Another player comparison from Sean Payton would be ideal for the Broncos defense

Sean Payton just loves relating his current players to some of his old players.
Denver Broncos
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The Denver Broncos have a ton of young players on their roster, and one of their young pass rushers still might have some untapped potential. Sean Payton, during his time with the New Orleans Saints, definitely brought in a plethora of stud players. Some are quite well-known, but others are not. Payton was recently talking about Broncos EDGE rusher Baron Browning, and he had some good things to say, and he again invoked a player comparison:

""He and I have five conversations a day, and I don't know if we had five the first half of last season because you're trying to get to know everyone," Payton said on Wednesday. "But he's much further along. There is a confidence about him. He reminds me a little of an Ohio State player [the Saints] had, [DE] Will Smith. And I'm not saying that necessarily [because] they played the same position. His personality reminds me a lot of Will, the late Will Smith.""

Sean Payton

But who was Will Smith? The late Smith was a Saints first-round pick back in 2004 and played for Sean Payton from 2006-2012. Over his career, Smith racked up 67.5 sacks, 463 total tackles, 85 tackles for loss, and 112 QB hits, but 2006 was the first year QB hits were tracked.

Smith also hardly missed games and forced a whopping 20 fumbles. Overall, the late Smith had a very good career along the defensive line for the Saints, and Payton comparing Baron Browning's personality to Smith's is quite the praise. Through three seasons, Baron Browning has simply not yet broke out, and frankly, he might not. He's dealt with injuries but clearly has the athletic profile to be a high-end producer off the EDGE in the NFL.

Browning has 9.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, and 22 QB hits in 38 career games. Browning might have the best chance of any Broncos pass rusher at emerging as an alpha in 2024. He's the most athletic of the bunch and could finally have a full and thorough offseason, uninterrupted by injuries.