Broncos preseason: 10 players to watch against 49ers

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Aug 22, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Tom Savage (3) is sacked by Denver Broncos linebacker Shaquil Barrett (48) during the fourth quarter at NRG Stadium. The Broncos defeated the Texans 14-10. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos are set for their home debut in the 2015 preseason against the San Francisco 49ers after a productive week of joint practices.

With two road wins to open the preseason, the strongest part of this Broncos team has clearly been the defense at this point, though the offense has shown flashes of brilliance. The top offense, led by Peyton Manning, let most people down in last week’s preseason game, but it’s only a matter of time before they’re putting up points at such a high rate we can’t barely keep up.

Here are 10 players in particular that I’m excited to watch tonight, considering the starters will also play a significant portion of the game. I will try to stay away from the overly obvious players (Pro Bowl guys, which we all want to see play)…

1. Shaquil Barrett, Edge Rusher

Shaq Barrett has been nothing short of spectacular for the Broncos this preseason. The team’s highest graded player from Pro Football Focus in two games, Barrett has played extremely well in two straight preseasons for Denver.

Last year, the Broncos were able to sneak him on the practice squad (shockingly) and kept him there for most of the year. This year, from what I’ve been told, that isn’t happening. According to my information, there are teams lined up for Barrett if the Broncos aren’t going to keep him, so John Elway has a big decision to make.

Luckily for him, Barrett has made that decision easy. You don’t get rid of a guy that can get to the quarterback as well/easily as Barrett. If the Broncos haven’t seen enough, we’ll likely see some of Barrett tonight with the first unit. He saw action with them in the last preseason game, even as brief as it might have been.

I can’t wait to see him against the 49ers.

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