Josey Jewell, LB
Josey Jewell is one of the most instinctive college linebackers I have ever watched, and when the Broncos picked him, I was absolutely ecstatic about it.
Jewell played in all 16 games for the Broncos this season, starting nine due to some injuries at the position, and proving he absolutely belongs in an NFL starting lineup.
The Broncos got Jewell with a fourth-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, and he ended up being an incredible value there.
There are some questions as to whether Jewell’s skill set will translate with Vic Fangio’s scheme due to his athleticism, or lack thereof. The answers to those questions obviously lie with Fangio, but there are similar athletes who have had a lot of success in Fangio’s scheme.
Chris Borland was not the most athletic prospect coming out of Wisconsin before starring in Fangio’s defense in San Francisco. Navorro Bowman didn’t run a great 40-yard dash coming out of Penn State. Danny Trevathan ran a 4.84 at the Kentucky pro day in 2012.
The point is, Jewell’s lack of athleticism has always been a footnote compared to his instinctive style of play. He was always very capable in coverage at Iowa, even if he struggled covering guys one-on-one out of the backfield. That’s never been his game.
I think he’s going to excel in Fangio’s defense.