Broncos pick Oklahoma OLB Bonitto with final pick of Round 2

Denver picks Oklahoma OLB Bonitto with final pick of Round 2

Arnie Stapleton
AP Pro Football Writer
Oklahoma linebacker Nik Bonitto runs during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against Kansas on Oct. 23, 2021, in Lawrence, Kan. Bonitto was selected by the Denver Broncos during the second round of the NFL draft Friday, April 29.
Charlie Riedel/AP archives

ENGLEWOOD — Waiting around until the final pick of the NFL draft’s second round, the Denver Broncos selected Oklahoma outside linebacker Nik Bonitto on Friday night, a selection they obtained in the Von Miller trade last year.

Bonitto collected 18½ sacks over the last three seasons for the Sooners and had 32 tackles for loss during his career in Norman.

Bonitto (6-3, 248 pounds) should contribute immediately as a spot pass rusher on a defense that will feature free agent acquisition Randy Gregory and former first-rounder Bradley Chubb on the edges.

The Broncos sent their first- and second-round picks this year and next to the Seahawks in the Russell Wilson trade last month.

They obtained the Rams’ second-round selection in exchange for Miller, the Broncos’ career leader in sacks who signed with Buffalo after helping the Rams win the Super Bowl.

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That left the Broncos with the 64th overall pick in this year’s draft.

They also had a third-round selection Friday night and a eight picks Saturday, including back-to-back fourth-rounders.

General manager George Paton said he’s not averse to trading away some of his nine selections in this year’s draft to bolster the four picks Denver owns next year.

Paton said he didn’t mind not having a first-rounder, suggesting he would spend the evening watching highlights of his new quarterback.

One of 10 teams that didn’t pick in the first round Thursday night, the Broncos tweeted a faux video of the team drafting Wilson with the ninth pick that they dealt to Seattle.

Under rookie head coach Nathaniel Hackett, the Broncos hope to snap a six-year playoff drought and end a five-year run of losing records in 2022.

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