Denver Broncos second-year cornerback Brendan Langley is set to make a big jump in his sophomore season. Can he seize a starting role?
The biggest loss of the 2018 offseason for the Denver Broncos was undeniably the team’s decision to move on from cornerback Aqib Talib.
Though he was one of the oldest players on the team at 32, Talib was playing at a dominant level last season and the decision to trade him to the Los Angeles Rams was purely financial.
With that said, the Broncos have to find a way to replace Talib and they didn’t make any real flashy moves to do so.
Though there was talk that the Broncos had interest in a cornerback as high as Denzel Ward with the fifth overall pick in this year’s draft, they didn’t select one until the end of the third round when they picked Boston College’s Isaac Yiadom.
Yiadom’s selection marked the third straight year the Broncos had used a third-round compensatory pick on a defensive back, and the second consecutive year they’d used a third-round compensatory pick on the cornerback position.
The team drafted Brendan Langley out of Lamar University in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft, and it was widely expected he would take some time to transition to the next level.
Langley entered college as a wide receiver at Georgia and left as a raw but very physically gifted defensive back.
According to Andrew Mason at DenverBroncos.com, Langley showed improvement throughout the first few weeks of OTAs.
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Safety Will Parks also had some good things to say about Langley after spending a lot of time working out with him this offseason.
The Broncos need a player to step up as one of those top three cornerbacks.
While Talib and Chris Harris Jr. were among team leaders in snaps, the Broncos utilized Bradley Roby on nearly 70 percent of their snaps last year.
If the Broncos intend to increase Roby’s usage this year, someone is set to inherit a significant number of snaps, and while the Broncos could certainly use a committee of players, they drafted Langley and Yiadom to come in and make an impact as potential starting players.
Since Langley was really raw when he was drafted, it wasn’t entirely unexpected that he dropped down the depth chart last season.
With that said, the Broncos need someone to step up at that position in a big way, and he’s set to take a major leap this season.
If Langley’s athleticism and speed can translate to effectiveness in coverage, he could be one of the Broncos’ top surprise players of 2018.