The Denver Broncos were back on the field for their second week of organized team activities. Thursday’s session was once again open for media to observe.

Greg Dulcich shines during Thursday’s OTAs

Second-year Denver Broncos tight end Greg Dulcich was the talk of the town during OTAs last season and the theme has carried over to this year. It comes as no surprise how talented Dulcich is given his body type, speed, athleticism, and size he possesses.

During Thursday’s practice at the Centura Training Center, all of those traits were on display from him as head coach Sean Payton’s emphasis for the day focused on third down. Dulcich made several impressive plays in space when the ball came his way, and what was even more impressive was the burst he demonstrated after the catch.

Broncos fans saw plenty of that from his last season despite his debut prolonging until Week 6 of the regular season. Payton’s history in evaluating tight ends has been pretty impressive considering guys like Jeremy Shockey, Jason Witten, and Jimmy Graham are players he has worked with.

Dulcich’s skillset will allow the Broncos’ offense to move him around whether that be in the slot, in-line, or on the outside — establishing himself to potentially fill into the role of the Joker.

The Joker role in Payton’s offense is typically designated to somebody who can play a multitude of roles — a Swiss army knife so to speak.

“He had a good day,” Payton said. “He’s got unique skill set, and he’s got traits in the passing game. We use the term ‘Joker’ where we can get matchups. The trick sometimes is trying to predict what you’re going to get defensively, if you’re either going to get a nickel package or a base package. But man, he can run, he’s got good ball skills and he had one of his better practices today. Then you begin to build on that. Right now, there’s an install that’s taking place and the players, they go play those spots. When you get into the season, you really get more specific to who’s running what route. I think his menu is going to be lengthy in the passing game and there’s enough stuff that we can do in the run game.”

Last year Dulcich was hamstrung by a hamstring injury but is fully healthy coming into OTAs and has looked crisp with his body movement and route running. If he’s truly a positionless player inside of Payton’s offense, he could be in line for a massive year production-wise.

Players who stood out during OTAs on Thursday

It’s hard to truly evaluate some aspects of practice during OTAs, specifically in the trenches because NFL rules do not allow contact to be had. Offensive linemen and defensive linemen have to simulate what contact looks like with handbags and further emphasize their technique.

OTAs are a period where skill players on both sides of the ball get more of the glory and recognition. During Thursday’s practice, the following players on offense stood out upon observation outside of Greg Dulcich.

Courtland Sutton
Courtland Sutton is a player that shouldn’t be written off this upcoming season. In both practices open to the media in the past two weeks, Sutton’s explosiveness and size have been visible to observers.

During Thursday’s practice, Sutton caught several passes despite having a defensive back contesting it heavily. One area where Sutton continues to excel is using his size and body positioning to create more distance between him and defensive backs when a pass is thrown his way.

On top of the tough catches he made on Thursday, he didn’t have a single drop when thrown to either.

Brandon Johnson
Sean Payton doesn’t care about the path in which it took for players to get to the team, he believes that they’re there for a reason and it’s up to them to prove that when they step on the field.

Brandon Johnson is a player that stood out during Thursday’s OTA practice where he hauled in several passes during Payton’s third down period which would have moved the chains in a real game situation. While the Denver Broncos work in a multitude of wide receivers within their rotations, Johnson was one player who stood out on Thursday that wasn’t mentioned much during the first week of OTAs.

The undrafted rookie free agent demonstrated great focus on the day, creating separation at times in his route tree, and more importantly hauling in the ball when it was thrown his way.

Broncos inside linebackers
The Broncos’ inside linebackers all stood out during Thursday’s practice. One area of focus from Payton and his coaching staff is getting a high volume of reps for every player at every position and that’s exactly what happened.

Whether it was Josey Jewell, Alex Singleton, Drew Sanders, Jonas Griffith, or Justin Strnad — Denver’s group of backers flashed whether that was in coverage or filling their gaps on pressure assignments, or in their pursuit against the run, or after a catch was made by a defender.

When watching these players in individual drills, everything they do involves working with physicality or utilizing athleticism which provides them with the ability to play multiple roles on defense.

How Vance Joseph chooses to utilize these players this season will be a fun storyline to watch because of the talent and depth, they’ll have room to make a big impact.

The Denver Broncos will continue with their third week of organized team activities next week ahead of the start of mandatory minicamp on June 13-15.