Good Morning, Broncos Country.
By now, you have likely familiarized yourself with the Denver Broncos 2016 draft class. A group of eight players, along with a large number of undrafted free agents have joined the squad and will do whatever it takes to carve themselves a role for the coming season.
But which rookie will make the biggest impact for the team?
Is it possible that rookie quarterback Paxton Lynch wins the starting quarterback job outright and gets a full season of reps leading the team into their battles on the gridiron? It's certainly possible, but I wouldn't put all my eggs in that basket just yet.
While glancing over the roster and taking a look back at how the Broncos played on both sides of the ball last season, I believe that third round defensive back Justin Simmons has the opportunity to have the biggest impact for the team in 2016.
Due to the departures of David Bruton, Jr. and Omar Bolden in the defensive backfield, there is a good chance that Simmons can come in right away and make an impact for the Broncos not only on special teams, but in defensive packages as well. According to defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, the Broncos operated under the dime package (with an extra defensive back compared to nickel packages) roughly 60% of the plays last season.
Bruton was one of the key cogs in a hybrid role for the defense and I believe Simmons is the player most likely to assume that role and see extensive playing time as a rookie. He has the smarts, leadership qualities, desire and tenacity to become a high-level defensive back in the NFL and in my opinion, he was the best selection the team made in the entire 2016 NFL Draft.
ICYMI, here is a highlight video of his best plays at Boston College over his collegiate career:
So Broncos Country, which rookie do you think will have the biggest impact for our beloved Broncos this season? Sound off in the comments section and make your case. As always, thanks for reading and here is today's offering of Horse Tracks.
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