Denver Broncos: Which pass rushers are making the team in 2021?
If nothing else, Pita Taumoepenu will possibly have some flashbacks in Denver to his time spent with the Utah Utes in college.
Taumoepenu should be very familiar with his former college teammate Garett Bolles, the Denver Broncos’ big-money left tackle and 2017 first-round pick, as they came into the league together in 2017.
Unlike Bolles, however, Taumoepenu was not a first-round pick. He was taken in the sixth round by the San Francisco 49ers, and has been scratching and clawing his way to regular season action ever since.
He played in one game in the 2020 season as a member of the Altanta Falcons — their week nine victory over the Denver Broncos.
That game against the Broncos was Taumoepenu’s first action since the 2018 season and he made the most of it, notching a pair of tackles in just 19 snaps played.
Coming out of Utah, Taumoepenu was known for being a high-effort pass rusher with some nice speed and agility off the edge. In his final season at Utah, he had 41 total tackles, 13 tackles for loss, nine sacks, and three forced fumbles.
Given that the Denver Broncos have had success with guys like Shelby Harris and DeShawn Williams recently — you could even throw Tim Patrick into that mix — why not Taumoepenu as the next late bloomer?