Unit-By-Unit Analysis: LBs and DBs

The key to this group might be linebacker D.J. Williams' progress in his third season. Last year he was taken off the field often in nickel situations, and that seemed to stunt his development. Williams had a good preseason. He's a great playmaker and could be a force for the Broncos.

LINEBACKERS: Starters - MLB Al Wilson, SLB D.J. Williams, WLB Ian Gold. Backups - MLB Keith Burns, MLB Nate Webster, OLB Louis Green.

The key to this group might be Williams' progress in his third season. Last year he was taken off the field often in nickel situations, and that seemed to stunt his development. Williams had a good preseason. He's a great playmaker and could be a force for the Broncos. Gold and Wilson are among the best in the league at their positions. This is the Broncos' best unit.

Webster is healthy and is a solid backup. Burns is a special-teams ace and a great presence in the locker room.

The Broncos signed OLB Cameron Vaughn to the practice squad.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters - LCB Champ Bailey, RCB Darrent Williams, SS Nick Ferguson, FS John Lynch. Backups - CB Domonique Foxworth, CB Karl Paymah, S Sam Brandon, S Curome Cox, S Hamza Abdullah.

The Broncos are set at cornerback. Bailey is one of the best in the NFL. Williams is playing like he can be a No. 1 cornerback in the future. Foxworth is a solid, young backup. Paymah was drafted with Williams and Foxworth, and has improved his second year.

Lynch and Ferguson are getting older but the Broncos want to squeeze another year or two out of their safeties. Brandon, the top backup at safety, is talented and was used a lot in passing situations last year.

The Broncos signed CB Jeff Shoate to the practice squad.



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