Three Broncos fighting for a roster spot who shined on Thursday night

Denver Broncos running back Devontae Jackson (right) scores on a four-yard touchdown pass against Seattle Seahawks linebacker Chris Worley (48) in the fourth quarter at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks won 22-14.
Aug 8, 2019; Seattle, WA, USA; Denver Broncos running back Devontae Jackson (right) scores on a four-yard touchdown pass against Seattle Seahawks linebacker Chris Worley (48) in the fourth quarter at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks won 22-14. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos second preseason game went nowhere near as well as the first one, but three Broncos fighting for a roster spot shined Thursday night.

Once again the offense was largely immobile and unable to move the football for long stretches of the game. Although, unlike the Hall of Fame Game against the Falcons, the defense made several costly mistakes and penalties that plagued the Broncos throughout the night.

After that rough showing, let’s take a look at three players on the roster bubble who helped their chances of making the final roster with their performances against the Seahawks.

Malik Reed

From Rod Smith and Chris Harris Jr., to Phillip Lindsay, the Broncos have an impressive track record of finding treasure in the pool of undrafted free agents.

They may have just found another one in Malik Reed.

Malik Reed was the best defensive player on the field for the Broncos in their first preseason game against the Falcons. Thursday night in Seattle, he was the best defensive player on the field for the Broncos once again.

Reed recorded a sack and four combined tackles for the second consecutive week and was a terror to the Seahawks’ offensive line all night long. The consistency and production of that stat line is incredibly impressive considering the limited reps available and high rate of rotation during the preseason.

With Shaquil Barrett and Shane Ray out the door, John Elway will have to figure out a way to clear a roster spot for Malik Reed, the Broncos’ newest undrafted stud.

Su’a Cravens

Su’a Cravens has had a tumultuous first three seasons in the NFL that involved him both retiring and getting traded.

Now, entering his fourth year, he appears to have found his footing at safety. From the outside looking in, the decision to keep Cravens at safety was a questionable one. He was one of, if not, the league’s worst safety a season ago and even got benched. However, he thrived at linebacker during his rookie season in Washington.

That decision now looks to be a brilliant one. Cravens has thrived at safety throughout training camp and in both preseason games. Against the Seahawks, he led the team in solo tackles with four, one of which came behind the line for a loss.

Coverage is still the big question with Cravens, but there is no doubt he is talented enough to do damage when he is put on the field in the right situations.

Devontae Jackson

Devontae Jackson sure is fun to watch.

Every time the ball is in his hands, Jackson turns into a scalpel; slicing and cutting his way through the opposing defense for solid gains. What makes Jackson so unique is his elite stop-start quickness. He can go from zero to 60 in a hurry, slam on the brakes, make a quick sidestep through the hole, then dart forward again for another five yards.

Jackson was also one of the Broncos’ best offensive players in the Hall of Fame Game, though he was outshined by Khalfani Muhammad‘s incredible night. However, this time around, the other running backs were dismal outside Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay, allowing Jackson to thrive once he got in the game.

It will hard to sneak Jackson onto the final roster. That being said, if he keeps performing this well in the preseason, the Broncos will be forced to keep him on the practice squad at the very least.

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