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Broncos Camp Preview: Re-signing ILB Alex Singleton, adding Frank Clark defines Broncos' linebacking corps

As training camp approaches, it's time to turn our attention toward the season. Ahead of the first open training camp practice, we're examining each of the position groups on the Broncos' roster. In our look at each position, we'll fill you in on what we know about the group and what we hope to find out during training camp. We'll also identify a player to watch when practices begin and the preseason gets underway. We continue the series with a look at the Broncos' linebacking corps.

For more information on attending training camp this year, click here.

What we know:

The Broncos made splashes in their linebacking corps through both free agency and the draft during the 2023 offseason.

First, the team kept inside linebacker Alex Singleton in Denver. The veteran player recorded a staggering 163 tackles in his first season with the Broncos, and he formed a solid pairing with Josey Jewell.

"It was just the consistency, the performance, the vision, him knowing the defense, playing well on a good defense a year ago and his communication skills," Head Coach Sean Payton said in June. "... With him, it was his production, and you know what you are getting, which is a great trait to have as a player."

Then, in April, the Broncos added again to the inside linebacker group with the selection of Drew Sanders.

"Sanders' vision might be one in which varied around the league because he's a transfer from Alabama," Payton said during the draft. "He's played some outside linebacker. He's played some inside linebacker; he had a ton of pressure production last year. Our vision for him is at inside linebacker and four-core special teams player who can go and stem down to the outside. We saw so many good traits with him and such good production."

And as the offseason program neared its end, Denver reached a deal with Frank Clark. The former Chief should bring instant production to Denver's edge-rushing group.

"[He is] a pressure player and someone that I remember doing a lot of work on when he was coming out in the draft," Payton said. "We followed him, obviously, in Seattle first and then in Kansas City. It's one of the areas that we paid close attention to. We'll find a role within what we are doing and where he can help us. I think it's always a challenge to find those guys who you can say are pressure players, but he is one of them. Certainly, he's excelled in the postseason, both in Seattle and in Kansas City. That's the vision."

What we need to learn:

How does the Broncos' depth develop?

Denver's presumptive starters in Jewell and Singleton at inside linebacker and Gregory and Clark at outside linebacker form a solid starting unit, but there will also be a focus on the players behind them.

At inside linebacker, Jonas Griffith and Justin Strnad both return as options with starting experience. Third-round pick Drew Sanders, whom the Broncos have described as a "pressure player," could also battle for early playing time.

Along the edge, Denver will be without Baron Browning — who was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list — for at least the start of training camp. Nik Bonitto, Jonathon Cooper, Aaron Patrick and Christopher Allen will be among the players to try to push for a role behind Gregory and Clark.

Training camp and the preseason games will offer opportunities to see which players are poised to earn a role and solidify the team's linebacking corps.

Player to watch:

Randy Gregory & Frank Clark

Yes, that's two players — but the way Gregory and Clark play opposite each other will be highly entertaining and could help define the Broncos' season.

Gregory is highly talented, and he showed early in the 2022 season how disruptive he can be to opposing offenses. In the first four games of the season, Gregory recorded a pair of sacks, two tackles for loss, seven quarterback hits and a pair of forced fumbles. He returned late in the year but played limited snaps after missing nine games. In camp, Gregory should be able to demonstrate the same game-changing ability he's shown during other moments in his career. And on the other edge, he'll be joined by another proven player.

Denver made a big move late in the offseason program for Clark, who recorded 2.5 sacks in three games during the Chiefs' Super Bowl LVII run. The veteran player has 13.5 career postseason sacks and posted a career-high 13 sacks in 2018. A three-time Pro Bowler, Clark has a knack for game-changing plays and could bring that ability to Denver.

The Broncos' offensive line underwent a major upgrade during the offseason, but the unit will be tested by Gregory and Clark. The duo's performance should be of supreme interest as training camp gets underway.

Previous articles in the series:

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