Training camp is finally over and meaningful football has officially arrived for the Denver Broncos.

We got our first taste on Thursday during a joint practice with the Dallas Cowboys, and even though it was just a taste, it was remarkably exciting to see the Broncos perform at such a high level.

That said, who were the best and worst performers from this stellar joint practice showing? Let’s look in this edition of the Denver Broncos Stock Report.

Who’s rising for the Denver Broncos?

Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton (14) pulls in a touchdown pass as Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward (21) defends during the first half of NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in Denver.

Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton (14) pulls in a touchdown pass as Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward (21) defends during the first half of NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Courtland Sutton

Now, after observing Courtland Sutton for 14 training camp practices, one can feel confident saying he’s back to being special.

Last year’s version of Sutton was still a quality receiver, but he wasn’t the game-breaking weapon in 2019 that helped make Brandon Allen look like a functional NFL quarterback.

At his 2019 peak, Sutton caught anything and everything thrown his way, seemingly possessing the best hands in the league. He paired that with the ability to create big plays after the catch by using his physicality and a beautifully large catch radius for quarterbacks to target.

It was fair to wonder if the ACL tear had permanently robbed us of that remarkable talent, but fortunately, those fears won’t come to reality it seems, as Sutton has flexed his amazing athleticism and hands all summer long.

One recent display of Sutton’s ability saw him ‘Moss’ Ronald Darby on a play that looked nearly identical to his legendary catch against the Cleveland Browns.


Against the Cowboys, on Thursday, Sutton made his break on a quick out, only to have to immediately make a horizontal leap, with his body fully extended, in order to haul in a one-handed grab on a bullet from Russell Wilson. The acrobaticism and full-body extension was catlike, and further bolstered the belief that Sutton has returned to form.

Jalen Virgil

Jalen Virgil stood out for a very different reason than Courtland Sutton, but was the other receiver on the Denver Broncos that managed to improve his stock the most.

During the special teams periods, Virgil was probably Denver’s best gunner not named P.J. Locke, and Locke has a lot of NFL special teams experience whereas Virgil is an undrafted rookie.

Virgil also had one of the biggest plays of the day, absolutely torching a Cowboys cornerback on a go route, and then catching a pass from Brett Rypien in stride to glide into the endzone for a touchdown.

Javonte Williams & Mike Boone

Although it hasn’t been a bad camp, Javonte Williams’ camp has raised a fair number of questions. There were concerns about how he’d fit in Nathaniel Hackett’s offense, considering how much his issues with vision limited him from finding success on outside zone runs last year, and some of those deficiencies have flared up in camp.

Now, we’ve also seen flashes of improved vision from Williams, but it seemed like the split with Melvin Gordon was trending towards being closer to 50-50 than it was at the start of camp. However, Gordon’s foot injury hampered those plans.

Fortunately, Williams immediately responded by turning in his best practice of camp, and showcased improved vision throughout. He was patiently sifting through traffic, finding the correct hole, and then plowing through it for a big gain. One such play saw him cutback early, towards the weakside of the run’s design, finding the edge and stiff-arming a Cowboy off him for a massive gain.

Mike Boone also had a tremendous day against the Dallas Cowboys, which was necessary following Gordon’s injury. Boone looks like he was made for Hackett’s offensive scheme, and naturally tears off big runs all throughout practice. Even if Gordon is healthy by the regular season, the Denver Broncos should keep Boone involved in the offense — even if only on the periphery.

Pass Rush & Offensive Line

A trend that started to develop ever since the pads came on at training camp was the Denver Broncos’ offensive line consistently getting beaten by their own pass rush.

That trend resulted in the offensive line being one of the most common ‘fallers’ in this very column, because they were one of the few units that was actually looking problematic during camp. As a result, the Broncos’ pass rush looked remarkable.

However, it was hard to sort out how much of the offensive line’s struggles were related to the pass rush maybe being great, and how much of the pass rush’s successes were related to the offensive line maybe being subpar.

Now that we’ve finally seen both sides of the ball match up with players from another team, we have a better grasp of the quality of those units and the results are promising.

The Broncos’ pass rush harassed the Cowboys’ offensive line all day long, and got near constant penetration. Dre’Mont Jones looked like an All-Pro working against Dallas’ interior, while all of Denver’s edge rushers feasted — including Bradley Chubb in his matchup with former All-Pro Tyron Smith.

Nik Bonitto even recorded four sacks according to some reports.


The offensive line also had a much better day.

They carved out canyons for Javonte Williams to charge through like a raging current, and were stout against the Dallas Cowboys’ loaded pass rush for the most part.

Micah Parsons recorded three sacks in his own right, but he’s a generational talent so the Broncos can swallow that pill, considering the rest of the offensive line held up really well, allowing Wilson to dice up Dallas’ dodgy defensive backs.

Who’s falling?

Michael Ojemudia on the sideline. Credit: Isaiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports.

Michael Ojemudia on the sideline. Credit: Isaiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports.

Michael Ojemudia

The Denver Broncos thoroughly throttled the Cowboys during Thursday’s joint practice session, and very few players turned in poor performances for the Denver Broncos.

One of those few players was Michael Ojemudia, a 2020 third-round pick that was expected to finally have his breakout season.

Ojemudia had a promising rookie campaign, and nearly missed his second year in the league entirely due to injury, but showcased his talents in an outstanding performance against the Kansas City Chiefs, leading to optimism about what he could be when healthy.

That optimism hasn’t paid off so far in camp, as mid-round rookie Damarri Mathis has performed much better than Ojemuda on a consistent basis this summer, and feels primed to pass Ojemudia by on the depth chart. With that in mind, he can’t afford performances like he turned in on Thursday.

With Ronald Darby sidelined, he was forced to face Dak Prescott and the rest of Dallas’ starting offense, and playing opposite Patrick Surtain II, Ojemudia had to face the lion’s share of the offensive targets.

As a result, CeeDee Lamb and Prescott combined to regularly torch him, despite the rest of the defense during in a lights-out performance.

Ojemudia was the Broncos’ weakest link on Thursday, and while his roster spot should be solidified, he could easily find himself losing playing time.

McTelvin Agim

The tumble of McTelvin Agim’s stock has less to do with one joint practice, and more to do with a general trend we’ve seen this camp

2022 was always going to be an extremely pivotal year for Agim. When the Denver Broncos drafted him in the third round, it was a bet on his pass-rush potential and him taking some necessary leaps as a run defender, in order to become their next Dre’Mont Jones.

Through his first two seasons in the league, the pass rush ability has been there, but he’s been such a liability against the run, that he hasn’t been able to get on the field.

This was his opportunity to either show growth and solidify his spot as one of the team’s top defensive linemen or remain stagnant and potentially miss the final roster.

Right now, we’re trending towards that latter scenario, as Agim has failed to make a splash at camp, and has seen his playing time dwindle with each passing day. Now, it feels like Jonathan Harris has passed him, while Mike Purcell and DeShawn Williams are miles ahead, and the rookies are gaining ground in a hurry.

Agim must flip the script in the preseason, or his seat will be red hot.