The Denver Broncos have experienced a pretty pleasant offseason by traditional standards.
They acquired a Super Bowl winning, Hall-of-Fame awaiting, offensive genius as the new head coach, and following his vision, the team also completely revamped an offensive line that had been a complete disaster in 2022.
Sure, the team had to part ways with Bradley Chubb, are still on the hook for a pretty penny for Russell Wilson (who all should be hoping turns it around), and had to go without a first and second round (before trading up) pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, but given the circumstances, there’s not much to complain about.
In fact, whether it’s through fan gossip, media bias, or just blind optimism, one would be hard pressed to find any negative headlines about the Broncos in the last several weeks. Is it due to the fact that things are truly trending in the right direction, or is it because everyone in relation to the Denver Broncos is in need of something to be happy about?
This is to be said because the reaction and coverage regarding the Broncos picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, notably the first three picks, have been covered as if they were all first-round prospects who miraculously slipped to the orange and blue.
Yet, is that really the case?
There is little doubt that Broncos Country is in dire need of a morale boost, but is pushing the narrative that WR Marvin Mims, LB Drew Sanders, and DB Riley Moss are so impressive in rookie minicamp an accurate reflection of what is happening, or is it a bit of a push to reignite interest? Are these the type of young players who can make a first-round like impact their rookie seasons, or should fans be patient and allow them more cushion?
To be honest, either view point has a valid argument.
All three of Mims, Sanders, and Moss were incredible college players. Sanders was a first-team All-American inside linebacker at Arkansas with first-round grades. Moss was twice named first-team Big Ten and was a third-team All-American in 2022. Mims was first-team Big 12 and had 1,000+ yards receiving on just north of 50 catches, making him quite the big play threat.
And to that note, each player has a door open for significant reps.
The wide receiver position consists of Jerry Jeudy, who came on late last season as a legitimate WR1 threat, Courtland Sutton, who has been good but inconsistent in his career, Tim Patrick, coming off a knee injury, and KJ Hamler, who (God bless him) can’t step on the field without succumbing to injury. Mims, a speedy x-factor, could very well prove to be a difference maker for the offense.
As for the linebacker corps, Josey Jewell and Alex Singleton have been serviceable, but are not in any way irreplaceable. The inside linebacker position is critical in the AFC West mores than other divisions, so Sanders will have his chance.
Riley Moss gets compared to Jason Sehorn a lot, mainly because they both tan the same way, but just as Sehorn was a legit DB1, Moss has the skill set to be as well. Pat Surtain II has one side of the field locked up, but can the Broncos really rely on Damarri Mathis solely on the other side?
Yet, it is important to remember that while guys drafted late second, third, fourth round and beyond can make quick and impactful statements their rookie season, it is not quite as frequent as the guys picked much earlier.
There is a lot to be optimistic about entering the 2023 season, but for fans, can the minicamp spotlight that has been put on Mims, Sanders, and Moss legitimately translate to early on-field impacts, or is this just something of a feel-good offseason storyline?
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