The Denver Broncos made it their focus in the 2017 NFL Draft to find players who could not only play their respective position well, but also excel and contribute on special teams. The team selected multiple players who can do just that.
One of them is Lamar cornerback Brendan Langley. Langley is 6-feet tall and 202 pounds. Coming from a small school, even many of the hardest of hardcore college football fans didn't know much about him. What kind of player did Denver get with the 101st pick overall? Hear it from defensive backs coach Marcus Robertson.
“We’re excited to add Brendan Langley to the ‘No Fly Zone'," Robertson said. "He’s exactly what we look for at the cornerback position. He’s tough, fast and physical. He has an extremely high ceiling to develop into an upper-echelon cornerback in this league.”
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1774805-denver-broncos-2017-draft... Langley is still raw but he plays the same brand of football that Broncos fans have come to love and expect from the No Fly Zone. Physicality. Tenacity. Length and strength. He threw up 22 reps on the bench press and was a top performer in this field at the Combine.
“I definitely have a mean-streak in me, a lot of physicality," Langley said on Saturday. "Being able to contribute not only in the passing game but the running game as well, I think that will be a big part of my contribution.”
He's not afraid to provide run support and he has speed. Langley ran a 4.43 40 at the Combine. Not only can he jam receivers at the line of scrimmage but he can run with the best of them. For the type of player that he is, Langley truly is stepping into the right pro system, with the right players.
“Being able to work with guys like [CB Aqib] Talib and [CB] Chris Harris [Jr.]—it’s not often you get two All-Pro corners on the same team," Langley said. "Not to mention Bradley Roby, who if he weren’t playing behind those two guys, he’d be an All Pro as well. I think being able to learn from those guys is going to be the key factor in taking my game to the next level. I don’t think it’ll be any of the physical attributes. Mentally, I have to get on their level.”
If anyone can help Langley transition to life as a pro, it's Aqib Talib, Chris Harris, Jr., and Bradley Roby. The rookie also gets the benefit of learning from a position coach — in Marcus Robertson — who played defensive back in the league at a very high level.
As Robertson pointed out, Langley offers more than just ability on defense. He can contribute on special teams in a variety of ways.
"He can also come in right away and contribute as a four-phase special teams player.," Robertson said. "He’s a guy who has return ability and outstanding ball skills and size. That’s what we look for at the position. We are just excited to add this type of a guy to our room. We feel like putting this guy in the defensive backs room with the caliber of players that we have there, that he’ll continue to excel and will come in and be a big time player for the Denver Broncos.”
Langley, if he manages to earn playing time on defense as a rookie, will also benefit from Denver's ability to rush the passer and pressure quarterbacks into unloading the ball early. There's no question that Denver has an embarrassment of riches at the cornerback position. Langley is looking forward to learning a little something from each guy.
“If I could take one thing from each of those guys, I would take Aqib Talib’s patience, Bradley Roby’s tenacity and Chris Harris’ feet.”
Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.