On Now
Coming Up
  • Thu., Oct. 23, 2014 3:00 PM - 6:30 PM MDT Orange Night Ride

    The year's Orange Ride is scheduled for Oct. 23, 2014 with a start time of 4:30 p.m. from the Denver City and County Building. We have put together a list of activities leading up to that night's Broncos game against San Diego. We hope to see you there!
    3-4 p.m. Pregame fan rally in front of Denver City and County Building
    4:30 p.m. Ride departs Denver City and County Building to Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    5:00 p.m. Ride arrives at Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    5-6 p.m. Orange Ride pregame tailgate party at Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    6:00 p.m. Orange Ride departs stadium to Tavern Downtown to watch the Broncos game
    6:25 p.m. Watch the Broncos game while enjoying Tavern Downtown’s food and drink specials
    And don't forget that the Broncos and Denver B-cycle have teamed up to offer a new bike valet service for home games for the 2014 season, giving fans a place to park their bike in a secure place staffed by B-cycle volunteers!
  • Thu., Oct. 23, 2014 6:25 PM MDT Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers The Denver Broncos take on AFC West opponent the San Diego Chargers on Thursady Night Football on NFL Network.
  • Sat., Oct. 25, 2014 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM MDT Broncos Bunch Trick-or-Treat

    Broncos Bunch Trick-or-Treat

    Sign up at http://broncosbunch.com

  • Sun., Nov. 02, 2014 2:25 PM MST Denver Broncos at New England Patriots The Denver Broncos travel to Gillette Stadium to take on the New England Patriots in a rematch of the 2013 AFC Championship. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Sun., Nov. 09, 2014 2:05 PM MST Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders The Denver Broncos face their AFC West foe Oakland Raiders on the road. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Sun., Nov. 16, 2014 11:00 AM MST Denver Broncos at St. Louis Rams The Denver Broncos face the St. Louis Rams on the road at 11 a.m. MST. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Sun., Nov. 23, 2014 2:25 PM MST Denver Broncos vs. Miami Dolphins The Denver Broncos take on the AFC East Miami Dolphins. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Tue., Nov. 25, 2014 6:00 AM - 4:00 PM MST Thanksgiving Turkey Distribution Denver Rescue Mission Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Distribution
  • Sun., Nov. 30, 2014 6:30 PM MST Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs The Denver Broncos travel to Arrowhead Stadium to face AFC West foe the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football on NBC.
  • Sun., Dec. 07, 2014 2:05 PM MST Play 60/Fuel Up to Play 60 Tribute Game Play 60/Fuel Up to Play 60 tribute game. Teams will be recognized before the team's game against the Buffalo Bills.

News & Blogs

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.