With OTAs kicking off this week with the Denver Broncos, we’ll continue to look at some of the key storylines that come under focus for the team this offseason in their buildup to NFL training camp.

Denver Broncos CB room comes under the spotlight at OTAs

The Denver Broncos have no question about who their top cornerback is heading into this offseason, but they have plenty of questions surrounding how the depth of the position will play out.

With the team reporting this week for the first week of Phase III of the offseason program, we’ll see various storylines begin to play out.

With PS2 comfortably sitting in position as the team’s top corner, the starting job opposite of him on the outside is up for grabs. While many believe a competition for that job will involve Riley Moss, Damarri Mathis, and veteran Levi Wallace, the volume of that competition could and should open up beyond those three names.

Jim Leonhard a wildcard element to Broncos CB room

Jim Leonhard takes over as the team’s passing game coordinator and defensive backs coach, replacing Christian Parker, who departed the team this offseason to reunite with Vic Fangio in Philadelphia.

Although Vance Joseph is the team’s defensive coordinator, Leonard’s passing game coordinator title is important to watch.

Last season, the Broncos didn’t play as much press man-to-man coverage with Surtain and played far too much off-ball coverage, in my opinion, especially on key second and third-down situations.

Leonhard ran a pro-ready style of defense at the college level when he was the defensive coordinator at Wisconsin, demonstrating a great blend of aggressiveness in terms of sending pressure and disguising coverages.

Down the end stretch of last season, the Broncos’ defense gave up far too many big plays downfield in the passing game opposite of Surtain, and the scheme didn’t do much to help.

Will we see more press coverage this year and if we do, who will the other cornerback be on the outside?

Will Broncos CB room require positional versatility?

We already know that the Broncos’ safety position will require whoever starts to know how to play the post and box safety roles, allowing for personnel and positional versatility defensively.

The same will likely apply to cornerback on the outside and inside the slot. While Moss, Mathis, and Wallace are going to be the key names to watch, don’t forget to keep an eye on Ja’Quan McMillian, Kris Abrams-Draine, Art Green, and undrafted rookie free agent Quinton Newsome to be involved.

While McMillian is the projected and earned starter at the nickel position, he could potentially find himself competing to start on the outside if needed, having previously demonstrated the ability to play both roles.

Abrams-Draine was designated as a flex slot/outside cover guy, according to Sean Payton, following the NFL Draft, and Art Green is entering his second season with the team after spending 2023 on the practice squad as an undrafted rookie free agent.

It appears the identity this team hopes to have defensively will allow multiple players to play more than one position.

Veteran Tremon Smith is also a name to keep an eye on for Denver’s roster, but his role has kept him involved primarily on special teams as a core four-player, with minimal optics of him contributing at cornerback itself.

Denver has athletic players across the board in the defensive secondary that should allow them to move PS2 around the outside and slot at times, depending on the matchup and down and distance.

Internally, the Broncos are optimistic that Mathis can bounce back after a rough showing in 2023 and that their investment in Moss in the 2023 NFL Draft will see him take on more defensive responsibility this upcoming season.

Right now, the Broncos cornerback room feels like it’s in a better spot than it was last season and OTAs will be the perfect platform for a handful of players to showcase whether or not they’ll be key pieces in the rotation this upcoming season.