The Denver Broncos have selected edge rusher Nik Bonitto with the 64th overall selection in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
He’s a 6’3, 248-pound edge rusher out of Oklahoma and now will help the Broncos defense rush the passer. Here’s what The Athletic’s Dane Brugler has to say about the Broncos new pass rusher.
A three-year starter at Oklahoma, Bonitto played the stand-up “Rush” linebacker position in former defensive coordinator Alex Grinch’s 3-3-5 base scheme. Despite never leading the Sooners in sacks, he consistently finished among the FBS leaders in pressures, and his 28.9 percent pass rush win rate was No. 1 in 2021, according to PFF. Bonitto is an active athlete and shows a natural feel for shaking blockers thanks to his agility and instincts to attack the pocket from different angles. However, he can be engulfed by size on the edge and must weaponize his hands to consistently defeat NFL blockers. Overall, Bonitto is a hybrid player and must develop his play strength to find a full-time role, but he affects the quarterback and uses his quick feet and fluid body movement to keep blockers from centering him up. He projects best as a stand-up linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.
Bonitto was among the prospects the Broncos brought in for a top-30 visit during the pre-draft period. Now, he will join Randy Gregory, Bradley Chubb, Malik Reed, potentially Baron Browning, and others as the current pass rushers on the roster.
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