Dekoda Watson, Vontarrius Dora, Sadat Sulleyman show Broncos have more talented pass rushers than they can keep

Dekoda Watson, Vontarrius Dora, Sadat Sulleyman show Broncos have more talented pass rushers than they can keep

A Broncos outside linebacker unleashes a speed rush around the edge blowing past the left tackle and sacking an unsuspecting quarterback. He immediately leaps up and unveils a sack dance. Denver fans saw that a lot last season.

The immediate thought comes – was that Von Miller or Shane Ray? Neither. The numbers were close, but it’s a new addition to the Broncos pass rush family, Dekoda Watson, who took down Rams quarterback Jared Goff in the third quarter Saturday.

Watson’s story is unique. He’s a journeyman linebacker on his fifth NFL team headed into his seventh season. The Broncos saw an opportunity to transition him from an inside linebacker to an outside linebacker to show off his speed. He’s capitalized.

“I’ve been waiting and wishing for an opportunity, like, ‘Why can’t I be just like Von,’” Watson said. “I remember being in Tampa and thinking, ‘why can’t you let me go? Von goes. He doesn’t have to think. He just goes. When can I have that opportunity?’ I never got there. Now that I’m here and they’re telling me that I can go, it’s lovely.”

Watson also took down Rams quarterback Sean Mannion for an additional sack and a half in the fourth quarter for 2 ½ total sacks Saturday. He’s had at least a ½ sack in every game this preseason and four sacks total, tied for most in the NFL.

Denver kept five outside linebackers last season and appear to be in position to do the same this season.

Miller, Ray, DeMarcus Ware and Shaquil Barrett appear to be locks. Watson is in a tight competition with a host of college free agents including Vontarrius Dora and Sadat Sulleyman.

Dora had two sacks in the preseason opener against Chicago and also landed a hard hit on Goff that ended his day early Saturday. He has to continue to make plays every game if he hopes to have a chance at making the team.

  • Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) warms up during pregame versus the Los Angeles Rams on Aug. 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

  • Alexys Graff of Colorado Springs had a birthday request of Denver Broncos linebacker Shane Ray prior to the preseason game with the Los Angeles Rams at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Saturday, August 27, 2016.

    Steve Nehf, The Denver Post

    Alexys Graff of Colorado Springs had a birthday request of Denver Broncos linebacker Shane Ray prior to the preseason game with the Los Angeles Rams at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Saturday, August 27, 2016.

  • Denver Broncos linebacker Shane Ray takes a selfie with Alexys Graff, 9, of Colorado Springs before the preseason game agains the Los Angeles Rams at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Saturday, August 27, 2016.

    Steve Nehf, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos linebacker Shane Ray takes a selfie with Alexys Graff, 9, of Colorado Springs before the preseason game agains the Los Angeles Rams at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Saturday, August 27, 2016.

  • The Denver Broncos versus the Los Angeles Rams August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    The Denver Broncos versus the Los Angeles Rams August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) does his dance after a sack in the first quarter on Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) does his dance after a sack in the first quarter on Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos inside linebacker Brandon Marshall (54) Denver Broncos middle linebacker Todd Davis (51) and Denver Broncos nose tackle Darius Kilgo (98) wrap up Los Angeles Rams running back Benny Cunningham (23) for a loss during the first quarter August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos inside linebacker Brandon Marshall (54) Denver Broncos middle linebacker Todd Davis (51) and Denver Broncos nose tackle Darius Kilgo (98) wrap up Los Angeles Rams running back Benny Cunningham (23) for a loss during the first quarter August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson (22) runs the ball to the outside against the Los Angeles Rams August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson (22) runs the ball to the outside against the Los Angeles Rams August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

  • Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) throws a pass against the Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) during the first quarter August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) throws a pass against the Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) during the first quarter August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (10) turns up field after a catch as Los Angeles Rams Joran Kovacs (42) comes in for the tackle during the second quarter August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (10) turns up field after a catch as Los Angeles Rams Joran Kovacs (42) comes in for the tackle during the second quarter August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) looks downfield during the second quarter against the Los Angeles Rams August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) looks downfield during the second quarter against the Los Angeles Rams August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

  • Los Angeles Rams cornerback Lamarcus Joyner (20) puts a hit on Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) after a catch during the second quarter August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Los Angeles Rams cornerback Lamarcus Joyner (20) puts a hit on Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) after a catch during the second quarter August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (10) gets hit early by Los Angeles Rams cornerback Lamarcus Joyner (20) during the second quarter August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium. Joyner was called for interference on the play.

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (10) gets hit early by Los Angeles Rams cornerback Lamarcus Joyner (20) during the second quarter August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium. Joyner was called for interference on the play.

  • Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) fights to get past Los Angeles Rams offensive guard Garrett Reynolds (71) during the second quarter August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) fights to get past Los Angeles Rams offensive guard Garrett Reynolds (71) during the second quarter August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos free safety Darian Stewart (26) can't hang on to a potential interception on a pass intended for Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee (89) during the second quarter August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos free safety Darian Stewart (26) can't hang on to a potential interception on a pass intended for Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee (89) during the second quarter August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos free safety Darian Stewart (26) can't hang on to a potential interception on a pass intended for Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee (89) during the second quarter August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos free safety Darian Stewart (26) can't hang on to a potential interception on a pass intended for Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee (89) during the second quarter August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Simian gets a pass off out of the pocket in the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Saturday, August 27, 2016.

    Steve Nehf, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Simian gets a pass off out of the pocket in the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Saturday, August 27, 2016.

  • Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Simian gets a pass off out of the pocket in the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Saturday, August 27, 2016.

    Steve Nehf, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Simian gets a pass off out of the pocket in the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Saturday, August 27, 2016.

  • Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman (23) rushes in for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman (23) rushes in for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos Los Angeles Rams August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos Los Angeles Rams August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch (12) handoff to Denver Broncos running back Kapri Bibbs (35) during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch (12) handoff to Denver Broncos running back Kapri Bibbs (35) during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos defensive back Ryan Murphy (36) breaks up a pass intended for Los Angeles Rams wide receiver David Richards (12) during the fourth quarter August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos defensive back Ryan Murphy (36) breaks up a pass intended for Los Angeles Rams wide receiver David Richards (12) during the fourth quarter August 27, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

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“It’s tough,” Dora said. “It’s in their hands. I just want to play my heart out for that last game. I know it’s my last interview. I want the coaches to look at the film and say ‘I need that guy on my football team.’”

Sulleyman also made a late push Saturday by notching two sacks, but he may be a victim to the numbers game. Dora and Sulleyman are both practice squad eligible, but it may be difficult to get them through waivers without another team picking them up, particularly the former.

There’s no such thing as too many pass rushers, but the Broncos won’t be able to fit them all on their 53-man roster.

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