Denver Broncos quietly reunited dynamic college pass rush duo

The Denver Broncos added a new pass rusher, who reunites with familiar faces

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

There's just something special about nostalgic reunions, isn't there? The Denver Broncos obviously agree with that sentiment, at least to some degree. They have quietly reunited a dynamic college pass rush duo from Oklahoma, two players who wound up as top-100 NFL Draft selections and will now get the chance to share the field together after nearly three years apart.

That duo is, of course, former Oklahoma Sooners stars Nik Bonitto (a second-round pick by the Denver Broncos in 2022) and Ronnie Perkins (a third-round pick by the Patriots in 2021).

Perkins was apparently being stashed on the New England Patriots' practice squad, which is a little surprising considering his NFL Draft status. A third-round pick just two years ago, Perkins has obviously been a disappointment for Bill Belichick, not seeing the field a single snap in two seasons. He was placed on season-ending IR before the 2022 season even began, but didn't see any action as a rookie either.

Before coming to the NFL, however, Perkins was a pretty outstanding player at Oklahoma along with Nik Bonitto. The last time the two shared the field together was the 2020 college football season, in which Perkins and Bonitto combined for 14.5 sacks and 22.0 tackles for loss. And it's not just these two being reunited, either.

The Broncos are reuniting these two former teammates as well as reuniting Ronnie Perkins with his last college position coach at Oklahoma -- Jamar Cain. Cain was the OLB/DE coach at Oklahoma from 2020-21 and is currently the Denver Broncos' "Pass Rush Specialist". With Frank Clark currently sidelined due to injury, the Broncos added Perkins to the 53-man roster and will now hope that they can unlock some of the Sooner magic these guys had working together a few years back.

How good were they together?

You can only hope the Denver Broncos are able to recapture some of this magic in the Mile High City. Perkins is coming off of a solid preseason for the Patriots, but he didn't do enough to crack their deep linebacker rooms on the 53. But you never know when the right opportunity is going to unlock something for a player, especially a former top-100 draft pick.

I like this move a lot for the Denver Broncos, even if it doesn't end up working out. This is a team that simply doesn't take enough shots on talent like this. I get that there are major connections here, and perhaps the Broncos had a good grade on Perkins coming out in 2021 anyway, but the Broncos should be in the business of taking more flyers on talented guys who are sitting on practice squads or in free agency.


It's frustrating to see a team struggling in the talent department at certain position groups, consistently preaching next man up, and not taking chances on players who could turn out to be bargains. That's not to say they never do it, but this move feels ever-so-slightly out of character for George Paton and the Broncos, and in the best possible way.

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