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Zach Kerr looks to have bigger impact in 2018

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The Denver Broncos interior defensive line is - once again - loaded with talent. Where does that leave Zach Kerr?

NFL: New England Patriots at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos suddenly have a ton of depth along the interior of the defensive line and Zach Kerr figures to continue filling in for Domata Peko when needed. Having that kind of depth is key for a deep playoff run.

Name: Zach Kerr
Position: Nose Tackle
Height: 6’ 2”
Weight: 334
Age: 27
Experience: 5 years
College: Delaware

The Good

Zach Kerr has always had a good combination of size and quickness and he is the biggest defensive lineman on the roster (and the heaviest player on the roster).

His stats were not great, but nose tackles rarely put up huge stats. He accounted for 0.5 sacks last season, one pass defended and 19 tackles while appearing in 11 games and starting one. He was essentially Domata Peko’s backup last season – playing 25.2% of the total defensive snaps.

The Bad

Kerr has never appeared in more than 12 NFL games in a regular season during his four previous NFL seasons. He has battled nagging injuries that cost him five games last season and normally cause him to miss four or so games per season. Even when he has been at his best, he has been a back-up unable to gain a starting role during his career. His career high in terms of defensive snap% was 29.5% with IND in 2016.

Quotable

On building team chemistry during OTAs:

“You build chemistry during OTAs. You usually lift with your position group. They give us the option as vets get to lift after or before practice if they want to. So, you kind of get to build that camaraderie. I know a couple of times I lifted earlier in the morning and the guys got mad because I didn’t tell anybody. But it’s that type of stuff that—I believe especially in our position group—keeps us the way we are. We’re like brothers, and I think it’s pretty cool. But I think you can work on camaraderie and chemistry whenever you have organized team activities.”

2018 Status

Kerr could potentially play a bigger role in the defense in 2018 if Peko’s play falls off any with age. According to PFF Kerr was very productive when he played garnering a +7.8 overall rating for the season (+6.0 run D, +2.8 pass rush). His +2.8 pass rush rating made him the defenses most effective pass rushing defensive lineman in 2017 according to PFF. I found this hard to swallow with Shelby Harris seemingly getting the most pressure from the Broncos defensive lineman group, but sometimes you have to take PFF ratings with a grain of salt. This might be one of those times.

Regardless, Kerr was quite good when he played and we will need him to contribute significantly again this year, most likely more so than last year. Given how cheap Kerr’s contract is (cap number of $1.7MM for 2018), there is little chance of him being cut during training camp.

Zach Kerr is a huge man. He has always had a huge upside given how effective he was in college. This could be the year when he finally steps up and demands playing time in the way that Shelby Harris did last season.

Poll

Does Zach Kerr finally turn into a starting defensive lineman this year?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Yes
    (183 votes)
  • 60%
    Maybe - only if we have serious injuries
    (499 votes)
  • 17%
    Noe
    (141 votes)
823 votes total Vote Now