The Denver Broncos have a variety of different position battles that are taking place now at mandatory minicamp and will continue through training camp and the NFL preseason. Second-year cornerback Riley Moss has taken steps forward this offseason to find himself in the mix to win the starting job opposite of Patrick Surtain II.

Denver Broncos second-year cornerback Riley Moss in line to compete for starting job

After trading up in the 2023 NFL Draft for Riley Moss, the Denver Broncos had hopes that he could come in right away and compete for the starting job on the outside, opposite of star cornerback Patrick Surtain II.

Unfortunately, a core muscle injury that required surgery kept Moss out of action throughout training camp and all of the preseason, extending into the regular season.

At various points last season before his on-field return, I talked with Riley quite a bit just to see where he was at. He was hungry, determined, and eager to step foot on the field.

He told me that he couldn’t wait to get back on the field so he could out some of his frustrations. What were those frustrations?

He’s ultra-competitive and wanted to get on the field to show the coaching staff what he can do. Surely enough, when Moss saw his first action on the field, he impressed immediately as a gunner on punt and on special teams units.

While he only saw 3% of the team’s defensive snaps last year, he was extremely impressive on special teams, playing 265 total snaps.

He appeared in 14 games for the Broncos last season and could find himself in the mix to start this year.

So far throughout OTAs and mandatory minicamp, Moss has stood out. He missed one week of open practices to the media in the second week of OTAs with a back issue, but he looked very solid in the ones he did participate in.

Not only has Moss gotten reps on the outside, he’s also received opportunities to play inside the slot as well. During the first day of the team’s mandatory minicamp, he had one of the defense’s plays of the day.

He was working in coverage against Josh Reynolds on a downfield throw and played it perfectly, getting in phase on Reynolds’ inside hip and using his ball-side hand to jump into the air to knock the pass down, preventing a sure touchdown from happening.

“He’s smart,” Sean Payton said after practice. “I’d say you feel his length at corner. When I say that, just even on that play, it’s a tougher play to make if you’re a shorter corner. So you feel his length. He has really good transitional skills, and I think he’s smart. He’s picking up the technique, and he has versatility outside, in. We have good competition there.”

That they do. Competition is intense at that position and various others for the Denver Broncos. The cornerback battle will be one of the more intriguing ones to watch for this entire offseason.