The Broncos’ third-round draft pick in 2020, defensive tackle McTelvin Agim, was thrown into the defensive lineup midseason last year following an injury to Sly Williams.
Those baptism-by-fire reps as a rookie plus another full offseason with Vic Fangio should give the second-year tackle a good base for solid improvement in season two.
And that’s what will be expected to stay on this defensive roster.
McTelvin Agim’s profile
Weight: 305 pounds
Experience: 2nd year
The good and not-so-good
Agim has had the perfect lead-up for a second-year bump in his NFL career.
After being a healthy scratch the first three games of the season, Agim was thrust into the lineup and played 10 games, giving him a good taste of life in the trenches in the NFL.
And though he came away with only a few stats - just eight tackles and one pass defensed - he did earn a slight compliment from Vic Fangio.
Which is something.
“We like his future, and hopefully, he can keep improving,” Fangio said just before the Broncos’ Week 16 game against the Chargers last year.
The coach, however, followed that up with his more typical critique on a player’s performance:
“Obviously, there are ups and downs any time you put a young guy in there in the trenches,” Fangio said while recalling a broken play against the Bills the weekend before. “(Agim) has experienced some of that. On that last run where (the Bills) scored, he could have played that much better.”
In fact, Agim seemed to struggle a fair amount against the run game but did show some flashes in the pass rush. Hopefully he’ll live up to his third-round expectations this season as he could be called on quite a bit as backup to Mike Purcell.
I went back and re-watched some old McTelvin Agim tape for fun and I’m REALLY excited to see if he can put it all together in 2021— Zach Segars (@Zach_Segars) June 29, 2021
Lots of “wow” moments.
If he can be the player DEN thought they were getting, that 4-man rotation of Harris/Purcell/Jones/Agim will be NASTY
Although a player’s “story” doesn’t guarantee playing time, sometimes background gives a hint into the type of competitor you’re going to have.
For Agim, football was a life raft. In junior high, he was arrested for fleeing the cops after trying to steal a car, and he considers that time in a juvenile detention center the best thing that could have happened to him.
Because without it, Agim believes wholeheartedly his life would have taken a much different turn.
In jail he promised himself he was not to spend the rest of his life in and out of prison the way so many around him were doing.
And he made good on that promise, graduating high school with a 3.8 GPA and being named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll three times. He earned a scholarship to the University of Arkansas, where he played all four years before getting drafted to the Broncos with the 95th overall pick in 2020.
“That was big for me and my family. We were able to be together that day,” he said. “Being around them, and seeing the expression and happiness on their faces, it brought me to tears.”
That kind of appreciation for where he’s been and what it took to get to the NFL should not go unnoticed. Players like that have an inner dedication to the game that bodes well for their careers.
7 years ago around this time i was sitting in a juvenile detention center not knowing how life would end up. now i see my name being called in the draft. God is great and his timing is perfect . #BroncosCountry pic.twitter.com/vDlmzGo6wC— McTelvin Agim (@So_Splash) April 25, 2020
With Harris, Purcell and Jones holding down the line, Agim figures to be a rotational player who could bring needed depth to one of Denver’s defensive strengths. But with some competition from Shamar Stephen, Agim will need to have a good camp to maintain that fourth spot on the roster.