clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Report: Broncos had a pre-draft video call with Mississippi State linebacker Willie Gay Jr.

New, comments

The athletic linebacker could be a second-round option for the Broncos.

Kentucky v Mississippi State Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

According to the Houston Chronicles Aaron Wilson, the Denver Broncos were among the teams to have a pre-draft video call with Mississippi State linebacker, Willie Gay Jr..

He’s a 6’1”, 243 pound linebacker who ran an impressive 4.46 40-time during February’s NFL Scouting Combine.

Gay Jr. played a total of three seasons with Mississippi State and put up some productive numbers while there. He totaled 99 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, 6 sacks, and 3 interceptions. He also has 1 defensive touchdown, 4 pass deflections, and 2 forced fumbles.

Here is what The Athletic’s draft analyst Dane Brugler had to say about Willie Gay Jr. in his annual draft guide.

A one-year starter at Mississippi State, Gay played primarily the Will linebacker position in former defensive coordinator Bob Shoop’s scheme. A former top recruit, he showed flashes of high-level play during his time in Starkville, but consistency was an issue, playing in only five games in 2019 due to an NCAA suspension. Gay owns the athletic twitch and pursuit speed that is the medicine for horizontal offenses, chasing down jet sweeps and defending both sidelines. While he plays with passion, his decision-making (on and off the field) deserves scrutiny. Overall, Gay’s undisciplined play style and inconsistent key-and-diagnose skills create concern for his next level role, but he flows to the football with urgency and closing speed, showcasing special teams skills and NFL starting upside.

An athletic and rangy linebacker like Gay Jr. would give the Broncos some much needed athleticism to their linebacking group. His coverage ability alone should get him on the field on nickel/passing downs his rookie season. After Alexander Johnson, the Broncos really lack in that area so I expect them to address this during this week’s draft.

He figures to be a second-round pick in this week’s NFL Draft. He has been a fast riser lately so if he’s on the board at 46th overall, he could be in play for the Broncos. I personally don’t see them going linebacker that early, but if they do, a player like Willie Gay Jr. should be high on their draft board.