Winners and Losers from days 3 and 4 of Denver Broncos Training Camp

Denver Broncos guard Netane Muti (52) during training camp at the UCHealth Training Center.
Jul 28, 2022; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos guard Netane Muti (52) during training camp at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, we looked at the biggest winners and losers from the first two days of Denver Broncos training camp, and now, we’ll breakdown the biggest winners from days three and four.

Which players improved their chances of starting or making the final roster, and who finds themselves in a world of trouble?

Winners

 Denver Broncos cornerback Pat Surtain II (2) during mini camp drills at the UCHealth Training Center.
Jun 13, 2022; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos cornerback Pat Surtain II (2) during mini camp drills at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Netane Muti

Muti is making a strong push for one of the two starting guard spots, and if he doesn’t wind up a starter, he’s almost certainly going to be the first guard off the bench for the Broncos this season.

The two things that stand out with Muti are his heavy hands and his surprising agility.

In college, he looked a little heavy-footed at times, but that hasn’t been the case so far this offseason. He stands out when asked to pull thanks to those movement skills, which also help cover up his lack of arm length — generally thought to be a sizable negative in the zone-blocking scheme.

Muti’s all-world trait isn’t his agility though, it’s the two sledgehammers he has attatched to his torso, which bludgeon and punish defenders, even in a non-padded practice setting. He’s consistently mauled opposing defenders.

The rep that stands out has to be when he leveled D.J. Jones right off the snap, buying Wilson time for a deep touchdown to Montrell Washington (another big winner from the first week, but also one we’ve already highlighted, which is why he didn’t make the list this time). Now, even if you want to believe Jones slipped on an especially slick patch of turf, and that aided Muti’s pancake effort, by definition, it’s still a pancake, and Jones has to be the toughest player on this roster to do that to. Jones has been one of the best players this training camp in his own right. It was a jaw-dropping rep from Muti, which you can see the aftermath of in the clip above.

Jerry Jeudy

If we’re going to harp on a player for having three drops over the course of four hours of training camp, it only seems fair to congratulate him for having four hours of lights-out practice, right?

With that in mind, Jeudy has to be spotlighted as a winner for how he rebounded in days three and four of camp, catching multiple touchdown passes on both days and becoming Wilson’s clear go-to target during practice on those days. When Washington and Eric Saubert were performing that way the first two days, they were hailed as big winners, and the same should apply to Jeudy.

So much of Jeudy’s issues appear to be a result of him being in his own head. His infamous drop-heavy performance against the Chargers his rookie year is an excellent example of that. For him to have a bumpy start to camp, be showered in media backlash, and immediately bounceback with excellent showings should be a promising sign to Broncos Country.

Damarea Crockett

The Broncos are probably set in the backfield, with Javonte Williams, Melvin Gordon, Mike Boone and a fullback almost certainly making the final roster, but they’ll likely carry a practice squad running back, and Crockett has been making waves there.

Tyreik McAllister looked terrific during OTAs, and it seemed like he may be able to push Crockett for that role, but Crockett has stolen the lead back over these four practices. He’s consistently been one of the stars of the scout team offense and has outperformed McAllister by a sizable margin every day. His vision has been better and his feet more decisive.

At running back, nothing really matters until the pads come on, but Crockett’s been tearing it up.

Patrick Surtain II

There is nothing for Surtain to really ‘win’ from a strong camp performance, which makes it difficult to list him in this group, but it would be too great a disservice to not mention him here.

Surtain’s performance this camp has been extraordinary. He consistently showcases the athletic tools to matchup with every single player on the field, while also playing with perfect technique on practically every rep.

One play in particular that stands out was this breakup on Courtland Sutton. The ball was beautifully placed from Wilson, and Sutton did a good job trying to go up and over Surtain, and had the ball in his hands for a split second, but Surtain just played the play perfectly and ultimately won the rep. It was a strong rep from a top-end quarterback and receiver, and Surtain managed to outperform both.

Corliss Waitman

Before training camp started, Waitman felt like nothing more than a camp body, but he might actually be a legitimate contender for the starting punter job with Sam Martin.

After primarily relying on the JUGS machine for their punt work through the first three days of camp, the punters got a heavy workload on Saturday, and Waitman more than held his own against Martin.

Not only that, but it would make sense from a financial perspective. The Broncos can save $2.2 million by moving on from Martin, and so far, it’s hard to say Martin’s $2.2 million better than Waitman.

Losers

Denver Broncos wide receiver Seth Williams (19) during training camp at the UCHealth Training Center.
Jul 29, 2022; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Seth Williams (19) during training camp at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Johnson, Jalen Virgil, Travis Fulgham & Seth Williams

This group of receivers is all pretty talented, but they find themselves facing an uphill battle if they want to make the final roster, as they’ve begun to separate out towards the bottom of the depth chart.

Everyone knows the top four receivers on this roster (Sutton, Jeudy, Tim Patrick, K.J. Hamler) are safe, and Washington probably makes five solidified roster spots, considering the draft investment. That leaves one or two spots left, and those spots will likely go to one or two of Kendall Hinton, Kaden Davis, Tyrie Cleveland and Trey Quinn, because of Hinton’s prowess as a receiver and the other three’s ability on special teams.

As a result, Johnson, Virgil, Fulgham and Williams are in trouble. There’s plenty of time for them to make up ground, but right now, it seems their only chance of sticking around in Denver is finding a spot on the practice squad.

The Denver Broncos’ team-building at nickel

During Saturday’s practice, recent free-agent addition K’Waun Williams went down with a knee injury, spotlighting a glaring hole in the Broncos’ roster as it’s presently constructed.

Fortunately, Williams appears to be fully ok and should only miss a few days of practice, but for the few hours when things were uncertain, Broncos Country was justifiably nervous. This is a team that wants to play a ton of dime, a personnel package requiring two slot-corners and yet, they only have one corner that you feel confident in. After that, the next best option is the third safety — whether that be Kareem Jackson or Caden sterns.

In very short order, the Denver Broncos could be forced to turn to Blessaun Austin or rookie Damarri Mathis to be a key contributor to their secondary, and that’s a recipe for trouble in this AFC West. Plus, it wouldn’t have been too difficult to insure themselves against such a disaster.

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