Denver Broncos: Ernie Sims Could Be an Immediate Impact Replacement at WLB

Jason MuckleySenior Analyst IIJuly 26, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 18:  Ernie Sims #55 of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates after the Colts beat the Tennessee Titans 27-13  in the NFL game at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 18, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

After a month of bad news for the Denver Broncos on defense, including an arrest for aggravated assault for Elvis Dumervil and then multiple failed drug tests for performance enhancing substances by D.J. Williams, there are a myriad of questions surrounding the Broncos defense in 2012.

The Broncos depth at linebacker is an area of concern going into training camp this week as the bunch is mostly made up of a new draft pick and college free agents, outside of Joe Mays at middle linebacker, Wesley Woodyard at weak side linebacker, and a couple of unspectacular second-year guys in Nate Irving and Mike Mohamed. Von Miller at strong side linebacker is my odds-on favorite to win defensive player of the year if he can continue to improve and develop in 2012.

As for veteran leadership, it's just not there. Both Woodyard and Mays have just five seasons of experience each, and the rest of the bunch have been in the league for just over a single season.

Woodyard has been average when he was called upon to replace D.J. Williams when he missed some time due to injury the past season. I think that now might be the time for the Broncos to make another free agency acquisition as training camp kicks off this week.

Ernie Sims, formerly of the Indianapolis Colts, drafted as a top 10 pick by the Detroit Lions, if healthy would be the perfect fit for the Broncos, who find themselves in dire need of another body at the Will linebacker spot.

Sims had an above average season even though he missed three games with the Colts in 2011. He racked up 61 tackles, 32 of which were solos. The Broncos are in great need of quality talent opposite of Von Miller and Sims is definitely the most eligible veteran out there.

Sims' production has noticeably dipped in recent years and there have been issues involving concussions the past couple seasons, but as the Broncos face an extended period of time without Williams in the lineup to start the 2012 season, Sims would serve as a great plug on the weakside until Williams returned.