According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Denver Broncos are among the teams that have already had a pre-draft visit with Western Kentucky edge rusher DeAngelo Malone.
Western Kentucky pass rusher DeAngelo Malone is visiting the #Falcons today, source said. Malone – the two-time Conference USA DPOY and Senior Bowl American Player of the Game – already visited the #Titans, #Eagles and #Broncos, with #Colts, #Texans and #49ers visits to come.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 11, 2022
Malone is a 6’4”, 240-pound edge rusher out of Western Kentucky who could go sometime in the middle rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft.
He played a total of five seasons at Western Kentucky and was a consistent force for their defense. During his five seasons, Malone totaled 349 tackles, 59 tackles for a loss, 32.5 sacks, 1 interception, 7 pass deflections, 8 forced fumbles, and 1 defensive touchdown. This past season, Malone totaled 94 tackles, 17.5 tackles for a loss, 8 sacks, and 4 forced fumbles.
Here is what The Athletic’s draft guru Dane Brugler has to say about him in his annual draft guide.
SUMMARY: A four-year starter at Western Kentucky, Malone was a boundary edge rusher (mostly stand up) in defensive coordinator Maurice Crum’s 4-2-5 base scheme. After leading the team in sacks four consecutive seasons, he has one of the most impressive pass rush résumés in this draft class as WKU’s all-time leading sack artist (34.0) and a two-time conference Defensive Player of the Year. With his burst and speed, Malone runs the arc extremely well and shows the ability to win the corner, flatten and close. With his struggles to stay square at the point of attack in the run game, he is at his best in space, where he can show off his versatile athleticism. Overall, Malone is a speed-reliant rusher with questions about play strength and position fit, but he is a quarterback hunter with the athletic traits and God-given acceleration to make plays. He can be an effective role player as a stand-up edge rusher or linebacker who will play primarily on passing downs.
Brugler has Malone ranked as the 14th best edge rusher in the 2022 NFL Draft and was given a third-round grade, 82nd overall as well
The Broncos addressed the edge-rushing position during free agency when they signed former Cowboys edge rusher Randy Gregory to a multi-year deal. However, Gregory comes with some risks, and his edge-rushing partner Bradley Chubb comes with even more risks as well. So, adding another depth piece to go with Malik Reed, Jonathon Cooper, and potentially Baron Browning makes sense.