Broncos Urged to Trade Pass Rusher to Jets: ‘No Longer a Schematic Fit’


Getty Denver Broncos GM George Paton speaks during the NFL combine.

The Denver Broncos still have time to make a move this offseason, and according to Bleacher Report’s Ian Wharton, there is one trade that they should consider.

On June 17, Wharton wrote an article detailing one trade offer for each NFL team to make before training camp begins.

Wharton’s proposed trade offer for the New York Jets was noteworthy. He suggested the Jets offer the Broncos their 2023 third-round pick for linebacker Baron Browning.

“Denver Broncos linebacker Baron Browning could be of interest to the Jets,” Wharton wrote. “A third-round pick in the 2021 class, Browning is clearly behind starters Josey Jewell and Alex Singleton. Denver could utilize him as a pass-rusher but he’s unproven in that role.”

He noted the Jets’ need for a “dynamic athlete” at linebacker.

“One position the Jets could stand to improve is outside linebacker. Neither Quincy Williams nor Hamsah Nasirildeen, both projected starters in a base 4-3 front, were major investments. Adding a more dynamic athlete could unlock the front seven.”

Wharton said the Broncos should be “happy” to get a third-round pick for Browning.

“The Jets can offer a natural starting role for the athletic project as well as time to develop. The Broncos should be happy to collect a solid Day 2 pick in return for someone who is no longer a schematic fit at a position without need.”

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Broncos: Browning Moved to EDGE

After playing his rookie season at inside linebacker, Browning is moving to edge rusher. Browning played both positions at Ohio State.

In college, Browning said that outside linebacker is his natural position per 247 Sports.

“I feel like playing on the outside (at strong-side linebacker) is my natural position because that’s what I played in high school,” Browning said. “I played on the outside since the start of my high school career, so that is what I was used to playing.”

“But yeah, I feel like the outside is my natural position and I feel very comfortable there.”

Even though Browning flashed potential at inside linebacker, it makes some sense to move him back to the outside, especially if he is more comfortable there.

Linebacker Haason Reddick saw a huge increase in production when the Arizona Cardinals moved him to the outside in 2020. After three disappointing seasons, he exploded for a 12.5-sack campaign.

Should the Broncos Make This Trade?

On the surface, this would be a good trade for the Broncos. Browning is a talented player, but after moving to edge rusher, he is buried on the depth chart. The Broncos have a wealth of options on the edge in Bradley Chubb, Randy Gregory, Nik Bonitto, Malik Reed, and Jonathon Cooper.

Even if Browning reaches his ceiling, there is no clear path to substantial playing time for him on the defensive side of the ball.

Concurrently, the Broncos are lacking draft capital after the Russell Wilson trade. They are set to have only five picks in the 2023 NFL draft, and their first selection will not be until the third round.

Receiving a third-round pick for Browning would be a solid move.

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