The Denver Broncos 2024 draft class put in a lot of work from the start of rookie minicamp to the conclusion of the team’s mandatory minicamp. Which players stood out the most during the team’s offseason program?

Denver Broncos rookies who stood out in the offseason program

This season’s rookie draft class for the Broncos was drastically bigger than Sean Payton’s first class in 2023. With first-round capital to work with, Denver, on paper, has a solid nucleus of young players to potentially build with on offense and defense going into the future.

Bo Nix

Bo Nix stood out in a big way in the team’s offseason program. With high expectations surrounding the 12th overall pick, Nix looked firmly in command of the offense. In the first practice of rookie minicamp and the first OTA practice, the Broncos rookie quarterback’s only area of critique was throwing behind receivers. That was a chemistry thing, but he adjusted quickly, and that wasn’t an issue for the rest of OTAs. He picked up Payton’s offense relatively quickly and demonstrated confidence at the line of scrimmage with full authority to audible if the defense came out in a certain look and decisiveness from receiving the snap to throwing the ball. Nix’s high-level processing was on display and even when there were times pressure came at him, he didn’t panic and navigated the pocket. He hasn’t looked like a rookie yet. He has a lot of momentum heading into training camp.

Jonah Ellis

Elliss had an impressive offseason program. The Denver Broncos are hopeful their pass rush can take a step forward this upcoming season with some of the additions they made to the defensive line in an effort to build continuity amongst their front seven. While Elliss won’t be a starter this season, he should play a lot in a rotational role alongside Nik Bonitto, Jonathon Cooper, and Baron Browning, rounding out the top four at that position. He’s a disciplined edge player, who demonstrated patience and consistency when getting reps on the field. During some of the OTA practices, he had several plays where he would have wrecked the offense’s drive in a real game situation, batting down a screen pass from Jarrett Stidham to Javonte Williams and staying heel-line depth against the run and taking good angles that would have resulted in several tackles for a loss. As the offseason program continued, he could very well be the Broncos clean-up guy in some pass rush situations this upcoming season.

Troy Franklin

The Denver Broncos wide receiver room is loaded with depth right now going into training camp. Franklin had some moments during the team’s offseason program, but there weren’t as many as most would have hoped. Franklin is still picking up the offense, but he’s also working to get more reps. Denver’s team series often included 16 plays, with each QB getting four plays per team period. When you factor in that the Broncos currently have 12 receivers, balancing out reps will take some time. Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, Marvin Mims, and Josh Reynolds are the top four players in terms of leading depth at the position. Franklin is also fighting off fellow rookie Devaughn Vele and experienced players like Brandon Johnson, Lil’Jordan Humphrey, David Sills, Phillip Dorsett, and others for reps. He did end mandatory minicamp with some momentum, hauling in a TD catch from Jarrett Stidham in the red zone period. He’ll be a player to watch for in training camp.

Kris Abrams-Draine

The Broncos rookie cornerback is an under-the-radar player to watch. Like receiver, the Broncos’ secondary has a lot of depth to it, but Jim Leonhard’s emphasis on positional versatility could allow Abrams-Draine to carve out a role for himself sooner rather than later. With Ja’Quan McMillian working the slot and getting reps on the outside, Abrams-Draine could find himself working into the nickel if McMillian gets more reps on the outside. He’s a patient player, plays with good technique, and can play inside and out if needed. The rookie corner looked comfortable playing off-man coverage as well as press and has good footwork when mirroring receivers off the line of scrimmage in press looks. He’s a fun player that Broncos Country should keep their eyes on when they attend training camp.

Devaughn Vele

Like Troy Franklin, Vele is battling other receivers for reps on offense. His size and athletic ability were things that stood out during the team’s offseason program and he’ll have a great opportunity to impress in training camp and the preseason. He stood out during rookie minicamp in a big way, but will need to make the most out of the reps he’ll receive going forward because of the backend depth of the position. Right now, the Broncos have three proven players at receiver, a developing hopeful star in Marvin Mims, which rounds out the top four of the WR depth chart on paper. There is stiff competition for the fifth and potential sixth spot if Denver chooses to carry that many into the regular season. Special teams play will have to be an area in which Vele and others excel during the offseason if they’re going to make a significant case.

Audric Estime’s injury kept him out of action for most of OTAs, so it’s hard to really gauge where he would be right now in the middle of Denver’s running back competition. Nick Gargiulo was hard to evaluate because contact during OTAs was not permitted. When the pads come on, we’ll have our eyes on him as well.

The Denver Broncos rookies will report for training camp on July 17.