2013 Denver Broncos Training Camp Previews: Defensive Tackles

Doug Pensinger

Next up in our series are the DT's.

Starters

99 Kevin Vickerson, DT
Ht 6-5 Wt: 328
Age: 30 Exp: 8
Incoming Camp Status: Veteran starter

"Big Vick" had a bounce back year in 2012 after putting on some weight. He played an important role in the DT rotation and saw time as both a NT and UT. In some variations of the nickel with a 3-man front, Vick even played some DE and would occasionally drop into coverage. Overall, he logged 40 tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 forced fumble.

Camp Outlook:

Firmly entrenched as one of the two starters alongside Terrence Knighton on base downs. In some sub packages he will be moved around as discussed.

94 Terrence Knighton, DT
Ht 6-3 Wt: 335
Age: 27 Exp: 5
Incoming Camp Status: Veteran starter

Knighton has ties to Jack Del Rio in his time as a Jacksonville Jaguar. He was drafted by Del Rio in the 3rd round of the 2009 NFL draft. Knighton projects as a starter on base downs along with Kevin Vickerson. The beautiful thing about both players is that they both play the UT and NT spots. Terrence logged similar numbers as Vickerson last season with 32 tackles, 2 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.

Camp Outlook:

He will start along with Kevin Vickerson on base downs. While both players can play NT or UT, I would expect Knighton to get most of his snaps as a NT in our four man front.

Backups

92 Sylvester Williams, DT
Ht 6-2 Wt: 313
Age: 24 Exp: R
Incoming Camp Status: Rookie Depth

Don't get in a tizzy Broncos fans, 1st round pick Sylvester Williams will crack the starting lineup eventually. Not only that, expect him to see time right away in the rotation. He has the size to grow into his frame, but his explosive 1st step makes him a pass rushing force waiting to happen. I think he will see time primarily as a 3-tech or UT. In sub situations, he will also be in the rotation along with Mitch Unrein and Derek Wolfe 3-techs inside.

Camp Outlook:

He will take his bumps, earn his bones, and bide his time. He will carve a role for himself on the 53-man roster. Keep a look out for his progression as a pro, he has the potential and will to be a very special player.

96 Mitch Unrein, DT
Ht 6-4 Wt: 306
Age: 26 Exp: 2
Incoming Camp Status: Veteran Depth

Mitch was one of the four DT's used last season. He was used most extensively in our 4-2-5 nickel fronts as a 3-tech along side Derek Wolfe. Mitch had 20 tackles and a fumble recovery in 2012.

Camp Outlook:

I expect Mitch to maintain a similar role as last season. I think he will be one of the final DT's to make the 53 man roster.

98 Sealver Siliga, DT
Ht 6-2 Wt: 325
Age: 23 Exp: 2
Incoming Camp Status: Veteran Depth

Sealver made the 2012 active roster but appeared in only one game. He spent 2011 on the Broncos practice squad after competing in the 49ers training camp.

Camp Outlook:

He will be competing with Mitch Unrein for that 4th DT position. Ultimately, I think he gets cut or put on the practice squad.

76 Romney Fuga, DT
Ht 6-2 Wt: 318
Age: 25 Exp: R
Incoming Camp Status: Rookie Depth

Romney is an UDFA rookie. In 36 starts at BYU, Romney notched 131 tackles, 3 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, and one forced fumble.

Camp Outlook:

Destined for the practice squad

Wrap-Up

Last season the Broncos kept 8 defensive lineman on the 53 man roster. Normally you would break that down to four DT's and four DE's apiece. With the flexibility the Broncos have with hybrid players that play both LB and rush DE (Von Miller, Shaun Phillips) you could potentially see a 5-3 split in favor of the DT's. If this scenario plays out expect everyone except Romney Fuga to stick. If the Broncos keep 4 DT's the final spot is up for grabs between Mitch Unrein and Sealver Siliga.

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