The Denver Broncos’ defensive line depth chart took a hit on Wednesday evening.
After starting 15 games at defensive end for the Broncos last season, DeShawn Williams has agreed to terms with the Carolina Panthers. In Charlotte, Williams will reunite with defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, who served as Denver’s DC last season.
Williams, 30, spent the last three years with the Broncos, totaling 113 tackles, 19 quarterback hits, eight pass breakups, 7.5 sacks and one interception in 46 games (34 starts). If Denver plays D.J. Jones as a nose tackle in its base 3-4 defense, there is not a clear replacement for Williams on the Broncos’ roster.
Denver did bring in Zach Allen this offseason, but he is set to replace Dre’Mont Jones, who left to join the Seattle Seahawks earlier this week.
Behind Allen on the defensive end depth chart, the Broncos also have Matt Henningsen, Eyioma Uwazurike, Jonathan Harris, Elijah Garcia and Jordan Jackson, but none of them played at the level of Williams last year.
Denver could have D.J. Jones play defensive end across from Allen with Mike Purcell lined up at nose tackle when they line up in a 3-4. The Broncos will also undoubtedly have situations where Jones and Allen line up as defensive tackles between a pair of outside linebackers on the edge.
Denver’s defense has options going forward, but there’s no denying that Williams’ departure hurts the team’s depth.
We are tracking all of the team’s free agency moves on Broncos Wire.