Denver Broncos fans are excited to have Frank Clark in orange and blue this season terrorizing the opposing quarterback as opposed to seeing him with the Kansas City Chiefs, but the news of Clark signing in Denver came shortly before news regarding third-year player Baron Browning, a promising talent who got his first full-time exposure to the edge position in 2022.
Heading into his third NFL season, Baron Browning was expected to take that next step in his overall game after racking up five sacks a season ago. Unfortunately, he may now end up missing the start of the 2023 regular season after suffering a torn meniscus and undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. According to Mike Klis, there was optimism Browning could possibly be back for the start of training camp, but the recovery timeline may be a bit longer than that.
So, the excitement of adding Frank Clark certainly is diminished ever-so-slightly by this news. Of course, you'd much prefer to go into the regular season with a healthy stable of pass rushers. Without Baron Browning out there, the Broncos don't have one of their highest-upside pieces. Browning may still be a work in progress off the edge, but his flashes of talent last season were reminiscent of Von Miller.
And that's not just hyperbole.
If you would have thrown a no. 58 jersey on Browning, he might have fooled some people out there with his quickness off the snap and bend around the edge. At the same time, he's still a work in progress, and the missed time during this crucial offseason is not a small deal. So, we find out that this is some of the motivation to go out and sign a veteran player like Frank Clark, who should be expected now to play an absolutely massive role this coming season.
One thing Frank Clark does add to the Denver Broncos' pass rush unit that was previously missing is some much-needed size. Yes, there are guys out there who are "big" but Clark is listed at 6-foot-3, 273 pounds. He's a very well-built player when the Broncos have a lot of other guys on the lighter side.
Jonathon Cooper is the only other EDGE player Denver has -- with experience -- that is over 250 pounds.
Hopefully, Baron Browning is able to get back to the field sooner rather than later, but having him fully healthy is more important at this point than having him back quickly. The Broncos now have a couple of proven veterans in Gregory and Clark who can play the majority of snaps, and don't sleep on Jonathon Cooper out there, either.