Originally written on BroncoTalk  |  Last updated 2/22/12
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Name: Brodrick Bunkley Height, Weight: 6’2″, 306 Position: Defensive Tackle Age, Experience: 28, 7 College: Florida State

Brodrick Bunkley is a seventh-year defensive tackle who played in at least 14 games in each of his first six seasons in the NFL. A 2006 first round draft pick, Bunkley totaled 305 tackles in his first six seasons and started in nearly every game since 2007. With the Philadelphia Eagles, Bunkley started on a defense that ranked fifth in the NFL in rushing defense (100.8 yards per game) from 2007-10. He was traded to the Denver Broncos in 2011 for an undisclosed 2013 draft pick, and helped elevate one of the league’s worst defenses into a far more respectable one. Bunkley is a physical force in the middle and demonstrated that in Denver; even coming into the NFL, his strength was quantitatively impressive. Bunkley famously bench pressed 225 pounds a whopping 44 times at the 2006 NFL Combine and was drafted by the Eagles 14th overall that year. He didn’t quite live up to those high expectations there but is a quality run-stopper in the middle.

2011 Analysis: The Broncos could contribute their defensive turnaround to many factors. Elvis Dumervil was back from Injured Reserve. They drafted Von Miller. Brian Dawkins was healthy through the first three quarters of the season… But the addition of Bunkley via trade is arguably as large a factor as any other. “We haven’t had a guy like that, not since I’ve been here,” Dumervil told the Denver Post. “He’s been like a monster in there. You see a big guy dominating in there, dominating the centers, you see the job he did dominating an all-pro center like (the New York Jets’ Nick) Mangold… That’s a difference-maker.” Bunkley started in 13 games, tallied 43 tackles, and gave Broncos linebackers room to breathe. He played in 43.2% of the team’s defensive snaps last year, lower than some other defensive linemen, but still had a major impact.

Contract Status: Unrestricted free agent 2012

2012 Outlook: Bunkley suffered a concussion in the Broncos’ final game of the season, but there haven’t been reports of serious damage. and Bunkley came back from an elbow injury in Philadelphia in 2010 to not miss a game in 2011. This will be his first chance to hit the market, so he will be hungry to do so, but, in my opinion, keeping Bunkley should be one of the Broncos’ top priorities this offseason.

As always, we invite you, the readers, to participate. Should the Broncos bring back the Bunk?

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