Broncos could consider former 1st-rounders making comebacks

Sayre Bedinger
NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 10: Titans head coach Mike Munchak watches first round pick Chance Warmack #70 at the Tennessee Titans rookie camp on May 10, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 10: Titans head coach Mike Munchak watches first round pick Chance Warmack #70 at the Tennessee Titans rookie camp on May 10, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

The Denver Broncos could consider a pair of former first-round picks attempting to make NFL comebacks with coaching connections.

As the Denver Broncos prepare for a pretty big roster turnover again in the 2020 offseason, they will leave no stone unturned as they seek to upgrade the team.

There are a couple of intriguing possible free agent options the Broncos could look into in players with ties to the coaching staff in Denver who could play important roles at a team-friendly price.

The two options I’m specifically referring to are offensive guard Chance Warmack and outside linebacker Aldon Smith.

Warmack, who is still just 28 years old, apparently has some visits lined up with teams and is hoping to make a comeback after sitting out all of the 2019 season.

When Mike Munchak was still the head coach of the Tennessee Titans, Warmack was their first-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft (10th overall).

After four years with the Titans, Warmack got a second contract with the Philadelphia Eagles and spent two seasons there (20 games played) before he ultimately sat out the 2019 season.

Considering his history as well as the fact that he was out of football last year, the Broncos wouldn’t have to commit huge money to Warmack and he would be a really solid low-risk, high reward type of option who has the ability to end up being a starter at right guard.

His history with Munchak combined with the Broncos’ openings on the offensive line could make this an intriguing fit.

Another fascinating option is Aldon Smith, the former Pro Bowl pass rusher of the San Francisco 49ers.

Smith is reportedly applying for reinstatement, and he will only be 31 years old this season.

Broncos head coach Vic Fangio was part of the San Francisco 49ers in 2011 when they drafted the star pass rusher out of Missouri, and he was there for the breakout portion of Smith’s career from 2011-13 when he racked up over 40 sacks.

When Smith was suspended in 2014, his production dropped off substantially, and then the Oakland Raiders acquired him in a trade in 2015 when Fangio left for the Chicago Bears, and that was the last anyone had seen Smith in the NFL.

It’s actually kind of crazy to think Smith has been out of football since 2015, but he’s applying for reinstatement and there’s really not a lot of harm in bringing him in for a look on the 90-man roster.

Five years ago, Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller vowed to ‘be there’ for Smith, a personal friend of his, through his time of crisis which ultimately landed him on the NFL’s blacklist.

"“That’s my guy,” Miller said. “I am going to be with him until the very end. We’re friends before anything else. That’s my brother and he’s going through a tough time right now … He was there for me and I’m going to be there for him — wherever that may be. He’s just going through a tough patch right now. We all go through a tough patch … People go through tough times. I’ll be the first one to tell you. I’ve been through a lot of stuff and I’m going to be there for him however long it is to get him back right.”Von Miller (ESPN, 2015)"

The Broncos could look into signing a player like Smith to see if he can become part of the rotation off the edge behind Miller and Bradley Chubb.

Again, what’s the harm in seeing what he can do in practices and preseason games?

The best case scenario is that Smith can provide you valuable pass rush depth off the edge in the regular season.

The worst case scenario is he looks too rusty and out of shape to play at a high level in the NFL, and you cut bait with no real financial risk involved.

Next. Predicting landing spots for Broncos free agents. dark

The Broncos could be an ideal landing spot for Smith with the presence of Fangio and Miller.