Many were surprised the Broncos waited until the seventh round before drafting a defensive lineman in April, given the team's major need for talent in that area. Denver allowed the most yards and points per game a season ago and did not have the personnel required to switch to the 4-3 defense, which new head coach John Fox will run.
Since the lockout has ended, however, the team has reversed that trend, acquiring four experienced linemen who should improve the level of play by that unit. Three of the four are former first-round picks, while the fourth is a 23-year-old who is finally playing in a scheme that fits his skills. All four players — Ty Warren, Brodrick Bunkley, Derrick Harvey and Jeremy Jarmon — will have an opportunity to prove themselves in Denver after being cast aside by their former teams.
Of the four, we hear the player who is expected to make the greatest contribution is Warren, the former Patriots end who will move inside in the "40" front. Lining up at nose tackle, Warren will boost the team's pass rush and be an anchor of the run defense. Though there are some health concerns with the 30-year-old after he missed all of the '10 season with a hip injury, team insiders say he is practicing well and has shown no ill effects from his extended time away from the field.
Follow Eli Kaberon on Twitter