It has long been said that an NFL team can't have enough good pass rushers on the roster. Is it possible that the Denver Broncos uncovered one following the 2023 NFL Draft?
The Broncos did not select an edge rusher with one of their five picks in this year's draft, but third-round pick Drew Sanders has the ability to get after the quarterback despite being a predominantly inside linebacker.
The team signed a couple of edge rushers through the undrafted free-agent process and one of those was Marcus Haynes.
Name: Marcus Haynes
Weight: 251 pounds
School: Old Dominion
Position: Outside linebacker
Though Old Dominion is still a small football program, it is turning into a small football factory that is slowly churning out professional players. Haynes, who played in 40 games at the school, could be the next.
Haynes can line up at defensive end but he will almost certainly be used as a stand-up linebacker off the edge at the next level. He had 15 sacks and 22 tackles for loss during his college career and though there are many players ahead of him on the depth chart, he should get the shot to display his full range of skills this summer.
Chances of making final 53-man roster (1-10 scale): 1.5
It will be quite difficult for Haynes to crack through this summer and make the team. The Broncos have invested heavily in pass-rushers in recent years and he will be buried on the depth chart.
The Broncos have Randy Gregory and Baron Browning as well as last year's second-round pick, Nik Bonitto. Jonathon Cooper has been productive and Christopher Allen, an undrafted prospect from last season that missed the entire year, will be back as well. He will be one to keep an eye on.
Beyond that, Aaron Patrick is back after tearing his ACL and the Broncos also have another undrafted edge rusher in Thomas Incoom (spotlight on him soon to come).
Hope will not be lost for Haynes as both Allen and Patrick missed most or all of last season and will have to establish themselves with a new coaching staff, almost as if they are new to the team as well.
Haynes has some raw talent that could shine through in practice and preseason games but that is likely to land him a spot on the practice squad, at best. Sean Payton and defensive coordinator Vance Joseph will likely favor the experience of a guy like Patrick, who is also a great special teams player, over a player like Haynes, if it were to come down to that.
It will be interesting to see how Haynes looks at the pro level as he showed some great flashes in college. But it seems his best chance to contribute in Denver would be further down the line.