This is the NFL offseason, the time between OTAs and training camp, when players flee to exotic landscapes for one last vacation before the hard work continues, and when fans hope and pray they don’t see their favorite player’s name and “arrested” in the same sentence.

We often say that the NFL season never stops, and that’s mostly true, but if it ever did, it would be during these few weeks in June and July.

Fortunately, that gives us some time to regroup, take stock of the Broncos’ draft and free agent class, and look forward to training camp. In the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing positional previews three times a week in preparation for the franchise’s run towards a fourth championship.

Minus the hiccup with Aqib Talib (we’ll continue to call it a hiccup until it becomes something more), Denver’s cornerback situation might be the most reliable safety net on the team. Whereas some teams have one shutdown corner, Denver has two, if not three.

Heading into the 2016 season, ranked Talib and Chris Harris Jr. as the top cornerback tandem in the league, and that’s without even considering Bradley Roby.

Projected Depth Chart:


Chris Harris Jr.
Aqib Talib


Bradley Roby
Kayvon Webster


BJ Lowery
Lorenzo Doss

Big Question: Will the “No Fly Zone” stay that way?

In what was almost a blemish-free 2015 season, one game stands out as a weak point for the No Fly Zone: a mid-december annihilation by the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

It’s no secret that the defense carried the team to a championship last year, but this game must be the exception that proves the rule.

Prior to that game, Harris had not allowed a touchdown in two years. On this day, Antonio Brown scored on him twice, en route to a 34-27 loss. Those 34 points were the most allowed by the team all season, and it shook up the defense.

If offenses can replicate what the Steelers did in Week 15, Wade Phillips and the “No Fly Zone” could be in some trouble. Granted, most teams don’t have weapons like Brown and Ben Roethlisberger.

Most important player: Chris Harris Jr.

This one goes without saying. The 53rd-best NFL player of 2015, according to NFL Network, is the cornerstone of Denver’s secondary. A player of his caliber should really be ranked higher, but Harris is used to going under appreciated.

A two-star recruit out of high school, Harris took the only DI offer on the table at Kansas University. Though he excelled as a corner there, he went undrafted in 2010 and  signed as a free agent with Denver.

He quickly rose from fighting for a jersey to starting four games his rookie season. Since then, he has improved exponentially. Still, the 27 year-old says his defense has a long ways to go.

“A lot of us are young, still improving getting into our primes,” Harris said. “Everyone still figures they can get better.”

Improving upon the No. 1 ranked defense seems tough, but with Harris as their leader, it’ll probably happen.

Surprise Player: BJ Lowery

The 24-year-old out of Iowa didn’t think he would get the chance to play in the NFL until Denver gave him a call in January, right as he was gearing up for another season on the Cedar Rapids Indoor team.

He signed an extremely low-risk, high-reward contract with Denver and may be able to come in as a special teams guy this year.

Special teams standout Kayvon Webster proved his worth last season, especially in the playoffs. As a result, he is in the running to play in some dime and nickel packages throughout the season, particularly if Talib faces any discipline for his run in with a bullet this offseason.

An underdog much like Harris Jr., Lowery has plenty of hunger to prove himself and a some hard-hitting talent to back it up.

However, with a depth chart as stacked as Denver’s, it’ll be more than a surprise to see anyone but the quartet of Talib, Harris Jr., Roby and Webster making much of an impact.

Overall Grade: A+

You don’t give out many perfect scores in the NFL, but if anyone deserves one, it’s the Denver cornerbacks. 

Chemistry at the cornerback position is extremely vital, and this group clearly has a deep bond. 

Roby has enough experience with the playbook and with his teammates to seamlessly take over for Talib if need be. He’s seen sufficient playing time under Phillips as a safety and has racked up 40 tackles in two consecutive seasons.

Roby has already proved the he has the talent to be the No. 1 guy on a team with less horsepower than Denver. With three Pro Bowl candidates at corner, it’s not hard to see why the Broncos secondary has nicknamed themselves the “No Fly Zone.”