The Denver Broncos have the best defensive backfield in the NFL. It’s not hard to make that argument. Over the past two seasons, the Denver pass defense has been the stingiest in the league. It should be even better in 2017.

Last season, despite allowing over 130 rushing yards per game, opposing quarterbacks struggled to find much success through the air. The No Fly Zone held some of the top quarterbacks in the league to games that were far below their average. Cam Newton managed just 194 yards in Week 1. Andrew Luck, Tom Brady, and Derek Carr all failed to tally even 200 yards when they faced the Broncos D.

We know that that the veterans in this secondary are among the best in the league. Aqib Talib, Chris Harris, and Bradley Roby are as good a cornerback trio as there is in football. Last season, they combined for seven interceptions and smothered opposing receivers on nearly every play. Safeties Darian Stewart and T.J. Ward are an excellent combination of physicality and intelligence. They are aggressive enough to be solid run-stoppers, while also being the last line of defense against the big play. In 2016, the Broncos defense led the NFL in fewest big plays allowed. Big plays are categorized as rushing plays that are over 10 yards, and passing plays that are more than 25 yards. With Stewart and Ward patrolling the secondary, Denver allowed just 56 total big plays.

So far in OTAs, this group is looking like they could be even better thanks to their younger talent. The Broncos have some good young players that could prove to eventually be the future of the No Fly Zone.

With the loss of special teams ace Kayvon Webster, former fifth-round draft pick Lorenzo Doss is making a hard push for playing time. Doss has always had a nose for the ball, and he has shown a ton of athletic ability. Now, he is also developing the instincts to make big plays. Don’t be surprised to see Doss get significant playing time this season, as the Broncos fourth cornerback.

Taurean Nixon is also playing well enough to get some serious looks from the coaching staff. Selected one spot after quarterback Trevor Siemian with the 251st pick in 2015, Nixon is another speedster that has been breaking up passes in practice.

Last year, the Broncos selected two safeties that have already proven to be capable of making their presence felt at crucial times. Will Parks and Justin Simmons both made huge contributions in their rookie seasons, and so far, they are continuing that pace.

Simmons made two interceptions and defended four passes in his first season, and he is showing that it wasn’t a fluke. He has excellent instincts, and so far in OTAs he always seems to be around the football. We all remember his blocked extra point that led to a Parks two-point conversion against the New Orleans Saints in Week 10.

Parks has shown that he may be a solid pass defender, but he isn’t afraid to come up and stop the run too. The energy that this talented unit brings every day is contagious, and TJ Ward has felt it. “That was the fastest we’ve practiced in a while. That’s the first thing I noticed was how fast we practiced. Guys are pretty much dialed in on their assignments. Already, the communication is great and guys were out there playing fast. We want to get back to the year we won the Super Bowl where we ran after the ball. We did those things in practice and that’s what made us great on gameday. I think we started great today.”

The defensive backfield looks like it will once again be one of the best in the league, and that doesn’t just benefit the defense. Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy knows that his offense can gain an advantage every day in practice too.

“The great thing for our football team is playing against our defense every day,” McCoy said after practice on Thursday. “It’s one of the best, if not, the best in the league. Having played against them the past four years, twice a year and then the first year, a third time, it’s great to go against the best in the business. It’s fun playing against these guys, and it’s going to help our offensive line get better.”

With an excellent blend of savvy veterans and talented youth, the Broncos No Fly Zone should once again be at the top of their game this season. Facing a challenging 2017 schedule that includes Tom Brady, Andrew Luck and Dak Prescott, not to mention division rivals Carr and Philip Rivers, the depth of this secondary will be paramount.