Zaire Anderson, LB
The Denver Broncos, and a number of other teams in the NFL, might be moving away from a dependence on off-ball linebackers, especially in coverage.
The Broncos brought in Su’a Cravens this offseason to play a ‘dime linebacker’ role, and also had plans to utilize Jamal Carter more defensively prior to his season-ending hamstring injury.
One possible area of the roster that could see fewer players than normal kept on the 53-man roster is inside linebacker, where Zaire Anderson has done a great job providing the Broncos depth and special teams play as an undrafted gem a few years ago.
Anderson is not alone here. As I stated in my latest roster prediction, it’s possible the Broncos keep just three traditional off-ball linebackers depending on what happens with the rest of the roster.
There could also be a trade at outside linebacker allowing the Broncos to keep four, but this team also just invested quite a bit in Alexander Johnson, an undrafted rookie whose preseason debut against the Bears was his first live football action since November 2014.
Anderson could also be a trade candidate for Denver if teams are looking for an athletic linebacker who can be a special teams contributor.