Robert Ayers NFL Football rookie preview for the number 18 pick in the 2009 NFL draft selected by the Denver Broncos from Tennessee.
Number 18 Pick: Denver Broncos – Robert Ayers (LB, Tennessee)
With the eighteenth pick in the 2009 draft, the Denver Broncos chose Robert Ayers from Tennessee. Ayers comes in at 6’3” and 272 lbs. The Broncos are taking a bit of a risk with Ayers who had one great year his senior season. They are hoping he provides them with some run stopping ability.
Ayers was highly touted coming out of high school but struggled for his first few years at Tennessee. He did have a great senior campaign with 34 solo tackles and 3 sacks. SEC coaches named him to the All Conference team. He also won the defensive MVP at the Senior Bowl. The questions about his lackluster play his first 3 years at Tennessee may be in the past.
Ayers has a strong body with powerful legs that drive through blockers at the point of attack. He uses his hands well to fight off blockers. Ayers is a smart football player and mixes up his attacks. Sometimes he will take his blocker by surprise with speed. He is a good closer. Ayers played all over the defensive unit while at Tennessee. This versatility will help him in the NFL.
He is not a pure athlete like some other players in the draft. He relies more on his strategy while rushing the passer. He will need to learn some fundamentals regarding tackling. It is also a question whether or not he can play consistently at the pro-level. The Broncos looked at taking him earlier, but let him fall to the number 18 spot.
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