders (10.70). Von weighs 50-70 lbs more than those two guys.

Shaquil Barrett has only one elite measurable, his quickness. What he lacks in bench, vertical and broad jump, he makes up for with instincts. It will be interesting to see if Shaw gets more playing time this year. His % of defensive snaps actually went down year over year from 45% in 2015 to 37% in 2016. Shaq will be a restricted free agent after this season.

Vontarrius Dora and Ken Ekanem are fairly similar in their measurables. Both players are relatively NOT quick for their size.

Deon Hollins is a player without a position. He was listed as an OLB because he was a pass- rush specialist for UCLA during his one good season (2014 - his sophomore year). He is now listed simply as a LB. FWIW Kevin Snyder, who was originally listed as “LB” is not listed as “ILB”. Hollins lack of measurables explains why he lost his starting spot on the Bruin defense his junior year and played sparingly as a senior.

Shane Ray did not perform well at the combine with the exception of his 40 yard dash time and his vertical. In everything else he was below average, if you compare him to defensive ends. The problem is that if you compare him to OLB’s, his 40 are vertical are not very good and neither are the rest of his combine numbers. I’m still not convinced he is going to be an above average full time starter at OLB with DeMarcus Ware retired, but I am hoping that my skepticism is simply being fueled by his combine numbers and somewhat limited production.