Broncos Draft Fits: 5 Edge Rushers to Watch

Edge rusher is a low-key roster need for the Broncos. Don't be surprised if at least one is drafted in April.
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There is a tough decision facing the Denver Broncos — what to do with franchise defender Von Miller? Since arriving as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 draft, he has been the face of the Broncos defense. 

Miller is coming off a season-ending injury that happened on the doorstep of the opener and will be 32 years old in March. The Broncos have an option for the final year of his deal and we learned in January that Miller is being criminally investigated by police in Parker, CO.  

The decision the Broncos have to make is, with Miller being on the wrong side of 30 and coming off a serious injury, is his play still worth the $18 million it'll cost the team in 2021? Now on top of it all, a criminal investigation.

That is the biggest factor as to why the Broncos have to be doing a lot of work on the edge group of the NFL draft. In the video above, I break down just five edges in the 2021 class, but there are many others with the position poised to be the strongest in the draft.

  1. Patrick Jones, Pittsburgh
  2. Jayson Oweh, Penn State
  3. Jaelan Phillips, Miami
  4. Joe Tryon, Washington
  5. Shaka Toney, Penn State

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There is also the factor that the Broncos' depth is mediocre with Malik Reed being the headliner. Reed showed some good progress this past season, leading the team with eight sacks, but he still has issues that keep him from being a reliable option to take over as a long-term starter, outside of emergency situations. 

Those issues come mostly against the run as he has looked good as a pass rusher. Reed will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2021 season. Add in Jeremiah Attaochu being a UFA currently and the depth for Denver is dwindling.

Pro Bowler Bradley Chubb is the former No. 5 overall selection by the Broncos in the 2018 draft, and the team will be deciding on his fifth-year option. That also plays a role in the need to find an edge in this class. 

If the Broncos decline Chubb's fifth-year, then he will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2021 season. Those are the three big factors as to why the edge is such a need.

Yes, the Broncos did draft Derrek Tuszka in the seventh round last year, but the team cannot rely on him. All four of the Broncos' top edge rushers could be free agents over the next two offseasons, with three of them for sure. 

Chubb is the only one in question because of the fifth-year option. Denver has to look to go young and cheap again at the position because it won’t be able to keep all these edge rushers around. The time is now to start getting young and developing guys to be the top dogs. 

Don't forget to check out the video above to find out why these five edge prospects make sense for the Broncos.

Follow Erick on Twitter @ErickTrickel and @MileHighHuddle