The Denver Broncos offensive line was completely harassed during their Super Bowl disappointment by the Seattle Seahawks‘ “Legion of Boom.” The line set to protect Peyton Manning did all that they could to give him the time he needed in the pocket but could not stop the relentless pressure. There was no questioning that the Broncos needed to improve on the offensive line during the offseason.
The team was able to obtain Will Montgomery to help improve the line in free agency. In the draft, the Broncos decided to use their third round pick on the Michigan University tackle Michael Schofield. I have stated in previous articles that this was the one prospect that I believe the Broncos should not have selected. I know that the team needed depth at the offensive line, but they could have found a better prospect.
He was able to improve his stock during his performance at the Senior Bowl because he has the ability to lock down on defenders. Once he has his defender engaged, he can control them and move them away from the football depending on if the quarterback is looking for someone to pass to or if a running back is looking for a hole to run through on the line. He has a great, hard working mentality that could benefit him at the next level.
What makes Schofield a sub par pick for the Broncos is that he does not handle the pass rush very well, especially when the defender is coming from the edge. He has a difficult time handling the wide rush which gives outside linebackers an edge and allows them to get to the ball carrier. He is also not quick on his feet, which could be the reason behind his inability to stop the pass rush or a player coming off the edge. The foot work is something that he really needs to improve on in training camp and preseason if he is going to have any shot of starting.
Due to the depth of the offensive line, he could find himself as a backup to start off, especially because he has so many weaknesses. If he can find a way to improve on them, he could become a solid starter at best. This is an offensive line that is carefully being molded to withstand almost anything that is thrown at it and to keep Manning on his feet. If Schofield wants to become a big part in protecting the future hall of fame quarterback, then he will need to really impress the coaches and staff this summer.