Posted Mon Mar 30th by Mr.East
According to the Denver Post (this article is mainly about Matt Prater, but ehh… I care about defense more), Ohio State inside linebacker James Laurinaitis and Utah defensive end Paul Kruger recently held workouts with Denver. Both of these defensive players are second round prospects at the 48th overall pick.
It’s strange thinking back a few months ago when Laurinaitis was projected to the Broncos for their first round pick, and now he’s fallen quite far. Laurinaitis could have been a first rounder had he came out last season as a junior. It’s very typical for Ohio State Big Ten linebackers to fall out of the first round, just take a look at Dan Connor and Paul Posluszny. Laurinaitis is categorized as a ‘pure’ 4-3 inside linebacker which shouldn’t pose too much of a problem for Denver’s multi-packaged defense this year. Laurinaitis wouldn’t be a bad selection in the second round.
Kruger is 6’4 and roughly 265 pounds. Unless Kruger plans gaining 40-50 pounds without losing any functionalitly he’ll have to play outside linebacker. Kruger’s production is pretty average with 7.5 sacks, 61 tackles, and 16.5 TFLs. The 16.5 TFLs is impressive though. Just like Laurinaitis, Kruger could be a good fit in the transisitonal defense in Denver. The ability to play with your hand in the dirt as well as standing up will be a big concern this draft at the defensive end position. Mike Nolan, Josh McDaniels, and Wayne Nunnely are all coaches who play out of the 3-4 but they will implement 4-3 packages this season as well.