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Broncos select OLB Nik Bonitto with 64th-overall pick


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos have added another talented pass rusher to their defense.

With their first pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Broncos selected Oklahoma outside linebacker Nik Bonitto with the 64th-overall pick.

Bonitto, a three-year starter at Oklahoma, earned second-team All-American honors in 2020 and second-team All-Big 12 honors in 2021. Bonitto told Denver reporters Friday that he believed his "speed rush" was his best trait as a rusher.

"I feel like it's one of a kind," Bonitto said. "I feel like it can definitely add to and complement different guys in the room."

The 6-foot-3, 248-pound player posted 32 tackles for loss and 18.5 sacks over his career, including 25.5 tackles for loss, one forced fumble and 15 sacks since the start of 2020.

"The more pass rushers that you get out there, the more exciting it is," Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett told "Think about all those sacks that you see. It's really exciting. I'm really excited to see him out there and see that speed."

General Manager George Paton said during his predraft press conference he believed edge rusher was the strength of the draft, and he used the team's first pick to acquire more depth.

"You just can't have enough pass rushers," Paton said on April 22. "If we take a pass rusher, it has nothing to do with Bradley [Chubb]. We can't have enough. Randy Gregory, Malik Reed, Jonathon Cooper — that's how you win, when you get a wave. You get a wave of rushers and you have an offense that can score points and you get leads and then you can throw this pass rush at them."

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