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Von Miller falls on ESPN’s Top 100 list; Justin Simmons rises

Von Miller is going to be a bad man in 2020, but ESPN thinks he’ll slide from an elite player to a very good player this season.

NFL: Denver Broncos-Training Camp Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN has released their Top 100 players for 2020 and you will have to scroll pretty far down the list to find one of the greatest Denver Broncos of all-time in Von Miller. The further you scroll the more angry you might get at the names the fly past before Miller’s show up.

46. Von Miller
OLB | Broncos
Age: 31
2019 rank: 8

If Miller has his way, this ranking will look far too low by the time December rolls around. Miller was so frustrated with the 2019 season that he was already back working out just 72 hours after the season ended. He has flashed plenty of power and speed in the early going at training camp, and Jurrell Casey’s arrival and Bradley Chubb’s return from an ACL tear will also give the Broncos more options with Miller. — Jeff Legwold

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They go on to project him with a mere 52 tackles, 10 sacks, and a forced fumble. In 2019, despite facing double teams he notched a pressure percentage of 12%, which ranked sixth in the league. So in my mind, the projection and the pressure percentage don’t seem to align.

The Broncos put a heavy focus on improving the defensive front alignment this offseason to help bring more pressure to opposing offenses. With Jurrell Casey and Shelby Harris inside, and Bradley Chubb coming back from a knee injury, it won’t all fall on Miller to get to the quarterback in 2020.

I think he’s going to surprise a lot of people.

Other than that rather insulting ranking for Von, ESPN did bring Justin Simmons up into their Top 100. He was unranked last season, but comes in at 92.

92. Justin Simmons
S | Broncos
Age: 26
2019 rank: NR

Simmons was a second-team All-Pro selection last season, and he’s made it clear he wants even more moving forward. He can play down at the line of scrimmage in the run game if Vic Fangio needs him to, and he has the speed to play deep as well. Simmons has even been used at cornerback for a smattering of snaps in his time with the Broncos when the team has had injuries in the secondary. He’s in a contract year, and if he plays like he did last season — or better — Simmons’ price is only going up. — Jeff Legwold

Simmons had a big year under Vic Fangio’s defense and looks poised to take it to even higher limits in 2020. According to ESPN, he held targets to the second-lowest passer rating at 34.7. He and Kareem Jackson should make for an excellent duo this season.

Shocking Snub

Here are a list of wide receivers that made it into the Top 100: Michael Thomas, DeAndre Hopkins, Tyreek Hill, Julio Jones, Mike Evans, Davante Adams, Odell Beckham Jr., Amari Cooper, Chris Goodwin, Keenan Allen, Kenny Golladay, Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Tyler Lockett, Cooper Kupp, A.J. Brown, and JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Are you telling me Courtland Sutton isn’t better than even one of those guys on that list? Give me a freaking break. The insult to Von and the snub to Sutton was enough for me.