The Denver Broncos‘ outside linebacker Danny Trevathan may be undersized and largely unknown, but he has shown big-time potential in his first two years. Barring major injury, he will be a fixture of the Broncos’ defense for years to come, so let’s get to know him.
Taken in the sixth round with the 188th pick out of the University of Kentucky, Trevathan very well may be the best draft pick of John Elway era. He was overlooked by NFL scouts due to his size (6-foot-1, 240 pounds), but he had demonstrated tremendous ability and football instincts while in college, leading the SEC in tackling for two consecutive years, forcing 11 career fumbles, and picking off four passes.
Perhaps even more impressive than the numbers is the fact that he radically improved in each of his four seasons with the Wildcats. In his junior campaign, Trevathan recorded 62 more tackles than his sophomore season (82) and doubled the amount of forced fumbles, making him a stout run-stopping linebacker. Then, after foregoing the NFL draft to play his senior year, he drastically improved his pass coverage and recorded all four of his career collegiate interceptions, making him a complete defensive player.
In the new NFL, where receivers are nearly untouchable, having a linebacker with the quickness to cover as well as the strength tackle is paramount. In only five games this season, Trevathan has proven he can do just that as an NFL starter. Currently tied for the team lead in both tackles and interceptions, he solidifies the Broncos’ linebacker corps, playing aside fellow Wildcat Wesley Woodyard and (eventually) Von Miller, and allows the defense to play much more aggressive due to his versatility.
At only 23 years old, Trevathan will continue to get stronger and better at reading opposing offenses. If he can stay healthy, he has the potential to become the team’s defensive MVP this season, and a perennial pro bowler in the near future.
Written by John Spina. Follow him on Facebook or on Twitter @jsspina24