If the Denver Broncos make head way in the AFC West this year, these five breakout candidates will play a key role.
The Denver Broncos started the 2020 season with three losses, and they ended it with three losses in a row. The 5-5 mark in between of course yielded a 5-11 record, and a last place finish in the AFC West.
The Broncos made a general manager change this offseason, as John Elway stepped aside (and up the organizational ladder, in a rather deft move) and George Paton stepped in. That move has put quarterback Drew Lock on notice, as confirmed by trade rumors tying the Broncos to Matthew Stafford, Deshaun Watson, Teddy Bridgewater etc.
The Kansas City Chiefs are the kings of the AFC West until they are dethroned. But the Broncos are not bereft of talent if they can get what they need from certain spots.
With that in mind, here are five breakout candidates to watch for the Broncos in 2021.
5 breakout stars to watch for the Denver Broncos in 2021
In 13 games last season, Jones had 6.5 sacks, 41 total tackles (seven tackles for loss), 16 quarterback pressures and 11 quarterback hits. Based on PFF grade, he improved fairly noticeably in his second season all the way around.
Dre’Mont Jones took a step up in his sophomore seaeon
66.9 grade ➡️ 74.7 grade
50.9 run defense ➡️ 63.9 run defense
70.3 pass rush ➡️ 78.3 pass rush pic.twitter.com/BY2FxlVicf
— PFF DEN Broncos (@PFF_Broncos) January 26, 2021
The Broncos released Jurrell Casey, and they’ve essentially replaced him with Shamar Stephen. Stephen shouldn’t be more than a rotational player though, paving the way for Jones to have a real breakout in 2021.