I was stoked when the Denver Broncos selected the cornerback out of Ohio State, Bradley Roby, with the 31st pick in the 1st round of the draft last May.
After doing a lot of scouting and projecting throughout the pre-draft process, I was shocked that he was still on the board at #31.
Roby is a top 10-caliber talent, as is Sly Williams. The Broncos scored both of them at the bottom of the 1st. That doesn’t necessarily say much about John Elway’s drafting acumen, as it does about the rest of the NFL being dumb and passing on 2 top-shelf talents.
Roby has had an up and down training camp. Going against a Broncos receiving corps, replete with talent, has put this rookie through the trial by fire.
Talk about “Welcome to the NFL”. Some rookies fold in such circumstances. Others rise to the occasion. They learn from their failures and they use it to rise above.
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That’s exactly what Bradley Roby has done. And with the Broncos being absent two of their top 3 CBs on the depth chart this past Saturday, Roby got the opportunity to start across from Aqib Talib.
And he literally popped off the screen. Here’s what PFF had to say about Roby’s performance in their ReFo piece on the game:
"“Bradley Roby, +2.5Breakdown: The rookie Roby has had his share of rough/rookie moments this preseason, but no such moments in Denver. Targeted six times, Roby allowed just two catches, matching that number with a pair of pass break-ups, though the second of which could’ve been an interception.Signature Play: At 9:37 of the second quarter, Roby showed off some impressive closing speed (and strength), stopping Andre Johnson short of the sticks on a 3rd-down slant.”"
That shot on Johnson on 3rd down, in the regular season, would have forced a FG. That’s talent impacting the scoreboard.
Roby did an excellent job containing Johnson. As a 7-time Pro Bowler, that’s easier said than done. Johnson is one of the top talents at WR.
Be excited, Broncos Country. We’re looking a young player who has the NFL world by the short and curlies.