Broncos Linebacker Depth Chart Loses Mount

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) Broncos
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) Broncos /

The Broncos learned Wednesday that third year linebacker Deiontrez Mount will miss the 2018 season with a torn achilles tendon.

The loss hits Denver in a place of strength.  Linebackers coach Reggie Herring will have to replace Mount’s energy but more importantly, the Broncos lose a special teams standout.

The Broncos have a stellar set of outside linebackers led by All-World star Von Miller.  On the other side is Shane Ray.  Behind them are DeMarcus Walker and Shaq Barrett.  Should one of those four get hurt, things get a little thin with the loss of Mount.  If first round pick Bradley Chubb converts to linebacker, depth issues all but evaporate.

On the inside, stalwarts Brandon Marshall and Todd Davis will be back.  A focus in the draft, look for Josey Jewell to push hard for playing time.  A longer shot but one that wouldn’t be that surprising would be if sixth round pick Keishawn Bierria got himself into position to play this season.  Equally likely Bierria ends up on the practice squad but the Washington product has the motor to compete immediately.

Often, it depends on the work players have managed to put in with summer workouts and OTA’s.  College players almost always need to add size to compete in the NFL.

There’s a storied history that runs through the Broncos linebacking corps.  Jackson, Gradishar, Mecklenburg, Wilson, Miller.  Just some of the Pro-Bowl names that have patrolled the Denver front.

This looks to be a crew that could produce another couple of names to go into that ring.  The Broncos have had a lot of press over the last few years surrounding the offense, when Peyton was putting up record numbers.  The pass rush, when Miller and DeMarcus Ware were terrorizing quarterbacks.  There’s the no-fly zone that finished first in the NFL for two consecutive seasons before falling to 4th last season.  The linebackers (yes, Von and Ware were LB), more specifically, the run-stopping linebackers do the dirty, interior work without the accolades.  They are every bit as important to the success of the Broncos as any position.

Depth is key to performance, particularly to be able to respond situationally.  The loss of Mount, while not a huge deal on the surface is a loss to the linebacker depth the Broncos have been building.

Let’s hope the next man up can fill those shoes.