Unit-by_Unit Analysis: Defensive Line

The Denver Broncos have turned over most of the roster since Josh McDaniels took over, so more change wouldn't be unexpected. Here's a look at the defensive line.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters - DE Kenny Peterson, NT Ronald Fields, DE Ryan McBean. Backups - NT Marcus Thomas, DE Nic Clemons, DE Matthias Askew, DE J'Vonne Parker, NT Carlton Powell, DE Rulon Davis, NT Chris Baker, NT Everette Pedescleaux.

The Broncos are gambling this group, full of unknowns and castoffs, takes to the scheme and improves. There is not one standout among them. Among the top four ends, there is only one combined NFL start. Fields didn't start a NFL game either of the last two seasons.

Thomas might be the most accomplished of Denver's linemen with 21 starts the last two seasons, but he isn't a natural nose tackle.

The good news is the Broncos have big linemen for their 3-4 scheme, and they could keep linemen busy and allow the linebackers to make plays. The Broncos wouldn't reach on defensive linemen in the draft, so this is a unit that the team will have to address next offseason. For now, they hope a few players emerge to be solid contributors.



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