Denver Broncos 2013 Pre-Draft Position Breakdown: Defensive Tackle

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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 Defensive Tackles.

The Broncos currently have 4 Defensive Tackles on their roster. Kevin Vickerson, Terrance Knighton, Mitch Unrein, and Sealver Siliga.

Contracts:

Player Position UFA Base Salary Signing Bonus Other Bonus Dead Money Cap Number
Kevin Vickerson DT 2015 1,000,000 500,000 0 1,000,000 1,500,000
Terrance Knighton DT 2015 1,000,000 250,000 0 500,000 1,250,000
Mitch Unrein DT 2014 555,000 0 0 0 555,000
Sealver Siliga DT 2014 480,000 0 0 0 480,000

Notes:

  • Currently in 2013 the Broncos have invested $3,785,000 dollars on the Defensive Tackle position
  • The only players that have contracts that extend past 2013 are Kevin Vickerson and Terrance Knighton.
  • Mitch Unrein and Sealver Siliga can be cut without any consequence(zero dead money)
  • Kevin Vickerson is the highest paid player of the group.

2012 Production:

Player Tackles Sacks Forced Fumbles
Kevin Vickerson 40 2 1
Terrance Knighton 32 2 2
Mitch Unrein 20 0 0
Sealver Siliga 1 0 0

Notes:

  • Kevin Vickerson lead this group in tackles.
  • Terrance Knighton and Kevin Vickerson both sacked the QB twice. Knighton Forced two fumbles, while Vickerson forced one fumble.
  • Mitch Unrein was solid as the top back up and totaled 20 tackles and also caught one touchdown
  • Sealver Siliga was a gameday in-active for most weeks, but did contribute 1 tackle in limited action

Depth Chart/Roles for 2013

Right now Kevin Vickerson and Terrance Knighton would be your starters heading into the 2013 season. Mitch Unrein would rotate in as well. Siliga will need a strong offseason/Training Camp if he figures to make the roster

Knighton replaces the veteran Justin Bannan as the nose tackle. Knighton reunites with Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio. Knighton played for Del Rio in Jacksonville, and had his best year as a pro under him totaling 34 tackles and 4 sacks. Vickerson figures to start along side of Knighton. As i said earlier Unrein will rotate in during the game and come in for specific packages. Those three figure to make the team.

Siliga is on the roster bubble currently. The Broncos also have defensive ends Derek Wolfe and Malik Jackson who can also play some DT in a pinch. Both of those players played more snaps than Siliga the following year. That doesn't bode well for Siligas future on the team.

2013 Draft Need: Moderate

After signing Knighton and resigning Unrein and Vickerson the Broncos do not have an immediate need at Defensive Tackle. However they can use some more talent there, especially a guy who can collapse the pocket. Both Vickerson and Knighton can be upgraded. Extra competition can be added as well. Unrein and Siliga are average at best right now.

Look for the Broncos to look at some Nose Tackle prospects like Jesse Williams, John Jenkins, Brandon Williams and Johnathan Hankins in the early rounds. In the later rounds some names to keep an eye on are Akeem Spence, T.J. Barnes, and Kwame Geathers.

They also will look hard at some pass rushing Defensive Tackle prospects. Some names to keep an eye on in the early rounds are Sylvester Williams, Kawann Short, and Sheldon Richardson. In the later rounds look for Jordan Hill, Bennie Logan, Everett Dawkins and Josh Boyd.

The Linebackers are up next.
Go Broncos!

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