Throughout the various stages of the Denver Broncos offseason program, 91 players had the opportunity to turn heads as Sean Payton navigates going into his second season. Who were three young players on offense who stood out as under-the-radar names that fans should keep an eye on during training camp?

Denver Broncos younger players stepping up

The Denver Broncos offense has to be drastically better in 2024 if they hope to win more than eight games. At wide receiver, the team has three players with proven NFL production and a lot of unproven talent behind them. During Broncos OTAs and minicamp, a few young wide receivers stood out.

Jalen Virgil

Jalen Virgil is a name that Broncos fans should keep their eyes on during training camp. After missing all of last season following knee surgery, Virgil was fully back during OTAs and minicamp. At first glance, it appears he bulked up and added more muscle mass to his upper frame while still maintaining his speed. In the various practices media were allowed to attend, the former undrafted rookie free agent from Appalachian State caught passes from Bo Nix, Jarrett Stidham, and Zach Wilson.

On top of seeing rotational reps at wide receiver, Virgil is also somebody who will factor into playing a lot of special teams. Toward the end of his rookie season, he emerged as one of the team’s top gunners. He didn’t get the chance to uphold that momentum due to the knee injury he suffered in the preseason. With the NFL’s new emphasis on keeping kickoff and kick return in the game, Virgil becomes a player to watch as a return option alongside Marvin Mims and a handful of other Broncos players who will look to get reps there in the preseason.

David Sills V

David Sills V is another wide receiver that stood out during the offseason program. While the top options for Denver’s QBs this season will include Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, Marvin Mims, and Josh Reynolds, Sills turned in a stellar offseason program.

He didn’t drop a single pass during any of the open practices to the media. Sills is a technician at the position, running his routes crisply and, more importantly, catching everything thrown his way vertically or to the outside. He hauled in several passes across the middle of the field during the offseason program and had one of the most impressive catches of mandatory minicamp, high-pointing the football near the sideline and getting both feet in with tightly contested coverage from Riley Moss.

Sills appears to be a player Sean Payton favors, but considering the number of players at the position, there will be a lot of competition at WR and it may be hard for him to make the 53-man roster unless he has a stellar training camp and preseason. He spent most of last season on the team’s practice squad and was elevated on gameday several times.

Blake Watson

Blake Watson is another young player on offense that fans need to keep an eye on in training camp. The Denver Broncos running back competition will be extensive in training camp, and Watson will have an uphill climb to secure a roster spot. He became a bright spot during OTAs and minicamp despite the lack of physical contact or pads allowed at practice. Watson had several runs that went untouched, even if pads were on, and even caught a touchdown from Jarrett Stidham during a red zone period on the final day of mandatory minicamp.

One area that could help further Watson’s case of pushing to make the roster will be on special teams. He was adamant and determined to get reps on punt as a gunner, punt return as a jammer, and on kickoff. There’s a chance he could even factor into a potential spot as a return option in a two-deep system.

Payton praised Watson’s body of work at Memphis, in particular as a receiver out of the backfield. He’ll have to outshine Javonte Williams, Samaje Perine, Jaleel McLaughlin, and Tyler Badie in some of these areas if he’s going to make a serious push.