Denver Broncos defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson in 2010. (Joe Amon/Denver Post)
A position of terrible need last year has become a position of incredible depth. On paper, the Denver Broncos should continue their climb back to defensive respectability against opposing rushing attacks. The first team defense was stellar in the three preseason games and only faltered during the Seattle Seahawks game – but only partly.
Two years out of football, but Ty Warren doesn’t appear done yet. If he can play somewhere around 80-85% of his New England Patriots former self, then he will plug the middle of the line nicely. When the Broncos roll out with their base 4-3 defense, he should have the Big Vick or Bannan next to him and together I don’t see the interior of the line being a wide open gaping hole for opposing running backs to gash the defense for huge gains as it has been in previous seasons. This means, lots of third and medium to longs that will turn into punts, instead of points. (Profile)
The Big Vick, aka Kevin Vickerson, will be a solid rotational player to give Warren and Bannan breathers throughout the game. Vickerson was one of the few bright spots on defense when the defense was a disaster back in 2010, making himself a reputation as a good run stopper. With the many pass rushers on defense now, he is in the perfect role. (Profile)
This guy brought back visions of Tombstone Jackson from old games I’ve watched. He’s got a huge frame and if he continues to develop, look out! I think he could start now, but often experience trumps talent when talent is inexperienced. You have not seen the last of Malik Jackson – he is going to be something special in the league. Then again, I’ve been wrong before! (Profile)
Justin Bannan will anchor the line opposite Ty Warren in the Broncos base defense, but I’m not sure if he will remain the starter all season long. I assumed that will likely be Kevin Vickerson. I think Bannan is a solid interior player, but really not a top tier starter in this league. What he brings is an ability to “do his job” when on the football field and that is really all this defense needs from him. (Profile)
I’m still surprised Sealver Siliga didn’t make the roster here instead of Mitch Unrein, but my guess is Siliga is not ready and needs a year’s more worth of work with the coaching staff. That said, Unrein should fill in nicely for Bannan when needed, but don’t expect to see him on the field too much. (Profile)
BT Projected Starters: Ty Warren, Justin Bannan (Kevin Vickerson may push this lineup)
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