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Published on 07/16/2008 at Wed Jul 16 18:05.
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Niko Koutouvides

Niko Koutouvides
Name: Niko Koutouvides
Height, Weight: 6’2″, 238
Position: Linebacker
Age, Experience: 27, 5
College: Purdue

Niko Koutouvides (Koo-tuh-VEE-deez) joined the Denver Broncos as an unrestricted free agent in 2008. A fourth round draft pick by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2004 NFL Draft, Koutouvides has played predominantly special teams thus far in his career. The Broncos brought him in to compete for a starting job at middle linebacker after last year’s Mike, D.J. Williams, moved back to the weak side.

The Good: Koutouvides has been one of the top special teams players in the NFL in his brief career. In four years with the Seahawks, Kouts tallied 60 special teams tackles, good for 7th in the NFL over that span. He’s a big-time hitter with great instincts. He’s also well disciplined and a hard worker – all the intangibles you like in a potential leader for your defense.

The Bad: Koutouvides won’t blow you away with his speed, and he’s not the athletic freak of nature the Broncos had with Williams or Al Wilson before 2007. Some scouting reports indicate he has trouble shedding blocks, which could become a real problem if our opponents can mirror 2007 – plow through our defensive line like nobody’s business, then eat up linebackers. His limited starting experience is a natural concern.

Status: Competing for starting job. Signed through 2010. The Denver Broncos coaches and staff brought Koutouvides to Denver with the intention that he become the starting middle linebacker. They paid him starter money and all but announced him as “the man.” Already, though, some first team snaps have been taken from him by Webster in the team’s mini camps. He’ll have to earn the job in training camp. Niko Koutouvides was born on March 25, 1981, in Plainville, CT.

As always, we invite you, the readers, to partake. Is Kouts a Top-32 middle linebacker in this league, or is he a stop gap solution until we draft a stud early next year?

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  • mikebirty

    I think K2 is a big risk. He’s a good risk with a lot of upside but I just can’t see him being the defensive leader we need in that spot. But that said, it looks like with both him and Boss, the instructions the Broncos are giving to their linebackers is “Just don’t suck. Don’t mind if you’re not at the Pro Bowl – just don’t be the reason we lose.” And if that’s the case, then I’m more than happy to have him starting there.

  • Kyle

    I’ve said it a few times, and I’ll say it again – I feel like the Broncos are going to draft a first round middle linebacker next year. Even if Kouts does a good job. We need a monster in the middle to return to the Super Bowl, not just a guy “who’s good enough.”

  • HogBlog

    Have we completely thrown in the towel on the Spencer Larsen? His college attributes and stats look very strong, and he has performed extremely well. Outside him taking 2 years off, he really seems to have the right metal for this position, and he’s only 24. Im hopeful.

  • Kyle

    Larsen is a project at this point. The team worked him out at fullback over training camp. Now he’s designated LB-only, but there’s work to be done. He’ll be a special teamer his rookie year.