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Robert Ayers

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Robert Ayers

Robert Ayers
No. 91     Denver Broncos
Defensive End
Personal information
Date of birth: (1985-09-06) September 6, 1985 (age 28)
Place of birth: Jersey City, New Jersey
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)Weight: 274 lb (124 kg)
Career information
College: Tennessee
NFL Draft: 2009 / Round: 1 / Pick: 18
Debuted in 2009 for the Denver Broncos
Career history

Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards

  • First team All-SEC (2008)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 5, 2013

Robert Ayers (born September 6, 1985) is an American football defensive end for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Broncos 18th overall in the 2009 NFL Draft. He played college football at Tennessee.

Early years

Ayers attended Marlboro County High School in Bennettsville, South Carolina. He was an All-State linebacker and was selected to play in the 2003 Shrine Bowl as a senior. That season he recorded 112 tackles and intercepted five passes. As a junior he had 94 tackles, eight sacks, and three interceptions. In addition to lettering in football he lettered in track as a sprinter, running the 100-meter dash and 4 x 100 metres relay.

College career

Ayers began at the University of Tennessee as a redshirt outside linebacker in 2004. As a sophomore he moved to defensive end and was a backup, recording five tackles and one sack. In 2006 he once again was a backup, totaling 25 tackles and one sack. In 2007, Ayers was once again a backup, but led the team with four sacks and 12 tackles for losses. He also had 34 tackles, two pass breakups and four quarterback pressures. As a senior in 2008 Ayers became a starter at right defensive end, recording 49 tackles, three sacks, and a team and league leading 15.5 tackles for losses. He also had six pressures and an interception.

Professional career

Pre-draft

Denver Broncos

Ayers was drafted by the Denver Broncos as the second one of their two first round picks at 18th overall of the 2009 NFL Draft. On August 4, 2009, Ayers signed a five-year contract with $9.7 million guaranteed. In his rookie season he recorded 19 tackles and no sacks. He recorded his first professional sack in week 1 of the 2010 season against David Garrard of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Ayers' second season was a bit of a disappointment to fans who were hoping for high production from the former first-round draft selection. In 2010, Ayers started in ten games as an outside linebacker and recorded 39 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

During the 2011 offseason, Ayers and rookie linebacker Nate Irving swapped jersey numbers (giving Ayers No. 91 and Irving No. 56 -- Ayers' former number). After a brief legal dispute with Reebok, Ayers eventually got to wear No. 91, which was his college number. “Fifty-six was a nice number,” said Ayers, “but I kind of see this as a new beginning for me. We’ve got a new coaching staff, and I want to get back to my roots.”

With a new number and new position (moved from outside linebacker to defensive end, his more-natural position), Ayers was looking to improve in his third season. Starting in 13 games, Ayers recorded 39 tackles and 3.0 sacks (all career highs) while showing improvement against the run. Ayers spent time at defensive end in Denver's base 4-3 defense and rotated to defensive tackle in certain nickel defensive sets during the 2011 season.

Ayers began the 2012 season as a backup under new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.

References

External links

  • Denver Broncos bio
  • Tennessee Volunteers bio

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