Though the Denver Broncos lost in Baltimore on Sunday, Josey Jewell’s first NFL start and most extensive NFL action were very good.
When the Denver Broncos drafted linebacker Josey Jewell out of Iowa, it was clear they had drafted a player with an NFL-ready approach.
Though he was drafted in the fourth round in 2018 due to athletic limitations (ran a 4.8 at the 2018 Scouting Combine), Jewell’s instincts at the linebacker position made him one of the most productive defensive players in all of college football during his four seasons at Iowa.
Whenever there was a play to be made, Jewell was around the ball to make it. It didn’t matter if he had to go behind the line of scrimmage, meet someone at the line, shed a block, make a play in coverage, or make a play on special teams. Whatever Jewell was asked to do, it was done, and it was done well.
That level of excellence has, so far, translated to the NFL level as Jewell received limited snaps in the Broncos’ first two games, but started his first career game on Sunday in place of Brandon Marshall who was out of practice most of the week due to injury.
Jewell did just fine for himself.
Receiving high marks in coverage, Jewell showed off his versatility and instincts by making a play behind the line of scrimmage and playing tough in the running game.
He was still a part-time player in this game, checking in with 38 snaps of a possible 72, but Jewell showed that with an increased responsibility, he can maintain a high level of play.
Though he’s not a player you want to line up as a slot defensive back, Jewell does a good job in coverage and is able to make plays on the football, and he can also rush the passer.
As the season goes along, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Jewell take on a more prominent role in the Broncos’ defense like we saw on Sunday against the Ravens. He flies around the field and understands his role, and plays it very well.