Denver Broncos 2013 Pre-Draft Position Breakdown: Defensive End

Justin Edmonds

Each week leading up to the draft, I will evaluate the current Broncos defensive roster. I will break down DE's, DT's, LB's CB's and Safeties individually and devote a write up to each position group. Bronco Mike will be taking on the Offense. By the time the draft comes, you should have a good idea where the Broncos might be looking to add quality starters or necessary depth to round out a very talented roster.

I will present information on each player as it relates to their:

1) Contract numbers for the 2013 season

2) 2012 Production

3) Likely place on 2013 Depth Chart/Roles

The goal will be to determine what potential holes the Broncos need to fill on the current roster and whether or not that position group has a low, moderate, or high need heading into the 2013 NFL Draft. Next up are the Running Backs.

The Broncos currently have 5 Defensive Ends on their roster. Robert Ayers, Derek Wolfe, Jeremy Beal, Malik Jackson, and Ben Garland.

Contracts:

Player Position Base Salary Signing Bonus Other Bonus Dead Money Cap Figure
Robert Ayers DE 1,060,000 0 1,181,250 1,181,250 2,241,250
Derek Wolfe DE 480,000 556,691 146,672 2,150,073 1,183,363
Malik Jackson DE 480,000 53,400 0 160,209 533,400
Jeremy Beal DE 405,000 0 0 0 405,000
Ben Garland DE 405,000 0 0 0

405,000

Notes:

  • Only players that have contracts that extend past 2013 are Derek Wolfe and Malick Jackson
  • Both Jeremy Beal and Ben Garland can be cut without any consequence(zero dead money)
  • Robert Ayers counts most against the cap while Derek Wolfe has the highest Dead Money number


2012 Production:

Player Tackles Sacks Forced Fumbles
Robert Ayers 16 2 0
Derek Wolfe 40 6 0
Malik Jackson 5 0 0
Jeremy Beal 0 0 0
Ben Garland 0 0 0

Notes:

  • Wolfe leads the group in tackles(40) and sacks (6)
  • Ayers and Jackson both saw time as backups
  • Both Beal and Garland didn't make the roster in 2012


Depth Chart/Roles for 2013

Ayers and Wolfe as of now will be your starters. Jackson figures to carve out a role somewhere. Both Beal and Garland are long shots to make the roster.

Your base starters will be Wolfe and Ayers. Ayers replaces Elvis Dumervil in the starting rotation. Wolfe will look to improve on his solid rookie campaign and Ayers looks to finally step up and prove he isn't a bust. Both Ayers and Wolfe will be strong against the run game, but the question is will they get after the passer?

After those two it's a open competition for the backup positions. Of the guys on the current roster, Malik Jackson has the best chance to make the team. He's versatile and still fairly young. Beal looked good in camp/preseason but has yet to crack a roster spot during the regular season. Ben Garland is a great story, but is the talent there? Right now the answer is no. We'll see if that changes.

The Broncos did show interest in veteran DE's John Abraham and Dwight Freeney. Freeney has the best chance to sign with the Broncos, but it doesn't sound like anything is imminent. If Freeney or Abraham sign, i expect them to be backups to Wolfe and Ayers. Neither player is their former self, but can still get after the passer.


2013 Draft Need: HIGH

The Broncos will have too add a pass rusher in the early rounds of the draft. In todays NFL you have to get after the passer. Von Miller cannot do it all, and Ayers and Wolfe have yet to show they can be consistent pass rushers. Some names to keep an eye on: Damontre Moore, Tank Carradine, Datone Jones, Margus Hunt, and Alex Okafor.

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