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Marcus Rios, age 23
Despite being undrafted and not even a full-time starter while at UCLA, Rios ascended from the practice squad to fourth on the depth chart at cornerback in 2017, ahead of fellow rookie Brendan Langley.
He didn’t get as many snaps in the Broncos’ defense as Langley, but Rios showed some special teams ability and has the look of a potential slot player.
C.J. Smith, age 25
C.J. Smith cracked the Eagles’ final roster in 2016 as an undrafted player out of North Dakota State. He ended up playing some significant snaps for the Browns last season and was traded to the Seattle Seahawks before a failed physical sent him back to Cleveland. The Browns waived Smith, and the Broncos pounced. He’s got some intriguing skills and is a name to watch as a player that has already played more snaps in the NFL than a number of backups in Denver.
Michael Hunter, age 25
Last year at this time, Michael Hunter was running with the number one defense in New York. After the Broncos signed him to their practice squad, they quickly promoted him to the active roster to prevent another team or teams from snatching him away.
Hunter is a player the Broncos have obviously liked for some time, but will he be able to make an impact in 2018? He’s certainly got the size and speed to do so.
The Broncos’ cornerback position is a huge question mark behind established stars in Chris Harris Jr. and Bradley Roby.
With Harris Jr. manning the slot and Roby taking on additional snaps, someone is going to have to emerge and play a critical role for this defense.
The Broncos have a number of candidates to possibly seize that critical role, including two former high draft picks.