As the Denver Broncos prepare for the start of training camp here at the end of the month, is their defensive line depth the team’s biggest weakness on paper?

Looking at a team’s biggest potential weakness doesn’t mean that the Broncos lack quality players at the position. In this context, the defensive line generally has questions surrounding the position and various young guys looking to make a name for themselves.

ESPN recently released their 32-team survey looking at the team’s biggest strengths, weaknesses, X-Factors, and non-starters to pay attention to. Edge rusher was the position they indicated is the Denver Broncos biggest weakness going into the season, but there is an argument to be made for the questions surrounding the defensive line.

Zach Allen came in as one of the team’s top defensive free-agent acquisitions earlier this offseason and is the one player at defensive end who is solidified in his starting role. He’ll grow into an impact player, but the depth behind him features a variety of players with limited experience — which could be a blessing in disguise, or it could negatively impact the team at some point this season.

Allen and D.J. Jones are two of the known starters on the defensive line, with Jones slated to start at defensive tackle. Veteran Mike Purcell can also start at defensive tackle, which could kick Jones out to the other defensive end spot in Vance Joseph’s 3-4 scheme.

Purcell is entering the final year of his contract with the Broncos, which certainly adds to the questions surrounding the position post-2023. The depth is wide open behind Allen, Jones, and Purcell and could go various ways.

Second-year players Eyioma Uwazurike and Matt Henningsen are expected to take steps forward in their player development under defensive line coach Marcus Dixon. Henningsen played pivotal minutes last season in a role-player position on the defensive line, while Uwazurike emerged late in the season.

Behind them, the Broncos’ defensive line depth features Jordan Jackson, Elijah Garcia, Haggai Ndubuisi, undrafted rookie free agent PJ Mustipher, and veterans Jonathan Harris and Tyler Lancaster.

One area of improvement Denver has to make progress in this upcoming season is generating more pressure on opposing quarterbacks from the defensive line and not just exclusively from the edge rusher position.

The starting lineup’s overall outlook is positive if the Broncos’ potential projected starters are Allen, Jones, and Purcell. In the event of an injury to either of those players, the overall lack of experience behind them creates question marks surrounding who can step up and play at the level needed as a starter.

This is why defensive line depth could be the team’s biggest question mark heading into the season on that side of the ball. Training camp will serve as the starting point for a lot of these young players to continue building on the momentum they established during organized team activities, but the NFL preseason will be where fans and coaches can get a deeper glimpse of potential impact.

While the preseason isn’t always something fans want to watch, it’s important to re-iterate how it gives fans and coaches a better insight into what their depth looks like and, more importantly, provides them with a glimpse of what they can do when the lights shine brightest.

What’s next for the Denver Broncos?

Training camp officially kicks off on July 28 at the Centura Health Training Center.