Friday, May 6, 2022

George Paton: The Broncos were ‘really close’ to trading up

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The Denver Broncos landed Oklahoma edge rusher Nik Bonitto with the 64th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, but it almost didn’t happen, according to Broncos general manager George Paton.

At the a press conferencePaton revealed the Broncos weren’t confident Bonitto slipped to pick 64 and were “really close” to trading him.

Luckily, Bonitto dropped to the Broncos, and Paton was able to get his man without giving up additional draft capital.

Paton also named Bonitto the best player on the board.

Bonitto was a prolific pass rusher in college. He has recorded 16 sacks over the past two seasons.

According to Pro Football Focus, Bonitto leads all FBS edge rushers in pass rush win rate (27.8%) and press rate (22.2%) as of 2020.

Bonitto has also shown some potential in pass coverage. In 2019, Bonitto had a game-winning interception against Baylor.

While he probably won’t be asked to take cover often, he has the speed and instinct to keep up with tight ends and running backs when needed.

Bonitto needs to keep improving as a running defender, but overall he has a lot of advantages.

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The Broncos’ Bonitto selection was received very positively. NBC Sports’ Chris Simms called it a “great choice” and wrote that Bonitto has “Micah Parson’s slight versatility.”

NFL Network’s Cynthia Frelund named Bonitto one of Day 2’s top value picks.

Several Broncos players responded to the election on Twitter.

Quarterback Russell Wilson welcomed Bonitto to Broncos country.

Offensive tackle Garett Bolles agreed with the pick.

Edge rusher Randy Gregory retweeted a tweet calling Bonitto a great complement behind Gregory and Bradley Chubb.

Offensive tackle Garett Bolles agreed with the pick.

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