clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Broncos roster 2015: Antonio Smith

He has walked through the valley of the shadow of death (AKA playing for Oakland) and joins the Broncos amidst an off season of controversy. Is Antonio Smith going to be a big part of 2015 for the Broncos?

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

A day-by-day Broncos player breakdown is something we've been doing since our days at BroncoTalk nearly a decade ago. This year the tradition continues as we look at the Denver Broncos roster heading into the 2015 season in our 90-in-90 series.

Name: Antonio Smith
Position: DE 
Height: 6'3"   Weight: 290 
Age: 33    Experience: 12
College: Oklahoma State

Antonio Smith was drafted out of Oklahoma State in 2004 by the Arizona Cardinals in the 5th round. He played there for five years before getting signed by the Houston Texans in 2009.

Throughout his career he's been a productive RDE, LDE, DT and LOLB. This screams versatility to me and it also speaks well of his mental grasp of the game in the trenches.

While he started early at End in a 4-3, he's not the kind of player today who is going to get you flashy stats. He's a bull rushing power guy who is hard to block and is good against the run as well. In short, he's a great fit or either end spot in our 3-4 Phillips scheme.

The good: The first thing I'll say about Smith is that he has the veteran experience you want for depth at your defensive line. That's not to say he couldn't start, but at this scenario, I see him as a rotational guy and a fill-in for our younger players while he tries to show Denver that he's worth keeping around a few more years.

He's also consistently contributing big plays to his teams throughout his careers. They aren't in droves like Von Miller, but he seems to be good for 3-5 sacks a year and a forced fumble or two. The guy even has positive passes defensed over the year, which is something Phillips can use in some zone blitz packages if he feels the urge to scratch that itch.

The bad: Foremost with Smith is some very serious legal issues that sprouted up this off season. So far there has been no charges made officially so he is practicing with the team, but it is a dark cloud hanging over his career with the Broncos.

Another negative some might mention would be his age. He's as old as Demarcus Ware and is getting up there for a defensive line player. That being said, when I saw him play in Oakland last year, he still looked impactful to my eyes.

Status: Unless there is something of substance that happens with the allegations brought against him this off season, he'll be on the team. He's the kind of guy who can back up all three spots on the line and fill in well as a rotation or to help fill in while the starters are injured. I thought his signing was a great idea when it happened and look forward to seeing him in orange and blue this season.