- Jeff Legwold, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- When it comes to measuring the value and impact of a player, sacks aren’t everything to a pass-rusher and interceptions aren’t everything for a defensive back.
But the guys who pile up both are sure nice to have.
As former Denver Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil said: “I know a sack isn’t everything, that pressure forces mistakes, making a quarterback uncomfortable is what you always want, but I still would rather have a sack because that’s the most pressure, it makes the quarterback the most uncomfortable. So, getting close can help the defense, but I want to close the deal when I get there, because that kind of separates you from some other guys."
And in the splash play index, interceptions are coveted as well. Of all the defensive backs who were available in this year’s draft, there was only one who had more career interceptions than Lorenzo Doss, one of the newest Broncos.
Doss was the Broncos’ fifth-round selection this past Saturday. When it comes to collecting picks, Doss was more proficient than every other defensive back on the draft board other than Mississippi’s Senquez Golson.
Golson, who was the Pittsburgh Steelers' second-round pick last weekend, had 16 interceptions in his four seasons at the school. Golson’s total included 10 interceptions in his senior season.
Doss had 15 interceptions in three seasons at Tulane; he entered the draft after his junior season. Doss, who played in 12 games with nine starts as a true freshman, had five interceptions in 2012, seven interceptions in 2013 and three interceptions this past season.
“Just talking to my coaches and my family, it just felt like it was time that I came out," Doss said of his decision to turn pro. “I had a great career at Tulane these past few years. I enjoyed it but we all just felt like it was time to come out."
Doss and Golson were the only defensive backs selected in this year’s seven-round draft with more than 12 career interceptions. Memphis’ Bobby McCain, a fifth-round pick by the Miami Dolphins, had 12 career interceptions while Washington’s Marcus Peters and Texas’ Quandre Diggs each had 11 career interceptions.
Certainly, quarterbacks avoid throwing toward many high-profile cornerbacks, so the INT totals don't always indicate how a cornerback affected a team's game plan. But Doss’ total is noteworthy because scouts also pay attention to the players who can come away with the ball when the action does come their way. Peters was the only cornerback selected in the first round last week who had more than eight career interceptions.
Trae Waynes (No. 11 to the Minnesota Vikings) has six career interceptions, Kevin Johnson (No. 16 to the Houston Texans) had seven career interceptions and Byron Jones (No. 27 to the Dallas Cowboys) had eight career interceptions.
“[Doss] had the ball skills we want," said Broncos Executive VP/GM John Elway. “A lot of times guys are in position to make those kinds of plays and they don’t come down the with the ball. But when he was in position to make those plays, he made those plays."
690dJamison Hensley and Jeff Legwold