Projecting the Denver Broncos starting defense after the 2024 NFL Draft

What can we expect the defense to look like after the 2024 NFL Draft?
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The Denver Broncos have a plethora of new faces on defense that have been added this offseason. Let's try to project how the starting lineup will look. Man, it's nice to see that the team got serious about fixing their roster's weak spots, especially on defense. The team re-stocked the defensive front and also brought in a few new faces into the secondary.

It's been an encouraging offseason thus far that has simultaneously given the Broncos hope for the present and for the future. There are, however, some starting spots on this unit that aren't 100% obvious at the moment, so let's try to project how the starting lineup looks come Week 1 of the 2024 NFL Season.

Projecting the Denver Broncos starting defense after the 2024 NFL Draft
Defensive Line: Zach Allen, DJ Jones, John Franklin-Myers

I have been a prominent member of the "Cut DJ Jones" club for a while now, but at this point, I believe momentum is building for him to return for the final year of his contract. The Denver Broncos did add all of Malcolm Roach, Rashard Lawrence, and Angelo Blackson to the DL room this offseason, who all have connections with either Sean Payton or Vance Joseph. While Jones isn't great, he may end up winning the starting nose tackle job.

But the addition of John Franklin-Myers really shores up this unit. The Broncos starting DL now has two legitimate, every-down defensive ends who can get to the QB. Zach Allen and JFM should be the anchors to this defense, and it's nice that the Broncos pursued and acquired a legitimate defensive end this offseason. Somehow, they acquired JFM for a sixth-round pick.

Outside Linebackers: Nik Bonitto, Jonathon Cooper

The Denver Broncos drafted Jonah Elliss in the third round of the 2024 NFL Draft, who is another EDGE rusher that has great speed, is twitched up, but struggles to set the edge against the run. The Broncos are still missing their alpha in this room until someone steps up, so for now, I believe that we'll see Nik Bonitto and Jonathon Cooper as the two starters in 2024.

Both are currently best suited as the "sidekick" to a potential alpha pass-rusher if that makes sense, but the Denver Broncos didn't really have an avenue to acquire one this offseason. With the clear improvement of the defensive line, perhaps we see the EDGE rushers take a step forward as well.