Login  |   Register
On Now
Coming Up
  • Sat., Aug. 06, 2016 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM MDT Broncos Carne Asada, presented by Bud Light Broncos Carne Asada, presented by Bud Light
    August 6, 2016 12-2 p.m.
    Lincoln Park in Greeley, Colorado
    First 500 fans will receive free food and drink
  • Sat., Aug. 13, 2016 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM MDT Broncos Bowl Broncos Bowl
    Date: Saturday 8/13, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    Description: Annual youth and NFL FLAG Football event at stadium
  • Sun., Aug. 21, 2016 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM MDT Broncos Carne Asada, presented by Bud Light Broncos Carne Asada, presented by Bud Light
    August 21, 2016 12-2 p.m.
    Mile High Flea Market in Henderson, Colorado
    First 500 fans will receive free food and drink
  • Sun., Sep. 04, 2016 8:00 AM MDT 2016 Back to Football 7k The 2016 Broncos Back to Football 7k date is Sunday, September 4, 2016! Click here for more information
  • Sun., Sep. 04, 2016 8:30 AM MDT Health & Wellness Expo Broncos 7K, followed by Health & Wellness Expo
  • Mon., Sep. 12, 2016 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM MDT PLAY 60 Kickoff PLAY 60 Kickoff
    Date: Monday 9/12 4-6 pm
    Location: Owen Boys & Girls Club
    Description: Annual kickoff for the Fall PLAY 60 Challenge
  • Mon., Sep. 12, 2016 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM MDT Mom’s Football Safety Clinic Mom’s Football Safety Clinic
    Date: Monday 9/12 6-9 pm
    Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    Description: Third annual Mom’s Football Safety Clinic.
  • Tue., Sep. 13, 2016 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM MDT PLAY 60 Kickoff PLAY 60 Kickoff
    Date: Tuesday 9/13 4-6 pm
    Location: Denver Broncos Boys & Girls Club
    Description: Annual kickoff for the Fall PLAY 60 Challenge
  • Tue., Sep. 13, 2016 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM MDT Mom’s Football Safety Clinic Mom’s Football Safety Clinic
    Date: Tuesday 9/13 6-9 pm
    Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    Description: Third annual Mom’s Football Safety Clinic.
  • Mon., Oct. 03, 2016 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM MDT Hometown Huddle Hometown Huddle
    Date: Monday 10/3 5-7 pm
    Location: UCHealth Training Facility
    Description: Annual celebration of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver kids participating in the NFL PLAY 60 Challenge.
Print
RSS

Broncos Draft Prospects: Defensive Line

Posted Apr 16, 2014

Independent analyst Andrew Mason takes a look at the ideal draft range for defensive linemen in 2014 and the Broncos' history drafting those positions.

IDEAL DRAFT RANGE: It depends on what you want.

If the goal is to find a fast defensive end who is also big enough to stand up against the run and play every down, you'd better pounce as early as the first round. More one-dimensional defensive ends -- sub package pass rushers or first- and second-down run stoppers -- can be found elsewhere, often between Rounds 3 and 6.

Defensive tackles also have a split. A player like Sylvester Williams, who has a pass-rush background but can also defend the run, will go in the first round. One-technique types who are more likely to play between 20 and 30 snaps and aren't as versatile can be found on the second or third days of the draft.

RECENT BRONCOS HISTORY: Since John Elway became executive vice president of football operations in 2011, he has emphasized this area of the defense. That was apparent from the selection of Miller with the No. 2 overall pick that year, and continued with defensive end Derek Wolfe and defensive tackle Sylvester Williams leading off the 2012 and 2013 draft classes.

Miller is listed as a linebacker, but his continued work as a pass-rushing defensive end in sub packages defines him.

If you count Miller among the linebackers, the Broncos have still invested in five defensive linemen in Elway's drafts, with the most recent being fifth-round pick Quanterus Smith last year, who missed the season as he continued recovery from a torn ACL suffered at Western Kentucky that was the only reason why he slipped to the third day of the draft.

Williams was also the first defensive tackle selected by the Broncos in Round 1 since Trevor Pryce in 1997.

BRONCOS OUTLOOK: In spite of losing Robert Ayers and Shaun Phillips to free agency, the Broncos have a full stable of pass rushers and interior defensive linemen and don't have a pressing need. But the lack of obvious needs elsewhere on much of the roster could lead to a pick as early as the first round if a player with a high grade falls. This is especially true of pass rushers, considering that Von Miller is coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament and DeMarcus Ware, while elite if healthy, is going into his 11th season.

The progress of Smith and Lerentee McCray will bear close monitoring this summer, and will impact how the Broncos construct their depth. Both spent last year on injured reserve. Smith is a defensive end who could find a role in pass-rush sub packages, while McCray might find his home as a pure strong-side backup to Miller who can also line up with his hand in the dirt if needed.

At defensive tackle, the Broncos must consider the contract situations and future plans regarding Kevin Vickerson and Terrance Knighton; both have deals that expire after this season. The presence of Malik Jackson and Derek Wolfe helps the team's cause and its overall interior depth, since both are big defensive ends that can bounce inside in pass-rush situations. Mitch Unrein provides depth, but the future of this area of the team could rest in Williams' grasp.

Facebook Comments

Let us know your thoughts. Comment below through Facebook, AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo accounts.