Name: Zach Kerr
Height: 6’2" Weight: 334 lbs
Age: 26 Experience: 4th
After dropping from first to 28th in the NFL last year, John Elway identified the interior of the defensive line as the source of that catastrophic fall in run defense. In two moves that went under-the-radar, Elway may have put the Denver Broncos defense back on elite footing against both the run and the pass.
In Zach Kerr, the Broncos can create some mismatches in obvious run situations by stacking the interior of the line with some stout run defenders by pairing him with the other free agent signing Elway brought in with Domata Peko.
Kerr has impressive quickness and balance for a man of his size. He should take over Jared Crick’s role on base downs, providing the stability along the interior of the defensive line that should bring the Broncos run defense numbers back to respectability.
According to OverTheCap.com, Kerr could end up being one of the biggest steals in free agency. He will be the 30th highest paid 3-4 defensive end in the NFL, which is quite the middle class contract for a guy who should see a lot of snaps in 2017.
He is a little short for a 3-4 defensive end, which makes him better suited at nose tackle. However, he’s going to see the field at end. He will offer little in the form of a pass rush with just 5.5 career sacks in three seasons.
Kerr understands he is on a defense filled with superstars, which means he will have more opportunities to make plays in Denver than he ever had with the Indianapolis Colts.
“I like it a lot,” Kerr said of the Broncos scheme. “There are a lot of playmakers around us—meaning the guys upfront; the three interior guys. I enjoy it. They allow us to be free. There is more of an up-the-field type of scheme. It fits me and some of the other guys in the room a lot better than the scheme I played with previous teams.”
Kerr and fellow free agent Domata Peko will be the key players for this defense. Staying healthy is also key as we all found out after Vance Walker went down last offseason.
The good news is, Elway loaded up on interior defensive linemen. With Adam Gotsis and Crick both adding bulk and drafting a solid pass rusher in DeMarcus Walker, the Broncos will not be lacking in depth at those positions. Especially with Derek Wolfe in the mix too.
Personally, I really like this position group heading into 2017. Kerr is a big part of that.