Broncos Training Camp: Shane Ray vs. Shaquil Barrett

Sep 3, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos linebacker Shaquil Barrett (48) and linebacker Shane Ray (56) tackle Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson (27) in the first quarter of a preseason game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 3, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos linebacker Shaquil Barrett (48) and linebacker Shane Ray (56) tackle Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson (27) in the first quarter of a preseason game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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With Denver Broncos’ linebacker Demarcus Ware having limited snaps in 2016, I take a look and see who out of Shaquil Barrett and Shane Ray will excel the most during the season.

In 2015, the Denver Broncos had two fearless leaders. One on offense and the other on defense. Peyton Manning and Demarcus Ware were the prime examples of leadership and experience.

But with Manning retired, Demarcus Ware becomes, in my opinion, the veteran leader of the team. But with Gary Kubiak potentially placing him on a snap count because of his back injury, one of the younger guys at linebacker are going to need to step up in his place.

We all know Von Miller will be starting opposite of Ware this season. And it has been noted by Sayre Bedinger that Demarcus Ware will be listed as a starter on the depth chart. But when he is not on the field, who would step up in his absence? Shane Ray or Shaquil Barrett?

Let us take a look at both player’s stats from the 2015 season as well as the success they can both bring to the defense.

Shane Ray in his rookie year in the NFL recorded 20 tackles and four sacks. Not too shabby for a rookie linebacker. Why should Shane Ray get the shot? One word. Potential.

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He recorded 14.5 sacks in his final season at Missouri University. Eight of his sacks came in the first five games of that season. It is quite remarkable at what kind of potential he has. However, a negative that could prevent him from getting that shot is his inexperience in the league.

As for Shaquil Barrett, he has been an interesting story for the Denver Broncos. After going undrafted in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Broncos picked him up as an undrafted free agent. He was cut and placed on the practice squad.

In 2015, he did have a great year. It all started in preseason with his stellar performance in the four games. He carried that in the regular season while recording 50 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles. So, what does Barrett have over Ray in the Denver Broncos outside linebacker race.

I believe that Shaquil Barrett’s shot comes from his experience in the organization. Despite the fact that he spent all last year on the practice squad, it allowed him to learn the playbook. Even with the change from John Fox to Gary Kubiak, Barrett was able to adjust well and show us what he was working on during his time on the practice squad.

So, who would be the best candidate for Demarcus Ware’s substitute in the defense? In all honesty, it depends on what your cup of tea is. You can either go with potential or experience.

Maybe switching them both out will help and injury could always play a factor. But in all honesty, you cannot go wrong with either Shane Ray or Shaquil Barrett.

Who do you believe would be the best option for the Broncos in Ware’s spot? You can vote below.