Denver Broncos storylines to watch as OTAs continue

Denver Bronco tight end Greg Dulcich (80) during rookie mini camp drills at UCHealth Training Center.
May 13, 2022; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Bronco tight end Greg Dulcich (80) during rookie mini camp drills at UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

As the Denver Broncos report back onto the field for voluntary organized team activities (OTAs), here are some storylines that will be under the microscope.

Following the 2022 NFL Draft, the Broncos have held various OTAs with their veteran players, but more recently held a rookie minicamp for their latest draft class and undrafted rookie free agents. And now, everyone is invited to attend.

Will the Denver Broncos attendance rate stay at 100%?

Today, both veterans and rookies will have the opportunity to take the field together for the first time. Will the Broncos maintain their impressive 100% attendance rate during their voluntary portion of the offseason?

With the addition of Russell Wilson, it appears that players want to be in the facility during the voluntary portion of the offseason because the stakes are even higher for the Broncos this upcoming season.

As Wilson and first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett help instill the values of building a strong culture inside of the locker room, other veterans and young players have followed their lead. Prior to Monday’s anticipated practice, the Broncos have had 100% attendance throughout the offseason.

Among Broncos rookies, there appears to be a level of excitement about becoming as engrained in the process as team veterans have, which goes to show that the Broncos culture is in a good place.

Will the Denver Broncos play around with their edge rusher rotation?

The Broncos’ deep group of edge rushers are vying for an opportunity to impress coaches ahead of training camp. In particular, will Malik Reed receive first-team reps to start off today’s OTA practice?

As Randy Gregory continues to recover from his off-season shoulder surgery, players like Reed, Jonathon Cooper, Aaron Patrick, Baron Browning, and second-round draft pick Nik Bonitto will be looking to get ample reps opposite of Bradley Chubb.

While the Broncos look to install various portions of their defense, new defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero will have plenty of flexibility off the edge that will allow him and his staff to gather as much data as possible when determining how their rotation will work by the end of July.

Will Greg Dulcich and Albert Okwuegbunam share first-team reps?

The Broncos’ offense features a variety of exciting storylines that will be crucial for determining how they want to play on Sundays from a philosophical standpoint.

One of those philosophies revolves around how often Denver will run two tight end sets and which players could Broncos fans see out of 12 personnel?

For Broncos’ third-year tight end Albert Okwuegbunam, he’s been focused on grasping the newly installed offense in hopes of becoming the number one option at the position.

How might the addition of new Broncos rookie Greg Dulcich impact how the Broncos’ offense utilizes the tight end? On paper, both players could play a pivotal role in the red-zone or third-down situations with their size and run after the catch ability.

Okwuegbunam and Dulcich likely will share some first-team reps at practice this week as the Broncos aim to have an explosive offense inside of the AFC West this season.

Punter competition in Denver?

One storyline that falls under the radar is the Broncos’ competition at the punter position. New Broncos special teams coordinator Dwayne Stukes is focused on transforming the unit from bottom-ranked to one of the top units in the league.

Both Sam Martin and Corliss Waitman will have a chance to compete for the starting job this upcoming season.

Martin returns for his third season in Denver, while Waitman enters his first off-season with the team. In 2021, Martin averaged 46.0 yards per punt on 67 attempts in comparison to Waitman who appeared in only two games last season.

Despite Waitman’s smaller sample size, he averaged 52.1 yards per punt on 7 total attempts in two games with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Could the Broncos look to go younger at the position or will they lean heavily on the 10th-year veteran punter?

The buzz around the Broncos this off-season has been a drastic difference from prior seasons and some of these storylines could help impact the trajectory as to what the team can accomplish in 2022.

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