It all starts up-front, unless you're a teen-aged boy hoping to get lucky in the backseat!
I've read so many great threads about this or that prospect for the DL that I'm a little overwhelmed by the amount of time and effort that went into those posts. I'll not link them, but just say thank-you to all of you who have put in the work!
My Take on Del Rio & the DL: He likes the heavies but not too big...300-330 @ NT/DT. He's not committed to a basic 4-3 as we've seen. He mixes & matches depending on down/distance & tries to create the best mis-match...Hence we see Wolfe as DE-DT-NT...Von as DE or OLB...Ayers as DE or DT. Point being here is that Del Rio likes versatile players who can play all along the line which only serves to confuse the OL & Opposing QB.
Wolfe is a serious pass rush threat whether playing DE or DT. Big Vick is probably the least versatile player as he's a DT or NT...He cannot play outside which is OK as long as he can get a good push and maintain gap contrlol, which he did last Season...He also was very good against the run and snuffed out more than a few screen plays.
I haven't seen enough of Knighton to offer an informed opinion, but I would assume that he was recommended by Del Rio. What I hope to see is a good pressure and being able to stop the run...IOW, being able to take on a double-team which frees up a DE or LB on a blitz or run play.
Rotational Players: Unrein & Jackson...Both young & being Coached Up...I don't see a real need here...correct me if I'm wrong.
We come now to DE about which much has been well-written. I'll start by writing that I'm an Ayers' fan. I really think his 1st 2 years were wasted under the failed experiment known as McD. He showed some flashes under Dennis Allen and I think another year with Del Rio & his scheme will show that Ayers was not a wasted pick. We know he can set the edge & we also know that he can pressure the QB...We want sacks, but we also have to think about how fast Von Miller is. Ayers is competing against Miller and to a lesser extent, Wolfe...No Way he can rack up the sack #s just based on the competition 'cuz ain't nobody quicker off the ball than Von...We simply can't compare a good DE to a once in a Generation type of Player!