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Free agent profile: Inside Linebacker Avery Williamson

If the Denver Broncos are looking for some help at the inside linebacker position, Avery Williamson might be the guy.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The inside linebacker position is an area where the Denver Broncos might be good to go with in 2021 as both Alexander Johnson and Josey Jewell have performed well as the starters. However, adding competition is never a bad thing and when you have to face two of the top tight ends in football each twice a year in Travis Kelce and Darren Waller, getting some help in coverage isn’t a necessity for any defense.

The question is would a guy like Avery Williamson answer the call for that type of need?

Player Profile

Height: 6-1
Weight: 246 pounds
Age: 28 years old
Experience: 8 seasons

Why it makes sense

He would be a good choice to add competition with the group the Broncos already have. He’ll be stout in the run game and provide insurance against injury. The biggest question is that he is a bit one dimensional.

Traded at the deadline last season, he finished the season with the Pittsburgh Steelers after starting the season with the New York Jets. Despite that, he still piled up 111 total tackles. He has good instincts for finding the ball carrier and making the stop. If that’s something Denver feels they need inside, then he would be a good choice.

Why it doesn’t make sense

He is very suspect in pass coverage. Last season, before he was traded to the Steelers there was another team in the hunt for that trade in the Philadelphia Eagles. In a review of Williamson’s tape, Eagles bloggers found serious flaws in the passing game.

Williamson has been targeted 33 times and has allowed 31 completions for 314 yards and a 93.7 pass rating. In 2018, he was targeted 67 times and allowed 48 completions for 513 yards and three touchdowns.

Given that issue, I would not be very interested in his services unless it came at a very team-friendly rate. The Broncos already have two fairly solid run defenders in Jewell and Johnson, so adding Williamson wouldn’t make much sense.

Final Thoughts

I’m good to pass on Williamson in free agency. He would be a good fit with a team looking to shore up their run defense, but that isn’t Denver in 2021. They are looking to shore up their pass defense. Any player on defense that improves that situation is likely a player that we should be interested in them targeting in free agency.


Should the Broncos go after ILB Avery Williamson?

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