Drew Sanders is Josey Jewell insurance for the Denver Broncos

Liberty v Arkansas
Liberty v Arkansas / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

With Josey Jewell entering his contract season for the Denver Broncos, the team made a decision to select Drew Sanders out of Arkansas with the 67th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Josey Jewell and Alex Singleton are a fun duo, but nothing lasts forever. Jewell’s contract situation will have him testing free agency if no new contract happens. In looking to the future, the Denver Broncos selected Drew Sanders from the University of Arkansas. If you are a comparison person he reminds me of lot Alex Singleton and Baron Browning in Denver. Both players play with their hair on fire and have instincts adding in that closing speed it could be a fun duo in Denver. 

The six-foot-five linebacker from Arkansas transferred there from Alabama. He was a freakish and gifted player who saw time at edge for a period before coming to the Razorbacks. This also means Sanders is a tad raw to the position, but there’s a lot of excitement for him in this linebacker room. Sanders is very gifted in his fluid movement when he processes plays correctly and it is beautiful to watch. 

Sanders really burst onto the scene as well in 2022 with Arkansas. He was a tackling machine and a sack artist for the Arkansas Razorbacks. The Butkus finalist racked up 103 tackles and 9.5 sacks. This is just an absurd amount even for an off-ball linebacker at the next level. Production like this allows teams to bet on Sanders at either outside or inside linebacker with the Denver Broncos. If Denver chose to move Sanders inside it will afford them the opportunity to play a player with rare edge rusher gifts at that inside linebacker spot.

Since Sanders is a former pass rusher this also gives him the ability to show his play strength when he’s playing against bigger competition. A player like this was certainly drafted for the word we call potential and it’s understandable when you turn the tape on for a player like Sanders. Sanders may not have the same gifted traits as Browning, but his talent allows Denver to focus on Browning as a pass rusher or edge player. One of the areas early was deciding if the Broncos would use Browning as an inside linebacker or outside linebacker/edge rusher. While even Browning is raw as well, you can easily see the talent on tape. This gives Denver the opportunity to draft a player in Sanders and send him the keys to play inside linebacker or off-ball linebacker in Denver. 

The pass recognition is a work in progress; however, with his instincts and athleticism, he can learn the defensive side of the ball. This is a player with that rare ability to give Denver Broncos another toy to play with on defense for Vance Joseph, the new defensive coordinator. 

It is actually a surprise the Denver Broncos drafted Drew Sanders in third simply because it is possible he should have been taken earlier.

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