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Bradley Roby might fill Aqib Talib’s spot in 2018

Bradley Roby might be called upon to fill the role currently occupied by Aqib Talib in 2018.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Miami Dolphins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Bradley Roby filled the same position in 2017 that he filled for the previous three seasons; he was our #3 CB, which is counted by some football writers as a starting spot on the defense given the prevalence of the passing game in the modern NFL. Whether or not you consider Roby a starter is immaterial since he played a huge role for the defense in 2017 taking 68.2% of the defensive snaps. That was his highest % for his career, but it we trade Talib, Roby will have to play close tor 100% of the defensive snaps to match Aqib Talib’s playing time from 2015 (Talib only played ~75% of the defensive snaps in 2016 and 2017).

The front office must feel pretty good about Roby’s play because they picked up the fifth year option on his rookie contract. Roby had a cap number of 2.2 million in 2017 and will have a cap number of 8.5 million in 2018. If he plays at an elite level, or even an above average level, that is relatively cheap for a great cornerback. But has Roby been an elite cornerback? Well he did lead he team in passes defended in 2017 with 17.

According to PFF Roby was the the 25th best CB in the league in 2017 with an overall grade of 84.0. In other words, he would have BEEN the #1 CB on about one quarter of the teams in the league. According to PFF, Roby was not used at all as a pass rusher in 2017, which is surprising since he was credited with a sack - but that sack was a stop for 0 yards of Jacoby Brissett trying to scramble. Roby was in coverage, but left his man to come up and make the tackle. He was given a pass rush grade of 63.7 - which is actually not bad for a CB, but I still don’t understand how he can have a pass rush grade if he had zero snaps as a pass rusher. CHJ had 15 pass rush snaps in 2017. Talib had 0.

For context in terms of overall performance, Talib was the 15th ranked CB overall (86.2) and Chris Harris, Jr. was the 29th ranked CB overall (83.5). The Broncos had three CBs ranked in the top 32. There were a few teams that didn’t have a single CB ranked in the top 32. According to PFF, Roby was the weakest of our top three CBs in terms of run support with a 61.0 grade in run support while Talib (78.8) and CHJ (84.3) graded significantly better. that being said this was Roby’s best year in the league - according to PFF - after having a poor showing in 2016.

In my opinion Roby was still the 3rd best CB on the team in 2017. He might still fill that #3 CB role for us in 2018, because Talib is still under contract and it actually a bargain for an elite CB. For 2017, Talib was the 15th highest paid CB in the league.


If Talib is not on the Broncos in 2018, will Bradley Roby be able to provide the same level of play that Talib did?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    (193 votes)
  • 62%
    (418 votes)
  • 8%
    Maybe- explain in comments
    (60 votes)
671 votes total Vote Now