Three Broncos players earn mid-season All-Pro from PFF

Justin Simmons. Credit: Isaiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports.
Justin Simmons. Credit: Isaiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports.

The Denver Broncos may be 3-5 at the halfway point of the season, but according to Pro Football Focus, they have three of the most talented players in the NFL on their roster.

It might sound somewhat surprising, but the analytics company has graded out Garett Bolles — their second-best tackle in the NFL — Justin Simmons and Bryce Callahan all as All-Pros at their respective positions.

While we’ve been highly critical of Bolles’ play over the years, he’s finally living up to that first-round pick the Broncos used on him back in 2017. Through six weeks, he was the highest-graded tackle in the NFL, and currently his 89.2 overall grade is the best among all left tackles in the NFL.

Garett Bolles’ transformation has been nothing short of spectacular this season. At the halfway point, he’s been called for a mere three penalties after being flagged a way-too-many 17 times last year. He’s not only cleaned up his play, he hasn’t allowed a single sack, either.

As PFF explains: “Bolles has yet to surrender a sack this season and has been beaten for just nine total pressures over eight games. His run blocking has taken an even bigger leap, grading out at 90.1 through the first half of the season — almost 20 grading points higher than a season ago.”

Jumping over to the defensive side, the Broncos have two more All-Pros who are less surprising.

Callahan has been exactly what the doctor ordered in terms of a slot cornerback. His coverage has been superb and the stats tell it all. He’s played the third-most coverage snaps without allowing a touchdown this season (283) and his 46.0 passer rating allowed is the second-best in the NFL.

And then there’s Simmons, who is arguably the best safety in the NFL today.

He’s backed up that phenomenal second-team All-Pro season in 2019 with this year’s three interceptions at the mid-way point of the season. Those three picks land him at a tie for fifth-most in the league, and he leads all safeties in that category.

From PFF: “Simmons has been excellent in the run game, even grading out a little better in that facet (89.7) than last year.”

His 81.1 overall grade makes him the second-best safety in the NFL this season and the top free safety per analytics.

It’s wild to think who else could be on this list if they would have remained healthy. Courtland Sutton, Von Miller and even Phillip Lindsay could also possibly have been on this list, but each has missed time due to injuries this year.

Simply, the Broncos have some of the best top-end talent in the NFL, but they still need to fill out the rest of the team to be consistently competitive, win more games and make it back to the postseason.

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