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DENVER — After being outbid by the Bengals for defensive lineman D.J. Reader, instead of turning to a backup option, John Elway set his sights on an even better target.
Less than 24 hours after losing Reader to the Bengals, Elway landed a defensive lineman with five more Pro Bowls than Reader, millions of dollars cheaper and it only cost the team a seventh-round pick. In a salary-dump move by the Titans, the Broncos were able to land a steal by acquiring 6-foot-1, 305-pound Jurrell Casey.
Here’s what Denver can expect from their new five-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman in 2020.
Projections for 2020: 7.5 sacks; 15 quarterback hits; 11 tackles for a loss; 55 tackles; Pro Bowler
This would be a heckuva season for Casey in his first year in Orange & Blue.
Although Casey is coming off his worst statistical regular season since 2012, there are many reasons to believe he’s set for a big-time bounce-back season. First and foremost, Casey will be surrounded by talent like he’s never had around him before.
With Bradley Chubb and Von Miller on the edges, opposing teams will have to choose who they want to focus on. Teams will be forced to give Casey less attention than they have in the past, making him that much more dangerous. As Casey said, his job will be “a lot easier” having Chubb and Von on each side of him.
Additionally, the previous two times Casey was coming off a five-sack season, he bounced back with even more sacks the following year. In 2019, the former third-round pick had five sacks. History would say he’ll have more than that in 2020.
His impact will be felt much further than just sacks, too. Casey continuously collapses the pocket in the passing game and stuffs lanes in the run game. In the run game, linebackers will be thrilled to have him. In the passing game, Von and Chubb will be elated to have him.
Casey hasn’t missed a Pro Bowl in the past five seasons. That shouldn’t change in 2020, especially since he’ll be set up for success now more than ever.