Broncos Position Battles to Watch as Preseason Approaches

Denver Broncos (Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Denver Broncos (Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos (Photo by Joe Amon/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images) /

Denver’s front seven remains their biggest strength.

Nose Tackle (1) – 3/4 Formation

Projected Starters: Shelby Harris

Backups: Dre’Mont Jones

Bench: Mike Purcell

Shelby Harris has the ability to punch through the line in the 3-4 at nose tackle and should keep the position until Jones learns the playbook enough to challenge him.

Dre’Mont Jones is an athletic and powerful addition from Ohio State which will be dangerous once he starts to pick up the schemes and tempo of the league.

Mike Purcell has a fast acceleration off the line which helps him succeed in first contact battles.

Defensive Line (4) – 4/3 Formation

Projected Starters: Shelby Harris, Dre’Mont Jones

Backups: Mike Purcell, DeShawn Williams

Harris and Jones will offer a potential dynamite duo on the interior of the defensive line as a 1-2 punch in a 3-4 formation or a fierce side-by-side in a 4-3 formation.

Mike Purcell is a solid backup by being able to plug the run game and get tackles for a loss when needed.

DeShawn Williams has good acceleration and pursuit, but getting past the first contact without having mismatches available.

Defensive Ends (5)

Projected Starters: Adam Gotsis (Left), Derek Wolfe (Right)

Backups: Zach Kerr, Demarcus Walker

Bench: Deyon Sizer, Billy Winn

Gotsis and Wolfe have become staples in the Broncos defensive ends as workhorses.

Zach Kerr and Demarcus Walker are valuable backups who fill in well but are not consistent enough to own the starting roles.

Deyon Sizer us a CSU-Pueblo with good size and a lot to prove coming from Division II, while his competition from six-year pro Billy Winn leaves a lot to be desired during his mediocre career.

Outside Linebackers (6)

Projected Starters: Von Miller (Weak Side), Bradley Chubb (Strong Side)

Backups: Justin Hollins, Aaron Wallace

Bench: Jeff Holland, Malik Reed

The two scariest players in the Broncos defensive front seven is undeniably Miller and Chubb.

While they will not sub early nor often, Justin Hollins looks to be a scary prototype player that will give the QB and ball carriers hell to deal with.

Aaron Wallace, Jeff Holland, and Malik Reed are all still young and unproven, but given the chance, they may be able to make the final roster.

Inside Linebackers (8)

Projected Starters: Todd Davis, Josey Jewell

Backups: Keishawn Bierria, Joe Jones, Dekoda Watson

Bench: Alexander Johnson, Josh Watson, Joe Dineen

Davis and Jewell have the zone coverage and tackling ability to lock down the middle of the front seven.

Bierria, Jones, and Watson have the tackling ability but lack the intensity and awareness to take over the starting role.

Johnson, Watson, and Dineen are young enough that they can either make an impact or be cut from the team very easily.