Heading into the 2020 season, the Broncos cornerback group is full of both question marks and potential. No one exemplifies that more than De’Vante Bausby.
#41 De’Vante Bausby
Age: 27 Height: 6’2” Weight: 190
College: Pitt State
Bausby came over to Denver last year by way of multiple practice squad stints, including time with Vic Fangion and Ed Donatell in Chicago for a year, and also the AAF at the beginning of 2019.
The corner took a starting role in week 3 after Isaac Yiadom stumbled in the first two games of the year, and played roughly two full games (136 snaps) as a starter on the outside before suffering a scary cervical sprain in week 5 against the Chargers.
Leading off ‘the good’ is that De’Vante Bausby is healthy. He has been interviewed several times on Broncos Country Tonight this offseason and has reported that he is fully healthy and ready to go.
On the field, I was really impressed with his play, even in a limited sample size.
De'Vante Bausby was really good on Sunday, and I think he'll shine in this defense.— Jeffrey Essary (@JeffreyEssary) September 28, 2019
A Thread: pic.twitter.com/ItJmOGZDaG
He’s a long, athletic outside corner who showed great route recognition and speed breaking downhill against short passes, which fits really well in Fangio’s defense.
What was particularly impressive last year, was Bausby’s play in big situations. He made play after play on 3rd down in both the Packers game and the Jacksonville game.
He learns from it, though and plays this next double move much more evenly, coming up with another big stop on 3rd down. Even in his limited snaps, @_BigBaus was absolutely money on 3rd downs. Can't wait to see more of him this year. pic.twitter.com/FKvoPghdJw— Jeffrey Essary (@JeffreyEssary) August 1, 2020
Health is the biggest question mark with Bausby overall, given his frame. He has broken a collarbone in his career and of course the injury last year as well. Bausby has reiterated that he is completely healthy, so hopefully that is behind him, but it is something watch this year.
Another concern I have with him is the shadow side of his best skill. At times he can get over-aggressive which leads to him being beat by double moves. In addition to this play below, there was one against the Packers that should have been a touchdown if the pass rush hadn’t forced Rodgers to throw the ball away.
Top of the screen - the darkside of Bausby's aggressive play style is it can get him caught with double moves occasionally. Draws a DPI here trying to save a TD. pic.twitter.com/QsBo9yuTHw— Jeffrey Essary (@JeffreyEssary) August 1, 2020
Lastly, his run defense and tackling were a bit hit and miss, which is to be expected given his size, but he’ll need to shore that up a bit if he’s going to start 16 games outside next season.
I think Bausby could be one of the key breakout players for the Broncos on this defense next year. If he remains healthy and is able to lock down the outside corner spot opposite A.J. Bouye, that allows Callahan to be where he is best - in the slot.
While that trio has a lot of question marks, that’s a pretty solid corner group if everything comes together.
If Bausby’s rise to the starting lineup is derailed by injury or he struggles, the Broncos options become even more shaky to replace him.
In my opinion, he is the potential linchpin of the secondary that takes this defense to that level we all hope they can reach.