The motto remains true that “defense wins championships,” and in the pass-happy NFL, a team can never have too many defensive backs. They can also never have too many young players players who can contribute in multiple phases.
With the 101st pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, awarded to Denver as a compensatory third-round pick, the Denver Broncos added a nice depth defensive back who can also play special teams and even wide receiver in Brendan Langley from Lamar University.
A transfer from Georgia, where he struggled at times at cornerback, Langley switched to wide receiver before ultimately transferring to Lamar. Langley was an effective, versatile player for the Cardinals, playing cornerback, wide receiver, and even returning punts.
Last season, Langley was voted a first-team All-Southland selection, intercepting six passes and breaking up seven more.
Langley has the measurables desired of an NFL cornerback at 6-foot, 200 pounds. Despite his size, he can still keep up with the fastest group of wide receivers, clocking a 4.43 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Langley plays at a very physical level and scouts love his ability to disrupt routes and press wide receivers off the line. His height-weight-speed combination is a rare blend that could make him a key member of the Broncos’ secondary.
Langley needs some development, particularly with backpedaling and technique. But athletes with potential and measurables like Langley are a rare find.
After losing gunner/cornerback Kayvon Webster to the Los Angeles Rams in the offseason, the Broncos came into the draft with a need for depth at the cornerback position.
Broncos general manager John Elway was clearly seeking difference-makers in all three phases of the game on Day 2 of the 2017 NFL Draft. Denver took Florida State’s superb pass-rusher DeMarcus Walker in the second round. After selecting Carlos Henderson with their first third round pick and Langley with their second, the Broncos added two special teams players early in the NFL Draft.
Langley will join fellow defensive backs Aqib Talib, Chris Harris Jr. and Bradley Roby in arguably the league’s most elite secondary. It should be fun to see him develop among some of the league’s best.