I’ve included five Broncos players who, in my opinion, have the potential to shine during training camp, as well as five others who might be in the running for roster slots. The five players with the biggest things to show during the forthcoming training camp workouts will be discussed next.
After last season’s poor results, I could have easily made this list 10 guys long, if not more. However, I only included five individuals. Since everyone will be focusing on their development under new head coach and offensive wizard Sean Payton, this list will be heavily offensive. The Denver Broncos will need a number of offensive players to step up and elevate their play from last year if they hope to be successful in the upcoming season. Here are the five Broncos players who, in my opinion, have the most to prove during training camp after all of the above.
Quarterback Russell Wilson
This one should be evident. Russell Wilson was acquired by the Broncos in a significant trade last year, and he joined the organization with very high hopes. Sadly, he ended up suffering the worst season of his career and was sidelined for a number of contests with injuries. In that storied transaction, many speculated or declared that Wilson was “washed” and the Broncos had been taken advantage of by the Seahawks. With Sean Payton as head coach and an offensive/quarterback expert, Wilson is expected to be brought back to his old form, and if he is unable to do so, no one else will be able to.
Now that Russ is in his second training camp with the Broncos, he must earn the respect of the supporters, his teammates, and most importantly, head coach Sean Payton. He needs to demonstrate that last season was an anomaly and that he can once again establish himself as one of the league’s top quarterbacks. He has already lost a significant amount of weight this offseason, which should help him regain the mobility he lacked the previous season. Betting on his performance with bet on nfl games online, many of us just now need to see him improve as a passer, better read the field, and just stop doing all the embarrassing things that get him in trouble with the press.
For Russell Wilson, this is a make-or-break season. Sean Payton is now in charge of this team after a brief honeymoon spell. He will go on and find someone else if Wilson cannot convince him that he is the right person to head this team. Wilson must therefore get off to a solid start, have a strong training camp, and start to disprove the naysayers. Obviously, he must keep doing that during the entire season, but gradually. Jarrett Stidham might play some football for this team sooner rather than later if not.
Running back Javonte Williams
Javonte Williams, as we all know, suffered a severe knee injury during the fourth-week matchup between the Broncos and the Raiders. His season was plainly over when he tore multiple ligaments, but it also cast doubt on his future. He’d be prepared for the season, right? Would he be able to return from this serious injury at all, or would he have to miss some of the season? Williams participated in the first day of the OTA workouts despite the fact that many predicted the worst in this situation. Williams subsequently completed the full offseason program without experiencing any setbacks (that we are aware of), and head coach Sean Payton informed reporters that he is certain Williams will not begin camp on the PUP. Although this is amazing news, Williams still has a lot to prove in the future.
Williams must still demonstrate that his knee is in perfect shape despite the fact that he is this far ahead of schedule. He is still months away from fully recovering from this injury, which typically takes at least a full year (if not more). Therefore, how well-groomed and productive he is in the first few days of camp will be telling.
The main thing he needs to demonstrate is his ability to withstand blows, keep his knees moving during impact, and simply function as the bowling ball he did before becoming hurt. This is not something we will really see throughout camp, but it will be fascinating to see how much work he gets once the pads are on and how he performs in the preseason. We also need to consider and consider the mental aspect of it. Does he believe that the violence won’t harm his knee? Will he run at top speed, demonstrate that he hasn’t lost any burst or explosiveness, and carry on making cuts without incident?
Williams will be a game-changer for the Broncos and this offense in the upcoming season assuming he stays healthy and without any setbacks. He provides the Broncos with a real three-down back and a ferocious runner who can pound it in for a touchdown or get the necessary short yardage. We only need him to demonstrate that he is a freak and has managed to finish so much earlier than expected without experiencing any obstacles. If not, a veteran back might be added to provide some protection going ahead.
Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy
Any Broncos receiver might be included on this list, but I chose Jeudy. He is the top receiver for the Broncos, their most explosive receiver, and possibly their long-term plan for the position. He has not yet reached the heights of Ceedee Lamb and Justin Jefferson, who were all selected after him, in his Broncos career, which has had its highs and lows. He did, however, appear like the receiver we all believed he could be by the end of the 2022 season, and he now enters camp with high expectations and the desire to excel under head coach Sean Payton.
He played well at the end of last season, as Jeudy recently stated, but he must carry that over into this season, beginning in training camp. Sean Payton will feature him in this scheme if he is the best receiver, as we all think. When he was the Saints’ head coach, he gave his best receivers plenty of targets, and Michael Thomas ended up leading the league in targets for an entire season. Therefore, Jeudy will receive the ball early and frequently if he keeps up this style of play.
The issue is that we have yet to witness Jeudy perform admirably across an entire season. Either he had to deal with ailments that kept him out for weeks, or the quarterback play around him was subpar. Throughout camp, Jeudy will be tested by corners Patrick Surtain II and others, so he needs to perform well. We need him to remain healthy, catch the ball, and simply demonstrate that his performance at the end of the last campaign was not an exception and that he is prepared to shine this season under Sean Payton.
Edge rusher Randy Gregory
In order to replace Von Miller, who they dealt to the Los Angeles Rams at the trade deadline, Gregory was hired last offseason. The former Cowboys edge rusher had off-field problems throughout his career that resulted in suspensions and bothersome ailments, but the Broncos hoped that those difficulties were all behind him now. Gregory was out for the majority of the season due to injury, which was unfortunate for the Broncos.
After signing a hefty contract with the Broncos, Gregory ended up only appearing in six games and recording just two sacks. Gregory had a really bad season because of his poor performance, injuries, and Christmas punching of a Rams player.
Now, unlike last year, he reports to training camp healthy, and if the Broncos are to succeed defensively, he needs to have a bounce-back season. Prior to getting hurt, he displayed dominant performance, as he has done throughout his career, but he has yet to do it consistently for an entire season. He must demonstrate that he can play through injury and be an effective pass rusher for the Broncos. The beginning of this is training camp. He must survive without suffering any injuries and be a distraction throughout the practices. Otherwise, Gregory will continue to be the focus of many people’s attention while these questions persist—hell, they could continue anyway.
Cornerback Damarri Mathis
Unlike the other people on this list, he is not currently recovering from a catastrophic injury or subpar performance. The second-year corner is coming off a good rookie campaign in which he showed consistent progress and, at times, displayed high-level play. He will be put to the test every week because he will be playing opposite All-Pro corner Patrick Surtain II, so he needs to demonstrate that he can develop and play effectively.
Mathis, who will start camp as the Broncos’ second cornerback, is coming off an offseason in which the team made few additions to challenge him for the position. Riley Moss was selected in the third round, although at this time it would be unexpected if he challenged Mathis for the starting job. So, Mathis got the thumbs-up from the Broncos, but he now needs to prove himself once more.
He needs to show that he is prepared to play the number two corner for the Broncos and exhibit some sticky coverage throughout camp. We may run into some concerns at cornerback if he has trouble or gets hurt. The squad is filled with inexperienced players that haven’t started many or any games in their careers, and it lacks the depth that has been demonstrated. Therefore, Mathis’ performance and continued development will be crucial for the Broncos’ defense.
We should know the answer to this question rather early in camp because he will likely face many tests during the camp and will cover the top receivers for the Broncos during every session.