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ESPN ranks Broncos ‘Under 25’ talent as below average

The Denver Broncos have a pretty young and talented team, but this ESPN author doesn’t seem to think so.

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The Denver Broncos have a very young football team and most analysts think this team is on the upswing due to the young talent they have. There is one outlet that disagrees. ESPN took a look at the Broncos under 25 players and put them 19th overall.

2019 ranking: 23

Blue-chip players: Bradley Chubb, OLB; Courtland Sutton, WR; Drew Lock, QB; Jerry Jeudy, WR

Notable graduated players: Dalton Risner, LG; Elijah Wilkinson, RT; Josey Jewell, LB; Troy Fumagalli, TE; Davontae Harris, CB; DaeSean Hamilton, WR; Su’a Cravens, SS

After attempting to walk the balance beam between competing with their former Super Bowl core and fully rebuilding, the Broncos embraced the second path over the past 12 months, and they have already jumped four spots in these rankings because of it. After spending first- and second-round picks on Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant and now Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler in the past three seasons, the Broncos have assembled some of the best young skill talent in football. Sutton already broke out with 1,112 yards and a 5.7% DVOA in his sophomore season, and Jeudy seems a lock to follow suit with the second-highest Playmaker Score in this year’s class. But whether that talent translates into offensive efficiency will likely rest on the shoulders of quarterback Drew Lock. His second-round status would seem to make him a longer shot to become a franchise passer. But he did produce a 2.2% DVOA and 48.2 QBR in his rookie season, comparable to No. 1 pick and rookie of the year Kyler Murray (-3.1%, 55.7), albeit over a quarter of as many attempts since Lock started the season on injured reserve with a thumb injury.

I want so badly to rip this to shreds, but I already know ya’ll will in the comments section. I’ll stick to the obvious flaws in this analysis. First, why the flippin’ hell is Su’a Cravens on this list? He hasn’t been on the Broncos roster since August of 2019!

Second, he calls the Broncos players on offense ‘some of the best young skill talent in football’ yet apparently that equates to about 19th best in the NFL. Third, this guy then goes on about how the Broncos are old on defense.

Defensively, the Broncos remain older with one young star in pass-rusher Bradley Chubb as well as a handful of interesting prospects sprinkled in. Chubb missed most of 2019 with an ACL tear, but his 34.5 hurries and 12 sacks as a rookie put him on a similar career trajectory as three-time All-Pro teammate Von Miller. And third-round sophomore Dre’Mont Jones could add a third member to their fearsome pass rush after he burst onto the scene with a Week 16 dismantling of the Lions with 2.5 sacks and two tackles for losses. It might be difficult for Jones, 2018 third-round cornerback Isaac Yiadom and 2020 third-round cornerback Michael Ojemudia and defensive tackle McTelvin Agim to find extensive playing time in a loaded, veteran defense, but they provide the team with enviable depth in the short term and multiple succession plans in the long term. And third-round rookie center Lloyd Cushenberry could start immediately on offense, replacing departed free-agent veteran Connor McGovern (the Jets version).

It’s not that they are a veteran defense with a slew of quality players who may be at or just past their peak, but will still present opposing teams with plenty of problems. I see a Top 5 defense there. They have a fewer young players in starting roles on defense, but when you look at the offense and how stacked it is with young talent you can see why this writer would think of the defensive side of the ball as old.

Overall, this analysis is quite literally a giant stinking pile of garbage. What do you think, Broncos Country?

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