Despite being selected in sixth round in April’s NFL Draft, former Maryland nose tackle Darius Kilgo may see the field more than originally thought.
The Denver Broncos do have a good amount of depth on the defensive line. However, with defensive coordinator Wade Phillips running a 3-4 defense now, the team doesn’t have a single player on the roster that has NFL experience at the nose tackle position.
Veterans Marvin Austin and Sylvester Williams have experience at the NFL level, but have never played nose tackle and only have a pair of sacks between them.
That’s where Kilgo comes in.
The North Carolina native is the only defensive tackle that has any experience at nose tackle. While at Maryland, then defensive coordinator Brian Stewart ran a 3-4 defense in which Kilgo was the team’s star nose tackle.
During his time in College Park, Kilgo registered 125 tackles (74 solo & 19.5 for loss) and 5.5 sacks. He was a three-year starter for the Terps, aside from his redshirt freshman year in which he only appeared in five games as a reserve.
Kilgo is a defensive lineman that has great upper body strength and is definitely an asset in the plugging up the hole and stopping the run.
One of the most intriguing attributes that Kilgo possesses is that he moves very well for a 300-plus pound nose tackle. For example, against West Virginia in 2014, he ran down running back Wendell Smallwood 15 yards down the field and escorted Smallwood out of bounds.
Kilgo is very physical at the line of scrimmage, which should serve him well at the NFL level.
Another reason Kilgo may see significant playing time as a rookie is the fact that he is very versatile.
With defensive end Derek Wolfe serving a four-game suspension for substance abuse to start off the season and Antonio in legal trouble, Denver may need all the help they can get on the defensive line. Kilgo’s quickness and physical nature could definitely come into play if he slides over to play defensive end for Phillips.
If Kilgo is shifted to one of the end spots, the Broncos could try out Austin or Williams at nose tackle.
Kilgo wasn’t originally viewed as a huge pickup for Denver, but now it appears that he could be one of the team’s more important pieces in the front seven. If his time at Maryland is any indication, Kilgo is going to make quite an impact in the Mile High City.