Broncos nab Justin Hollins with first pick of Day 3

Justin Hollins (right) receives an award as the defensive MVP of the East-West Shrine Game.
Justin Hollins (right) receives an award as the defensive MVP of the East-West Shrine Game.

Following the 2018 season, the Broncos lost rotational pass rushers Shane Ray and Shaquil Barrett. With the selection of Oregon linebacker Justin Hollins, they might’ve just found their replacement.

The Broncos traded away their first three selections for Day 3 in trades for Drew Lock and inside linebacker Dekoda Watson from the 49ers. Though, Hollins may be well worth the wait.

Hollins lacks refinement in his game as well as some of the physicality Vic Fangio has set a premium on in his first offseason. Most people projected the Oregon standout to go in the sixth round or later, but the Broncos are choosing to take a chance on his potential given their high-end talent on the edge. With an excellent 6’5″, 248-pound frame, Hollins is a freaky athlete who performed great in the pre-draft process.

Hollins ran an excellent 4.5 40-yard dash for a player of his size and at the East-West Shrine Game was named defensive MVP. During the season, Hollins showcased his elite athleticism by being the only player in a power five conference to tally at least five sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception.

With some tutelage from Von Miller, those strip-sack abilities should only improve. In fact, Hollins’ body type is eerily similar to Miller’s, as is the rookie’s athleticism.

While Hollins does offer a lot of upside as a pass-rusher the true reason the Broncos might’ve picked him is because of his coverage ability given his athleticism. With some time, Hollins could be a tight-end buster with both the size and speed to match up with almost any tight end in the league.

Hollins should see immediate usage on special teams and in sub packages on passing downs where he can either rush the passer or show blitz and drop into coverage.

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