Broncos 2020 Roster Breakdown: Josh Watson | Hybrid LB

Erick Trickel

Each summer, Mile High Huddle goes player by player to break down the Denver Broncos' roster. That’s right, all 90 of them.

We'll scrutinize each player's history, dating back to college, and what they bring to the 2020 Broncos. Next up? Josh Watson, the stand-out linebacker one year removed from being an undrafted free agent linebacker.

Watson was an interesting player to watch as a Colorado State Ram, but also with how he was used by the Broncos in the 2019 preseason. The linebacker was used in a hybrid role as both an edge and off-ball linebacker with varying levels of success. 

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Watson was actually better when he was tasked with playing the edge than he was off-ball and showed some major concerns with his play in coverage. Denver likes to have versatility in its defense, but there needs to be more consistency from Watson, which was lacking.

The Broncos didn’t do much to upgrade their linebacker corps with the exception of drafting Justin Strnad as a potential cover guy. That does help Watson as he fights for a roster spot, but the emergence of Alexander Johnson from last year kind of balances it out. 

Denver will carry four or five linebackers, depending on how many edge defenders are kept, but Johnson, Strnad, Todd Davis, and Josey Jewell all likely have jobs. There is also another hybrid in Justin Hollins competing for a spot. 

The competition is stiff for Watson so he has to show a lot of improvement if he wants a shot at making it. For a deeper look at Watson, check out the video above. 

Follow Erick on Twitter @ErickTrickel and @MileHighHuddle. 

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Comments (6)
No. 1-5

I think I asked you this before I’ve read that the Broncos really like Watson is there any way he finds himself into the lineup much like Johnson did when he got his chance. And do you think any of these guys can replace Todd Davis linebacker is a position you don’t need to spend a top pick on unless they are just a superstar in the making.

1 Reply

Erick   Trickel
Erick Trickel


Actually, just moments ago in person I made a comment to another that Watson is just a poor mans version of Davis. Have him spend a year in a depth role and work to develop him then give him a chance to step up next year.


///FACT CHECK////Seemed to be a pretty good pass coverage player me according to his stats///FORCE (Oct. 28).
2017 (Junior): Played in all 13 games and started 12, recording a team-high 109 tackles, 5.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, two interceptions, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and seven pass breakups... Through Week 13, his nine total pass defenses ranked first in the Mountain West and tied for fourth in the country among non defensive backs.


I wouldn’t call him a poor mans version of Todd Davis, his game an Number’s don’t show that. An numbers don’t lye! But more so an underdog that has always risen to the top amongst his competition. That just so happens to be an undrafted free agent, with higher paid players in front of him. But when they give this kid a chance he will become a BRONCO LEGEND


Watson was also a top 10 Inside linebacker, so Eric what do think?