Denver Broncos: 11 young players to watch closely at training camp
9. Justin Strnad, LB (age: 24)
Expectations should be slightly tempered for Justin Strnad heading into year two.
There has been a lot of hype with Strnad, who showed really well as a coverage linebacker at Wake Forest in his time with the Demon Deacons, but he has obviously struggled to stay healthy the last couple of years.
He went on injured reserve last year with a wrist injury and was shelved after just half of a season in 2019 at Wake Forest due to a torn bicep injury.
Alexander Johnson played over 97 percent of the defensive snaps last year and Josey Jewell played more than 92 percent.
This means that the Denver Broncos had virtually no rotation at inside linebacker last year, and over the course of a full season and even individual games, that can be crippling.
If Strnad can stay healthy, there should be a place for him in the Denver Broncos’ defensive package, even if it’s just in nickel or dime situations.
He has plenty of work to do as Vic Fangio said during OTAs that Strnad is essentially a rookie in terms of the on-field part of things. We’ll see how well he’s done off the field studying come training camp.