The Denver Broncos just lost Bradley Chubb to a 6-8 week ankle injury. Should the team trade for Detroit Lions OLB Jamie Collins?
How much do the Denver Broncos buy themselves as 2021 playoff contenders? Usually, you can tell a lot about what a team thinks of itself with the way the general manager tinkers with the roster in-season.
That doesn’t mean that George Paton has to make every move fans think he should make, but some injuries might necessitate more drastic measures than others.
The injury to Josey Jewell prompted Paton and the Denver Broncos’ scouting staff to go after Micah Kiser, a starter for the Los Angeles Rams last season who might wind up being a major factor as the 2021 season progresses.
The Detroit Lions, who have already talked trade with the Denver Broncos multiple times since Brad Holmes took over as their general manager (Matthew Stafford, Trinity Benson), are apparently going to be trading outside linebacker Jamie Collins sooner rather than later.
Denver Broncos should pursue a Jamie Collins trade
Collins is a veteran who can be utilized as both an off-ball linebacker or pass rusher, and he’s been most successful in the NFL when primarily used as a rusher.
In the 2019 season with the New England Patriots, Collins was sent on 90 blitz attempts and wound up with seven sacks, 16 pressures, 10 tackles for loss, and 10 QB hits. He also added three interceptions, seven pass breakups, and three forced fumbles that year.
Since coming over to the Detroit Lions in 2020 free agency, Collins’ role has changed drastically.
He has only been sent on 44 blitz attempts since the start of the 2020 season. He still managed three forced fumbles and three tackles for loss a season ago, but with a primary role as a pass rusher and third-down specialist, he could be a tremendous asset to a team like the Denver Broncos.
Again, I want to circle it back to an important question:
How much do the Denver Broncos believe in themselves as playoff contenders?
Acquiring a player like Jamie Collins would certainly be an aggressive move, and we know that George Paton prefers to hoard draft picks rather than relinquish them.
Given the fact that the Broncos lost Bradley Chubb to an ankle injury and will not have him for the next 6-8 weeks, it’s intriguing that the team didn’t make a move on the active roster to replace him.
They did sign Pita Taumoepenu to the practice squad, a player who was with the team in the offseason and through training camp, but the next time Taumoepenu flashes on the field for the Denver Broncos will also be the first.
The Broncos have Von Miller. They have Malik Reed, a player they rightfully believe can help them maintain strong defensive play.
With that being said, what happens if one of those two gets hurt for an extended period of time?
If that happens, then you’re going to be left looking to the waiver wire again. Jamie Collins will have been traded to another team that made an aggressive move toward the postseason.
The Denver Broncos can’t be playing the long game with day three draft picks at this point. Throw the Lions the seventh-round pick they traded in the Trinity Benson deal back at them and get Collins in the fold.
This is a proven player with a proven playoff track record.
You can still work rookies Jonathon Cooper and Andre Mintze in off the edge. You can still change Baron Browning’s position and rotate him in.
Over the long haul of an NFL season, you can’t have too many pass rushers and right now the Denver Broncos have a number of 53-man roster spots that are being wasted on gameday inactives and players who offer way less immediate upside than a player like Collins would bring.
Trade for Jamie Collins. Make the deal. Upgrade the roster. Upgrade the pass rush. Make an actual move to show that you mean business in 2021.