With their final third-round pick (105th overall), the Broncos selected Ohio State University linebacker Baron Browning.
This came after Denver had made two trades down throughout the night, first to the Giants and then the Saints. GM George Paton stated that they had an opportunity to make another trade down, but they didn’t want to lose their shot at Browning.
“We had a lot of action on that pick, but Baron Browning is too special of an athlete to move back,” he said.
Browning is a dominant, athletic, explosive LB. He has no problem forcing fumbles or tackling and he’s good against blocks. He’s fast, having recorded a 4.56 40, and also extremely versatile, possibly to a fault.
By “to a fault,” I mean his play can be inconsistent, which is completely understandable. Browning served in whatever capacity was needed, often swapping between Mike linebacker and outside linebacker (sometimes in the same game). This could’ve stunted his growth as a player vs if he’d been focusing on one position.
If anything, it just proves his drive to help his team win in any capacity possible.
Browning is expected to compete for a depth linebacker spot. With seasoned players like Alexander Johnson and Josey Jewell on the roster, he’ll be able to start learning and competing from day one, and can be an immediate contributor for the Broncos.
Browning said that he’s most comfortable playing outside linebacker, but that he’ll play where needed. He doesn’t know which position they want him in yet but he’s “thankful for the opportunity to be a Bronco.”
GM George Paton mentioned that the team would be open to having Browning in multiple spots, while head coach Vic Fangio admitted that he wasn’t certain about Browning’s precise role yet, but he was excited to have him on the team.
“He’s a good athlete who runs really well, and he’s got versatility,” he said, “Sometimes his versatility has kind of hurt him a little bit in his development, so we’ll figure out where we’re going to put him first.”