It doesn't take a rocket scientist, or a football guru, to deduce the Denver Broncos have an elite front seven. Anyone who watched the 2015-16 playoffs and Super Bowl 50 knows.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1681565-5-reasons-you-should-go-p... With names like Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, Derek Wolfe, Sylvester Williams and Brandon Marshall all returning to defend Denver's World Championship, you've gotta like their chances.
Pro Football Focus ranked all 32 NFL front seven units, and guess who came out on top? Your Denver Broncos.
Projected starters: DE Vance Walker, NT Sylvester Williams, DE Derek Wolfe; OLB Von Miller, OLB DeMarcus Ware; ILB Brandon Marshall, ILB Todd Davis
Other names to know: DE Jared Crick, DE Adam Gotsis; OLB Shaquil Barrett, OLB Shane Ray
Key stat: Denver recorded pressure on 48.9 percent of passing plays in their sub defense, the best mark in the NFL in 2015.
The reigning Super Bowl champions clinched the Lombardi Trophy with suffocating defense, and despite the loss of Malik Jackson (Jaguars) and Danny Trevathan (Bears), the Broncos still boast a powerful defensive front. Denver is led by a four-strong pack of pass-rushers, but defensive linemen like Walker, Wolfe, and Williams can both eat space to give their edge rushers room and capitalize when teams overcompensate to counter the threat of Miller, Ware, and company. Replacing Trevathan next to Brandon Marshall is the biggest challenge facing this defense.
Although its too early to say for certain who will replace Malik Jackson at DE and Danny Trevathan at ILB, PFF's penciled-in newcomers to the starting front seven, DE Vance Walker—who was a part of the 2015 rotation—and ILB Todd Davis, both represent the amazing depth GM John Elway has cultivated over the last five years.
I would agree that Davis has the inside track at winning the ILB spot, but my money's on Crick to win the DE job over Walker, with Gotsis possibly stepping in later in the season.
In Episode 3 of the Huddle Up Podcast, Chad Jensen and Luc Polglaze analyze Pro Football Focus' top-5 front seven units.
Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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