We have finally made it. After an exciting and long offseason that saw the Denver Broncos fire Vic Fangio, hire Nathaniel Hackett and all his staff, trade for All-Pro/Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson, and see the franchise get bought for a record amount of money, it is time for Training Camp.
So, let us talk football.
I’m going to give you seven Denver Broncos who could breakout during Training Camp and be the players we’re all talking about in the coming days and weeks.
1: Wide Receiver, Jerry Jeudy
I know, Jerry Jeudy has already been the talk of now multiple training camps. However, this year, with Russell Wilson under center, he has the chance to truly dominate this spring.
Russell Wilson is a huge upgrade at quarterback and with Jeudy’s ability to separate, get open, and explode after the catch, he has the chance to dominate during practices.
Heck of a catch by Jerry Jeudy— Aric DiLalla (@AricDiLalla) July 20, 2022
(via Russell Wilson’s IG) pic.twitter.com/5cRy8jMgHy
Jeudy and his teammates have been working out with Russell Wilson throughout the offseason, so the chemistry is there. Also, with no disrespect to Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick, Jeudy can do things neither of them can do. Neither of them has his route running ability, his explosion, and just his ability to separate. Jeudy has the makings to be a legit number one receiver in Nathaniel Hackett’s offense and this could be the start of this process.
So while I'll admit this addition is a bit of a reach, I have a feeling we’re going to be talking about how dominant Jeudy has looked each and every single practice.
2: Rookie Tight End, Greg Dulcich
The Denver Broncos selected rookie tight end Greg Dulcich out of UCLA in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He’s an explosive tight end and will look to help replace Noah Fant who was dealt to Seattle in the Russell Wilson trade.
He is competing with Albert Okwuegbunam (who very well could be the breakout tight end to watch) for the starting job and/or playing time. However, the Broncos drafted this explosive tight end for a reason, so I think they’re going to find ways to get him on the field sooner rather than later.
I could see Hackett/Outten turning Greg Dulcich into a pass game superstar— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) July 21, 2022
That 52 catch, 11 TD season from Robert Tonyan in 2020 fits the Dulcich skillset in how he was used. Excited to see this new Broncos offense
As I said, the Broncos drafted an explosive threat like Dulcich for a reason. They already had Albert O. on the roster, so if they felt he was the answer, they would have gone in another direction here. So, I think Dulcich is a name to watch here for sure. Look for Albert O. to get the majority of reps with the first team offense, especially early on, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see Dulcich get some looks as you move forward through camp.
Also, the west coast offense and Nathaniel Hackett’s offense utilize the tight end in a big way. So, we could see both Albert O. and Dulcich on the field at the same time which increases the chances of Dulcich being a breakout training camp star.
3. Rookie Defensive Lineman, Eyioma Uwazurike
The Broncos selected the massive rookie in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft and he has a chance at potentially earning himself a starting job this summer. Veteran defensive lineman Shelby Harris was shipped to Seattle in the Russell Wilson trade which opened up a spot along the defensive line for a starting job. Dre’Mont Jones will be one of your defensive ends while D.J. Jones is expected to be your nose tackle. That leaves a defensive end spot for Uwazurike to claim this summer.
Look for the veterans on the roster to get the first crack at this job while Uwazurike plays on the second and third-team defense. With that said, this is why I believe we’ll see Uwazurike breakout during camp, especially when the pads come on.
The Denver Broncos pick Iowa State Edge Eyioma Uwazurike at No. 116 overall.— PFF College (@PFF_College) April 30, 2022
TWENTY-FOUR tackles for loss and no gain since 2017 (3rd among Big 12 Edges) ☑️ pic.twitter.com/WEqoFAELyp
He will be going against second and third-team blockers during camp, especially early on, and with his size, strength, and athleticism, I expect him to be a disruptor. Also, his length will have him knocking passes down at the line of scrimmage frequently I would imagine
I feel fairly confident that he will be someone we will be talking about early and often throughout camp. Also, he’s probably the biggest player on the roster, so his size alone should get him noticed by reporters as well.
4. Rookie Edge Rusher, Nik Bonitto
Continuing the rookie trend, the Broncos' second-round selection, their first selection of the draft, edge rusher Nik Bonitto has a chance to be someone we’re all talking about during camp. He’s an explosive edge rusher who while is undersized, has the pass-rushing chops to get after the passer consistently.
