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Future Broncos: Clemson defensive lineman Ruke Orhorhoro

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By: Christopher Hart

Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

If the Denver Broncos are interested in adding a defensive lineman via the draft, Clemson product Ruke Orhorhoro would be wise to consider.

One of the best recipes for success in the National Football league is continuously investing in the trenches. Whether it’s the offensive or defensive line, it’s extremely important to draft and develop those players as much as possible. Dictating the game at the line of scrimmage matters. Just take a look at the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs—two of the league’s most consistent teams that respect over the past several seasons.

The Denver Broncos added added Malcolm Roach to their defensive front in free agency. He profiles as a top-tier run defender, but doesn’t offer much as a pass rusher. D.J. Jones is slated to return as the team’s incumbent starter at nose tackle and Zach Allen is the franchise’s best player at end. As of now, Matt Henningsen, Elijah Garcia, and Rashard Lawrence are the team’s backups with Eyioma Uwazurike expected to return after being suspended last season.

I have concerns about Denver’s depth on the defensive front, which is why I’d like to see them use one of their top selections to add a versatile defender to the room. Clemson prospect Ruke Orhorhoro is a player I’m high on and would like the Broncos to target on Day 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft. Let’s take a deeper look at Orhorhoro and analyze his fit in the Mile High City.

Player Profile: Ruke Orhorhoro, DL — Clemson

Height: 6’4” | Weight: 294 pounds | Arm Length: 34” | Hand Size: 9-3/8”

40-Yard Dash: 4.89 seconds | 10-Yard Split: 1.67 seconds | Bench: 29 reps | Vertical: 32”

Statistics at Clemson: 53 games, 30 starts, 88 tackles, 25.5 tackles for loss, 12 sacks.

Film Room & Highlights

Hart’s Scouting Report


  • Logged over 1,500 career snaps defensively for the Tigers’ defensive front
  • Experience lining up anywhere from 5-technique to 0-technique for Clemson
  • Prototypical frame and size desired for the position with an impressive wingspan
  • Tremendous athlete for his size with one of the best RAS scores in this year’s class
  • Quick to penetrate off the line of scrimmage and disrupt opponents backfields
  • Overpowers opposing tackles with his go-to bull rush move and upper body strength
  • Understands leverage and jars lineman back by getting under their shoulders
  • Good defending against the run which the Broncos have to get better at


  • He still needs refinement with his hand usage and technique and must develop more pass rush moves
  • Susceptible to being washed out by double teams and needs to improve his lower body strength to help anchor
  • Tape shows some issues with missed tackles but that can certainly be fixed
  • Despite testing well the film shows some issues with lateral quickness and agility
  • Missed time in ‘20 with a knee injury and had shoulder surgery prior to the ‘23 season

Projection: Top 64 selection — Second Round Grade

Why the Denver Broncos should consider drafting Orhorhoro

If the Broncos are interested in adding a prospect who plays with strength and power, Orhorhoro fits the bill. While he still has a lot to work on, one most consider the untapped potential that is waiting to be developed. He only played two years of high school football and just several collegiate seasons after moving to the United States from Nigeria as a teenager.

The length to impact for a lot of defensive lineman usually takes a few seasons, but he has the ability to come in immediately and see time in the Broncos defense. Though he is not the sum of all his parts, he offers far more upside than any of the backup player’s on the roster. I believe he has the potential to be a very good starting defensive linemen in the NFL in a few seasons.

Denver currently lacks a second-round selection and that is where I expect him to go. However, I would not be opposed to them moving up from their third-round selection if he is within striking distance. He would be a great foundational piece to add to a team that needs bullies in the trenches.

Originally posted on Mile High Report