Training camp can be an odd time of the season. 90 players + coaches is a lot of people to keep track of. Players are striving to prove themselves, to win position battles, or just to cling to an NFL future for themselves. Coaches are teaching and evaluating. And there’s the occasional glimpse of John Elway observing the result of his work in the offseason.
Amid all of that, there are always some players that stand out from the crowd. Not just the Von Millers and Chris Harris Jrs of the team, but unknown or unexpected guys. Last year it was Tim Patrick’s athletic catches, Phillip Lindsay’s quick feet, and Isaiah McKenzie’s athleticism. In years past it’s been guys like Shaq Barrett, Jordan Taylor, and Henry Krieger-Coble.
Some of those guys sustain their success, and get to look back at their time as a training camp star as their launchpad to success in the league. For others, the shine wears off quickly when the realities of the cut to 53 and the increased competition of the regular season set in.
Training Camp 2019 will have it’s stars as well- who do you think will step up and catch Broncos Country’s eye and imagination over the next 7 weeks? And more importantly, will they manage to sustain their success?
Kyle B: Camp star will absolutely be Devontae Booker. Should get tons of run while Lindsay mends his wrist.
Jeff: I’ll draft off of Kyle, but go a different route. With Lindsay’s injury, Khalfani Muhammad is a guy to watch in that speed back role. Muhammad ran a 4.38 40 and could turn some heads in camp. Also, look for him to get a shot at a return man role, as well.
Joe M: I think DeVante Bausby is going to surprise folks. He knows the defense from previous experience with Fangio and there is plenty of room for him to step up and secure a roster spot as the #3 or #4 CB with a good showing in camp. Maybe he progresses and turns into an above average NFL corner with the help/wisdom of CHJ, BC and KJ. Andrew Mason agrees with Joe, as he told the MHR Radio Podcast (ApplePodcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher). Mase said he would not be surprised if Bausby becomes the No. 4 cornerback.
Adam: Star is a tough nut to crack, but Dre’Mont Jones is a guy who seems to get overshadowed from the 2019 draft. The Broncos drafted 4 players from the top-50 in the draft, and got Jones at 71 in the 3rd round. He could jump into the defensive line rotation and make some big plays, and it seems like a lot of people are forgetting about him. If he can get into the rotation, his impact should last into the regular season.
Taylor: I’m hoping that Justin Hollins will be one of those guys for us. He’s flying under the radar a bit after being a day 3 guy, and will face challenges moving to what will apparently be a mostly ILB role. But if he can pick it up quickly, Hollins could be a dynamic and impactful addition, and the potential solution to one of the defense’s weaker areas.
Sadaraine: Tim Patrick really impressed me with the work he put on the field last season. There’s a ton of talk about Sutton and Hamilton, but I think Patrick has an opportunity to be a sneaky contributor in this offense. He’s a guy I trust to make a play coming in as a back up and that’s the kind of guy that gets special opportunities in a Shanahan offense.
Just_JoRo: If Scangarello uses more 11 personnel than Shanahan did in 2018, Tim Patrick could really blossom.
If the Broncos follow the throwback model San Francisco used in 2018, George Aston or Andy Janovich could turn into full fledged “stars” in this offense.
Ian St. Clair: I don’t know if he’ll be a “star”, per se, but Su’a Cravens is definitely a player to watch. As with Jackson, Cravens is a hybrid, versatile player who could help the defense in multiple ways, and players like that thrive in this system. When the trade was announced, I was excited by the acquisition but Cravens never lived up to the hype — whether health, system or the player. In this defense, Cravens has a chance to change that. If he’s able to do it in training camp and the preseason, it’ll carry over to the regular season.
With sixty-something non-starters on the roster there are plenty of guys who might shine brighter than expected. Who’ve you got, Broncos Country?