With all of the talk surrounding the Denver Broncos and the top LBs in the 2019 NFL Draft, Todd Davis was glued in when his team was on the clock.
It feels like a lifetime ago the Denver Broncos picked up linebacker Todd Davis, who was an undrafted free agent out of Sacramento State in 2014.
Davis had spent some time on the New Orleans Saints practice squad before the Broncos picked him up, and the main reason for Denver pursuing Davis was an injury to former third-round pick Nate Irving, whose injury issues had piled up to the point that the Broncos didn’t keep him around after the season.
Denver already had blossoming stars Brandon Marshall and Danny Trevathan at the position, but as we all know, John Elway and the front office are always looking for ways they can improve the roster and find diamonds in the rough.
It’s safe to say, at this point, that Davis was one.
Davis went from a part-time player on the Super Bowl 50 team in 2015 to a full-time starter in 2016 when Danny Trevathan bolted for Chicago.
He has seen his tackle numbers increase from somewhere in the teens to 97 in 2016, 82 in 2017, and a career-high 114 in 2018.
Davis was also named a team captain in 2018 after he was given a new three-year contract in the offseason.
Despite the great story that is his rise to a starting role and captainship in the NFL, the opportunity for the Broncos to add a rare talent at the linebacker position presented itself in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Broncos, on the clock with the 10th overall selection in 2019, had the chance to take linebacker Devin Bush out of Michigan.
If you had stated before the 2019 draft that Bush would go 10th overall with no other context, I’ll bet everyone would have thought he was going to the Broncos.
He ended up being the team’s most popular mock draft selection near the end of the process and people really thought he was going to be the guy, even Todd Davis.
“I was definitely glued in. The talk of the town was linebacker at 10, so I was definitely glued to my TV. They didn’t pick a linebacker at 10. I felt like, ‘OK, that shows a little trust in me and it shows I have to prove everybody right.’ That is the biggest thing for me. If somebody goes out on a limb and makes a decision on my behalf, it’s my decision to make sure they made the right one.”
Todd Davis (quotes via Broncos PR)
The Broncos’ decision not to pick an inside linebacker extended into round two. Then three. Then through the end of the NFL Draft. Their biggest pickups at the linebacker position include fifth-round pick Justin Hollins — who is more of an edge player — and UDFAs Joe Dineen and Josh Watson.
To say the Broncos put some confidence in their current group of linebackers is an understatement.
Davis and Josey Jewell are the starters for this season and right now it looks like those are the players who will run Fangio’s defense at the position he’s famous for being an expert in.
No pressure, Todd and Josey, but you’re looking to fill shoes of guys like Trevathan and Roquan Smith, Patrick Willis and Navorro Bowman — guys who have been star players in the league at LB, not just solid starters.
Hopefully these two are up to the task. The Broncos obviously felt they could get the job done, and the next step will be proving themselves in this scheme when the pads and the lights come on.