Mile High Morning: Why the Broncos look 'like a roster ready to compete for a title' –


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Earlier this week,’s Marc Ross ranked the Broncos’ roster as the fifth most-complete in the league, and at least one of his colleagues appears to agree.
Gregg Rosenthal has been going division by division to assess each team’s projected group of 22 starters, and his evaluation of the Broncos should have fans excited.
“Russell Wilson has never been surrounded by this much skill-position talent,” Rosenthal wrote. “Few quarterbacks have! Some teams have four No. 3 receivers. The Broncos, in a perfect world, could have two No. 1s (Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton), a No. 2 (Tim Patrick) and a sneaky explosive No. 3 (KJ Hamler).”
But Rosenthal doesn’t just consider the Broncos to be talented on offense; “The defensive personnel is outstanding,” he notes.
“It’s a team built to rush the passer,” Rosenthal wrote. “Dre’Mont Jones and free-agent pickup D.J. Jones are both versatile and can push the pocket. Malik Reed is a fantastic third edge rusher and second-round pick Nik Bonitto was one of the most productive pass rushers in college football last year.
“… The secondary looks awesome again, especially if free-agent pickup K’Waun Williams can stay healthy. He’s one of the league’s best slot cornerbacks when he’s right.”
The biggest weakness on offense, Rosenthal writes, may be the offensive line because of the added pressure Wilson’s scrambling ability can place on the linemen, but his overall judgment is rosy.
“This does not look like the roster of a first-year head coach,” Rosenthal wrote. “It looks like a roster ready to compete for a title. There is so much new here that the Broncos could disappoint, but the pieces are in place.”
Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson is of the same mind, too. In his most-recent power rankings, he has Denver at No. 7 under the category “Could Be Their Year.”
“Denver catapulted itself into the contenders by trading for Russell Wilson, giving them their first legitimate championship-caliber passer since Peyton Manning,” Monson wrote. “Denver now has to craft an offense that gets the most out of Wilson while doing so without running into the same issues that the Seattle Seahawks had. Can Wilson be unleashed to be the best version of himself without eschewing too much of the quick, routine passes to make the offense among the league’s best?”
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“What would touch my dad most about me being involved with the Broncos is not only that I can do something in football, but that I could reconnect with a city we love and has meant so much to our family,” Rice said.
“It’s an important time to celebrate your family and loved ones,” quarterback Russell Wilson said.
“Whether the carries are up or not, when you’re in there, you have to produce,” running back Latavius Murray said. “For me, I need to make sure my preparation is what it has been and where it needs to be and make sure I go out there and play well.”
“The progress of Denver’s pass rushers — [Baron] Browning, Jonathon Cooper, rookie Nik Bonitto and, when he returns, [Randy] Gregory — will be an important subplot over the final seven games,” The Athletic’s Nick Kosmider wrote.
“We dug ourselves in this hole, and we have to dig ourselves out,” safety Justin Simmons said. “We just have to let this hurt tonight, watch the film, and reload and get ready for next week.”
“You’ve got to win your matchups,” running back Latavius Murray said. “That’s where it starts, and then obviously making sure we do our part with any opportunities we can to help out.”
“Being able to have their trust for different positions and knowing what you’re doing [is important],” Hinton said. “I take a lot of pride in knowing every position and studying. That allows me [to get] opportunities.”
Surtain has been dominant in 2022, and the second-year cornerback is looking for his first Pro Bowl berth.
Jacobs rushed for 144 yards and two touchdowns against the Broncos in Week 4, and Denver will look to limit the running back’s production in their rematch.
“It’s been a lot to get to this moment, but I’m definitely blessed and hopefully I can keep building off of it,” Virgil said after the game.
Plus, NBC Sports’ Chris Simms names Pat Surtain II the top cornerback in the NFL.
“When the tempo went up, [Jacksonville] couldn’t stop our offense,” wide receiver Jerry Jeudy said. “We were just driving down the field consistently and scoring, so I feel like that should be a big part of this weekend.”
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