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Five things to know about DE Robert Ayers

  1. Originally selected in the first round (18th overall) by the Broncos in the 2009 NFL Draft, Ayers is a fifth-year player who has started 27 of 72 games during his career at outside linebacker (2009-10) and defensive end (2011-13).


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2. The 6-3, 274-pound defender was born in Jersey City, N.J., before moving to Bennettsville, S.C., where he was an all-state selection at linebacker during his senior year at Marlboro County High and rated the third-best linebacker prospect in the nation.

  1. In 2013, Ayers played 15 games with three starts, posting a career-best 5.5 sacks along with 29 tackles and one forced fumble. He played in all three of the Broncos' postseason games en route to a Super Bowl XLVIII appearance and sacked Tom Brady for an 11-yard loss in the AFC Championship Game vs. New England (1/19). Ayers has played in six postseason games overall with one start.
  1. Ayers holds the longest scoring fumble return by a Broncos rookie in team history with his 54-yard touchdown on Monday Night Football vs. Pittsburgh (11/9/09).
  1. In college Ayers led the University of Tennessee in tackles for a loss during each of his final two years at the school, totaling 27.5 tackles for negative yards over that stretch. He earned second-team All-Southeastern Conference honors as a senior at Tennessee in 2008, starting all 12 games at defensive end and leading the conference with 15.5 tackles for loss, in addition to pacing Tennessee's defensive line with 49 tackles (34 solo). Ayers also shared the Andy Spiva Award as Tennessee's most improved defender in 2008 while helping the Volunteers tie for third in the country in total defense and rank 10th in the nation in scoring defense.


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