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Denver Broncos Late August Scouting Report
The loss of WR Tim Patrick
This is a devastating loss for Denver. The practice went into a funk after it happened. Patrick looked to be Wilsonâ€™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 than they can hold up without Patrick or adding another starting wide receiver. Hamler should take over the slot, but Denver may have to limit his snaps (15/game?) to keep him healthy and productive. Kendall Hilton is likely to fill in (slot) 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. Hamler and Washington can both take the top off a defense. WR Tyrie Clevelandâ€™s injury ends his hopes for making the 53-man roster. All the reserve will get more work to show what they can do. Sutton, Jeudy, Hamler and Washington are locks for the 53-man roster. Seth Williams, Travis Fulgham, Brandon Johnson, Trey Quinn and Kendall Hilton are fighting for the last two wide receiver positions. Hackett has used a lot of two TE sets in camp, giving Hackett another option to replace Patrickâ€™s production. Eric Saubert appears to be the #1 tight end and rookie TE Greg Dulcich knows the playbook and plays his position "naturally". Albert O is a red zone threat, but that may not be enough to avoid being used (trade) to get GM George Paton more draft capital for 2023.
*RB Javonte Williams seems a little faster, with a new powerful cutback.
*DC Ejiro Evero communicates clearly and concisely and has helped the transition to his defense by keeping much of Vic Fangioâ€™s old terminology.
*DL DJ Jones is as good as advertised with power and quick feet
*QB Brett Rypienâ€™s deep ball touch has been outstanding
*Hackett stressed that mistakes that take place pre-snap or at the snap are not acceptable.
*ILBs Josey Jewell and Jonas Griffith look good against the run.
*Edge Malik Reed is having a solid camp, but could still be trade bait.
*C Lloyd Cushenberry is poised to have his best season in his third year.
*Wilson faced pressure-filled team periods and used his tight ends and is using the middle of the field more than he has previously in his career.
*If Wilson has to manage the game, he can. Heâ€™s all about taking what the defense gives him and doesnâ€™t force the ball into coverage. His camp looks much like those of Peyton Manning. Heâ€™s working on the areas of his game that need refinement.
*This offense has receiving options at multiple levels, so he has to work the short-to-intermediate range across the middle.
*WR Tim Patrick will be replaced by multiple players, including TE Albert O as a move tight end.
*Rookie WR Montrell Washington will see time on offense as a speedy and consistent receiver.
*OLB Nik Bonitto is thinking too much.
Denver-Dallas Joint Practice
The practice was a game preparation type practice run at jog through pace. Wilson was on fire in the red zone and used all his wide receivers and tight ends. Dallas had its hands full with the Broncos' defensive line, particularly with DeShawn Williams. There were no scuffles between Denverâ€™s offense and Dallasâ€™ defense, but there were several between Denverâ€™s defense and Dallasâ€™ offense. Denverâ€™s offensive line needs one-on-one work. CB Patrick Surtain II and WR CeeDee Lamb matched up nicely with each winning reps in team. There was an offensive package for Jeudy to work out of the backfield, but not as a running back. QB Brett Rypien was efficient in short-to-medium routes and received second-team reps. Rookie WR Montrell Washington caught all live punts during return reps as the starter. He also caught multiple passes from Wilson with the starting offense. Denver had Friday off before their preseason opener. Dallas @ Denver
In a sloppy game without starters, the Broncos dominated the Cowboys 17-7. Number two Quarterback Josh Johnson looked sharp and multiple young wide receivers stepped up: Kendall Hinton, Brandon Johnson, Seth Williams and Jalen Virgil. All of Denverâ€™s tight ends played in the game. ILB Jonas Griffith left the game on the second play with an elbow injury. QB Brett Rypien had some goo moments, but couldnâ€™t get the offense into the end zone. OLB Barron Browning wreaked havoc for the defense. Denverâ€™s running game was non-existent with Dallas making plays in the Broncosâ€™ backfield. Return man Montrell Washington (170 lbs) was electric, but took some punishment on his two punt returns (18,27). The Broncos were well-coached in all three phases of the game. Overall, the Broncos were solid, but they need work on the running game.
