As the Broncos’ hype train picks up steam and onlookers hop on to the bandwagon, Pro Football Focus has been one of the many media outlets telling Broncos Country to pump the brakes.
Until now that is.
In a recent article for ESPN where PFF ranked every NFL roster, the Broncos finished 14th overall, which would mean their team is just barely playoff caliber in the NFL’s new 14-team format.
In the article, PFF’s Ben Linsey applauds the Broncos’ efforts to add offensive weapons, and even think this newfound arsenal constitutes the team’s greatest strength.
“Those offensive weapons stick out as one of the strengths of the team,” Linsey wrote. “Courtland Sutton corralled the drop issues that plagued him as a rookie and ended the 2019 season as PFF’s 10th-highest-graded wide receiver, and Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler should give him plenty of support early in their NFL careers. Jeudy, in particular, was the top wide receiver on PFF’s big board this offseason, capable of creating separation better than any other route runner at the college level. His addition gives the Broncos two No. 1 wide receivers.”
Although Linsey is high on the Broncos’ offensive weapons, he’s understandably concerned about their ability to stop opposing offenses, given the Broncos’ shallow secondary which he views as the greatest weakness on the roster.
“The Broncos have some nice pieces in place in the secondary with Kareem Jackson, Justin Simmons and Bryce Callahan,” Linsey wrote. “The cornerback position is still somewhat in the air, however. A.J. Bouye had a borderline elite run from 2016 to 2018, but things fell back down to earth with a 55.4 coverage grade in a season that saw the Jaguars trade away Jalen Ramsey. The other outside spot — assuming Callahan stays in the slot — looks to be an open competition, with third-round rookie Michael Ojemudia standing out as the favorite. In any case, it’s hard to feel secure at the position heading into 2020.”
Linsey’s right. If Bouye doesn’t rebound from his worst season since 2015 and Callahan struggles to return to form after his foot injury that sidelined him for 2019, the Broncos could quickly find themselves up a creek without a paddle at cornerback.