Del Rio is the Broncos' fifth coordinator in five seasons. He also has a strong relationship with Broncos coach John Fox, having served as Fox's defensive coordinator in 2002, when he was head coach of the Carolina Panthers.
"We are thrilled to be able to add such a well-respected defensive coach to our staff," Fox said. "He was an integral part of our turnaround on defense during my first year with the Panthers in 2002. His defenses with the Jaguars have ranked among the NFL's best, and we are excited he's a Bronco."
"Love the hire, just hope we can keep him around," Dawkins said.
Del Rio was fired by the Jaguars in November while in his ninth season with the team. He finished his career in Jacksonville with a 69-73 overall record, including a 1-2 mark in the playoffs.
The Broncos also announced Friday the hiring of Luke Richesson as head strength and conditioning coach. Richesson worked with Del Rio the past three seasons in Jacksonville.