Denver Broncos defensive lineman Derek Wolfe talked up veteran Clinton McDonald, a free agent pickup for the team this offseason…
The Denver Broncos made a bit of a surprising move this offseason when they signed veteran defensive lineman Clinton McDonald from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Not for lack of merit on McDonald’s part, however, as the veteran defensive lineman has become a terror as an interior rusher and will be a phenomenal playmaker in the Broncos’ diverse looks up front.
But the Broncos had a lot of depth on the defensive line even last year, and they are adding to it this year with the inclusion of DeMarcus Walker (who wrongfully lined up at OLB most of his rookie season) and Bradley Chubb, a rookie who played mostly defensive end in college at North Carolina State.
The Broncos will find ways to get their plethora of playmakers out onto the field, but McDonald joins a group now with some savvy veterans like Domata Peko (the oldest player on the team and one of last year’s top run-stuffing defensive linemen) and Derek Wolfe.
Wolfe worked out this offseason with Peko and McDonald among other players, and while McDonald was spending some time over OTAs recovering from injury, he blew Wolfe away with his abilities.
"“He’s a great player, Wolfe said. “Not only leadership, but he’s got that quick twitch. He’s strong. He’s strong as an ox. We trained all offseason together. Normally I don’t see a lot of guys where I’m like ‘Wow,’ that give you that ‘Wow,’ but he’s really strong. It’s impressive how strong he is. I think he’s going to give us a lot more depth. It’s almost like [former Broncos DE] Antonio Smith. You wouldn’t think he’s in year 10 the way he moves. You really wouldn’t. You’d think he was a five or six-year guy.”Derek Wolfe (quotes via Broncos PR)"
With McDonald moving like he’s in his mid-late 20s and Domata Peko making a comment earlier this season that 34 is like 24 in Samoan years, the Broncos have seemingly been able to find the perfect combination for veteran players coming in and having success.
Peko was a prime example last year, but Wolfe mentioned another player in Antonio Smith who came in in the later years of his career and played a big role, and there have been others.
Defensive line coach Bill Kollar does a great job with these guys, but the Broncos brought McDonald into the fold because they believe he can help them continue to diversify their defensive front.
The Broncos will not always be ‘just’ a 3-4 defense. They will use a good number of four-man fronts so the need to be deep at the positions where guys play in front of or shaded over an offensive guard, not just right over the center.
Playing the three-technique position while also offering versatility to play the run as a 3-4 base end, McDonald could be a diamond in the rough for the Broncos this year and if Derek Wolfe is to be trusted — which he is — the depth up front is going to be nasty.