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Is edge rusher the primary need on the Broncos’ 2021 wish list?

NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks seems to think so.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Christmas, Broncos Country!

Hopefully Santa stopped by your house and left a Broncos’ jersey or two in your stocking. Also double-check to make sure he didn’t accidentally leave contract papers for Justin Simmons or Shelby Harris in your stocking instead of theirs...mistakes happen, y’know, and that’s one to be corrected asap.

Speaking of next year - and we are because this year is stupid - NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks gave his top needs for each of the 11 teams already eliminated from the playoffs (because in case you weren’t paying attention, Denver is definitely one of those 11).

I have to say, I’m not feeling his answer for the Broncos:

“The potential loss of injury-plagued Von Miller makes pass rusher the Broncos’ No. 1 need heading into the offseason. Although Drew Lock skeptics will suggest otherwise, Denver must have at least two blue-chip pass rushers in the lineup to contend with the outstanding collection of quarterbacks in the AFC West. With or without Miller, the Broncos must seriously consider adding another explosive pass rusher to the mix to complement Bradley Chubb. The first-time Pro Bowler is a disruptive force off the edge, but needs an effective running mate on the opposite side to alleviate some of the pressure on him to act as a one-man army. If Miller returns, he can mentor the young rusher as the newbie acclimates to the pro game and contributes as part of a rotation.”

Brooks’ rationale isn’t ludicrous - particularly if Miller does not stay in Denver (please, John Elway, keep Von Miller in Denver; please Von Miller, renegotiate your contract to stay in Denver!) Vic Fangio’s defense relies a lot on quarterback pressure and it has definitely struggled to be as dominant as it could have been the past two years with only one of the dynamic Miller-Chubb duo each season.

But looking at how the last game went digging deep to use our last cornerbacks on the roster - and how the next two games are likely to look in the same scenario - it seems like “cornerback” should be higher on the Broncos Wish List for 2021. And when you look across the AFC West at all the speedy receivers, it seems even more crucial in the near future.

I was happy to see Brooks didn’t assign “Quarterback of the future” as the Broncos’ biggest wish for the upcoming year, particularly since Denver’s draft position isn’t going to yield one of the top QBs without spending some serious draft capital.

Perhaps Brooks heard Lock’s presser this week and decided No. 3 is as good as the Broncos are likely to get for another year so might as well hunker down with him through 2021,

“The quarterback is the most important position on the field, and everyone wants to talk about it. Everyone thinks they can play it better than what they’re seeing on the TV, so it’s just an easy position for people to talk about and gossip about. It is what it is when you play this position. I’m looking forward to going out and making another claim this week that I should be the guy here and keep winning. Try to win these last two and then just show what I can do. I do believe I’m the guy here. With progressing over time with this offense and hopefully getting another year in the same offense, the sky is the limit for us as a young team. We learned a lot this year. We’re going to keep learning and keep making plays, and hopefully win these last two and look forward to going into the next season.”

I have to admit to going back-and-forth on Lock this season. I want him to be the QBOTF because I love his moxie and appreciate his carefree personality. But his horrendous interceptions (which have been fewer of late) have often pulled me the other direction. Ultimately, however, I land in the “give Lock another season” camp - that includes a full offseason of OTAs and regular training camp to really evaluate his long-term role in Denver.

But there’ll be plenty of time to debate Lock’s future in the coming months. Today it’s Christmas, and you should really just enjoy the outstanding Pentatonix cover that MHR’s own Jeffrey Essary did with his siblings in honor of the holiday.

And tomorrow we’ll debate.

Poll

Do you agree with Bucky Brooks on Broncos’ "wish list" for 2021?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Absolutely, we need another edge rusher.
    (127 votes)
  • 65%
    No way, we have to go defensive back.
    (628 votes)
  • 14%
    C’mon...QB.
    (142 votes)
  • 5%
    "Shasta"
    (56 votes)
953 votes total Vote Now

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