3 surprise cuts the Broncos can make this offseason

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DENVER, CO – DECEMBER 22: Nose tackle Mike Purcell #98 of the Denver Broncos defends on the play against the Detroit Lions during the first quarter at Empower Field at Mile High on December 22, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Lions 27-17. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Make it six straight seasons without a playoff appearance for this franchise. Can the newest head coach resurrect the Denver Broncos?

What a rollercoaster ride it proved to be during Vic Fangio’s final season in the Mile High City. The Denver Broncos opened 2021 with three straight wins and followed that up with a four-game losing streak. Victories in four of their next six outings had the club sitting at 7-6 with four games to play.

But the Broncos were done winning for the season. And with a 7-10 record, they were the only team in the AFC West with a losing mark. Enter new head coach Nathaniel Hackett, who comes over from the Green Bay Packers. So what other changes could this team be in store for?

3. DT Mike Purcell

Great defensive units consistently stop the run. That has not been the case in Denver in recent years regardless of what the final overall defensive rankings indicate. In 2021, the Broncos allowed both the eighth-fewest total yards and passing yards in the league. But the team was a middle-of-the-pack 15th in the league vs. the run. Vic Fangio’s team and Ed Donatell’s defensive unit allowed 119.1 yards per game on the ground.

After beginning his career with the San Francisco 49ers in 2014, nose tackle Mike Purcell spent the past three seasons with the Broncos. But availability has been a bit of a question mark. And general manager George Paton could look to upgrade the position considering the six-year pro is the 38th-ranked interior defender by Pro Football Focus (subscription required).

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