In recent weeks, the Denver Broncos have seen an increase in production from a handful of their younger players. The Broncos have won three of their last five, and at the same time, have moved on from a few key veterans, while elevating younger players. The production has jumped, and in turn, the Broncos are in a position mid-season that they haven't been in some time: hopeful.
As the Broncos sit at the intersection of their season, they do have a few players giving them new hope for their core group going forward. Here are three Broncos who have emerged as potential core pieces going forward for Sean Payton and the Broncos.
3 players who have become core pieces of the Denver Broncos roster
1) Baron Browning, edge rusher
Baron Browning's one major defect is that the third-year edge rusher has struggled profusely to stay on the field. The former Ohio State Buckeye was not active until Denver's week seven game against the Packers, but he has made quite the impact in just two games. In his two games, Browning has three quarterback hits, two sacks, two tackles for losses, one forced fumble, and one pass deflection.
Browning has pressured the quarterback on 10 of his 43 rushes so far this year, good for a rate of 23.3%. The current league leader, based on the number of rushes to qualify, is 22%. Browning, simply put, has been a game-changer on the field for the Broncos and has been nothing but dominant.
Browning is still just 24 and is under contract in Denver for the 2024 season as well. Considering his injuries and lack of consistent playing time, it would make sense for both Browning and Broncos leadership to work out an extension to keep the edge rusher in Denver. The Broncos, since moving on from Bradley Chubb and Von Miller at consecutive deadlines, have struggled to rush the passer.
However, they have seen some of that struggle remedied this year. Both Jonathon Cooper and Nik Bonitto are showing to be worthwhile pass rushers who can rotate in and out across the line from Browning. The Broncos finally are developing a homegrown pass rush again, and Baron Browning might be the best of them.