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2024 Broncos Combine Roundup: A closer look at top edge rushers and defensive linemen

INDIANAPOLIS — During General Manager George Paton's Combine media availability, he pointed to the front of the Broncos' defense as an area for continued improvement.

"I think we need to get better inside, stopping the run," Paton said on Tuesday.

As the Broncos look to make strides in that area, there are a number of potential ways to supplement the team's front seven. Among them: a talented interior defensive lineman or a stout edge player who could also bolster the Broncos' pass rush.

Here, then, is a closer look at some of the players whom national-media members have posited as potential early round picks at edge rusher and along the defensive line:


What to know: In 2023, Latu earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors and was named a consensus All-America selection after he recorded 13 sacks and led the nation with 21.5 tackles for loss. Before that success, Latu medically retired after suffering a neck injury in 2020 that required surgery while at the University of Washington. Latu resumed his career at UCLA in 2022 after he was medically cleared to return to the field, and he said no NFL teams have shared any medical concerns with him during Combine interviews.'s player comparison: Steelers EDGE T.J. Watt

Quotable: "I never let it get the best of me. I continuously worked out, I continuously got stronger, continued to work my pass rush moves. Really just locked in. Never gave up on my dreams. I had dreams of being in this moment, being in the NFL since [I was] a kid, and I never gave up on that." - Latu on being forced to medically retire before returning to play for UCLA


What to know: After spending his first season at Maryland, Robinson spent the last two years posting a combined 9.5 sacks, 17.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles for Penn State. A speedy rusher off the edge, Robinson is credited with "rare explosiveness" and "wicked pursuit speed" by's Lance Zierlein.'s player comparison: Cowboys EDGE Micah Parsons

Quotable: "When you're so explosive and you get off the ball — and especially a guy like me, a lot of O-linemen wouldn't be thinking about speed to power. So when they see me get off the ball, they're just assuming that I'm trying to work the edge. Once they give me their chest, I'm able to stay low and then put my power through their chest." - Robinson on his best trait as a pass rusher

JARED VERSE, Florida State

What to know: Projected by NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah to the Broncos in his latest mock draft, Verse returned to Florida State in 2023 to help the Seminoles post an undefeated regular season. He recorded 41 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks in 2023 as a repeat campaign to a 17-TFL and nine-sack season in 2022. Verse began his career at Albany, where he posted 14.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss over two years.'s player comparison: Former Steelers OLB LaMarr Woodley

Quotable: "It changed me as a player. You watch my Albany film and you watch my Florida State film, it's a different person. Not because of anything physically, but because of technique." - Verse on finishing his career at Florida State


What to know: A pair of interior players at the University of Texas, both Murphy and Sweat were arguably the best duo in college football. Murphy was a 2023 second-team All-American and the Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year, and he posted career highs with 29 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, five sacks and seven quarterback hurries in 2023. He also scored a pair of touchdowns for the Longhorns' offense. Sweat, meanwhile, was named a first-team All-American and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. He also won the Outland Trophy as the best interior lineman in college football as he posted 45 tackles, eight tackles for loss, two sacks and four pass breakups. He, too, recorded an offensive touchdown. National analysts have largely tabbed Murphy as a first-round pick, while Sweat could be available on Day 2.'s player comparisons: Bills DL Ed Oliver (Murphy), Bucs DL Vita Vea (Sweat)

Quotable: "Playing next to T'Vondre, first, I just want to say it was a blessing just to play with him. Playing with a guy like that, he makes it easier for me, and I also make it easier for him. Each and every day, we just pushed each other every day just trying to be great. We competed every day, and I'd say we took a big step, a big role in leading the defensive line. I feel like we led them in the right way." - Murphy on the combination of himself and Sweat at Texas

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