Can De’Vante Bausby rebound for the Denver Broncos in 2020?
The Denver Broncos have a number of burning questions leading up to training camp in 2020. One of the most important questions facing the team right now is — how will the cornerback position turn out?
A couple of things at this point are clear.
First of all, AJ Bouye was brought in via trade from the Jacksonville Jaguars with the expectation that he would be the Broncos’ CB1 heading into the 2020 season. This presents a different scenario compared to 2019 completely because last year, the Broncos’ top cornerback was Chris Harris Jr., whose primary responsibilities are in the nickel.
Now that Harris is gone and Bouye is in the fold, the deck has been completely re-shuffled for the Broncos.
Bouye is not an inside corner in the nickel and he will play on the outside probably close to 100 percent of the time this season for the Broncos.
Bryce Callahan, a free agent acquisition in 2019 who was the only player to come over from the Bears to the Broncos with head coach Vic Fangio, had a disappointing setback in recovery from a 2018 foot injury that kept him out the entire 2019 season.
With Bouye and Callahan back, it appears as though the Broncos have two-thirds of their cornerback position figured out for the 2020 season, but who is going to play on the outside when the Broncos are in the nickel, which they will probably be in at least 60-65 percent of the time or more?
That is one of the burning questions of the whole 2020 offseason.
One of the candidates is obviously De’Vante Bausby, a player who was scooped up by the Broncos last offseason after the Alliance of American Football went under and every player in that league became a free agent.
Bausby had some brief history in Chicago with Ed Donatell and Vic Fangio, and that history really served him well. He showed off great instincts in zone coverage and made a lot of pass breakups with the Broncos in training camp and preseason play after leading the AAF in interceptions.
Although Bausby entered the 2020 season behind Isaac Yiadom on the depth chart, he replaced Yiadom early in the season and was playing really well in his limited action before suffering a scary spine injury on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Broncos saw Bausby’s recovery to completion, re-signed him to a one-year deal in the 2020 offseason, and will give him a shot to compete yet again in training camp this year.
Although Bausby’s injury certainly doesn’t give him a leg up on the competition, he probably had the most consistently good tape of the holdovers from last year, even when you consider the smaller sample size.
Bausby is one of the fastest cornerbacks on the team, and his play is reminiscent of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in a lot of ways.
There are no guarantees in Bausby’s contract. He is going to have to earn every rep he gets but if he’s fully healthy, he has a good chance of rebounding in 2020 and being a surprise breakthrough player for the Broncos.