As we wrap up our week's preview of the defensive linemen available in the 2011 NFL Draft, let's take a look back at who the Broncos have drafted at that position.
Year Drafted: 2006
Round: 4b - 126 Overall
Broncos Career: Dumervil made his impact felt his rookie year as he grabbed 8.5 sacks and was a menace to offensive tackles. He kept those menacing ways in his second season grabbing 12.5 sacks. In 2009, Dumervil was moved to outside linebacker, but that didn't stop him from getting to the quarterback, as he became the first Bronco in team history to lead the league in sacks with 17. He also earned his first Pro Bowl berth that season and earned All-Pro recognition as he set the team record for sacks in a season. Last season, Dumervil returned to the field after missing the 2010 campaign due to injury and earned his second Pro Bowl selection.
Player: Trevor Pryce
Year Drafted: 1997
Round: 1 - 28 Overall
Broncos Career: As a rookie on a team headed to a World Championship, Pryce didn't see much action as a rookie. But he let nothing get in his way his second season starting 15 out of 16 games with 8.5 sacks helping the Broncos to their second consecutive Super Bowl victory. His sack totals went up from there and over his Broncos career he was named to four Pro Bowls and was named All Pro two times. Pryce signed with the Baltimore Ravens in 2006 and is currently playing for the New York Jets. In 2009, he was named to the Broncos' 50th Anniversary team.
Player: Simon Fletcher
Year Drafted: 1985
Round: 2b - 54 Overall
Broncos Career: Drafted as a defensive lineman, Fletcher was converted to outside linebacker in the Broncos 3-4 scheme. After only starting three games his first two seasons, Fletcher started every game he appeared the next nine seasons. Over his 11-year career, Fletcher grabbed a franchise record 97.5 sacks; two interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries. He shares the NFL record for most consecutive games with a sack with 10.
Player: Karl Mecklenburg
Year Drafted: 1983
Round: 12 - 310 Overall
Broncos Career: From 1983 to 1994, Mecklenburg was the face of the Broncos defense. During the time he was voted to play in six Pro Bowls, a total that ties for fifth highest by a player in team history. He was named All-AFC and All-NFL four times and was tabbed the 1986 AFC Player of the Year by Football News. Mecklenburg helped Denver to seven postseason appearances, five division titles and three Super Bowl berths. He finished his career with 1,145 tackles as well as 79 sacks.
Player: Lyle Alzado
Year Drafted: 1971
Round: 4a - 79 Overall
College: Yankton College
Broncos Career: One of the most colorful players in NFL history, Alzado was a force on the field for his eight seasons in Denver. His impact was felt immediately, as a rookie Alzado nabbed 60 tackles and eight sacks and added 10.5 sacks and 91 tackles the following year. One of his best seasons came in 1974, when Alzado grabbed 13 sacks along with 80 tackles. A contract dispute ended his time in Denver in 1979 and Alzado wrapped up his career as a Raider. Alzado passed away in 1992 after battling a brain tumor.
Here are some other defensive linemen drafted:
|2008||5b||148||Carlton Powell||Virginia Tech|
|2003||6||194||Aaron Hunt||Texas Tech|
|2002||3||96||Dorsett Davis||Mississippi State|
|2001||3||87||Reggie Hayward||Iowa State|
|2000||4a||101||Jerry Johnson||Florida State|
|1980||2||42||Rulon Jones||Utah State|
|1975||5b||121||Rubin Carter||Miami (Fla.)|
|1973||2||36||Barney Chavous||South Carolina State|
We conclude our previews next week as we take a look at specialists.