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Denver Broncos Early August Scouting Report
Charles Rives

The Broncos' only impediment to the playoffs is the toughness of the AFC West. Each team has a quarterback capable of winning the division title. Which means, the Broncos have to know they’re better than their AFC West rivals and they must play like it. For that to happen the offensive line MUST hold up and the pass rushers MUST stay healthy. According to Hackett, the best teams are the ones that are the closest in the locker room. According to Wilson, the team has to "turn on" the switch which should be on almost all the time and have unrelenting belief.


Pre-Training Camp


*The Broncos want to be a top 5 offense in the red zone. It’s about touchdowns in the red zone and Wilson was 64.58% with Seattle (3rd best in 2021/7wins)). Gordon adds consistency and TDs to the offense while saving wear and tear on Williams.


*Russell Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and second only to Mahomes in the AFC West.


*Predicted running back split: anywhere from 50-70% Javonte Williams, but with Melvin


Gordon III seeing the field a lot. Hackett/Outten will feed the hot hand.


*WR Tim Patrick has consistently finds ways to make an impact (no matter the quarterback) and will benefit from Hackett’s use of 11(1RB, 1TE) personnel.


*The Broncos could trade a safety before roster deadlines.


*Bad play by the offensive tackles could ruin the team.


*The team could be one of the NFL’s most explosive teams in the NFL.


*Bradley Chubb and Randy Gregory could become one of the AFC’s best pass-rushing duos.


*The wide zone blocking scheme should help the interior line establish a strong run game.


*Denver needs RB Javonte Williams and WR Jerry Jeudy to have good seasons.


*The pass rush will have to deliver for the Broncos to be successful, but don’t expect to see Randy Gregory before week 1.


*If Russell Wilson beats the Seahawks and the Chargers, he will have beaten all 32 NFL teams.


*Wilson’s average time-to-throw is 2.8 seconds which means he must become willing to throw to quicker, shallower routes and targets.


*Wilson is most efficient when he has an efficient running game.


*The team will stay in a hotel during training camp to help them bond.


*CB Michael Ojemudia, needs a good summer or a veteran may be added at corner back.


*The special teams could be the difference maker for the Broncos in 2022.


*Jeudy gets the yards and Sutton gets the TDs?


*Williams gets the yards and Gordon gets the TDs?


*Special teams is likely to determine the back end of the roster for cornerbacks, safeties, edge rushers and wide receivers.


*The wide-zone forces the defensive line to step-up and run side-line to side-line; then you add the play-pass that looks just like it tom get the deep shots. It all requires precision timing from all moving parts.


*Potential cap cuts (descending order): NT Mike Purcell; punter Sam Martin; G Dalton Risner (potential trade).


*Backup QB Josh Johnson has the knowledge, athleticism and passion to run Hackett’s offense (without changes) which is one of the most complex in the NFL. But QB Brett Rypien is making a push for the #2 job.


*The defense should be more aggressive with better coaching and more in tune with the modern game.


*OC Justin Outten wants to set the starting offensive line in the first week of training camp. Transactions OLB Randy Gregory and ROT Billy Turner to PUP list. OLB Christopher Allen to NFI list. Re-signed OT Cameron Fleming. Waived LB Kadofi Wright. WR KJ Hamler to PUP list. OL Tom Compton to PUP (back surgery). DL Derek Wolfe singed a one day contract to retire as a Bronco.


Training Camp The Broncos 2022 Training Camp began on Wednesday, July 27 at UCHealth Training Center with 14 open practices (free), including an open joint practice with the Cowboys (Aug. 11) before their preseason match up, which fans can (could) attend.


Days 1-5 HC Nathaniel Hackett eased into the start of training camp. Practices started fast-paced, with music (except for special teams periods) and an all business attitude fostered by ST Coordinator Dwayne Stukes. The first practice focused on the red zone (Wilson threw 2 TDs). Javonte Williams is the clear #1 running back. The Broncos edge players can win with speed, power, quickness and length.


Hackett interspersed half-speed practices. Wilson and Jeudy are developing chemistry, but Jeudy needs to get the naysayers out of his head and do more. Wilson hits his receivers in stride. Tight ends received a lot of focus and the multiple tight end formations will be a problem for defenses. Wilson looks to WR Tim Patrick when the play breaks down. The offense runs the same play from multiple sets. East Carolina’s CB Ja’Quan McMillian is a undrafted player standing out and vying for the 53 man roster. TE Eric Saubert seems to be the tight end Wilson is building the most chemistry with. OLB Bradley Chubb is in good condition and looks like his old self. The running back rotation is back in place and Hackett wants to get both Williams and Gordon the ball a lot. The first team offense and defense are going against each other more than in past years. CB Patrick Surtain is building on his rookie season performance. Left-footed P Corliss Waitman is looking good and is $1.5 million cheaper than Punter Sam Martin. WR Montrell Washington looks good on the jugs machine, but the real test will come when the pads come on. Edge Aaron Patrick is a core special teams player, buy a dark horse to make the 53-man roster at edge. Monday 8/1-pads on.


Standouts: QB Brett Rypien; S PJ Locke, LB Jonah Griffith, TE Eric Saubert, WR Montrell Washington, QB Russell Wilson; CB Pat Surtain. HOURS AGO


Tim Patrick Tears ACL, out for the season:


This is a devastating loss for Denver. The practice went into a funk after it happened. Patrick looked to be Wilson’s security blanket with his low drop rate. He was also a leader in the locker room. Jeudy will have to step up his game as an every down player and be the receiver they thought they were drafting. So far he has been up and down in camp. If he does emerge, then they can hold up without Patrick. Hamler should take over the slot, but Denver may have to limit his snaps to keep healthy and productive. Kendall Hilton is likely to fill in for Hamler as he runs good routes and Wilson seems to trust him. Montrell Washington has emerged as a deep threat with the reserves and he is a favorite teammate of Wilson. All the reserve will get more work to show what they can do. Hackett has used a lot of 2-TE sets in camp so that’s another option with the TEs as a whole being better than the sum of their parts.


Orangeman’s Take


Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Albert Okwuegbunam and KJ Hamler have the potential to put up some big weekly numbers during the season. Javonte Williams can potentially be a stud fantasy running back. Jeudy and Williams are potential breakout candidates. The strength of the Broncos’ coaching, quarterback and offensive line will be crucial to their success. Any team in the AFC-West could win the division.


Fantasy Outlook


QB Russell Wilson is a top 10 quarterback.


RB Javonte Williams is a top 12 running back


RB Melvin Gordon III is a top 35 running back.


WR Courtland Sutton is a top 21 wide receiver.


WR Jerry Jeudy is a top 24 wide receiver.


TE Albert Okwuegbunam is a top 21 tight end.


TE Eric Saubert is building chemistry with Wilson and could be the Broncos #1TE


TE Greg Dulcich is a watch tight end.


PK Brandon McManus is a top 13 kicker.


The DST is a top 5 defense.


More to come later this month!



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