The Denver Broncos went into the offseason with serious questions about their off ball linebacker corps. George Paton addressed the position in the first wave of free agency, bringing back Josey Jewell and signing Alex Singleton from the Philadelphia Eagles. Questions remain after reports emerged about the Broncos desire to move Baron Browning outside. Will Singleton start beside Jewell? What is the long term plan when neither veteran is under contract past 2023? Is there a plan for Browning’s development? Those questions lead me back to one I had at the beginning of the offseason: how much emphasis will Paton put on acquiring a rookie linebacker or two?
Could the Broncos second year general manager snag Georgia’s Channing Tindall on day three?
Channing Tindall (41) is every bit as fast as the 4.47 40 suggests. When he gets on his horse he can really fly. pic.twitter.com/CKFzuWKxXP— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) April 4, 2022
Height: 6’2” | Weight: 228 pounds | 40-time: 4.47 seconds
Vertical Jump: 42 inches | Broad Jump: 128 inches
Wingspan: 78 1/8” | Arm length: 32 7/8” | Hands: 10 5/8”
Tindal joined the Georgia Bulldogs loaded 2018 recruiting class as a four star recruit and the fifth ranked linebacker. He spent the first three years of his collegiate career as a role player who had limited opportunities to play significant snaps on a defense littered with NFL prospects. He spent 2022 as the Bulldog’s third on the LB depth chart behind fellow draft prospects Nakobe Dean and Quay Walker, and carved out a hybrid role playing both off the ball and rushing off the edge as the year went on.
Channing Tindall is a LB prospect in the 2022 draft class. He scored an unofficial 9.82 RAS at the Combine out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 40 out of 2188 LB from 1987 to 2022. https://t.co/SB0EOI1kZT #RAS via @Mathbomb pic.twitter.com/hLH5k0R8fr— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 6, 2022
Pick Six - Film Clips that encapsulate Tindall’s current skillset.
- Very good athlete due to his elite long speed for the position. When he opens up he is a legitimate 4.4 athlete. Also possesses a combination of good lateral quickness, agility, explosiveness, and balance.
- Knows how to use his speed and twitch to create power into blockers, which helps him to punch above his weight.
- Solid vs. runs at the point of attack overall. He shows an understanding of how to leverage his gap and stack blocks to muck up lanes. When he’s kept clean vs. downhill runs he does a good job defending his gap responsibility. Is a solid tackler in the hole.
- Good vs. outside runs with true sideline to sideline speed as well as a good understanding of pursuit angles. Plays team defense and will leverage the ball back to help. Is a solid tackler in space.
- Good drop depth and range in space, Georgia asked him to drop from the edge on occasion, including a play against Alabama where he’s chasing a slot receiver downfield.
- Four-phase special teams experience, and his speed, physicality, and tackling should be an asset for them in the NFL.
- Good blitzer and Georgia clearly utilized this skill throughout his career (finished with 12 career sacks, including 5.5 in 2022) He shows good bend as both an edge rusher and blitzer. Georgia didn’t hesitate to send him after the quarterback and he does a good job making himself small to present a small target to would-be blockers. Will use short area quickness to draw out false steps from a pass blocker when he’s blitzing.
- Played limited snaps behind teammates Quay Walker and Nakobe Dean on a very talented defense. This complicates his evaluation and there are lingering questions surrounding it. Like both of his teammates, he was kept pretty clean because of the talent across the Bulldogs defensive line. Additionally, his snaps often came when opponents had been on the field for a number of snaps, though the real questions pertain to his processing, block shedding, and coverage. Each of the three areas shows notable issues with technique and/or feel. The hope has to be that he’ll improve across all three areas as he plays more defensive snaps, but it isn’t a guarantee.
- Will occasionally lose the ball carrier behind the muck, which can become exasperated against teams that run a lot of misdirection.
- Play strength is closer to adequate than solid, overall. This shows up most against blockers when he’s playing off ball and defending between the tackles. He can also get engulfed by bigger bodies at edge, and his lack of length hurts his ability to create pressure against longer opponents.
After George Paton was hired last year I took a look at the Minnesota Vikings draft history during his time there to try and get an idea as to what trends may be coming to Denver with the new general manager. I took note of the fact that Minny only ever spent two early round picks on linebackers, but drafted 13 on day three. Given the Broncos’ current questions around their LB corps. I do expect a later round backer this year. Channing Tindall’s an intriguing one because of his traits and potential.
Tindall isn’t a finished product at this time and there will be growing pains if he’s pushed into significant snaps on defense early. He’ll need to be protected in coverage, and he can be had by play action and he’ll bite on counters. Additionally, he needs to improve his consistency when taking on blocks or opponents will wall him out of the action. With all that said, he’s got better range than Kenny Young did, and Paton traded a late round pick for less than one season with him. Tindall could give the Broncos a promising linebacker prospect with some pass rush juice who can be a core special teamer early in his career. There’s far worse ways to use a day three pick.
Do you want the Broncos to draft Channing Tindall?
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