Derek Wolfe? Free agent after the upcoming season.
Adam Gotsis? Ditto.
Shelby Harris? Same.
And the quality depth behind the Broncos’ projected Week 1 defensive line? Thin after Zach Kerr.
With an eye on the present (allowing coach Vic Fangio to have a two-platoon line) and toward the future (the contract statuses of the aforementioned players), the Broncos could go with a defensive lineman with the 10th overall pick next Thursday.
General manager John Elway started running the Broncos’ draft in 2011 and has used four picks in rounds 1-2 on defensive linemen: Wolfe (second round, 2012), Sylvester Williams (first round, 2013), Gotsis (second round, 2016) and DeMarcus Walker (second round, 2017).
Wolfe is on his second contract and played 16 games last year for the first time since 2014, Williams played out his rookie deal and signed with Tennessee, Gotsis has not missed a game in his three pro seasons and Walker should look at Fangio’s arrival as a fresh start after he didn’t fit into former coach Vance Joseph’s plans.
As many as six defensive linemen could be drafted in the first round.
Quinnen Williams from Alabama won’t be available. But what if Houston’s Ed Oliver slides down? Elway could envision putting Oliver at defensive end in the base package and inside on third down.