The edge rushing group is a bit of an unknown and is full of many questions, but there is also a ton of potential there for someone or multiple edge rushers to breakout. Bonitto likely has the best odds of this group to do just that.
What also helps Bonitto’s chances is his opportunities. Look for Randy Gregory to start camp on the PUP and we will probably see Bradley Chubb eased in as well. So, we could see Bonitto get increased reps with the 1st team early on, or at least sprinkled in on occasion.
The Broncos draft Nik Bonitto out of Oklahoma— ESPN (@espn) April 30, 2022
He led college football in pressure rate last season pic.twitter.com/lqdR290KtD
There are some things you cannot teach, and two of those are explosion and having elite get off. These are two traits that Bonitto has. Sure, his run defense isn’t great, but that is not why General Manager George Paton drafted Nik Bonitto. He was drafted to get after the passer, and that is exactly what he needs to show during camp.
5. Safety, Caden Sterns
The Denver Broncos selected Texas safety, Caden Sterns, in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He was the Broncos' second safety selected during the draft but he ended up being the most impactful safety of the two.
He played in 15 games for the Broncos while starting two of those games. In those 15 games, he totaled 2 sacks and 2 interceptions and totaled 28 tackles. Now, entering his second season with the Broncos, we could see increased playing time for Sterns this upcoming season.
One potential roadblock for Sterns breaking out is the re-signing of Kareem Jackson. The veteran was brought back and figures to start again for the Broncos' defense. However, I believe we will see Sterns cut into his role a bit more this season.
The Rams used a lot of three safety looks in the past, so you have to assume they will do the same in Denver with Ejiro Evero running the defense. This would allow Sterns to play more and basically be a starter for them this upcoming season.
I look for him to continue his strong play this summer and potentially improve on his ball-hawking play some as well. He is an elite athlete and a potential chess piece to use in coverage units this upcoming season.
6. Linebacker, Jonas Griffith
Griffith was acquired by the Broncos during the final cut-down period from the San Fransisco 49ers. He was mostly viewed as a special teams addition, but as the season progressed, Griffith earned more playing time and made the most of it.
He played in 13 games for the Broncos and started 4 of those games. In those 13 games and 4 starts, Griffith totaled 46 tackles, 4 tackles for a loss, and 2 QB hits. This was all in limited playing time.
Jonas Griffith is having a very good day so far at Broncos minicamp.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) June 14, 2022
Griffith made a great impression during this limited playing time last season. He is now considered to have the inside track of being the Broncos' second inside linebacker this upcoming season behind starter Josey Jewell.
As the Andrew Mason tweet above indicates, it appears he has continued this strong play into the OTA’s and minicamp. So, it’s safe to assume we shall see it continue throughout Training Camp as well.
7. Cornerback, Michael Ojemudia
One player who received the most hype coming out of the OTA’s and minicamp was the former third-round pick, cornerback, Michael Ojemudia. He is kind of the forgotten man in the Broncos secondary, but with injury concerns ahead of him on the depth chart, he may need to play some significant snaps this upcoming season. He may be even pushing to start according to DNVR’s Zac Stevens.
“He’s been ballin’”: Why Michael Ojemudia is no longer competing for a roster spot, but instead a starting job heading into training camphttps://t.co/bJs7hMePIc— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) July 21, 2022
Ojemudia progressing and improving as a player would be a major addition to a Broncos cornerback unit that has health concerns with some of its starters.
As we all know, the AFC West looks loaded on offense with quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert slinging the ball around. Also, wide receivers like Davante Adams, Keenan Allen, Smith-Schuster, Mike Williams, and others catching these passes. So, having a strong and deep secondary is almost required if you want to be successful in the AFC West.
Patrick Surtain II is a legit number one cornerback, but Ronald Darby and slot corner K’Waun Williams have injury concerns. Having Ojemudia improving and even pushing one of them for playing time would really make me feel better about this unit.
So, hopefully, Ojemudia continues to ascend during Training Camp and indeed push for a starting job.
Which player do you think will have the biggest breakout during Training Camp?
This poll is closed
WR Jerry Jeudy
TE Greg Dulcich
IDL Eyioma Uwazurike
EDGE Nik Bonitto
S Caden Sterns
LB Jonas Griffith
CB Michael Ojemudia