As the regular season approaches, we wanted to take an individual look at each of the Denver Broncos 2017 Draft Choices and how they’ve performed in camp.
With the 108th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos selected Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell. How has Jewell performed in preseason and camp?
Josey Jewell has proven to be a run-stopping demon in camp and preseason games and has risen to second on the depth-chart behind Denver starter Brandon Marshall. Questions about Jewell’s size and athleticism pushed the Iowa tackling machine to the middle-fourth round in the draft but Jewell has a knack for masking his size or athletic issues with intellect and vision.
To be fair, it’s hard to categorize a man that’s a solid 6’1″ and 235 pounds as undersized, even at the inside linebacker position but the NFL is fluid and suddenly, inside guys need to be 6’3″ and 250 for NFL general managers.
Jewell has done a nice job in camp to solidify himself and seems to be a lock to make the team. A monkey-wrench to that idea is the signing of Tennessee product Alexander (A.J.) Johnson. A beast for the Volunteers, Johnson has spent the bulk of the last four years in a legal battle that kept him from football. Johnson led the SEC in tackles in 2012 and was named first-team all-SEC in 2013. Once he’s acclimated, he’s likely to take one of the inside LB positions.
Since it’s unlikely Denver keeps more than 4 at the position, Jewell, fellow draftee Keishawn Bierria, veteran Zaire Anderson and second-year man Joe Jones are battling for one spot. Jewell currently holds the inside-track to that spot but his hold is a little less secure than it seems. There is a possibility that Jewell could join Denver’s practice squad but it’s unlikely he would clear waivers to enable Denver to retain him.
Here’s hoping Jewell, a Mecklenburg throwback, finds a spot in Denver.