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There’s Something Special About Denver’s Rookie Class
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Despite the recent hardships, its an exciting time for the Denver Broncos. The Broncos have developed an intriguing young roster and almost nobody outside of Denver is expecting much from this team.
That’s one of the benefits of finishing 5-11. No one sees you coming.
But I mean what I said regarding this roster. GM John Elway restocked the cupboards that had become relatively bear on the heels of three consecutive underwhelming Draft classes.
Not that there weren’t a few gems from the 2015-17 classes. The problem was, Denver had to dig past plenty of cubic zirconium before finding those diamonds in the rough.
Heading into 2018, the Broncos have re-established the balance of youth and veteran savvy on the roster. Denver was the team with the least amount of salary cap dollars allocated to the quarterback position last season, but the front office fixed that by signing Case Keenum.
Not that a team should go throw money at a quarterback just to say that they’re paying one a respectable sum. All things considered, the Broncos came out of the 2018 free-agent QB sweepstakes with significantly more weight in their wallet than say the Minnesota Vikings, who overpaid Kirk Cousins (no playoff wins).
The Broncos happily took Keenum under their wing and paid him. And now the team has a veteran leader at the most important position on the team. Six years ago, paying any QB not named Peyton Manning $18 million per season would have given most Broncos fans a bad case of heartburn.
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However, times change and the QB market continues to climb. Its actually a pretty good deal for a QB who’s coming off a career season and has a playoff win on his resume.
With the QB in hand, the Broncos can now focus on the youth on their roster and getting more production out of them. Last year, Denver received next to no production from their rookie class, and you could say the same for their 2016 counterparts.
But the reality of coming off two consecutive seasons of missing the playoffs means that young guys are going to have to play. There’s no getting around it.
And when I say play, I mean contribute. The Broncos hired a bunch of new faces in the coaching staff, which aught to help light a fire in some of the personnel rooms that had gotten stale over the last couple years.
There are a handful of players who need to take the next step in their respective careers in 2018. Let’s go through them.