PFF gives Denver Broncos linebackers fair ranking ahead of 2023

Denver Broncos v Kansas City Chiefs
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PFF ranked their linebacker units heading into the 2023 NFL season, and the Denver Broncos actually got a fair ranking for this position group. One position that is in good hands for 2023 is inside linebacker. Even though the position is not as important as it once was, most green dots in the NFL on defense are worn by the inside linebackers, so they'll always have an important role in the defense.

Now, with that said, I don't think it's necessary to throw $15-20 million per year for some of the league's best at this position, but it is a unit that does need attention. In the 2021 season, the Broncos lost both of their starting linebackers to season-ending injuries, and their absences were clear.

PFF ranked their linebacking units heading into the 2023 season, and the Denver Broncos did get a fair ranking. They came in at #13, which is fine. Here's what they had to say about the unit, which is expected to start Josey Jewell and Alex Singleton, who signed a three-year extension in the offseason:

"Denver’s secondary gets most of the spotlight, but their linebackers very quietly ranked ninth in overall grade and fifth in run-defense grade a season ago. They deploy two top-30 players at the position in Alex Singleton and Josey Jewell.

Singleton enjoyed a breakout season after two nondescript years in Philadelphia. His 82.6 run-defense grade ranked eighth among qualified linebackers, while his 73.0 coverage grade put him among the top 20.

Jewell has been a consistent force for Denver, grading above 68.0 in each of the last four seasons. Third-round rookie Drew Sanders brings even more athleticism to the group.

The Broncos don’t boast any household names, but their linebackers deserve more credit for their defense’s mostly excellent production."

Dalton Wasserman

I can't be mad with this ranking. It's interesting because Denver does feature one of the better ILB rooms in the NFL, but neither Jewell nor Singleton are top-notch linebackers. They're both slightly above average, which is fine. They made for a nasty tandem last year and look to be back for more in 2023.

Wasserman highlights Singleton's grades last year, and those grades do put him around top 10-15 at the position. The team did add Drew Sanders at linebacker in the 2023 NFL Draft, perhaps preparing for Josey Jewell being a free agent in 2024.

Jonas Griffith is also in the room, and I think these four players end up making the ILB unit for 2023. Hopefully the unit continues their solid play.

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