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What The Denver Broncos Should Know, Now That They've Drafted LB Corey Nelson

Nelson was off to a career season before his senior year was cut short due to injury.

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Corey Nelson was one of a handful of players who saw their senior season cut short at Oklahoma due to an injury. After producing the defining play of his career, as a Sooner, against Notre Dame in week four of the 2013 season, Nelson suffered a partially torn pectoral muscle against TCU in week five.

Nelson played four years at Oklahoma, making the field in all fourteen games as a true freshman in 2010, but his sophomore season was his most productive. That year he tallied a career-high 58 tackles (8.5 for loss), 5.5 sacks, a fumble recovery, and four pass breakups. His 5.5 sacks that season were the second most by a linebacker in program history.

After a slight drop in production in 2012, Neslon was looking to be the leader the of Oklahoma's defense as a senior in 2013. Recording 27 tackles (3 for loss), a sack, and an interception through the first five games, he was well on his way to a career season before sustaining the injury against TCU.

Vitals

HT

6-0

WT

231

Career Moment 09-28-13

With Oklahoma's game against Notre Dame just barely underway, in South Bend, Nelson snagged a duck thrown by Tommy Rees, as he was hit by a blitzing Eric Striker, and returned it 24 yards for a score. The pick-6 set the tone for the game as the OU defense would dominate a struggling Irish offense in the Sooners' first win over Notre Dame since 1956.

Strengths

Body Size & Strength

Nelson is a thick player who knows how to use his strength to his advantage. He won't get run over very often and he won't be out of position either.

Form Tackler

Doesn't lower his head at the point of contact. Instead he uses his face mask to see his target and explodes into the ball carrier with his shoulders and arms, using his legs as leverage.

Good Pass Rush

Nelson has decent speed off the edge and great balance and strength to get around an offensive tackle or a protecting running back.

Weaknesses

Speed

Nelson lacks the size of a prototypical NFL middle linebacker and may struggle with running down ball carriers as an outside backer.

Coverage

A natural run-stopper, Nelson struggled at times keeping up with tight ends and running backs on passing routes.