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Broncos have a sneaky good inside linebacker group

Don’t sleep on the Denver Broncos inside linebacker position group. They have a couple of quality starting veterans and talented young players behind them.

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NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos defense was one of the only bright spots in last year’s 5-12 campaign. While the pass defense definitely is more heralded, it was the guys inside who helped Denver’s defense finish in among the NFL’s best in stopping the run. They finished 10th overall in total yards per game, but finished strong allowing just 87.7 rushing yards per game down the strength.

According to Pro Football Focus, the Broncos inside linebacker position group is still pretty good too. They ranked them 13th overall in the NFL heading in to the 2023 season.


Denver’s secondary gets most of the spotlight, but their linebackers very quietly ranked ninth in overall grade and fifth in run-defense grade a season ago. They deploy two top-30 players at the position in Alex Singleton and Josey Jewell.

Singleton enjoyed a breakout season after two nondescript years in Philadelphia. His 82.6 run-defense grade ranked eighth among qualified linebackers, while his 73.0 coverage grade put him among the top 20.

Jewell has been a consistent force for Denver, grading above 68.0 in each of the last four seasons. Third-round rookie Drew Sanders brings even more athleticism to the group.

The Broncos don’t boast any household names, but their linebackers deserve more credit for their defense’s mostly excellent production.

I think both Jewell and Singleton will end up being the starters heading into Week 1, but Jonas Griffith looked good last season too. Then you have rookie Drew Sanders in the mix, as well. This is one position group where I feel the team has solid starters and starter-level depth too. There is a lot of be excited about there heading into the regular season.

Jewell, 28, is entering a contract year and I believe will likely be allowed to leave in free agency after this season. Singleton is nearing 30 years old too and this could end up being the only season where Denver has such luxury of depth at the position. Both Griffith and Sanders are younger and likely to emerge as the starters beyond 2023.

What do you think of the Broncos inside linebacker group? Are they sneaky good or overrated? Let’s discuss in the comments section.