Denver Broncos pass rush is abysmally bad and a huge roster weakness

The Denver Broncos biggest need in 2024 might not be QB.

Denver Broncos v Houston Texans
Denver Broncos v Houston Texans / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Denver Broncos do not have a good pass rush. In fact, the unit is bad and is a clear need for the team in the offseason and into the 2024 NFL Draft. Honestly, the only good thing about the EDGE group for Denver is their youth. The Broncos had two veteran players in this unit earlier in the season.

Randy Gregory and Frank Clark both brought a ton of experience to this room, and it's clear that the Broncos were counting on both players. However, in a matter of weeks, both Gregory and Clark were off the team, paving the way for the young trio of Baron Browning, Jonathon Cooper, and Nik Bonitto.

The trio has been decent at times, and their numbers on paper don't look too shabby. Cooper has 8.5 sacks, eight tackles for loss, and 13 QB hits in 2023. Nik Bonitto has 7.0 sacks, 12 tackles for loss, and 18 QB hits this year. Browning has 3.5 sacks, three tackles for loss and eight QB hits this year.

They seem to be a strong unit, right? Wrong:

In terms of just the edge group, the Broncos rank as having the 4th-lowest win rate among all NFL teams this year. According to ESPN's numbers, the Broncos also have the 4th-lowest win rate in the NFL. ESPN defines theirs as a Pass Rush Win Rate, so I would assume this includes interior defensive players and not just edge players.

The tweet above is only for the edge group. No matter how you slice it, the Denver Broncos pass rush is again among the worst in football. I think a giant misconception that some Broncos fans have is that they think the respectable sack totals from Cooper and Bonitto, and their overall youth means that they are a good unit.

And that just is not the case. Denver's pass rush is virtually non-existent, and their sack totals this year of 39 rank as the 22nd-most in the NFL. I don't think there is a single redeeming quality of this unit besides their youth. I'm not saying that the unit can't get better in 2023, but Sean Payton needs to add multiple players to this unit. If Payton is wanting to double-down in free agency again, he could chase a top free agent like Danielle Hunter.

The team could also draft an edge rusher with their first-round pick in 2024, or perhaps acquire a second-round pick somehow and use that to help the pass rush. If the Broncos' QB spot was solidified, the pass rush would be the most urgent need for this team. General Manager George Paton is the one responsible for this mess.


The pass rush has gotten worse each year of his tenure with the Broncos, and that could be one of many reasons why he is out of a job at the end of the season.

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