Broncos Should Look at DL Da’Quan Bowers, Adrian Clayborn


When the Denver Broncos kick off their free agent festivities next week, there are some positions they need to attack right away like the offensive line and free safety, but one area that is not to be ignored is the defensive line and front seven in genera, and the depth they need to add.

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There are some really talented, big name players on the market this offseason, headlined by Ndamukong Suh and his teammate Nick Fairley. The depth of the defensive line class is intriguing as a whole, and for me personally, there are two guys that I wouldn’t mind the Broncos taking a shot at.

Last offseason, John Elway took a chance on one of the most beloved players in the 2011 NFL Draft class in Marvin Austin. Austin was a former top recruit who went to North Carolina and received some big time hype as a potential top five pick after his sophomore season, but things went downhill in a hurry.

To make a long story short, Elway made a lot of people happy simply by taking a shot on Austin, who wound up having a phenomenal offseason with the Broncos and secured a spot in the rotation and the 53-man roster.

The risk paid off.

There are a few other risks I think the Broncos could take for a price that isn’t going to blow anyone away. Specifically, I think the Broncos should look at Tampa Bay Buccaneers free agents Da’Quan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn.

Clayborn and Bowers were taken by the Bucs in the 2011 NFL Draft, and both have had their share of injury problems in the NFL, but back then, they looked like they might reshape the future of Tampa Bay’s defensive line along with Gerald McCoy.

I feel like Clayborn would be ideal as a rotational player in the same role as Malik Jackson with the Broncos, which will now likely be starting at weak side defensive end in Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense. Clayborn has played that side in a 4-3 since college but I think a change of scenery and a different scheme could be really beneficial to him.

For Bowers, he would come in as a backup to DeMarcus Ware to compete with guys like Quanterus Smith, who is coming off of three straight season-ending injuries dating back to college.

Clayborn is the better player at this point, but Bowers would be more of a one-year trial run, not unlike Marvin Austin was last year. Bowers would get a non-guaranteed contract with the Broncos and have a chance to prove that he still has the talent that so many people saw when he was a potential number one prospect coming out of Clemson.

In the end, these are a couple of guys who, by harsh standards, would be considered NFL Draft busts at this point. The Broncos don’t need to throw a lot of money at them but I like them as young defensive line players that can provide cheap depth and some intriguing upside for competition in training camp.