Denver Broncos player to watch vs. Bills: Nik Bonitto, EDGE
Of course, we’ll be keeping a close eye on every player coming off the edge in this game, but given the fact the Bills are apparently going to trot their starters out there for a decent amount of time — maybe even the majority of the first half — you can’t help but wonder how Nik Bonitto and Baron Browning are going to fare with some extended looks against the Bills’ top offense.
The fact that Browning and Bonitto will be coming off the edge should be reason enough if you’re the Bills to keep Josh Allen on the sideline. Allen is a legitimate MVP candidate and has literally nothing to prove in the preseason. You also have one of the best backups in the NFL in Case Keenum, who could very easily give your offense a good enough look in preseason play.
Why would you risk Allen getting hurt against this duo of edge rushers that are likely going to give even your starting tackles some fits out there during preseason play? It just doesn’t seem wise to me, but the Bills are obviously confident that Allen is going to be bulletproof out there regardless of what kinds of hits he might take.
Nik Bonitto showed some nice things in the team’s preseason debut and obviously plenty of room for growth. We didn’t really see enough of him out there to make any sort of determinations about what his role is going to be this season beyond just rushing the quarterback, but at the very least, we expect Bonitto to do that well. He did it better than most at the college level the past couple of years.
Perhaps this game we’ll get some extended looks at Bonitto, not just in tandem with Baron Browning but also Malik Reed, Aaron Patrick, and Jonathan Kongbo. At this point, who knows what the status is of 2021 seventh-round pick Jonathon Cooper? He hasn’t done much in camp after having surgery on his finger this offseason.
For Bonitto, it’s a chance to go out there against one of the best offenses in the NFL and prove you can get to one of the best QBs in the league. That’s must-see TV.