1. He once recorded 28 tackles in a game.
Ayers played collegiately at the University of Tennessee, where he played linebacker and eventually defensive end. Prior to arriving in Knoxville, Ayers was one of the nation’s top high school linebackers at Marlboro County High School in South Carolina. During one of his high school games, Ayers recorded 28 tackles, according to his college bio. He also handled kick return duties as a high-schooler.
2. He was one of the top available free agents.
According to NFL.com’s free agent rankings, Ayers was one of the top-ten defensive ends available. Ayers was ranked No. 9 among players at his position and was No. 32 overall.
Ayers’ strength, undoubtedly, is his ability to rush the passer. But during his time in Denver and New York, he also lined up on the inside. Ayers had success pressuring the quarterback from both alignments, picking up nine sacks in 2015 and 10.5 in 2013 and 2014 combined.
4. He has played in a championship game before.
When Ayers agreed to join the Buccaneers, Tampa Bay gained a player who has competed on the game’s biggest stage; he was a part of the Broncos when the team reached Super Bowl XLVII. Denver fell to Seattle and Ayers signed with the Giants as a free agent the following spring.
5. He’s a former sprinter.
There aren’t many defensive linemen that come from a track background, but Ayers is one of them. He competed in the 100-meter dash and 4 x 100 relay while in high school at Marlboro County. He was awarded two varsity letters for his time on the track.