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Published on 03/30/2009 at Mon Mar 30 07:53.
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James Laurinaitis

James Laurinaitis

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.

  • jcampb72

    I think looking at either one of these guys is a decoy. We need to start building for a 3-4, so james would make more sense than kruger at this point.

  • Jason

    I agree. The levels of deceit and misdirection used in rookie scouting by NFL coaches and GM’s is astounding.

  • troyn

    i believe connor and posluzny were Penn State Lb’s not OSU. 2nd round would be alright for either laurenitis or kruger, unless someone like brace is still there.

  • Mr.East

    troyn – You’re right, I meant to say Big Ten, but I wrote this article real quick and got sloppy. Thanks for the correction. I agree that if Brace is on the board Denver needs to take him given Raji wasn’t selected in the first.

  • mikebirty

    or take raji and brace!

    From what i’ve read there seems to less debate over JLs skills than Rey Mal’s – even if consensus is he may not be as good. Would anyone complain if he was picked? Or would it be just a case of maybe leaving a player with better potential on the board?

  • jcampb72

    I seriously doubt james will drop to the 2nd round but I’ve been wrong before.

  • kerry

    James is good. more rounded and NFL ready then Maualuga. but this is all irrelavant. McDaniels has said he wants big guys up front. if Raji isnt selected then Tyson Jackson at 12 and Ron Brace at 48. this is just a smokescreen.

  • Danish

    My feel, to be honest, is that a trade up from 48 will be necessary in order to get Lauranitis.

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  • Fan From Spain

    home game agaist the Bears on NBC preseason week 3 :)

  • NathanH

    James is a great leader. We’d be very lucky to land him in the 2nd. If he would have left last year he would have been a top 10 pick.

  • champ2203

    chicken little thinks cutler saga may soon be over……….

  • BroncoinVA9986


  • jcampb72

    Turn on nfl network people, broncos path to the draft is on!

  • flbronc

    i’d love laurinitis in the second. he’d be a good pickup at 48- i would not trade to get him though. that is barring brace is off the board at 48, which i think he will be. i dont think that raji will be there in the first, so we’ll go with the best de on the board at that point- jackson or brown i think will both be available.

    on another note… did you read the last question on the link from champ2003? what a great overtime idea… i’m all for it. basically he proposes that the winner of the pregame coin flip gets the ball in ot too, so the trailing team will know who gets the ball- essentially forcing more teams to play for the win rather than the tie knowing they wont get the ball first in the ot period.

  • Roshon

    I like the idea of Laurinaitis in the 2nd. This guy was a projected as top 5 pick last year. He had an all-american season again and drops to the 2nd round. He’s a solid LB and a great leader. He’s not Ray Lewis but hey good things happen when an OSU linebacker ends up in Denver. I like Ron Brace too, I would be happy with either one but I hope they stay away from Tyson Jackson. There has just been to many SEC DE/LBS bust here lately. Seems like they’re built more for the college game than the pros.

  • champ2203

    I know what a clown right? LOL

  • ryan

    I just don’t think this draft is as deep as the last few years and would love to see the Broncos trade up using their cache of later picks. Moving to the 3-4 it would behoove us to get Raji or Brace and Larry English or Laurinaitis.

    If we could leave the first two rounds with a 2 of those four guys I would consider that a great first day for us.

  • mikebirty

    right i have my draft plan – no drafting malualaga or laurinaitis. Especially after releasing koutouvides. Some of us have to do blog comments on our mobiles and for that reason i’d prefer jackson and brace.

  • Roy

    If we manage to get Raji in the rd 1 I would do back flips if we get Laurinaitis in 2. I think he is a great LB, and whatever team lands him will get a starter from day 1, and a futer leader in the lockerroom.

  • jchase8410

    Knowshon Moreno has workouts scheduled with Denver and San Diego too. It seems like We are working out every position, I’m sure they’ll pick up the right guy for the betterment of the team

  • robtink242

    they only way they pick Moreno is if they trade for a NT. Even then it still doesn’t make sense cause theres so many holes on the defense. where safe drafting a late round back.