Gut Reaction: Brodrick Bunkley

Now that John Elway is back with the Broncos, the suffering of Cleveland Browns fans can commence yet again.

Enter Brodrick Bunkley.  For whatever reason--whether Bunkley wouldn't report to the Browns or not--Bunkley won't have the pleasure of seeing grown men gorge themselves on dog biscuits.  

Instead, he's coming to Denver.

After watching Brodrick Bunkley on film last year, it's easy to see why the Broncos traded for him.

Bunkley is workmanlike; he does his job.  That's been a rarity in the last two years in Denver.

Bunkley will be a welcome addition. 

I watched two of Bunkley's game tapes.  The first was from Week 17 against the Dallas Cowboys, which Pro Football Focus (PFF) rated as Bunkley's best game.   The second was the Week 3 matchup against the Jaguars, which PFF rated as his worst game.  

The Eagles played Bunkley at both the 3-technique and at nose tackle in their 4-3 defense; his primarly purpose was to stop the run.  On 3rd downs, the Eagles always substituted for him in order to bring in quicker pass rushers and their nickel package.   

The Broncos will need to do the same.  You'll never see Bunkley log even average sack numbers, so from this perspective, he's a shell of what the Eagles thought they were getting with a 1st-round draft pick.  On tape, Bunkley lacks a quick first step and doesn't explode up the field well.  He's not particularly fast.  He lacks any semblance of a pass-rush repertoire.  In short, he's not much of a penetrating force. 

Bunkley is country strong, however.  He's particularly strong in the shoulders, arms, and hands.  He is rarely (if ever) blown off the ball.   He holds the line of scrimmage well so that linebackers have a clear lane to the ball.  He won't just try to anchor.  He'll be an anchor.

I was surprised by Bunkley's ability to shed and move laterally down the line of scrimmage on several occasions.  When he gets pressure, he usually just throws his blocker aside and creates space to get to the quarterback.  It's not a swim move.  It's not even close to a rip move.  It's simply one man chucking another man to the side.  Again, this dude is strong.

After watching (limited) tape on Bunkley, it's my view that he's an upgrade over current tackles Ryan McBean and Kevin Vickerson, and would, today, be in the starting lineup on running downs next to Marcus Thomas. 

Clearly, the Eagles' defense is not the Broncos' defense.  After signing Cullen Jenkins, the Eagles had the luxury of letting Bunkley go.  

But for a team that has been unable to stop the run for at least five years, Bunkley is just what the doctor ordered.  He does his job.

Don't expect Bunkley to light things up statistically.  He simply won't do it.  

But expect the Broncos' linebackers to thank him.  Their job just got easier.

TJ Johnson can be reached through telegraph, ESP, Spanish interpretor, or via email: Follow him on Facebook and Twitter if you want to see him mock "the man."  He assumes you are following It’s All Over Fat Man on Facebook and Twitter, but if you are not, that’s nihilistic, man.

I’m glad we had this talk.  Now, vaya con Dios, Brah.

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Gut Reactions