First the table showing the Denver Broncos defensive snap % for all of the guys who got even one defensive snap in 2016 (Shiloh Keo had exactly one).
Now the position group breakdown graphs with the game-by-game progression. For those MHR readers who are color-blind, e-mail me and I’ll send you the tabular data with the game-by-game progression.
Defensive Tackles, Nose Tackles and Defensive Ends
I’m guessing that the coaching staff really didn’t want to use Jared Crick that much this year. Vance Williams injury and Adam Gotsis health/unreadiness forced them to. Darius Kilgo’s lack of development didn’t help either. Kyle Peko looked good as a run stuffer in the final game. Adam Gotsis’ play improved as the year went on. By the end of the season he was at least an average DE.
Von Miller played more snaps in 2016 than had an any previous NFL season. He was definitely earning his money. Shane Ray stepped up when DeMarcus Ware went down. Shaq Barrett did as well. Dekoda Watson played very sparingly.
Corey Nelson was the big surprise here. When Brandon Marshall went down, Nelson stepped up in a big way. Todd Davis was an average ILB. He was definitely a downgrade from Danny Trevathan. Zaire Anderson played fairly well in the one game where he was called on heavily.
Darian Stewart and T.J. Ward were solid all year with many flashes of elite. Justin Simmons and Will Parks both made rookie mistakes, but they also made some great plays as the year went along.
Bradley Roby had three games during the middle of the season where he was forced into the role of #2 CB (games 8-10) with Aqib Talib injured. In those three games we faced three “elite” QBs - Phillip Rivers, Derek Carr and Drew Brees.
Our defense did a great job against Rivers (48.8 QB rating for that game), an OK job against Carr (80.6 QB rating for that game) and a poor job against Brees (111.7 QB rating for the game). I don’t know how much credit or blame Roby should receive for those numbers since I have not reviewed his play in those three games specifically, but it is food for thought. Both Lorenzo Doss and Kayvon Webster played decently when forced to play significant snaps. Doss appears to have surpassed Webster.