When the Denver Broncos used the 101st selection of the 2017 NFL Draft, they took a roll of the dice on a highly athletic and physical cornerback in Brendan Langley. Hailing from Marietta, Georgia, Langley was one of the most coveted corners in his recruiting class and eventually committed to the University of Georgia, where he played his first two years of college ball. Unfortunately, he didn’t receive much playing time and ended up transferring to Lamar, where he played his last two seasons and excelled.
Name: Brendan Langley
Weight: 200 lb
Experience: 2nd Season
College: Lamar (previously Georgia)
In his two years with the Cardinals, Langley reeled in seven interceptions and registered 18 pass breakups which demonstrated he had a nose for the football. He even showed his value on special teams as a senior and had 21 punt returns for 254 yards and two touchdowns. His performance as a senior was good enough to earn him an invitation to the Senior Bowl, where he impressed a lot of teams on hand and earned a handful of private workouts leading up to the NFL Draft.
#NFLDraft: @LamarAthletics CB Brendan Langley selected in 3rd round by @Broncos. #SouthlandStrong #BroncosDraft pic.twitter.com/xiWt5Uy2J5— Southland Conference (@SouthlandSports) April 29, 2017
After being drafted, he continued his positive trend that propelled him to being a day two draft selection. Langley earned the fourth cornerback spot for the Broncos during training camp and beat out several other players for the job. As a rookie, he saw action in 11 games, but only registered three tackles and was relegated primarily to special teams duty. The Broncos are hopeful that he can emerge in his second season and have a larger impact in their defensive packages.
Langley fits the mold of what teams are looking for in a corner from a physical and athletic perspective. At 6’0”, 200 pounds and sub 4.4 speed, he has the great size and athleticism that can cause opposing receivers fits. In fact, in terms of physical attributes and performance, Langley had eerily similar numbers to Aqib Talib when he came out of the University of Kansas in 2008. Because Langley also spent some time at wide receiver in college at both Georgia and Lamar, he has very good ball skills. This is evident in the eye-popping numbers he had in regard to interceptions and pass breakups as a junior and during the season.
As mentioned above, Langley needs a lot of development and is still learning the cornerback position. Thankfully, he is in a great scenario with good coaches and quality players around him who can help him learn the nuances of the game and help him reach his potential. According to Pro Football Focus, Langley had one of the lowest grades given out at the position across the league. That’s understandable and nobody could have expected too much from him given his circumstances. Overall, he has a tremendous amount of upside — but is still very raw as a player and needs a lot of grooming.
“Langley is definitely getting better. He is such a talent. His problem won’t ever be matching up physically. His problem is getting reps enough to know what to do, and to have great technique every play. Physically, he’s what you want. He’s tall and long with great ball skills.” — Head Coach Vance Joseph speaking about Langley during OTA’s
After the Broncos traded Aqib Talib to the Los Angeles Rams for a late-round draft pick, a large void at boundary corner surfaced for the franchise. The team signed Tramaine Brock in free agency and drafted Boston College product Isaac Yiadom to help add depth to their cornerback crop. Those two as well as Langley will be battling it out for the team’s third corner spot in training camp.
Without question, Langley has the physical attributes and tools to be a starting corner in this league, but still has a lot to learn before he is ready to man down a starting position. Look for Langley to make the final roster as a special teams player and depth corner for the 2018 season, with the potential for a much larger impact in 2019.