The Denver Broncos approach their first training camp without former star edge rusher Von Miller. With a new generation of pass rushers expected to carry the mantle for the Broncos defensively, how will the team utilize the depth they currently have?

Who will the defense rely upon this upcoming season?

Denver Broncos Outside Linebacker Room

As the Broncos enter camp, they’ll feature a multitude of players who will be tasked to get after opposing quarterbacks this upcoming season. 

Returning for the Broncos coming into this season feature Bradley Chubb, Malik Reed, Jonathon Cooper, Baron Browning, and Aaron Patrick. New additions feature free agent acquisition Randy Gregory, 2022 second-round draft selection Nik Bonitto, and undrafted rookie free agent Christopher Allen.

Replacing a player like Miller and his prior production will be a challenging task, but the Broncos’ younger players have the potential to contribute in a larger role on defense.

Who backs up Bradley Chubb and Randy Gregory?

New Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett wants the pass rush to get home on opposing quarterbacks in waves this upcoming season. Entering this season, the Broncos project to start Chubb and Gregory as their premier pass rushers off the edge.

However, with the depth the team has at the position, they’ll require more than just Chubb and Gregory to get home on opposing quarterbacks this season.

Behind those two, the Broncos are expected to feature competition between Nik Bonitto, Baron Browning, Aaron Patrick, and Christopher Allen for the two other spots in the rotation.

New Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero believes that it will require a group effort between the exterior and interior pass rush in order to be successful this season.

“We’re excited about a lot of the guys—exterior, interior pass rush,” Evero said during Broncos organized team activities this offseason. “At the end of the day, we have to generate pressures. We have to deal with individual effort, but we also have to deal with it as a team with a collective goal. The guys working together in the pass rush game, being able to bring pressure, those types of things. We have a lot of guys that we’re counting on to get that done for us.”

Look for Broncos to get creative with pass rush package

With Chubb and Gregory possessing the traits to be dominant power rushers, the Broncos could get creative with their rotation with Browning and Bonitto projecting to headline as speed rushers in different personnel packages. 

During the offseason, Chubb spoke on the traits that both Browning and Bonitto possess that stand out to him.

“He’s in that Baron range when it comes to the natural bend,” Chubb said earlier this offseason. “His get off is crazy. He’s such a finesse guy. He moves around tackles and goes past them. It’s been fun to watch him grow. I’m just trying to teach him all the little things that helped me out. He can take it or leave it, but he’s already a good player. When the guys in that room keep working around each other, it’s going to be better for all of us.”

Underdogs at the position

For players like Aaron Patrick and undrafted rookie Christopher Allen, they’ll more than likely have to demonstrate a strong showing consistently in practice and in three preseason games in order to make the case for a spot on the active roster.

Even if they don’t make the active roster, both players would be strong considerations for the team’s 16-man practice squad in the regular season. 

One thing is clear for the Denver Broncos edge rushers this season, they’ll need to find a way to get to opposing quarterbacks more if they hope to get back to the playoffs.

Denver Broncos training camp kicks off Wednesday, July 27 at Dove Valley in south Denver, near Mile High Sports’ offices.