Robert Ayers is a defensive end for the Denver Broncos, who selected him with the 18th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Ayers played four years of collegiate football at Tennessee, where he was an All-SEC selection. Ayers is 6-feet, 3-inches tall and weighs 270 pounds.
Prep Career
Ayers played linebacker at Marlboro County High School in Bennettsville, SC. Scout.com ranked Ayers as the No. 8 linebacker prospect in the class of 2004. He made recruiting visits to South Carolina, Tennessee and Florida, but chose the Volunteers on signing day in 2004.
College Career
After redshirting the 2004 season, Ayers played as a reserve for his first three seasons with Tennessee, starting just twice in 36 games. Despite not starting at all in 2007, he led Tennessee in tackles for loss (12) and sacks (4.0). As a senior, Ayers finally earned a starting role. He finished the season with a career-best 49 total tackles and a team-high 15.5 tackles for loss. He was named a first team All-SEC selection by the league's coaches, one of only two Tennessee players (along with Eric Berry) to earn first team honors in 2008. After the season, Ayers was invited to participate at the Senior Bowl, where he was named the top defensive player.
NFL Career
Robert Ayers was selected in the first round (18th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. Ayers held out at the start of training camp, but signed a five-year contract with $9.7M in guaranteed money, one week after rookies were scheduled to report.

Ayers finished the 2009 season with 19 total tackles in 15 games. He scored his first career touchdown on a 54-yard fumble return against the Pittsburgh Steelers.