The Denver Broncos wanted to address the linebacker position, which was an issue in the 2021 season. The Broncos suffered multiple inside linebacker injuries, and depth was tested, and before Jonas Griffith and Baron Browning did intervene, the depth was failing.
Thus, in free agency last spring, the Broncos signed a linebacker from the Philadelphia Eagles, Alex Singleton. Singleton was a vital special teams player for the Eagles, but he also saw the field on defense.
So, with the changes in defense, what does Singleton offer for the 2022 season? Let’s take a look at his resume to get a pearl on the answer.
Singleton will turn 29 towards the end of the season.
Singleton played his college football at Montana State. In the last two years of playing for the Bobcats, he’s filled out the stat sheet.
According to the Montana State website, Singleton had 155 tackles, 31.5 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and four combined interceptions in 2013 and 2014. He topped the competition at which he was faced, and after the 2014 season he was eligible. for the 2015 NFL Draft.
Singleton had a solid Pro Day, but it wasn’t enough to get drafted. He rebounded in the NFL for the 2015 season, but in the 2016 Canadian Football League draft, he was the sixth overall pick.
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Prior to being drafted into the CFL, Singleton spent time with the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots before landing with the Minnesota Vikings for most of the 2015 season.
Singleton spent the 2016, 2017 and 2018 seasons with the Calgary Stampeders before signing with the Eagles in January 2019. He remained with the Eagles for the next three seasons and played reasonably well.
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While with the Eagles, Singleton was a vital special teams player, seeing over 200 snaps each season and 731 third phase snaps. It was well rated by Focus on professional football each of the last two seasons with a special teams rating of 78.6 and 69.8, respectively, after a 61.8 rating in his first year in Philadelphia.
In the past two seasons, Singleton has seen the field in defense, and PFF has ranked him poorly in coverage: 52.0 in 2020 and 39.3 in 2021. He has been targeted 128 times over those two seasons, allowing 108 catches for 958 yards and nine touchdowns.
Singleton’s play as a pass rusher, as a blitzer, was effective. On 63 passing rush snaps, he had 17 total pressures and three sacks over the two years.
Singleton was fine as a depth play, but he’s not starting material at linebacker. Missed tackles were a problem as he felt six on special teams, with 12 tackles, and added 35 more puffs on defense.
Now, Singleton has 189 tackles over the past two seasons, but his average tackle depth was 5.1 yards in 2020 and 3.4 in 2021. So if you think of him as a special teams linebacker and a depth in defense is acceptable.
But if you consider him a starter, especially in the AFC West, it will be problematic.
The Broncos’ starting linebackers appear to be Josey Jewell and Jonas Griffith. It doesn’t look like Singleton is as much a part of this competition as some media outlets first thought, but rather an important piece of depth. His special teams play is good, and Denver was in dire need of help there.
There aren’t many advantages with Singleton as with Griffith, and Singleton isn’t as good as Jewell. Singleton will be on the Broncos’ roster barring injuries, but his role seems destined to be a special teams baseman as the team looks to see significant improvement in its special teams units.
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