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Mile High Morning: Taking an early look at free agency for the Broncos


The Lead

In just about a month, the 2022 league year will officially begin, bringing with it the opening of free agency.

So let's take an early look at the Broncos' outlook, courtesy of Pro Football Focus’ team-by-team analysis.

PFF's four position groups of need for Denver are quarterback, cornerback, edge rusher and linebacker. While the discussion about quarterback centers on potential trade targets, Anthony Treash highlights cornerback as perhaps an area where Denver can improve via free agency with Rams secondary coach/pass game coordinator Ejiro Evero reportedly preparing to join the Broncos as their new defensive coordinator.

"While Bryce Callahan's 2021 didn't go as hoped, his high end is too good to ignore," Treash wrote. "The versatile corner has produced coverage grades above 77.0 in three of his past four seasons on the field. Evero could and should opt to bring in Darious Williams, who spent plenty of time with Evero in Los Angeles. Williams was volatile in 2021, but he showed top-notch play in this kind of system in 2020. That year, Williams nabbed five interceptions and broke up 11 other passes en route to an 81.5 coverage grade."

Callahan is rated by PFF as the 66th-best free agent on their top-200 ranking, while Williams comes in at No. 36.

The edge rusher position appears to also be deep based on PFF's ranking; edge rushers make up a full fourth of the top 24 players and a fifth of the top 50.

At linebacker, the Broncos have two players — Alexander Johnson and Josey Jewell — in the top 100. Johnson (No. 55) and Jewell (No. 65) rank in the top five at the position on the free-agency list.

Below the Fold

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater's placement on PFF's list — and this one from ESPN’s top-50 list — is the highest by any Bronco entering free agency.

"Bridgewater is only two years removed from signing a three-year, $63 million contract with the Carolina Panthers and has been more consistent behind a better Broncos offensive line," Treash wrote. "Bridgewater has out-performed his reworked one-year, $10 million contract and is the only proven starting-caliber quarterback under 30 years old this offseason."

The Unclassifieds

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