Earlier this week, ESPN pointed out the biggest weakness for the 14 teams that they consider Super Bowl contenders in 2022.
When it comes to the Denver Broncos, ESPN’s Dan Graziano feels like the linebacker position could be a problem for the team as they compete for a championship this season.
One position that is clearly still concerning general manager George Paton, though, is off-ball linebacker, where they are still shopping for veterans. Denver brought in former Browns and Jags defender Joe Schobert for a visit, and Paton reportedly attempted to re-sign one of his former chargers in Anthony Barr before the longtime Vikings linebacker joined the Cowboys.
Until the Broncos add another player to the mix, they have one starting job locked down with Josey Jewell, who missed most of 2021 with a pectoral injury. Jewell isn’t a superstar, and he can be picked on a bit in coverage, but he’s a competent three-down linebacker. If he’s on the field for 17 games, the Broncos should be happy with one of their starters.
The other spot is the one I suspect Paton is trying to improve. Denver let Alexander Johnson and Kenny Young leave this offseason and moved Baron Browning back to the edge, leaving a hole in the lineup. It signed Alex Singleton, who was forced onto the field out of desperation in Philadelphia. He’s best as a special teams player and backup linebacker. He’ll be competing with Jonas Griffith, who started the final four games of the season.
Signing Schobert or Anthony Hitchens would make sense for the Broncos, who will have to face tight ends Travis Kelce and Darren Waller four times this season.
I think one easy solution here would be to re-sign Alexander Johnson, who is still a free agent.
The former Tennessee Vols standout did a nice job for the Broncos in 2020, totaling 124 tackles and five quarterback hits.
Johnson suffered a torn pectoral last season and missed the final 11 games of the regular season.
If Johnson is healthy, then he could help solidify the Broncos’ biggest weakness in 2022.
Featured image via Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports