Denver Broncos: 10 major takeaways early in training camp
7. Justin Strnad a threat to Josey Jewell?
The Denver Broncos had a fairly underrated duo of starting inside linebackers last season in Alexander Johnson and Josey Jewell.
Johnson didn’t play quite as well as he did in the 2019 season but Jewell far exceeded anything we’ve seen from him up to this point in his career. Entering the 2021 offseason, those two players are both projected to be free agents after the season.
They were the unquestioned starters heading into training camp but a groin injury that will put Jewell out for at least 10 days (according to Vic Fangio) has paved the way for second-year player Justin Strnad, who is essentially a redshirt rookie after missing all of last season with a wrist injury.
Strnad was a very solid three-down linebacker for Wake Forest in college and had some shades of Fred Warner (the prospect) to his game.
NFL teams are obviously looking for linebackers that can play all three downs effectively and with their back to the line of scrimmage, and Strnad is a guy who can do that.
Through the first week of camp, Strnad has played well and showed he belongs out there. He has made a couple of nice plays in coverage blowing up designed running back pass plays and showing off his range and quickness.
At this point, it’s tough to say that Strnad is going to flat out replace Jewell in the lineup, but he undoubtedly will get some snaps.