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Broncos roster 2017: Defensive lineman Billy Winn

Billy Winn likely helped save the Denver Broncos run defense last season. Will he make the roster this season?

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Name: Billy Winn
Position: DE
Height: 6’4" Weight: 300 lbs
Age: 28 Experience: 6th
College: Boise State

Billy Winn was an emergency training camp addition last offseason after Vance Walker went down with a season-ending injury. Little did anyone know, he would be the interior run stopped the Denver Broncos would desperately need early in the season.

The six-year veteran was nearly going to be out of football when he was signed last year, but he played well enough to earn himself solid value as a rotational run-stopping defensive end in the 3-4 alignment.

The Good

He far exceeded what the Broncos had hoped when they signed him out of desperation last offseason. There wasn’t anyone available on the street, so to find a guy who could come in and by Week 4 emerge as the run-stopped inside that the Broncos defense desperately needed was very fortunate.

Reportedly, Jared Crick has bulked up this offseason, but he was a big reason why Winn was such a valuable member of the rotation last year. It seemed whenever the run defense was lagging it was Crick getting bulled over for big gains. That seemed to stop when Winn was in the game.

The Bad

Winn is likely not going to become anymore more than a rotational run-stopper. He isn’t a pass rush kind of player. That said, the Broncos defense is actually quite suited for defensive lineman who are more rotational-like guys. So having a strong group of rotational players at that position isn’t the worst thing. At least until they find their next Malik Jackson, which could be DeMarcus Walker in a year or two.


Billy Winn knows how he fits in on this defensive rotation and knows that its not the flashy plays that is earning him playing time, but rather his consistency.

"I think I'm playing well -- not necessarily making a ton of plays,” Winn said during last season, “but I'm doing my responsibility, I've accepted my role, and I'm just trying to play great team defense."


The Broncos liked him enough to re-sign him even after picking up a couple of defensive lineman in free agency and the 2017 NFL Draft. Frankly, I would prefer to see him get the node over Crick, but that battle will play itself out over training camp.

Defensive line is pretty crowded right now with Derek Wolfe, Zach Kerr, Adam Gotsis, DeMarcus Walker, Jared Crick, and others, so I really do think Winn’s battle comes down to those others and Crick. Based on last season, Winn should win the job, but we’ll have to see how much Crick has improved in run support after adding some weight and core strength over the offseason.


Do you think Billy Winn makes the final 53-man roster?

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  • 68%
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