Denver Broncos: Randy Starks, Terrance Knighton Should Be Targets in Free Agency

Travis WakemanCorrespondent IIFebruary 13, 2013

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 07:  Defensive tackle Randy Starks #94 of the Miami Dolphins celebrates after an interception with Karlos Dansby #58 against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on October 7, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

While the name Richard Seymour is much more recognizable, there are two potential free agents that play the same position and would be much wiser selections if the Denver Broncos were to pursue a defensive tackle once free agency begins on March 12: Randy Starks and Terrance Knighton.

Kevin Vickerson and Justin Bannan will both be free agents, and even if they can be brought back, the Broncos need more depth at the position, especially with Ty Warren spending the past two seasons on injured reserve, having played in just one game over the past three seasons.

There are several good prospects available in the NFL draft at the defensive tackle position as well, such as Purdue's Kawann Short, but the team owes it to themselves to explore the free-agent route.

Though not as heralded of a player like Seymour, let's take a look at two players who would both be excellent fits in Denver.


Randy Starks, Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins will do whatever they can to re-sign Starks, but they may not be able to work out terms that prevent him from at least exploring the open market. If that came to fruition, Denver would have to place him at the top of their list.

Starks is a very athletic player who has spent the past five seasons in Miami. Over his nine-year career, Starks has more than 300 tackles, four interceptions and seven fumble recoveries. But what sets him apart from most defensive tackles is his ability to get to the quarterback.

Starks has 32.5 sacks in his career and he is also able to frequently knock down passes at the line of scrimmage. Starks would be not only a great run-stopper for the team, but with Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller rushing off the edge, having a guy like him come up the middle would also be downright scary.

If you've never heard Starks' name, he is a player to become familiar with.


Terrance Knighton, Jacksonville Jaguars

Knighton has spent the first four years of his NFL career in Jacksonville serving as a good run-stopper for the team. He wouldn't be as much of a factor rushing the quarterback as Starks would, but he still has 7.5 career sacks.

What makes Knighton a very strong possibility for the Broncos is the fact that he played under current Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, the former head coach in Jacksonville. Del Rio was part of the regime that drafted Knighton, and bringing him into a situation in Denver where he would be familiar with what Del Rio likes to do would make a lot of sense.

Knighton could thrive as a member of the Broncos defensive line, and there is a chance Denver fans will see that happen.

So while Seymour will be the biggest name at defensive tackle on the market and the one who will likely see the most interest, Starks and Knighton are the guys that should be on the Broncos' radar.