Adam Bettcher/Getty Images
The Broncos need a pass-rusher, but they need to get one on the cheap.
As I previously stated, they need to place the secondary higher on their list of priorities than the pass rush. However, they can't rely on just Derek Wolfe, Malik Jackson and Quanterus Smith. They need to re-sign Robert Ayers or Shaun Phillips, and if not, they need to sign a free agent.
That free agent should be Willie Young.
He will be cheap because he has just six sacks in three years. However, he's a solid all-around player who finished third among 52 4-3 defensive end in quarterback hurries. In fact, he had more than Greg Hardy and J.J. Watt.
In addition, he would likely accept a reasonable contract because of Denver's back-to-back 13-3 seasons and its tendency for turning nobodies like Knighton into multimillionaires.
Plus, with Justin Tuck, Michael Bennett, Jared Allen, Michael Johnson and potentially DeMarcus Ware on the market, Young might not garner an abundance of interest.
Still, he is a player whom the Broncos would love to have. He graded out positively as a pass-rusher and as a run defender in 2013, and while he had problems with penalties, he was solid in all other aspects. He is a perfect fit for the Broncos.
Additionally, while they could likely sign him to a low-risk, high-reward deal, he isn't a seasoned veteran like some of Denver's previous free-agent pickups. For instance, Paris Lenon and Wes Welker both signed short-term deals last offseason.
The Broncos have plenty of veterans, but they need an injection of youth. At age 28, Young could bring that.
If Smith and Jackson—who are both full of potential—live up to their expectations, Von Miller comes back strong, and Knighton's production matches or is near his insane 2013 production, the defensive line would be stellar. Young would just provide a solid presence and a tremendous complement to Miller.
And who knows? He could end up being the next Knighton.