Weight: 238 pounds
40 Time: 4.75 seconds
Bench Press Reps: 21
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – As Cal’s inside linebacker, Mike Mohamed had a knack for being around the football. No Cal player had more tackles in the last 16 years than Mohamed, and in the Golden Bears’ best performance last year — a narrow loss to then-No. 1 Oregon — Mohamed had a career-high 16 tackles.
“I think the first thing that stands out is that I’m a ball hawk. I’m relentless,” Mohamed said Saturday. “I’ll always try to get to the ball, obviously within the parameters of the defense. I’m never giving up on plays; my motto is, ‘All or nothing.’”
He obviously impressed a certain Stanford alumnus who has final say over the Broncos’ football operations.
“He told me, ‘Imagine a Stanford guy drafting a Cal guy.’ You would never think that in a million years,’” Mohamed said.
With two other linebackers already selected, D.J. Williams and Mario Haggan still on the roster and third-rounder Nate Irving poised to take over middle linebacking responsibilities, Mohamed’s immediate future may lie on special teams. This is to be expected for John Fox’s backup linebackers, who in Carolina were often selected on the basis of their ability to contribute on kickoffs and punts; that’s why Joe Mays and Wesley Woodyard may still have long-term futures in Denver even with the team’s draft-week run on linebackers.
Mohamed also played some outside linebacker at Cal, so he could back up there, as well.
“I haven’t been told about my role,” Mohamed said. “I just want to come in, and wherever they need me—wherever I fit in— that’s where I’ll go.”
MOHAMED’S SELECTION means that the Broncos have selected more linebackers this draft than in the five previous drafts combined, when they only picked two, neither of whom plays there now: Spencer Larsen (2008, now a fullback) and Jamie Kirlew (2010, didn’t make it beyond training camp).
From 1998-2004, the Broncos picked six linebackers, including four in the first two rounds. This allowed them to put together a corps that by the mid 2000′s was among among the league’s fastest and best, with outside linebackers D.J. Williams and Ian Gold flanking Pro Bowler Al Wilson.
Since a neck injury brought a premature end to Wilson’s career after the 2006 season, the Broncos have changed to a 3-4 scheme and started 13 different players at linebacker — a group that includes three converted defensive ends: Robert Ayers, Elvis Dumervil and Jason Hunter. All three are back at defensive end in the 4-3 alignment, creating linebacker vacancies that the Broncos spent the last three days filling.