Who Broncos Should Look For At Defensive Ends:
Elvis Dumervil is a good starter, but the issue comes with the depth. Derek Wolfe is seeing more and more time on the inside due to issues getting pressure there from the DT's and that forces Robert Ayers into the starting role. With Ayers nearly playing half of the snaps in Wolfe's spot, that means Doom can't come out on run downs, and it's already hurt the Broncos against the run.
Rotational or starter quality end needed, a player preferable who is able to able to play the run since that is the current weakness on the outside.
- Frostee Rucker:
Analysis: The Browns have new ownership, a new front office and a new scheme, that means one thing, rebuilding. The means talents is going to be shipped around, and Rucker is a very reliable, balanced end who isn't a starter in Cleveland, but has seen plenty of playing time. While Rucker is hardly young (he's 29) but could provide a stop gap until, or if, Jason Hunter returns or the Broncos add another defensive end in the draft. Talking to the Browns, while they don't want to let him go, his inconsistency, injuries and wanting more draft picks means they would be more willing to let him go.
Price: 4th rounder that could become a 3rd rounder conditional depending on either topping five sacks in Denver or depending on games started.
- Matt Shaughnessy:
Analysis: While the Raiders don't want to admit it, they are also in rebuilding. With only five missed tackles in his career and has proven he can rush the passer when needed to. After spending some time with the Raiders writers about who they would be willing to let go, Matt seemed to stand out to me, and while he wasn't the cheapest option, his ability to do it all fairly well and age (he's only 26) made him the best option in my mind. Overall his skill set is similar to Ayers and Hunter, which is exactly what the Broncos are looking for. When the 2013 season comes around he's easily talented enough to compete for a roster spot in the long term.
Price: 3rd rounder
- William Hayes:
Analysis: Hayes is a young player (age 27) and the Rams obviously don't want to lose any talent, but considering that their defense is playing so well and the need to continue to add talent on offense through the draft means the Rams writers were much more willing to part with Hayes. Hayes is an exceptional run blocker and while he can't consistently rush the passer, he's able to get pressure at times. Hayes is quick and has the skill set to play in a 4-3 defensive front and rarely misses tackles.
Price: 3rd rounder
The addition of another defensive end would allow more flexibility for Wolfe to play where Del Rio schemes him and allows Ayers to come in on run only downs. All of these options are fairly young and have the potential to stay on the team long term, even with the return of Jason Hunter next season.