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Broncos D-Line Could Have a Lot of Issues Heading Into 09

There’s no doubt that the Broncos have some issues on their D-line looking at 2009, and Dan Parr of Pro Football Weekly writes about it in a recent tidbit:

With close to three months remaining before training camp opens, the Broncos are sorting through a fuzzy picture on the front line of their new 3-4 defense. The tentatively penciled-in starters are rookie Robert Ayers at left end, Ronald Fields at nose tackle and Kenny Peterson at right end. Ayers is the only sure starter of the group, although it’s possible the Broncos could convert him to rush linebacker in the new scheme.

Marcus Thomas, who started every game at defensive tackle in last year’s 4-3 “D,” will compete at nose and end, Carlton Powell will battle at nose and Ryan McBean has the potential to earn a starting spot at end. While Ayers, the 18th overall pick this year, is a building block, the rest of this crowd is regarded more as seat warmers for long-term solutions that could come in future free-agent signings and draft choices.

Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels and GM Brian Xanders have been criticized for spending only one of their 10 picks on a defensive lineman at last month’s draft, but they’re taking a long-term approach to filling the needs up front. Adding D-linemen could very well be the pair’s highest priority at next year’s draft.

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