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Published on 07/18/2008 at Fri Jul 18 15:42.
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Spencer Larsen

[Spencer Larsen]
Name: Spencer Larsen
Height, Weight: 6’2″, 240
Position: Linebacker
Age, Experience: 24, R
College: Arizona

Spencer Larsen was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 6th round (183rd overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft. He played both outside and inside linebacker for Arizona, taking two years off to serve a Mormon mission in Chile in 03 and 04. A fullback in high school, the Broncos tried him out at the position during mini camps this year before announcing that he would remain a linebacker at the Pro level.

The Good: Larsen has all the intangibles you look for in a pro player. He has great instincts and is a smart, overachieving guy with a good head on his shoulders. He’ll work his tail off for the Broncos and is a natural team leader, serving as a two-time team captain for the Wildcats. Tallied 131 tackles to lead the PAC-10 in 2007. Various scouting reports indicate he’s above average at shedding blocks and would be a natural run stuffer.

The Bad: Physically, Larsen won’t blow you away, especially with his speed. His 40 time (4.98) hurt his draft value, and his athleticism in general has been questioned. His flexibility really seems to be the major concern – without fluid hips and quick feet, he can’t keep up in coverage, and his tackles lack the power you’d like to see. Without decent speed and power, Larsen will struggle to adjust to the NFL’s pace and physicality.

Status: Special teamer. Signed through 2011. It’s curious that the Broncos insisted on trying him out at fullback – was that their intention all along? I’ll be honest, I haven’t quite figured this guy out, and if there’s one draft pick that doesn’t make the team it’d be him. He’ll have to light it up on special teams. Spencer Larsen was born on March 4, 1984 in Mesa, AZ.

As always, we invite you, the readers, to partake. Will Larsen impress in 2008, or is he lacking the physical toolset to succeed?

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  • HogBlog

    The good and bad is confusing?? How do you get named as a 2 time team captain, lead the Pac 10 in tackles w/131. Achieve the highest level of tackles since Lance Briggs and be considered a potential bust because your perceived as too slow and inflexible?

    He played both in HS, LB and FB. BTW, if he was so slow, how do you think he managed to get this far. Most reports i’ve seen rate him higher in predraft analysis, and the fact that he layed off football for 2 years (He’s older than all rookies) due to his mormon responsibilies, plus his torn ACL hurt his draft ranking.

    His actual #’s exceeded both Sedrick Ellis and Keith Rivers and Ray Maluaga? Go figure…wonder what the broncos were thinking???

  • bilrob

    It’s obvious to me that the powers that be saw enough potential in him to use a draft pick on him. As a MLB, 4.95 is not too slow. It might be a handycap on short passes over the middle if he can’t cover.

  • http://broncotalk.net Kyle

    Thanks for your comments guys. I appreciate the feedback every time.

    The good and the bad are just that – the good, then the bad. I don’t think it’s confusing. Then, under status, I draw conclusions based on the consensus of what I see on film (when possible) and from reading scouting reports.

    Trust me, I’m not calling him a bust, I just think he has the most to prove to stay on the team out of all the rookies. UDFA Wesley Woodyard could give him a run for his money, too, so he’ll be competing against both vets and another rookie for a spot.

    Obviously he’s a fast dude compared to 99% of people his size or he wouldn’t have been drafted. There’s a difference between speed and NFL speed. Yes, he led the Pac 10, but that was only good for 13th in the nation last year… I never read the mission thing being a negative, and don’t view it as such (I grew up Mormon)…

    The players you mentioned… Ellis is a DT… was never a big fan of Rivers… Maualuga lets wait and see. Larsen’s highest tackle total was 89 before his senior year.

    Alright, time to go to the theatre and catch Dark Knight… holy crap I’m quivering in anticipation! :)

  • http://www.systemlevel.com/ Darren

    I had the opportunity to serve with Larsen in Chile on our missions… When I read “the bad” I wasn’t concerned… I know Larsen very well. He has incredible work ethic and the write up for “the good” hit it right on the head. “He has great instincts and is a smart, overachieving guy with a good head on his shoulders.” He’ll be an asset to the team. Watch for this guy…. over the long run he will deliver as he continues to grow into the NFL.

  • Jose Beuford

    I have a feeling we have the next Keith Burns in Larsen

  • http://broncotalk.net Kyle

    Jose – that’s a great comparison. One can only hope Larsen would have that type of long term impact.

  • TJ

    Holy crap! When did we draft Matt Damon?

  • Arden

    I’m blocking Matt Damon!

  • Dave

    I played with Spence in High School out in Gilbert, AZ at Highland High School and went to UofA with him (didn’t play though) – he was the only guy I was afraid to hit. He looked forward to getting headaches at practice. The guy can play football…he is one of the hardest workers I know; that is why he came back so soon after this knee injury.

    He is a hard-nosed, old-school football player. Another AZ Alum: a guy named Bruschi – not big, not fast…but a football player!

    Knock’em dead buddy!

  • Billiam

    I just moved to CO and I’m trying to vote for the Bronco’s aka Donkeys but given last week’s performance don’t know if I will. Concerning the Larsen kid he looks great. In fact so good that I’d say trade him to my favorite team the Cardinals. I’m sure we could benefit from him. Based upon what I saw and just read about him from the news he’s got game. From a recent news clip….”LB Spencer Larsen, a second teamer at inside linebacker, led the Broncos with six tackles against the 49ers, including one for loss…” ENOUGH SAID…. the guy comes to play and does what is needed, obviously better than some for the first teamers……..we need more players and persons like him. So keep up the the discounts on his ability so that the Cards can get him at a bargain price before we have to start paying him superstar wages.

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