Broncos defensive backs who need to step up in the final four games
There will be perhaps no player under more pressure to perform at a high level than Duke Dawson.
Dawson missed his whole rookie year due to injury, so he’s effectively in his second NFL season. He has played in 11 games for the Broncos this year, but just two games with 10 or more snaps including Sunday night’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Dawson plays the nickel position as well as the dime position for the Denver Broncos, but the team has relied on him a lot less than they did even a year ago.
Dawson played 14 games for Vic Fangio’s defense in 2019 with over 300 snaps. He’s at just 62 snaps so far in the 2020 season but that number will increase substantially over the final four games if he can play well.
A second-round pick by the Patriots in the 2018 NFL Draft, Dawson has tremendous talent and has always projected well to an inside role at the NFL level. The Broncos obviously see that potential but to this point, it hasn’t fully matured.
Against the Chiefs, Dawson gave up a long touchdown but was bailed out by a holding call on Kansas City, then got dinged for a 15-yard personal foul penalty on a punt play that pinned the Broncos inside their own 10-yard line.
It hasn’t been a great 2020 season for Dawson, but with increased reps, we’ll see if he can make any progress.