Broncos (Somewhat) Mid-season Awards

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Rookie of the Year: 1st round CB Bradley Roby

November 9, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Vincent Brown (19) is tackled by Denver Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby (29) during the second quarter at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Roby in the first round was a pick I liked. I was really hoping a guy like Kyle Fuller fell, but I’m a dreamer. I wasn’t a huge fan of Roby’s play his senior year, but I knew he had potential. And in his first year, he’s already showing it.

Something that has translated from his time at Ohio State is his physicality and willingness to fight with receivers and help in the run game. He also has two picks on the year, showing his worth in coverage. He’s made some memorable plays this year, with a couple coming in the first game of the season against the Colts.

PFF grades him out as the 6th rookie corner (-2.4) out of 10. He has allowed four touchdowns and quarterbacks have a QB rating of 91.7 when throwing his way. But cornerback is one of the most challenging positions to play as a young player, up there with quarterback and wide receiver.

I dislike the term “[player x] will only get better,” but I think it’s true with Roby. He already has shown signs of getting better. More and more he’s been able to stick with his man on breaks, something that he got beat by regularly early in the season. With guys like Harris and Talib to learn from, Roby will be a player for the Broncos to keep for the future.

Honorable Mention: UDFA PR Isaiah Burse

The rest of the Broncos draft class hasn’t been stellar, albeit in just nine games. If he got regular playing time, Cody Latimer might be here. However, the undrafted rookie has proven some worth to his team, even with a couple up muffed punts on the year. The most important job he has a the Broncos punt returner is giving the ball back to Peyton Manning and the offense; something he’s done for the most part.

I didn’t agree with keeping Burse for the 53-man roster, but he’s proven worthy of his spot to this point. He’s not entirely fast, but he’s quick, able to make some guys miss in extremely tight areas. He’s had a couple long returns and got a season high 52 punt return yards against the Raiders on Sunday on just four returns. Things are looking up for Burse; as long as he holds onto the ball.