There are a lot of important factors that go into a championship season — coaching, top-tier quarterback play (well … most times), playmakers, stars, luck — but the most underrated of them all is depth.

Every year we spend training camp debating who should be No. 1 on the depth chart, and every year that list of names is shredded to pieces — much like those players’ knees, shoulders and hamstrings — by the time we reach December. In this day and age, if you come out of a game without a starter questionable for the next week, you might want to go buy a lotto ticket.

So while we’ll be focused on who will be trotting out onto field to face off against the Carolina Panthers on September 8, and rightfully so, I want to look at the guys who could end up playing an even larger role in Weeks 15, 16 and 17.

Here are the five best backups on the Denver Broncos’ roster:

5. Paxton Lynch

Lynch, BroncosThis is a tough one. If things go right, we’d hope Paxton Lynch is at the top of this list. But, then again, if things go right, he’ll probably earn himself off this list.

For now, there’s not much to say about Lynch. His talent is undeniable, but it’s all a matter of how quickly he can develop his game to the NFL level. Can he read defenses? Can he play from under center? Can he lead an NFL offense? OTAs aren’t going to answer those questions.

Until we get to see Lynch play in some preseason games, even full-team drills at training camp, he’s essentially a mystery. He could surprise everyone and earn the starting job day one or he could flounder to the point that he’s passed up by both Mark Sanchez and Trevor Siemian.

With this list, though, I’m banking on his upside.