Who gets playing time on Denver Broncos’ stacked defensive line?

Credit: Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports

With so many great new names coming to the defense via free agency, it’s difficult to pick which one will have the greatest impact.

Without a doubt, though, the most prominent name is DeMarcus Ware. He’ll be starting opposite of outside linebacker Von Miller, as they hold down two of the most important positions on the defensive side of the ball. Simply, get to the quarterback, pressure him to force turnovers and sacks, and the defense has effectively disrupted the timing NFL passing games rely upon.

He’ll be one starter, but who will find playing time along the rest of the Denver defensive line?

There’s Terrance Knighton, Kevin Vickerson, Sylvester Williams and Mitch Unrein, among others, at tackle. Knighton’s a starter, but not a three-down player. That means Williams will finally be asked to step up and prove his worth. Vickerson’s played well over the last few years, but also can be prone to getting timely penalties; he needs to keep that in check.

A similar (good) problem arises when looking at the defensive end position. With Ware taking up one spot for a vast majority of the downs, it leaves Derek Wolfe, Malik Jackson and multiple youngsters fighting to find the field. The biggest pleasant surprise last year was Jackson, who recorded six sacks, four passes defended and a forced fumble at both end and tackle.

Right now, it seems the Broncos have too many men on their defensive front, but it will only breed competition and give that D-line depth as injuries arise.

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