Denver @ Buffalo
Denver looked unprepared and uninterested. Buffalo destroyed Denver 42-15 and saw the Broncos loose number 4 CB Michael Ojemudia for 4-6 weeks with a dislocated elbow. RB Mike Boone played well against the buffalo starters. QB Brett Rypien showed well to keep the quarterback battle alive. Return man WR Montrell Washington also played well on offense. The Billâ€™s drove for six straight touchdowns while the Broncosâ€™ drives collapsed drive after drive. WR Jalen Virgil continued to shine. Denverâ€™s run game continued to be a problem as they were physically over matched. Denverâ€™s tight ends played late into the game getting much needed work. The Broncosâ€™ kickoff return team looked good while the kickoff coverage team was more positive than negative. Denverâ€™s run defense, technique and tackling needs to get better quickly! Most of the damage was done by Buffaloâ€™s second team so their ins no excuse for the poor performance. Denver made too many mental mistakes which must be corrected before the final preseason game. The Broncos seem to have little patience for draft picks that arenâ€™t producing, especially if others are out performing them.
Minnesota @ Denver
The makeup of the Broncos was under scrutiny in the last game that doesnâ€™t count but does matter. The coaching staff needed to correct and tweak the issues that plagued the team in the first and especially the second preseason game. Hackett wanted to emphasize physicality and execution against Minnesota. The Broncos won the game 23-13, with QB Brett Rypien looking good and K Brandon McManus in mid-season form. The Broncos ended the game with a toss up for backup quarterback, a glimmer of hope for the run game and problems with the two-minute drill. RB Mike Boone rushed for 44 yards which was more than the entire team accomplished against the Cowboys. WR Montrell Washington had an 11-yard touchdown run. WR KJ Hamler played longer than expected (his choice) and looked good with with three catches for 18 yards. The coaching staff was on top of game management. Denver needs to make 27 cuts to get to their 53-man roster. Then can also carry up to 16 practice team players. GM George Paton says they will be looking to up grade the back end of their roster during the cut period.
IR WR Tim Patrick. IR RB Damarea Crockett. Hired team president Damani Leech to run the business side of the Broncos. He and GM George Paton will both report directly to new owner and CEO Greg Penner. Activated OLB Randy Gregory and OT Billy Turner. Placed OL Tom Compton (4 games) on PUP. Traded OLB Malik Reed and seventh round to the Steelers for a 2023 sixth round draft pick.
QB Russell Wilson is a top 8 fantasy quarterback.
RB Javonte Williams is a top 13 running back if he gets the touched.
RB Melvin Gordon III is a potential value if he gets enough touches.
RB Mike Booneâ€™s role is not defined, but he is capable if Williams or Gordon goes down.
WR Courtland Sutton is a top 18 wide receiver.
WR Jerry Jeudy is under valued as a low end #2 fantasy wide receiver.
WR KJ Hamler will be good for some hot games.
WR Montrell Washington will have some splash moments on offense and a the kick/punt return man.
TE Albert Okwuegbunam is a backup fantasy tight end with upside.
PK Brandon McManus is a top 12 fantasy kicker.
DST is a top 7 defense with an explosive return game.
QB: Russell Wilson, Brett Rypien
RB: Javonte Williams, Melvin Gordon, Mike Boone
FB: Andrew Beck
TE: Albert Okwuegbunam, Eric Saubert, Greg Dulcich
WR: Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, Montrell Washington, Jalen Virgil, Tyrie Cleveland
OT: Garett Bolles, Billy Turner, Calvin Anderson, Cam Fleming
G: Dalton Risner, Quinn Meinerz, Graham Glasgow
C: Lloyd Cushenberry, Luke Wattenberg
DE: Dreâ€™Mont Jones, DeShawn Williams, Eyioma Uwazurike
NT: D.J. Jones, Matt Henningsen
OLB: Bradley Chubb, Randy Gregory, Baron Browning, Nik Bonitto, Jonathon Cooper, Aaron Patrick
ILB: Josey Jewell, Jonas Griffith, Alex Singleton, Justin Strnad
CB: Pat Surtain, Ronald Darby, Kâ€™Waun Williams, Michael Ojemudia, Damarri Mathis, Essang Bassey
S: Justin Simmons, Kareem Jackson, Caden Sterns, P.J. Locke, Delarrin Turner-Yell
K: Brandon McManus
P: Corliss Waitman
LS: Jacob Bobenmoyer
More to come next week in my Week #1 preview!
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2023 Madness NFL Rookie Draft Reference Guide
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Premium Pro Bowl and Super Bowl Package Subscribers take note. The time has come. The 2023 Madness NFL Rookie Draft Reference Guide has been released for your viewing pleasure. This
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