The Denver Broncos’ 42-15 bludgeoning at the hands of the Buffalo Bills exposed some serious issues with some of the depth on Denver’s roster.

The Broncos’ cornerbacks were mercilessly torched all day, while their defensive line and linebackers were plowed over like a pitiful early-season snow drift.

That can’t be allowed to happen again, but how can Denver fix this problem? Let’s take a look at the potential solutions by eyeing what veterans are still available on the free-agent market.

How the Denver Broncos can upgrade depth at CB

Kevin King: Broncos Country might be most familiar with King for getting scorched by Scottie Miller in the NFC Championship game, a pivotal play that ultimately helped get the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Super Bowl, but King is more than just that. Although he never lived up to his pre-draft projection, King remains a large, lengthy corner, and was a tremendous tackler for the Packers last season. He also has inside-out versatility, which is valued by Denver. King might not be exciting, but he should be an upgrade on what the Denver Broncos presently have in the way of cornerback depth.

Joe Haden: After being one of the league’s better cornerbacks for a very long time, Haden started to show signs of slippage last season, leading to the Pittsburgh Steelers deciding not to re-sign him for his age 33 season. That said, although the end is nigh for Haden, it hasn’t quite arrived yet. Signing Haden would certainly be a dice roll, but one that could pay off big time if Haden still has his legs.

Chris Harris: As of now, the Broncos have Essang Bassey and almost nothing else behind K’Waun Williams in terms of cornerbacks that can operate in the nickel. With that in mind, that spot could certainly use an upgrade, so maybe the Denver Broncos look to mend fences with Harris Jr. As sweet as that story would be, it looked like Harris’ high-end football was behind him last year. However, there’s always a chance for a lighter workload to re-spark an aging veteran.

Xavier Rhodes: Rhodes has the benefit of already being experienced with general manager George Paton, but it should be noted that after the 2019 season, Paton was part of the front office that let Rhodes walk. It was a reasonable decision too, as it appeared Rhodes had gone over the cliff. In 2020, the Colts squeezed another season of high-end cornerback play out of Rhodes, but he returned to looking haggard in 2021. Does Rhodes have a third life?

How the Denver Broncos can improve depth along DL

Ndamukong Suh: Now, as enticing as a name brand like Suh might be, there’s a reason he’s still available on the open market. Suh is coming off arguably the worst season of his NFL career and will turn 35 before the end of the season. That said, Suh saw his play decline during a season in which he was starting for a dominant run defense in Tampa Bay, and it’s reasonable to think he could produce at a high level if given a smaller, more rotational role.

Sheldon Richardson: As is the case with Suh, Richardson is also on the back nine of his career — at age 31 — but Richardson appeared to have more gas left in the tank in 2021. Although he still wasn’t his peak self, he was a solid run-defender and gap-penetrator for the Vikings. Also, we’ve never gotten to see if Richardson could thrive at this stage in his career playing a rotational role, as he’s never played fewer than 650 snaps in a given season. The Broncos shouldn’t need to demand 650 snaps from Richardson, so perhaps he can still contribute at a high level if only asked to play 300.

Shamar Stephen: This is a name that should be familiar to Denver Broncos fans, as Stephen was part of the team’s defensive line just a season ago. Stephen was a disappointing member of the line and was frequently bullied in the run game. However, he has familiarity with this defensive system, George Paton, and most of the players on Denver’s defense. That could make him more appealing than Richardson, Suh or Vernon Butler, with so little time left before the season starts.

Vernon Butler: Butler was just cut last week by the Las Vegas Raiders, which doesn’t bode well for his outlook, but he was a 2016 first-round pick that was a solid run defender along the line as recently as 2019. With that said, Butler is probably the least appealing of these options, as he was horrific last season and was one of the Raiders’ first cuts this season. It would really just be a bet on draft pedigree, and that’s probably not a worthwhile gamble this late into Butler’s career. Butler is the only player under 31 in this section though (28), so maybe that helps him.

How the Broncos can bolster their ILB room

Kenny Young or Alexander Johnson: Last year, the Broncos were also scrambling for linebacker help, and ended up turning to the already-rostered Johnson, and trading with the Rams for Young. Now, finding themselves in a similar position, maybe they should take a trip down memory lane. Both have familiarity with the Broncos and a lot of the defenders on the roster, and Young has familiarity with defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, defensive line coach Marcus Dixon, and special teams coordinator Dwayne Stukes, dating back to his time with the Rams. Also, unlike several of the bargain adds listed in this article, age isn’t a major concern for either.

Dont’a Hightower: It was pretty apparent last season that Dont’a Hightower had lost a step, so it was no surprise when the Patriots let him walk this offseason. That said, Hightower was the quarterback of New England’s defense for nearly a decade, so his mental prowess could still offer a lot to Denver’s defense and locker room. That said, it’d have to be a smaller role that didn’t ask much from him in coverage.

Dylan Moses: To be honest, this one’s just for gits and shiggles, but Moses is an intriguing name. At one point, he was heralded as a top-50 pick and one of the best linebackers in his draft class, but a bevy of injuries ultimately led to his draft stock plummeting and him falling out of the draft altogether. He hung around the Jaguars last season as an undrafted free agent signing but was released this offseason with a new staff coming in and Jacksonville overhauling their linebacker room. Moses is probably a project the Denver Broncos can’t afford to invest time into, but he could be a fun practice squad add to keep an eye on.