As the Denver Broncos continue with their second week of organized team activities, who are three players to keep an eye on this week?

Denver Broncos dive deeper into Week 2 of OTAs

OTAs are an acclimation period for players as they dive deeper into the team’s offseason program with on-field work. The Denver Broncos are embracing their second week of on-field team work that consists of individual periods, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 work, but without physical contact and shoulder pads.

Training camp is just about a month and a half out and when that time rolls around, the stakes will be higher. But until then, who are some players worth keeping an eye on as the buildup begins?

Nik Bonitto primed to take another leap forward

Nik Bonitto was one of the players who stood out during Thursday’s OTA practice that was open to the media. In team drills specifically, Bonitto’s quick first step and athleticism saw him climb into the backfield on several rush attempts last week.

Bonitto got behind Garett Bolles on several occasions and disrupted the pocket for Bo Nix. You can make an argument that the third-year pass rusher would have gotten home on at least two rush attempts.

Last season, Bonitto took a massive step forward after his rookie season, finishing second in sacks with eight. He also led the team in tackles for a loss with 13, while generating 20 quarterback hits according to Pro Football Reference.

Denver’s pass rush could take a big step forward if the unit consisting of him, Baron Browning, Jonathon Cooper, and now rookie Jonah Elliss can stay healthy. With Denver making moves to address the defensive tackle position, the organization believes they are in a better spot to rush the passer and stop the run.

Bonitto looked more explosive at first-glance during OTAs and he’s a player that we’ll have our eye on this week as practice continues.

Can JL Skinner crack the special teams lineup?

JL Skinner is fully healthy as the Denver Broncos continue OTAs. After serving most of last season as a redshirt year, the team hopes that Skinner can play a crucial role on special teams right away.

With the NFL’s kickoff and kick return rules changing this upcoming season, Skinner’s body type might be perfect for the new format. He’s gotten stronger this offseason, and his 6’4 frame should allow him to be used effectively by Ben Kotwica on that side of the ball.

The Broncos safety room right now features Brandon Jones, P.J. Locke, and Caden Sterns as the top three players at the position, and Skinner will have competition with players like Devon Key, Tanner McCalister, Keidron Smith, and undrafted rookie Omar Brown on the roster, all vying for a spot on the roster.

Special teams is going to be the one area where Skinner will have the best chance to break into a role right away if he can continue to excel in that area. He’s a player to watch this week at practice.

Broncos rookie cornerback Kris Abrams-Draine brings technically sound background to the table

The Denver Broncos defensive back room is filled with competition at cornerback and safety. Rookie cornerback Kris Abrams-Draine is a player we have our eyes on this week as practice continues.

Last week during OTAs, Abrams-Draine was technically sound during team drills. He worked outside and inside in combination with Denver’s new emphasis on positional versatility under Jim Leonhard. Despite being 5’11, he moves fluidly whether he’s playing in press or off-ball coverage, has great instincts recognizing route concepts based on the split distance of receivers and formations.

In several reps last week, he got in phase to the receivers hip pocket on several occasions and forced him to the sideline, and communicated well pre-snap. If he can continue doing these things well, he’ll be a fun player to watch during training camp and the preseason.