3) Jonathon Cooper, EDGE
Cooper and Bonitto have the chance to be the Broncos' best pass-rushing duo since Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware in the 2015 season, where the duo led the Broncos to a Super Bowl victory for the first time since 1998. Cooper has racked up three sacks so far in 2023, putting him on pace for double-digit sacks for the first time in his young career.
Cooper burst onto the scene in 2021 after falling to the Broncos in the 7th round of that spring's draft. In his rookie year, Cooper picked up 2.5 sacks as a rotational edge rusher and followed that up with 2 sacks last year. Cooper has already set a career-high in his four games this year, showing a potential massive leap forward into a starting role for multiple years.
Cooper, much like Bonitto, has some club control left. Cooper is set to become a free agent after the 2024 season, but it would be wise of the Broncos to not let him get there. Cooper might be open to signing a short-term extension to keep him in Denver into the first few years of his free agency, allowing him to grow into a larger role.
Across from Bonitto, Cooper has been setting the outside and was a catalyst of the Broncos' week 4 comeback in Chicago. Cooper also poses something that the Broncos have lacked in the defensive front lately: homegrown talent. Cooper was the Broncos' final pick in the 2021 draft and has spent his first, now, three seasons with the club. If he continues to grow into this role at the rate he has this year, he could become one of the better pass rushers in Broncos history.