Denver Broncos: Most intriguing competitions at offseason camp

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /
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Justin Strnad, Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos LB Justin Strnad #40. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

Inside Linebacker

The Denver Broncos used a fifth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft on Justin Strnad. The initial reaction to the pick was he should be able to compete for a starting spot due. But his rookie season was ended before he even took a regular-season snap due to a wrist injury.

George Paton found what is widely regarded as a great value pick in Baron Browning in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Browning has prototypical size and speed to be a top-level linebacker in the NFL.

The two young prospects possess the athleticism to help the Broncos at linebacker and help deal with an issue they have struggled with for years. The likes of George Kittle – seven receptions for 210 yards and a touchdown in 2018 – Darren Waller and Travis Kelce have gashed the Broncos defense.

Josey Jewell and Alexander Johnson proved to be a solid duo in the middle of the field. Both excel at playing the run and playing downhill. Johnson especially has shone since making his first start against the L.A. Chargers in week five of the 2019 season.

But Vic Fangio will be looking for a linebacker who can come in and play sideline to sideline. That is where both Strnad who was described as a “puffed up safety” by’s draft profile and Baron Browning who James Palmer described as potentially the “missing piece for Vic Fangio’s defense” via NFL Network could come into play.

It would not be a surprise to see both Strnad and Browning getting their fair share of reps during the regular season. The two could represent two great finds through the draft for years to come for the Broncos.