The Linebacker position was an area that the Denver Broncos wanted to shore up this offseason and they did quite a bit to address that. In Free Agency, Shaun Phillips and Stewart Bradley were signed. Then Quanterus Smith was selected in the 5th round of last month’s NFL Draft. When the College Free Agency period began, the Broncos brought in four more prospects to contend for a role on the 2013 team; Lerentee McCray, John Youboty, Uona Kaveinga and today’s featured player, Doug Rippy.
Doug Rippy, a 6’-3”, 245, 23-year old Linebacker, played his college ball with the Colorado Buffaloes. NFL Draft Scout had him rated 40th out of 132 Inside Linebackers and 894th overall. Doug wasn’t expected to be drafted in 2013 and so he wasn’t invited to the Combine. Here are his measurables from CU’s Pro Day:
40 Yard Time – 4.71
20 Yard Split – 2.75
10 Yard Split – 1.64
Bench Press – 23
Vertical Jump – 34.5”
Broad Jump – 114”
20 Yard Shuttle – 4.50
3-Cone Drill – 7.27
Arm Length – 31 1/8”
Hand Length – 9”
A 4-year Letterman for the Buffs, Rippy graduated with a degree in History and Ethnic Studies in December 2012. He appeared in 27 games, starting 4, with 104 Tackles, 7 Tackles For a Loss, 4 Sacks, 4 QB Hurries and 1 Forced Fumble for his career.
He Redshirted in 2008 and practiced at both Inside and Outside Linebacker during the fall. Doug dressed for 10 games but saw action.
In 2009, Rippy saw action in the first six games of the season, including one start at Outside linebacker. Hindered by a sprained knee the second half of the year, Doug had the knee Scoped in December. He registered six Tackles, including a Quarterback Sack in the Wyoming game. Rippy also had a Hurry and tied the school record for the most blocked kicks in a game when he got his hands on two punts at Toledo. He notched eight Special Teams points on the strength of three Tackles, the two punt blocks, a knockdown block and wedge break.
As a Sophomore in 2010, Doug saw action in all 12 games, on Special Teams and in six on defense as a backup Inside Linebacker. He recorded four Tackles and was a key performer on Special Teams, finishing 3rd on the team in Special Team points with 23; those included a team season-high seven against Kansas State. He earned the points via six Tackles, eight knockdown blocks, six first downfield credits that altered the opponents’ return path and two wedge breaks. He moved to Inside Linebacker from the Outside during the spring. In spring conditioning tests, his 35-inch vertical leap tied for 6th-best on the team, showing he was fully recovered from postseason arthroscopic knee surgery by mid-January.
During his Junior year (2011), he started the first seven games at Inside linebacker before being lost for the season by a knee injury and subsequent surgery. Doug was having a career season. He was the Buff’s leading Tackler through six games (52 at the time) and had added 10 more against Washington when he suffered torn ligaments (ACL and MCL) on October 15th. A month later, he had surgery. Rippy ended up finishing 5th on the team in Tackles for the year with 62, 5 TFL’s and three Sacks. He added three Quarterback Hurries and had three games with double-digit Tackles, including a career-high 14 against California. Doug earned eight Special Team points on the strength of three Tackles, three knockdown blocks and two forced fair catches.
Rippy overcame an early season knee injury his Senior year (2012) to see action in 9 games and starting 3 (2 at MIKE Linebacker and the other at the SAM position due to injuries). He had a season-high 6 Tackles against USC. After spraining a knee in the season opener against Colorado State, Doug tried to play in the second week against Sacramento State, but after six plays, it was apparent he couldn’t continue. He missed the next three games. Rippy finished the season with 32 Tackles, 1 TFL and a Forced Fumble. He registered a season-high seven Tackles at USC. He had entered the fall as the starting MIKE Inside Linebacker, but was limited in August camp as he continued rehabilitation following knee surgery in November 2011.
Rippy had really started to come on during his Junior season, but injuries have marred his young career. That and the limited playing time makes it clear why he went undrafted. He has the size, speed and power to play the position, but health and bad luck may make his Pro career very short.
How he fits in Denver:
I have to think Rippy is a longshot to make the team. Even if he is completely recovered from the knee issues, the downtime will have affected his development. It will be interesting to see how he does in Training Camp with plenty of other bodies in competition at Linebacker.
– Kaptain Kirk