Denver Broncos top 4 options to add to pass rush after OTAs

Yannick Ngakoue
Yannick Ngakoue / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

In my opinion, the Denver Broncos do still have a position of need following the free agency and the NFL Draft, and it is the Edge Rusher position.

Despite being one of the best defenses last season in terms of passing yards and rushing yards allowed, they were the worst in defensive missed tackles with 98, the seventh-worst in quarterback pressure percentage (18.5%), and the eighth-worst in sacks (36), which is something important to produce turnovers, incompletions, and loss of yards for the opposing team's offense.

During the trade deadline last season, Denver sent Bradley Chubb to the Miami Dolphins, during free agency, the Broncos lost Dre'Mont Jones, who signed with the Seattle Seahawks, and released Jake Martin who was acquired via the Jets after the Chubb trade. The team added former Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Zach Allen, who instantly fills in for Dre'Mont, but they did not draft any edge rushers.

It was a surprise for many that Denver did not strongly address this position during free agency/the draft, and maybe the team is confident that the guys that are actually on the roster will take a big step, or they are waiting to sign someone to a reasonable deal.

The actual Denver Broncos edge rusher group is:

  • Randy Gregory
  • Baron Browning
  • Nik Bonitto
  • Jonathon Cooper
  • Christopher Allen
  • Aaron Patrick
  • Thomas Incoom (UDFA Signing)

If no one else is signed before the season, these players must make a huge leap forward, because if not, Denver will still be one of the worst units in getting to the quarterback.

With that being said, let's see the top three available free agent options at edge rusher for the Denver Broncos, plus a possible trade candidate.

Best available options for Denver Broncos to upgrade pass rush

1. Yannick Ngakoue

Ngakoue is probably the best option for Denver if they will sign someone for this position. He is a very experienced guy with over 100 starts in eight years. Ngakoue is a versatile edge rusher, who has an average of 8.125 sacks per season, which is better than any Bronco from last season. Dre'Mont Jones led the team in sacks and had 6.5, so adding Yannick to the Broncos would make a lot of sense because it adds a good veteran presence, and he would probably be the best of the group. He was a part of the Minnesota Vikings when GM George Paton was there, so there's a connection.

Last season, Ngakoue had the following stats:

  • 15 games, 15 starts
  • 29 tackles
  • 16 QB hits
  • 9.5 sacks
  • 1 forced fumble

Frank Clark

Frank Clark might be a little bit cheaper than Ngakoue but is also a solid player. Clark is a three-time Pro Bowler and a two-time Super Bowl Champion. He has 58.5 career sacks, which on average per season is 6.5 sacks. I know that he was on a division rival (Kansas City), but he is still a guy who can definitely help this young Broncos edge rusher group.

Last season, Clark had the following stats:

  • 15 games - 15 starts
  • 39 tackles
  • 13 QB hits
  • 5 sacks
  • 1 forced fumble
  • 1 fumble recovery
  • 1 pass breakup
  • 1 safety

Justin Houston

Houston is the oldest out of the mentioned possible options for the Broncos, but he has still played at a high level and again, can bring that veteran presence that Denver needs in the edge rusher group. He is a four-time Pro Bowler and a one-time All-Pro. Has a season-high of 22.0 sacks, and has 111.5 career sacks, which on average is 9.29 per season.

Last season, Houston had the following stats:

  • 14 games
  • 21 tackles
  • 17 QB hits
  • 9.5 sacks
  • 1 forced fumble
  • 1 pass breakup

Chase Young

Chase Young is a very unlikely option but it is worth the mention. Young is not a free agent, but the Washington Commanders recently declined his fifth-year option, so he can be a before-the-season trade candidate, or a trade deadline candidate, who knows? It is rumored that Washington might listen to some trade offers for Young. He is a very talented player, but injuries have been a concern for the former number-two overall pick. Young is a Pro Bowler and has 75 tackles, six forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and nine sacks in 27 games.

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