The 2023 season for the Denver Broncos was a rollercoaster of ups and downs, twists and turns, excitement and heartbreak. As we look back on the season, our Mile High Sports staff shared their votes on various categories surrounding the Broncos to reflect on the season.

Denver Broncos most improved player in 2023

Which players did the MHS staff vote on for the Broncos most improved player of the year? Who took the biggest stride from 2022 to 2023?

Cody Roark: 
I’d say that Lloyd Cushenberry was the most improved player this past season. He’s drastically improved year over year since being drafted in 2020. I think he’s a great example of why it’s important to be patient while developing players. The Broncos brought somebody in to compete with him every offseason since his rookie season, and he never once let it deter him from being the starter. 2023 was his best season yet as a pro from a run-blocking and pass-protection standpoint. It will be interesting to see if the Broncos will bring him back this off-season, as he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent.

Doug Ottewill:
Again, I’m going to go with Russell Wilson. No, he’s not the same player he was when he was taking the Seahawks to the Super Bowl. But I was firmly convinced that last year was a byproduct of terrible coaching and who he “thought” he should be. Whether he liked him or not, Sean Payton got a lot out of Wilson, who came back into form during that monster win streak. I just wish we could have seen what could be been if the end of the season hadn’t gotten so messy.

Rich Kurtzman:
Ja’Quan McMillian. The second-year cornerback was special this season in a reserve role that became a starting spot. He enjoyed two interceptions, two forced fumbles, and five passes defensed; he’s going to be good for years to come.

Shawn Drotar:
Lloyd Cushenberry III. Cushenberry’s head for the game has never been in question. Whip-smart with leadership skills that made him LSU’s first offensive lineman to earn their coveted No. 18 patch as the personification of what it means to play in Baton Rouge, Cushenberry earned that award over teammate (and eventual Heisman Trophy winner) Joe Burrow, who never started a college game taking a snap from anyone another then the Broncos’ third-round selection in 2020. The challenge for Cushenberry has always been physical. Considered a marginal athlete – in NFL terms, obviously – he’s continued to learn the game and his opponents, and in 2023, everything came together. Allowing only a single sack and four quarterback hurries in 601 snaps, Cushenberry finished 5th among centers with a 76.4 pass-blocking rating from Pro Football Focus. The timing couldn’t be better for Cushenberry, but it’s likely to be bittersweet for Broncos fans. The 26-year-old is eligible for free agency this spring, and he might see his salary jump from just under $3 million a season to $13 million or more. He’s likely on his way out of Denver.