Domata Peko bringing big frame — and hair — to heart of Broncos reconstructed defensive line

Everything about Domata Peko is big.

The new 325-pound nose tackle for the Broncos has been hard to miss at training camp. If you can’t spot the hair that juts out of the bottom of his helmet and flows downward until it covers up the No. 94 on the back of his jersey, the giant ear-to-ear grin that seems permanently attached to his face gives him away.

If none of that works, you can identify him by the giant circular hole cut into the T-shirt underneath his shoulder pads, exposing the midsection meant for moving massive men.

“I’m just trying to breathe, get some ventilation going for the big guys,” Peko said of his on-field fashion choice.

The Broncos in March signed Peko, who spent the first 11 seasons of his career in Cincinnati, to a two-year, $7.5 million contract, an investment in the kind of size they needed to add up front after finishing 28th in the NFL against the run last season.

For Peko, the move was a chance to start fresh.

“It’s exciting to come in and be a part of this great group of guys who have been competing for years,” Peko said. “The back end is always on point. We’ve got some monsters up front. The linebackers are flying downhill. It’s been amazing.”

Peko’s primary job at the center of the Broncos’ 3-4 defense is to gobble up space and occupy blockers, leaving them more vulnerable to Denver’s army of pass rushers. It’s a role, Broncos coach Vance Joseph said, to which the durable Peko has been well-suited.