I’ll be honest with you. When the Denver Broncos chose South Florida cornerback Kayvon Webster in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft, I thought, You’ve got to be KIDDING me! Who the heck is that guy?
The Broncos were in the market for DL, RB, and CB in the first two rounds as was reported well in advance by beat writer Mike Klis, but even covering the draft for FanSided’s NFLMocks.com, I evaluated nearly 40 cornerback prospects and not one of them was named Kayvon Webster.
It’s safe to say after three games that all my preconceived notions about this kid were unfounded, and even after the Broncos picked him I was more than willing to give him a chance. After all, he’d be learning from a future Hall of Famer and who am I to judge John Elway and the Broncos’ scouting department with all the great moves they’ve made so far in his tenure?
Webster had a great camp by most accounts, and looked very good in pre-season action as well. Playing primarily special teams his first three games, Webster got some action on defense when Tony Carter was forced out with an ankle injury. He had a nice game, finishing with two pass breakups but where Webster really seems to make his mark is hitting and tackling.
Team captain and linebacker Wesley Woodyard is a man of his word, and the soon to be father of twins had some glowing reviews of Webster’s game, per Jeff Legwold of ESPN.
“That guy, I’ve been saying he’s going to be a player. I just think Kayvon’s going to have a long career in this league,” Broncos linebacker Woodyard said. “He’s going to be one of those guys who is a dominant corner in the future, take my word on that.”
The Broncos certainly hope Webster can be that kind of dominant player Woodyard is talking about, though it would certainly be some kind of story.
Webster had little to no expectations in terms of the Draft-niks around the web who evaluate prospects, but the Broncos’ scouting department saw a top 100 player in last year’s draft.
The 5’11″ 195 pound Webster ran a 4.34 second 40 yard dash at the scouting combine, and proved throughout his collegiate career that he can hit some people. If he can learn to combine his physicality and speed into some playmaking skills at the CB position, he could find himself starting in the NFL for a long, long time.
This is not the first time the Broncos have had a cornerback emerge out of nowhere. Tony Carter was NFL Draft Scout’s 31st ranked corner coming out of Florida State in 2009 before he signed on with the Broncos as an undrafted free agent.
Chris Harris was listed on NFL Draft Scout as a free safety, and wasn’t even looked at by the likes of Mike Mayock, one of the best talent evaluators in the media. He was NFL Draft Scout’s 30th ranked free safety in 2011 when he came out of Kansas.
Webster ranked 27th on the list of NFLDS cornerbacks in 2013, with a range of maybe fourth or fifth round to a late-round pick. In other words, they noticed he had some size and athletic upside, which made him a draftable commodity. The Broncos weren’t expecting these kinds of early returns, or maybe they were…
Either way, it’s encouraging to see what his teammates have to say about him, and know that at least up to this point, John Elway and company made a good call bringing that young man aboard.