Broncos Pass Rusher Listed as Trade Candidate

Broncos, Malik Reed

Getty Denver Broncos EDGE Malik Reed runs.

The Denver Broncos quietly have assembled a deep group of edge rushers.

They signed Randy Gregory in free agency. Bradley Chubb is set to be fully healthy for the first time since his rookie year. Second-round pick Nik Bonitto has a high ceiling. Baron Browing is moving to edge rusher, which he previously called his “natural position” per 247 Sports. Young edge rushers Jonathon Cooper, Christopher Allen, and Aaron Patrick all have potential.

As a result, Malik Reed could be buried on the depth chart. Since entering the NFL in 2019, Reed has been a productive player for the Broncos. In 2020, he led the Broncos in sacks (8.0). In 2021, he led the Broncos in pressures (22).

Nevertheless, Gregory and Chubb should be locked in as starters, and it is hard to picture Bonitto not playing a significant role.

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Broncos: Trading Reed is a Possibility

In a recent mailbag article, The Athletic’s Nick Kosmider listed Reed as a potential trade candidate.

“At edge rusher, the Broncos are counting on Bradley Chubb and new acquisition Randy Gregory to be available and productive,” Kosmider wrote. “The depth behind them is where it gets interesting.”

Kosmider suggested that the Broncos may be able to get a fifth-round pick for Reed.

“Where does that leave Malik Reed? Is the fourth-year player still viewed as a top rotation piece? Could the Broncos fetch a fifth-round pick for a player who has tallied a combined 13 sacks the past two seasons? It’s not out of the realm of possibility, particularly if young players such as Jonathon Cooper, Christopher Allen and Aaron Patrick show significant progress during camp.”

At 25 years old, Reed has plenty of trade value. Edge rusher is one of the most valuable positions in the league, and he has produced at a high level.

Following the Russell Wilson trade, the Broncos are set to have only five picks in the 2023 NFL draft, and their first pick will not be until the third round. So, trading Reed would give the front office some much-needed draft capital.

ESPN Predicted Reed Would Not Make the Broncos Roster

This is not the first time that an analyst has pointed at Reed as the odd man out. On June 21, ESPN’s Jeff Legwold predicted that Reed would not make the 53-man roster.

Legwold predicted that Aaron Patrick would make the roster over Reed. He cited Patrick’s special teams’ contributions as a difference-maker.

“Special teams will likely tip the scales for the final few spots here, as well as Gregory’s health at the start of the regular season after offseason shoulder surgery,” Legwold wrote. “If Gregory is full go in camp, the Broncos could lean to Patrick’s special teams work or some additional depth at inside linebacker over Malik Reed’s experience. If Gregory is still limited by the time September rolls around, then Reed could be a need player.”

Legwold makes a solid argument. Last season, Patrick played 208 special teams snaps.

If Reed is buried on the defensive depth chart, Patrick could be a more impactful player for the Broncos.

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