ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – With the Denver Broncos training camp underway, let’s take a look at each position. Here’s how the Broncos look at the defensive line position.
In the Hunt:
Adam Gotsis, 4th season
Dre’Mont Jones, rookie
Zach Kerr, 6th season
DeMarcus Walker, 3rd season
Derek Wolfe, 8th season
Mike Purcell, 4th season
Deyon Sizer, rookie
DeShawn Williams, 2nd season
Billy Winn, 6th season
Shelby Harris, 5th season
Projected Starters: Adam Gotsis, Shelby Harris, Derek Wolfe
The biggest change for the Broncos defensive line is at nose tackle as Shelby Harris replaces Domata Peko. Harris had 39 tackles and 1.5 sacks last season.
Derek Wolfe and Adam Gotsis are the starting defensive ends and both are playing on the final year of their contracts.
Reserves: Zach Kerr, Dre’Mont Jones, Demarcus Walker
Zach Kerr is one of the versatile linemen on the team. He can play both nose tackle and defensive end and he signed a 2-year, $5 million contact to stay in town. Denver also picked up Dre’Mont Jones in the third round. He’s a pass rusher who will look to give a breather to Gotsis or Wolfe.
Demarcus Walker is one of the 2017 draft picks who’s spot on the roster is not guaranteed. Walker has been seldom used appearing in only three games last season.
Best Training Camp Battle: Can Demarcus Walker beat out Billy Winn or Mike Purcell?
Two of the biggest threats to Walker’s roster spot are Billy Winn and Mike Purcell. Winn, is a seven-year veteran who previously played for the Broncos in 2016. That year he started two games and recorded 19 tackles with a fumble recovery. Unfortunately, Winn’s 2017 season with the team was cut short due to a torn ACL in the first preseason game.
Purcell, has played 25 games in his four years in the league. The Highlands Ranch native hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since 2016 and is better suited as a nose tackle.
Under the Radar: Will Deyon Sizer make the practice squad?
For Deyon Sizer being on the training camp roster is already an accomplishment for the Colorado State-Pueblo product. Sizer earned rookie mini-camp invitations with the Cleveland Browns and the Broncos before signing a contract with his hometown team. At 6-4, 280 pounds, the Aurora native was named as the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference First Team as a defensive tackle.
Stats to Know:
– Broncos had 21st ranked run defense (119.6 yards per game). Dropped from fifth best in 2017 (89.4 yards per game).
– Broncos allowed 11 rushing touchdowns last season, which ranked sixth in NFL.
What They Said: Derek Wolfe on Vic Fangio’s Defense
“It’s just, alignment-wise it’s like it’s old school defense where you line up and you beat the guy in front of you. We’re going to be moving. You beat him, and then next thing you know we’re slanting somewhere and moving around and misdirecting. As far as the pass-rush game goes, we have some really fun pass-rush games that are just different. Things that aren’t just me setting things up for everybody else. It’s actually a little bit of the opposite. I can actually get to get back there and make some plays and vise versa.”
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