The big news in Broncoland is, of course, yesterday’s addition of Sam Adams at defensive tackle. While he’s not the player he once was, Adams does have the whole enormity thing going for him, in theory freeing up the linebackers behind him to roam free. Considering that Denver will employ a new middle LB (DJ Williams taking over for Al Wilson), the elbow room Adams could provide will be welcome.
Let’s take this opportunity to peek at the DT position. We’ll do this periodically across the depth chart between now and training camp, updating with any new contributors such as Adams.
Gerard Warren projects as a starter, assuming good health. He’s really the only difference-maker the Broncos have at the position, until or unless Marcus Thomas realizes his considerable potential. Warren is mobile, aggressive and fundamentally astute, and can be a poor man’s version of the super-DT’s in the league such as Tommie Harris and Jacksonville’s duo of John Henderson and Marcus Stroud.
Adams will man the other half, but will require frequent spells due to his girth. The Broncos have for many years utilized a fluid rotation at DT. Thomas will play, and if productive he will play a lot. I hope that he can provide a significant enough pass rush to sub for Adams on long-yardage downs and do some damage. Demetrin Veal will be in the mix as well, and will contribute his standard consistent effort. An interesting pickup is Alvin McKinley, another in the long line of ex-Browns to grace the Denver D-line. While I’m not personally familiar with his work, McKinley did tabulate five sacks while starting at DE for Cleveland in ’05, so it’s possible that he could contribute against both the rush and the pass. Antwon Burton and Steven Harris, college free agents from this spring and last, respectively, will compete for the final roster spot at the position.