1. Justin Houston, EDGE
If you’ve been reading Predominantly Orange much this offseason, you’ll note this is not the first time that I’ve campaigned for the former Kansas City Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts pass rusher to be signed in Denver.
Justin Houston came into the NFL the same year as Von Miller (back in 2011) and the two have been the league’s premier sack artists pretty much ever since.
Houston will more than likely surpass the 100 career sack mark this season but what NFL city will he do it in? Will he be back in Indianapolis? Will he sign with another clear contender?
If I could choose just one available free agent to join the Denver Broncos for the 2021 season, it would be Justin Houston. Why? The answer is multiple, but it’s also very simple.
The Denver Broncos’ pass rush has been hit by critical injuries the past two seasons. In 2019, it was Bradley Chubb. In 2020 it was Von Miller. Not having those two guys paved the way for Malik Reed to come in and get significant snaps, proving his worth in the process.
With that being said, the Denver Broncos lack a clear fourth edge player and if one of Chubb or Miller sustains an injury, whatever it would cost to sign Houston before training camp would be worth the insurance policy.
Houston has also proven that, as he gets older and his usage goes down in terms of snap count, he is not diminishing in productivity.
He had eight sacks, 12 QB hits, and 25 pressures last season for the Colts despite playing only 608 snaps.
The Broncos would undoubtedly be able to find 500 snaps for Houston this season and let him do what he does best — pin his ears back and get after the QB.
In the Broncos’ division, is there anything more important than disrupting the quarterback as quickly as possible? Can you ever have too many good pass rushers?
Although there has been absolutely no indication that this move will happen, it would be an outstanding one from George Paton.