The two have similar skillsets; both are around the ball, aggressive and play with functional football speed. Barrow is 16 pounds heavier than the 221-pound Nelson, which means that he is a better bet to work at middle linebacker at some point.
But even if Barrow beats out Nelson for extensive playing time on defense, he has the chance to earn a role on special teams. The attributes that the Broncos like about Nelson -- aggressiveness and versatility -- lend themselves well to special teams, if he can beat out players like
"He's got great speed and a nose for the football so he'll provide some competition and has a chance to make our team," said Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway.
Nelson has recovered from a torn pectoral muscle, and the only constraint he'll have in the coming months is what should be a lively competition among a flock of young linebackers.
"I have a knack for finding the ball. Explosive, fast, can run sideline to sideline, pretty strong," Nelson said. "And I would say covering and playing inside the box, I can do both of those well since I played in two separate defenses at Oklahoma."